22 January 2010

thrift store find of the century.

I have a love-hate relationship with thrift store shopping, I think. I mean, I love it for all the usual reasons: the one-of-a-kind finds, the great prices, the joy of reusing something that might be thrown away otherwise, the thrill of the hunt for some lusted-after treasure.

on the other hand, I think I am much more likely to impulse buy in a thrift store--because it almost certainly won't be there when I come back! and that can be a very dangerous path to an accumulation of "stuff" that I really don't need, or won't ever have time to use--fabrics in particular sucker me in in this way, and I have a too-full stash--the point where it's hard to see what you have and actually feel inspired to make anything. I guess if I found the time I could start up a little etsy thrift shop, but that takes energy and organization I'd rather spend making something, you know?


just when I think I've sworn it off, or when I'm sure that only junk ever makes it onto the floor of my regular shops, I find something like this: a full hand-pieced quilt top, mine for a whopping $1.49.

I really wish I knew the story behind it: did someone take on the project and get frustrated at the last? did a crafter pass away and leave it unfinished? was it accidentally included with a box of other fabrics to give away? um, all of those are actually pretty depressing scenarios to imagine. but maybe my excitement at finding it makes up for that a bit, in a cosmic sense--and if I can manage to finish it, I'll have some connection with that unnamed crafter every time it gets used.

I have never made a quilt before, but have been dying to try, so this seems like a fortuitous coincidence. I made a small quilted project for christmas--an oven mitt for my sister--and loved that process. really, the extra time running the sewing machine was so much fun--in other projects it sometimes seems like you spend four times as much time cutting and pressing as you do actually sewing. but the quilting, even of that small piece, was so meditative. I can certainly see how people get into it.

so--next steps. this photo shows the full quilt laid out over a mattress. you can see that the piecing was not precise (some of the squares had to be added on to to make them fit), and the color choices/contrast are probably not ideal. but gosh, I love it anyway--some fun, delicate prints in there--some of them look like they could even be japanese or vintage fabrics; does anyone recognize anything?

the only part I don't really care for is the big yellow calico border. I was thinking of replacing it--maybe even with a simple white, to highlight the saturation of the colors in the squares. and then to decide on the backing and the binding.... wow! I'm open to any and all suggestions, and I know you will all wait with bated breath to see how it comes out--so I'll be sure to share!

1 comment:

Little C and Little J said...

Shut up! I love it. that is amazing. I love the splash of red in each corner. I agree with you on the yellow calico, think it deserves better. You can totally quilt, by the way, it's so easy. Amy Karol cover quick quilting and binding well in her first book. I love the scenarios you ran through in your mind, I would do the same thing! I swear, over-thinking, it's a beautiful thing.


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