This is an old project that I’ve been meaning to show you for some time now. I started it when Molly was about the same age that Nora is now, which is to say, about a year and a half ago. We had just moved Pippo into his big boy bed, and he needed a quilt. So of course I had to make him one!
I basically have two modes when it comes to working on projects: either I get stuck in an endless crippling loop of planning, trying to find the exact right pattern/colors/fabrics/techniques, or else I decide not to plan at all, and just jump right in. I’m sure there is some string of letters that expresses this in terms of personality type, but one of those letters would also represent the fact that I inevitably get distracted about 25 questions in to those personality tests, and can never make it to the end. I think I might have made it through, once, but then I promptly forgot my letters, and now just feel left out with all the INTF talk. Is there a letter for that? Probably.
Anyway, this quilt falls into the latter, jump-right-in category. While I was working on it, I actually named my process: it’s called Path of Least Resistance Quilting. It got that name when I accidentally sewed two sets of triangles together the wrong way (no matter how many times I tell myself “right sides together,” something always falls through the crack), and rather than quickly rip out the seams and do it properly, I told them: “you’re dead to me,” and tossed them aside.
(I did actually save them, just in case I didn’t have enough at the end. Because, you remember, I didn’t plan at all, and had no idea if I would be able to make a rectangle-shaped quilt, let alone a coherent pattern. But, miracle of miracles, I had exactly enough.)
To give you a quick rundown of how Path of Least Resistance Quilting (PLRQ) works: First of all, I only used supplies I had on hand. From start to finish, all I bought were a few extra skeins of the embroidery thread for quilting. Everything else, including the batting, I already had in my stash. Yes, I have a problem.
I pulled out all the fabrics I was considering, and three-year-old Pippo immediately divided them into two piles: the ones he liked, and the ones he didn’t. I tried to sneak one back into the good stack at one point, thinking he wouldn’t notice, but he definitely called me out on it. Luckily he has good taste, or I would’ve been in trouble!
(Edited to add: since I’ve gotten a bunch of queries about the alphabet posters in the comments, I thought I’d add the info about them here. The alphabet prints are actually sheets of pretty wrapping paper that Habou sent us. I popped them into cheap poster frames that I’d spray-painted red (so, altogether, an inexpensive way to cover a lot of wall space!), and the kids love looking at them. They’re really cute! Habou found them at a local papergoods store, I think, but I tracked down one of them on Amazon, here: Cavallini Decorative Paper- Vintage Illustrated ABC I didn’t see the other one with a quick search, but I know it’s made by the same company, which also has a lot more cute designs that look like they belong in a vintage schoolroom.)
I was pretty confident in the overall look I was going for (I have a whole bunch of simple but beautiful quilts pinned), which I had internalized as “bright, modern, colorful, triangle quilt,” so I just cut everything into six-inch squares (because that’s the width of my ruler, and thus the easiest size to cut out quickly) and made a big batch of half-square triangles. When I ran out of white fabric, I declared myself done, and spent a while arranging and rearranging them on the floor (always with the assistance of my trusty helpers, as you can see above) until I settled on this sort of flying geese-ish pattern.
I can’t believe it worked, either. I honestly had at most a square or two to spare. But I’m telling you, Path of Least Resistance Quilting works. Sometimes.
As I mentioned, I had the batting on hand and pieced together the backing from my stash, hand quilted with pearl (perle?) cotton embroidery thread, fought the good continuous bias binding fight and came out on the other side with a cute triangle quilt.
Pippo and I are both very pleased with it, and I think it only took me about six months from start to finish, which isn’t too bad, considering the derailing effects of a first trimester on one’s crafting efficiency.
Molly is still quite happily in her crib — which is good, because I’ve been on a stashbusting and project-finishing mission lately and need to get through a few more things before I can start on a big girl quilt for her. I think that this flurry of creative energy must be part of my postpartum routine — once my baby hits a certain age, I start to believe that I really can keep our daily family life going on a basic level, and realize that I also need to make some time to make something beautiful. Do you experience this, too?