Jayne Hill goes back to her roots, working with the simple square.
Sometimes life itself is complicated enough without the added difficulty of a quilt block containing 94 pieces, numerous oblique angles and some delicate appliqué thrown in for good measure! By the end of 2002 I was feeling worn out and stretched; as Bilbo said, "like butter spread thin over too much bread." I wanted to make some quilts for myself (no, not just 'wanted', I 'needed' very badly to be playing with fabric stroking, cutting, piecing and pressing) but I wasn't up to making any of the large and intricate quilts that are on my 'To Do' list.
Instead, I decided to set myself the challenge of going 'back to basics', and seeing what I could make using just one simple shape the square. Firstly I set myself some rules as if this were a challenge set by a quilt group. They were:
Next, I spent some very pleasant hours at the computer using Electric Quilt 5, working out various designs, some of which worked (and are included here) and some did not so were consigned to the 'Recycle Bin'.
Ideas I played around with included:
It was immensely satisfying and calming to go back to basics and make small quilts even if this stage they were simply 'virtual ones'! That exercise relaxed me so much that I was able to go to my sewing room and play with real fabric, without feeling that I had to create 'something significant'. None of the quilts that came out of this project will ever be entered in shows or competitions, but my cousin's children (and of course the dog) now have some extra cuddly quilts to play with.
During the construction process I admit I broke my own rules but so what this was my 'challenge' so I could make it up as I went along! You could set a 'Simple Squares Challenge' with your own quilt group using the guidelines above wed love to see the results! Remember to set an end date for your challenge; allow enough time for members to actually make something, but dont set the deadline so far in advance that everyone will forget about it and the project will fizzle out.
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