All progress is experimental.
John Jay Chapman
The Meemaw story quilt is still in progress, and it is very much an experimental process. The 5″x 5″ blocks were splattered on the design wall, around the center which measured 28.5″ x 32.5″. The center design was not balanced, so I added appliques of flowers and rocks. One of our hobbies is to paint rocks and leave them at places where we visit. Each time I passed the design wall, I just scratched my head and kept on walking. Finally, after talking with Joy, my friend at the Mesquite Bean, we came up with different possibilities. I added some unifying blocks such as friendship stars, one for each side of the center. Then I added four corner hearts. I tried different colors for sashing, but ended up choosing blue. It took some finagling, but I finally got the center framed with sashing and a border of 5″x5″ blocks. Finally, there was some cohesiveness to the quilt.
The next challenge was deciding what to do with some of the 10″x10″ quilt blocks. Should I make two separate wall hangings , one with the center piece and small blocks; the other with the bigger blocks? Or should I try to figure out how to make this into one quilt. I really think I need to make one, in order to include everything that my friends had listed as their special memories, along with what I had listed. In order to visualize the larger quilt, I made some 10.5″ paper blocks and placed them around the sashed piece along with the big blocks that I had already made. I think (and hope) I found a way to do this. So far, I have only used scraps and fabric from my stash. I did order some blue fabric for the sashing, because the black I had was too somber. I also ordered some fat quarters for 5 of the larger blocks. Two of those fabrics have come in, so I was able to add to the larger blocks. I only need three more large blocks and then I can see if my plan to make a larger quilt will work.
I have used a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch for the appliqueing on some of the blocks. I have some concern about the fraying, but I will just have to see what happens. To unify the quilt, I have made four larger corner blocks with birds. Each bird represents my friends and myself. Let me just say that I am not the Bossy Boots Bird. I am considered the person with the ideas. The Wise One in the group is our navigator and advisor. She also is great at packing the car with all of our junk. The third bird is for the Peacemaker, who keeps us calm and settled down. I have only shown the Bossy Boots block to two of the Meemaws, and they think I captured our friend perfectly. My plan is to show them the quilt only when it is totally done.
While I wait for the fat quarters to arrive, I will continue experimenting and playing around with the remaining blocks. This is the fun part.