The Wonderquilt: my current obsession and dilemma

"The Wonderquilt" is a project i started in January 2004, after coming home from a quilt guild meeting where Charlotta displayed her "orange quilt," which i can't really remember in detail at the moment, but at the time i was struck by it, by her, and completely inspired to make the quilt that would show who i was as a woman and a quilter. Man, to look back on it, it was pretty ambitious. After all, I was only 24 years old. But quilting was my #1 hobby, and I had a stash of fabrics that kept growing and a husband that was growing more impatient that I kept buying fabric and never made anything. Sure, i made a bunch of things, but most were little projects out of Japanese quilt magazines, and nearly all of them seemed quilt related (a pincushion, a sewing kit, a bag to hold my current projects in..).

I wanted to stick with a certain color pallet, and at the time I was very fond of the combination used here:

(notice, this coaster is still unfinished..)

So I rooted through my stash and pulled out all my blues, greens, beiges, browns, tans, creams, and a few pinks and yellows. then i washed them all, and ironed them all (well, i found one crumpled green this week in a rubbermaid bin and just ironed it today), and started about cutting up fabrics and piecing some blocks. I knew i wanted to make a sampler because there were tons of blocks i wanted to try, and i had been quite inspired by this issue of Quilts Japan , the quilt on the cover in particular.

here it is again, sorry the picture isn't better:

Anyway, so what I had planned to make, was from the start, a mess. But i poured myself into it for a good.. 6 weeks (did you notice I'm a sagittarius?), preparing 10+ applique blocks (two large, two medium, many more small), and playing around with some pieced blocks. When i set it aside, it was for a good reason; Nikos and Iota let us know when they were planning to have the baptism for Zoitsa, and as Costas would be the godfather, we planned our trip to Greece accordingly. Once the trip was planned, I set about making a baby quilt for her as our present. (you can see pics on my flickr page) That project had a deadline, and became my new obsession; the Wonderquilt was all but forgotten.

then we moved.

I pulled everything out again about this time last year, and went about it with new determination; appliqueing and piecing wholeheartedly. C and I had decided to try to start a family, and I felt this urge to try to finish the WQ before I had kids. (a completely unrealistic goal, I realize now, with hindsight). I finished the Hawaiian applique block, and thought that might make a good centerpiece, so i worked it all out on EQ5. Once I had it mapped out I felt accomplished that I had a plan, and overwhelmed, because the border I chose would require 48+ string-pieced 6" squares. Luckily, my dear friend and mentor Helen called from Atlanta and told me about a floral themed quilt show she was helping to organize for her town. Would I have something to submit by the middle of June? My interest in Hawaiian applique had been renewed (both by the one block for the WQ, and by my co-worker's asking me to teach her how to do them..), so I pulled a blue & white wall hanging from my UFO pile and got to work. (there's also a pic of this one before I finished it, on flickr). Again, a project with a deadline caused me to push the Wonderquilt away for a while..

After finishing the Hawaiian wall hanging, I had had enough quilting and needed to take a break for a while. Then we moved again.

Last month C went to Greece for 10 days, for spring break. That's when I took the time to unpack my sewing stuff, and started spending too much time on the internet again. I found flickr. I found a world of crafty blogs. I committed to "use what I have" for the month of April. And what better way to use what I have than to work on a bunch of old projects?

So I went at it again. Unfortunately I've lost a few blocks in the move (they must be in a box somewhere), including a very nice large strawberry leaves applique in blue and white. But I have been sewing like crazy during my spring break (I go back to work on Monday, after 2 weeks off, how lovely), and a lot has gotten accomplished. for one, i completely re-did the layout on EQ5. I tackled another corner of string-pieced blocks, and made some heavy decisions about fabric choices. I made myself a deadline= to have the whole thing pieced and basted before July 4th, when C comes home from his 5 week trip to Greece. At the rate I was working, that seemed completely reasonable. two days ago i felt confident. this is what it looked like:

Then yesterday and today I'm getting antsy. There just seems like so much more to do, and my creative interests are being pulled in so many other directions. like the DS Quiltalong, and the Modern Quiltalong... I feel the pull to get involved in something, to meet people, to make new friends. If i continue working on the WQ I won't have anything to show anyone for a long time it seems. then no body will comment, and no dialogs will get started.

So I'm torn. Push it aside again? What would you do?


mangetsu said...

I have one project running that will take a lifetime... another that will take about half a lifetime... I guess, if I would not do so many other things at the same time, these really BIG projects would be finished in a rather short time... who cares. Do whatever you like when you feel you have to :-)

SuzyQSparkles said...

Isn't it interesting how we allow something we are suppose to enjoy to make us feel guilty?!

I agree with mangetsu... do whatever brings you joy at the time, and don't worry about what isn't being done!

I too have a stack of projects that feel like this what you described, how life pushes them around.

I am finding that making a list of my top few projects, on the side of my blog, is keeping me a little more focused. Of course I just started the list this week, but I already feel it is more powerful being online than it has been on paper!

Remeber to enjoy the process and progress you are making and focus on that!


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