Monday, June 27, 2011
Rules - Follow? Break? Discuss...
I'm crazy about my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and what I'm learning from these women. I'm learning I can be as precise - or as wonky - as I want to be. I'm learning to appreciate different color and design esthetics. I'm learning I can work large or small. And I'm still learning when rules need to be followed and when they need to be broken. I'm learning to take some risks and work outside of my safe zone. Most of all, I love sharing this passion for quilting with them. There's a palpable energy at our meetings.
We are currently doing an informal "mug rug" swap, thanks to that cute little Ebony Love. Fun, eh? Small little doable projects, June 30 deadline, and I am only making two. Despite telling myself that this exercise isn't a competition, I did think about the women in the group who often work small - I mean teensy tiny - and those who have an eye for design and those who have a sense of the organic. And the pressure was on.
I started with a charm packet and loved what I was doing but not for the mug rugs. Former CMQG treasurer and current program committee member Sue has a thing for fish, and a couple of these fabrics feature fish, especially the eyes. And I decided I would create something for her. Sue has a great sense of whimsy and is a spontaneous quilter. Knowing I was creating for Sue allowed me to play. I used one of the pretty stitches on my machine. I found my couching foot and gimping thread and played with that. And best of all? I tried the rat tail binding that I saw demoed in a you tube video Thank you, Carolann Waugh! This technique is a keeper. These squares are 8" x 8".
So I cut two 1.25" strips from each fabric and went to work. This picture above has both the right side and the wrong side. My piecing, while not perfect, isn't bad. But here's a great example of a time when a rule is meant to be broken. For the most part I've been ironing all my seams open. And for the majority of what I do, this change from pressing seams to one side has made better quilts. BUT not with this pattern. The success of lining things up depends on wiggle-matching seams. Next time I do a Trip I'll remember to break the "pressing rule."
The best part? I received a mug rug today from Elaine, who took the time to look at my blog to make me something I would like. And she used a Trip Around the World design. Thoughtful - perfect - modern.
I love my quilt guild girls and that I'm learning new things about rules.