One of the first of the Laura crafts I tried was the nine-patch quilt.
I belong to a family of quilters, so that choice may have been pre-ordained. It’s a simple pattern: nine squares of fabric stitched together in a grid, three squares across and three down. Quilters can make them in any size, as long as they’re consistent, and the finished blocks can take on a kind of checkerboard character. Several ways to put the finished blocks together into a quilt top also exist; quilters can simply stitch them all together and be done with it, or can link them with lattice strips, add borders, and essentially make them as complicated as they like. It’s all up to the individual.
I’ve been thinking about this particular quilt a lot lately, ever since the comment by Zoie that she’d never realized how long Mary worked on her nine-patch quilt, through three books. It makes me think that Mary attempted to make a more complicated variation of the quilt. And since it’s time for me to make a new quilt–I just bought a twin bed for our guest-kid room, and it’s “naked”–my first thought took me to the nine-patch.
I don’t have a rag bag, like Ma did, but I do have a box full of what quilters call “fat quarters.” They’re lengths of fabric cut to 18 by 22 inches. I like to buy fat quarters when I fall in love with a fabric. They’re small, and I can tuck them into my box to look at.
When we brought that twin bed home this weekend, we set it up. Then, I dug out my box of fat quarters. I found calicos in navy, plum, and patterns on cream, brown, and pink. I saw some whites, and many, many blues. (I must have a thing for blue.) Since I want to keep this room sort of gender-neutral in tone, I isolated the navy, plum, and cream-pattered pieces with those colors out of the box, and I washed and dried them.
Cutting and sewing those quilt blocks will be a big project for my summer. But thanks to a sewing machine and electricity, it won’t take me years to make it!
What kind of projects have you been inspired to make?