Sunday, August 03, 2008

Do I have to?

Quilting

Write something today? Today I felt sort of at loose ends. This was to have been my final child-free week but somehow things didn’t go as planned. The younger son continued to have stomach problems at camp this past week which culminated in our picking him up on Thursday, one week early. Needless to say, two days later, he is fit as a fiddle, complaining of boredom and asking for a play date. He was also fighting my “upset stomach diet” tooth and nail. Said diet is boring as all good diets seem to be.
Today, if all had gone as planned, I would have driven my son back to Wisconsin to rejoin his camp for the last week. Then, back home to start my final work week before vacation. However, a combination of wishful thinking (I’d rather be home with mom) and non-compliance with the GI diet led to a minor relapse. Younger son doesn’t exactly make symptoms up but he is a bit of a hypochondriac. Sadly, hypochondriasis runs in my family.
So here we are. Happy, not quite, camper is playing video games. And how have I spent my day? I could be revising my novel. But I decided to find yet another way to procrastinate. So I made a quilt. Well, a small quilt. A fragment. I think it will be a pillow cover.
I decided to write about this because I got my sewing machine out of mothballs (actually I excavated it out of the dust bunnies) and have been using it. My first major project in years was to make a quilt out of old t-shirts. We have enough discarded t-shirts floating around the house to make several quilts without compromising our leisure-wear status. The quilt came out pretty well, if I may say so myself. The principle is quite simple. You cut t-shirts into 13 inch squares, sew them together and add backing. I love it because the quilt is made up of outgrown shirts from 16 years of child rearing. I can see the University of Chicago onesie my oldest wore the day I graduated from medical school. And a Seattle Crab shirt I got for him the same year. There are a couple of camp shirts, a shirt from Duncan, British Columbia (from the train phase), another two shirts from the Pokemon phase, and so on. The quilt back was a $1 sheet I found at the Salvation Army. Here’s to recycling!
My next project was to make a pillow case out of a Hawaiian shirt I bought at the same Salvation Army store. The shirt was too loud for any of the men in my family to wear but it went well with the peach paint in our guest bedroom (where the quilt also resides). That project took my around an hour.
Yesterday, I decided I wanted to try crazy quilting. I liked the idea of making something without planning. No patterns needed. No trips to the fabric store for matching squares required. I had bought a couple of scraps of vintage fabric on my trip to Iowa last week. There were a couple of worn quilt squares and a ball of fabric strips intended for making a rag rug. Instead I incorporated some of these strips and scraps, bits of a (commercial) quilted pillow sham we had that disintegrated from too much machine washing, a few bits of the Hawaiian shirt used for the pillow (including a pocket), remnants of the sheet backing for the t-shirt quilt, bits of an old bathrobe and (don’t tell my husband I told you) of a pair of boxers I fished out of the garbage. I ran all the pieces through my truly ancient White sewing machine and I now have a rectangle of fabric waiting for me to figure out the next step. Even my sewing machine was bought used. Today was a good day for recycling.

2 comments:

annie said...

The t-shirt quilt sounds great! The man and I have stacks of old music shirts from shows we attended. I have always wanted to make a quilt of them.

Overeducated Twit said...

I like the quilt; those pieces of sunset really stand out.

Almost had the opportunity to learn how to crazy quilt from a visiting relative; unfortunately, we never get to every project we plan...