Happy Friday! It’s been a week of the unexpected here–hotter than normal temperatures, a ton of digital work (mostly Kaffe related, incidentally) and two spider bites. A day of forced stillness with my feet up gave me time to think about the first project in Kaffe. Choosing one idea out of the many that are swirling around in my head was the hard part. Let me back up and show you how I went from a stack of pre cuts to the beginning of a new project.I started by narrowing it down to the pastels, specifically the 6″ design roll. I pulled some shot cottons and started thinking about the type of project. This may seem backwards–choosing fabrics, then deciding what to do with them. To be honest, this is my modus operandi and I find my creativity is a bit stifled when I have to change it.
There is a lot of freedom doing it this way. At this point in the process I am not committed to anything. I can go big and make a quilt top. Or go small and make a patchwork bag. Or a pillow. Or something else entirely. I’m sure the heatwave pushed me into choosing the pastels, but now that I have, the mood is set. Optimistic, light-hearted and pretty.I start thinking about quilt blocks. Something that would utilize the two solids and emphasize the prints. I’m already envisioning a white background. I narrow the solids down to two and find a quilt block that just might work, the Rocky Road block, as found in 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks.It’s not exactly what I want though. There’s something hidden in this block and I want to bring them out and let them shine. See the squares with the orchid HST? Well, to me, those look like they should be hearts. And I don’t want to make them with HST’s. So the block needs to be reworked into something simpler. Like this…
Have I lost you yet? I know, I know. It looks totally different now. But let me show you what I’m seeing. Just turn it on point, add color to differentiate and…ta da! Hearts on a String, which is what I’m calling this block.Now I just need to decide on the final application for these blocks. For starters, I’m going to make enough for a table runner (which is also the size of a row for a throw quilt, just in case I change my mind before I’m done). I need two of these full blocks plus the setting triangle pieces, so 14 hearts. I want it to be scrappy, so I pull out 14 prints from the design roll.I’m ready to cut. My finished units for the block will measure 5 1/2″ (for a finished block size of 16 1/2″). I cut 3 1/4″ squares and 3 1/4″ x 6″ rectangles, one of each from all the prints. I need a minimum of six 3 1/4″ squares of each shot cotton. (Since I’m not sure about how I’ll finish the row, I may need more. There’s still plenty of time to make that decision.) I also need twelve 3 1/4″ white squares for the four patch with the shot cottons and fourteen 3 1/4″ squares for the hearts–total of twenty-six 3 1/4″ white squares.And now, it’s time to put it together. When I post again to show you the completed blocks, I’ll have a project sheet in pdf form for you to make it easier for you to follow along and make your own.
Once I start cutting, I feel more committed to the project and the other ideas settle down in the back of my mind. They’ll still be there when I’m ready for them, plus a few more besides. Ideas seem to breed quickly. You just need to stay open to possibilities and assure yourself that having more ideas than time is a good thing.
So…that’s a tiny peek into the way I work. It’s not the right way or the best way. It’s just my way. I’ve been doing this for a long time and can’t imagine doing it any other way. I work by instinct and intuition. For me, that’s where the joy comes from. And nurturing that joy is important!
Pay attention to parts of the process that bring you joy. Whether it’s piecing or quilting, planning or playing, stick to it!