Drawers 8 and 9

I’ve slowed the drawer review (here and here) while working on other things. But it’s a useful exercise for me, uncovering some works in progress I’d stalled on, at the least, or forgotten completely at the worst.

One of the things I’d forgotten was a stack of 9-patch parts in red and light/neutral. They made up seven blocks, which is a difficult number to use by itself. Nine-patches are pretty easy to emulate, though, so last week I made another ten of them using different reds. I still had some of the light fabric, but not enough for ten more blocks, so I subbed in a couple of things that blend well. Besides the 9-patches, I made a set of 18 hourglass blocks. The hourglass blocks and 9-patches now alternate in a 5×7 block setting. With a border, they made up a perfect top for another VA hospital quilt. I’ll finish it in January for donation through my guild.

Besides the VA hospital quilt using those orphaned patches, I’m also working on an art quilt, which is also a medallion quilt. Or it’s a medallion quilt that also is an art quilt. No photos now, as I’m still feeling protective, but I’m quite pleased with it so far.

Back to the drawer review. As mentioned before, under my cutting table I have three plastic drawer units on casters. Each unit has three drawers. Over this past year when I’ve needed to mimic order in my studio, I’ve stuffed a lot of things in those drawers. It clears the surfaces, which helps me creatively! But truly it just moves the mess elsewhere, doesn’t it?

I already showed you Drawers 1 through 7. They held a broad range of things, from scraps and parts to plastic zip bags, to some intriguing projects in process.

Drawer 8 mostly holds faded intentions and motivations, along with a lot of fabric that needs to be sorted back into the stash bins. A friend of mine, Kristin, lived for several years in Wales. While there she fell in love with Welsh quilts. They are notable for the amazing hand quilting on both pieced and wholecloth quilts. Though often not made from solids, the pieced quilts are often compared to American Amish quilts, and it’s not clear, historically, to what extent designs were shared and in what direction. Many of the Welsh pieced quilts are in the medallion (or “frame”) format, so they hold extra attraction to me.

Kristin will be presenting to our local quilt guild soon about Welsh quilts. As she shared some of the information with me early in the year, I got inspired to try making quilts in the same style. I even bought this lovely book on making them. As you can see from the cover, many of the designs are for medallions. And while I love the rich, deep colors you see here, I also wondered about making them with brighter, cheerier colors.

A mixture, I thought, of greys with pinks and yellows would keep some of the traditional flavor, while also demonstrating that the format is beautiful regardless of colors used. But I also was taken with the Welsh tradition of using shirtings and suit woolens. I went to a local thrift shop and bought several shirts, including in pink gingham and yellow floral print, to use. I made one lovely little quilt (to show you another day) before losing energy and motivation. Now the fabrics, including some blacks and reds, need to be sorted back into stash.

Drawer 9 The final drawer is where I stuffed the Green Man drawings. This is another project I hope to return to in 2020. 

Now that I know what is in these drawer units, I can put some things in better places, and make a list of ongoing projects. Knowing what’s here will help me use my time better, so I can create in more satisfying ways.

9 thoughts on “Drawers 8 and 9

  1. Elizabeth E.

    Funny that you should mention Welsh Quilts, as I have that bookmarked in my brain’s “want to do this someday.” As usual, you are years ahead of me. We are in the process of getting new carpet, so once again, I am packing up everything in the sewing room into boxes–it is really an examination of stalled projects, want-to projects, and need-to-finish yesterday. Great post.

  2. jmn

    It’s me again. I just had to let you know that I’ve sold the medallion quilt we conversed about as I was constructing it: https://jmncreativeendeavours.ca/2017/09/26/medallion-quilt-completed/
    That’s the second quilt I’ve managed to sell. Tomorrow I’m setting up a show in Parrsboro (the small NS town where I’ve shown my works for the past 5 years) and hoping maybe one or two of those pieces might also sell. Could be on a roll.
    Hope you’re well and carrying on – haven’t heard anything from you for many months.

  3. jmn

    I notice you haven’t posted anything recently. Hope you’ve been able to stay away from Covid-19. Numbers here in NS are still very low so risk is also low but it won’t stay that way. Although I must say, people here have been self-isolating rather well so here’s hoping. I just had a call from a younger friend who has a supply of unbleached flannel for my face-mask project so I will begin setting up production for face-masks for folks around me. And if they should be needed by local clinics, seniors home, I will enlist other volunteers.
    Stay well.

  4. tierneycreates

    “faded intentions and motivations” – that is a brilliant description. I have a container or two like that somewhere in my studio! Great series of posts as you survey your drawers!

  5. katechiconi

    One day, I hope to make myself a small wholecloth Welsh quilt. I love Welsh quilts for their understated lavishness: quiet fabrics, amazing quilting. Mine’s not going to be very perfect, because I propose to use it to improve my hand quilting skills, but I hope to capture some of the spirit of my Welsh ancestors 🙂
    I do hope to see more of the Green Man project one of these days, as well as your art quilt project.
    Have a good Christmas season; I hope 2020 brings you fully restored health for you.


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