Remembering to Play


Part of what I love about handmaking things as sort of my job these days are the requirements and deadlines. Yes, I like them. Having them focuses me and helps me to know where to spend my energy. I love starting each morning knowing I am actually expected to make something! But the other side of this is I am busy fullfilling my list and not really make just for making’s sake. I also need take more time to just play in the studio. So often my best ideas come from just playing around, and the easiest way for me to play these days in with patchwork. Playing around with scraps resulted in the Flower Star quilt, which I quickly became very excited about. Playing is not only good, it’s important!

When I went to Krista’s studio a couple of weeks ago, I noticed she had several small doll-sized quilts hanging on the walls. I wish I’d taken a closer picture of them, they were so fun. Doll-sized quilts really are the perfect size for experimenting with a new technique or just playing around.

So the other day I pulled out the huge bin of scraps under my work table and quickly started piecing together scraps of reds, pinks, and similar colors. Once I felt they were big enough I freehand cut them into heart shapes, then appliqued them onto squares of low volume and solid cream fabric squares using the blanket stitch on my machine (I’d never used that stitch much before, but now I love it). I handquilted around the hearts to add some dimension, and free motion quilted a crazy swirly stitch around the entire piece, which is only about 24″ square. This is the result.

This little quilt never had any reason to be,  other than to allow my mind to play in the studio. No requirement or deadline.

It was delightful. And I plan to do it again soon.

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