I try not to share too much personal information on this space. With two growing young men, the photo opportunities are becoming limited, and their need for privacy increasing. However, we have had some really challenging times as a family over the last few months. Finally last week I found myself completely overwhelmed, whichever direction I turned. There are too many things calling my name and too much noise and clutter to enjoy doing any of them. Even my sewing, which is normally such a retreat for me, was not providing me with any relief. In desperate need to just stitch fabric together, I upended the contents of my “triangles” box into a bowl. You know those triangles that get trimmed off of blocks, flying geese, binding… they all went in.
Grabbing them, mostly at random, I chain pieced them together over and over again. No trimming, no planning. Just repetitive sewing.
Chain pieced the new “squarish shapes” together into pairs, into fours, and eights.
My only design choice was simply to try to spread the colours and patterns out…. there was a lot of green to spread around!
Take the finished slabs of 16 triangles and unearth some pieces of unknown grey fabric left over from my earliest quilts… cut into squares and strips but never used, languishing in a bag of random grey solids.
Slice the blocks up into random wonky shapes, stitch them together, press and trim down. My arbitrary number was 5 1/2″ squares. I still had NO idea where this was all going, but I was starting to love the process.
Suddenly I had 8 of these finished blocks. They absolutely glowed in my sewing studio.
But the itch just wasn’t scratched so I started to dive into my regular scrap boxes, grabbing all the odd shapes, the tiny pieces that I couldn’t bear to throw out. Glorious slivers of colour, all randomly stitched, pressed, trimmed, stitched again. Now I had an idea, so it was time to make a big slab of “made fabric”, such that a designer could never dream of. Only one rule – no solid colours. It had to be all print, crazy, quiet, busy or low volume. Sometimes bits got trimmed off and sewn back in a different spot. Some pieces are trimmed down so small only the tiniest glimpse of them is seen. But all of them have their place.
The back was orderly chaos – seams going everywhere and a vain attempt to reduce the bulk with open seams for the final joining pieces.
For scale, this slab of colour is 10 1/2″ square. That’s a lot of very tiny pieces.
If you are excited to see where this is going next, then stay tuned for Part 2!