Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reluctant realization

I'm not as liberated a quilter as I'd like to think I am. Sure, my stuff is scrappy; I have no qualms putting a batik next to a repro next to a novelty fabric. Sure, patterns are merely suggestions in my mind, and I rarely do as told. Sure, I think wonky is wonderful, and do not stress over points that don't match or corners that aren't square.


However, I realized today that I am a slave to symmetry. I was playing around, continuing to add to my ERIN quilt, and was careful to make sure that the odd fabric triangles in the 2 rows of green/beige that I added were diagonally opposite each other.

Then, I almost didn't add the bottom row with the 4 Drunkards Path blocks connected by the strips because I didn't have a similar batch of orphans to add to the top of the quilt. Why is symmetry so important to me? Especially in a project like this, which is my version of V's/BumbleBean's "15 Minutes of Play", a vehicle to use up orphans and other scraps of fabric? Here I thought I was so liberated, but as I look back over my creations, I realize I am not. That makes me a little bit sad - it is hard to come to terms with the fact that you are not exactly the way you imagine yourself to be.

So, I'm challenging myself. At some point soon, I'm going to try to make something that is not symmetrical. Please help me hold myself to that challenge.


In the meantime, I was also playing around with all those new scraps of mine, and couldn't resist starting something new, something that could be made with 5" charm squares.

(note that only the right side has been sewn together, which is why the left side looks so wonky)
So far, 50 fabrics have been incorporated into this project, but I think I'm going to have 6 rows of 12 fabrics rather than the 5 rows of 10 fabrics that I have so far. That will leave me with just enough of the white fabric to add a 2" finished border and then that white fabric is all gone - stash busted!

Tomorrow morning, I head off to West Virginia. I wish I could make this weekend last just one day longer. I accomplished all the goals I set out for myself on Friday with the exception of going through the kids' clothes for Goodwill donations. Not bad! Here's hoping that my week on the road is just as productive, if not as creative.

11 comments:

Rhoda said...

symatry is important for the overall pleasing appearance of a quilt. I've seen wonky ones at quilt shows and didn't care for them at all. I think we all have our own boxes. I'm not creative enough with colors and tend to stick to my favorites. I need to MOVE ON! We also tend to work on what gives us pleasure. symatry gives us pleasure, my colors give me pleasure.

Quiltluver said...

I find that I need symmetry in my quilts too. Nothing wrong with symmetry! I do have to challenge myself not to be so matchy matchy with my quilts, so I appreciate your scrappy quilts.

Barb H said...

I agree with the other comments that symmetry is very important to the overall appearance of a quilt, but that doesn't mean the quilt has to be a mirror-image of itself. Balance is maybe a better word choice--even though the rows of your quilt aren't identical, they can be balanced in composition. Writing all that has made me want to take a nap.

The Cozy Quilter said...

Great progress on the ERIN quilt. I, too, am trying to be more liberated--but it is hard when you are anal and like everything to match! Have a good week. Gail

Rachel said...

I am soooooo not liberated. I might veer off the path when putting together a pattern (but it's usually because I'm lazy and want to take a shortcut) and I love scrappy, too. But I don't like unbalanced and I can't sew without a plan.

Ahhh... the life of an A-type personality...

Don't forget your picnic quilt, Erin. Is it totally symmetrical?

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

BAlance... it's more about balance i think, things don't need to be symmetrical to be successful, but they do need to balance... perhaps try adding a row all around of a similar scrappy block what You've already started, and keep adding to it... I think what You have started balances very well already! Persevere! It's working for you!

Even in a quilt that can be very busy you eye needs a place to rest, that can happen with color not necessarily with symmetry... Keep on playing Erin! I love it!

Em said...

Erin, You are so amazing, I love your posts!

As Mr. Rogers says, "Love you just the way you are..." It's ok to be your own WONKY....Symmetry can be fit into the category. YOU make up the rules....But, I will hold you to a wonky creation if you want me to!!!!

Becky said...

I love this quilt!! It is simple yet just great to look at!! I am still heartsick that you are going to West Virginia and I am not there! Grrrr.
You need to work a trip into Morgantown to recruit or whatever it is....you could stay with me!! Have a safe trip to Almost Heaven and enjoy your week!

dobco said...

Hope you have a great week on the road. I am trying to get back into the groove of things after being on vacation. Not much motivation so far!

Stray Stitches said...

I love the Erin quilt. I'm afraid I'm also a slave to symmetry :( Some of us just can't waiver off the straight and narrow - lol! By the way, you won my giveaway http://straystitches1.blogspot.com/ Please send me your snail mail address.

Cheryl Willis said...

it took me a while to get confortable about mixing things up, it is about ballance- this is looking good! cw