Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The 15-year-old project

I think I may have mentioned that I keep many lists of projects - in my diary, on little bits of paper in my handbag, on a noticeboard in my study, and I have on occasion even discovered sad, crumpled little lists titled "ideas" in a coat pocket. Sometimes it takes me weeks or even months to start them, and often many, many months to complete. And sometimes it takes me years. Fifteen years.

I started this patchwork 15 years ago, without knowing anything about patchwork (I still don't know anything about it - there is so much more of a challenge in making something if you do not know what you are doing, don't you think?) I just cut out a lot of squares, hemmed them (I think that was a bad idea, because they all ended up being different sizes, although they were pretty even-sized when I started the whole damn project) and then proceeded to sew them together in long strips, which I eventually sewed together. That part of the process took me about two years. It was all crooked. I didn't even bother to get rid of the numerous bits of thread trailing all over the place. I draped it over a chair and there it remained for many years. People would frown at it and ask me accusingly: "Did you make that??" and when I peeped "Yes" they would say: "So when are you going to finish it?"

So last weekend I did. I cut the corduroy fabric (which I kept in a bag all these many, many years) for the backing and kind of hand-sewed the whole thing together with a little border to boot. I mean, I even used pins, the use of which to me signifies Serious Sewing ...

I think its crookedness adds to its charm.

But now that Anne has explained the difference between a patchwork and a quilt to me, I think I may want to quilt some of the squares to the backing. I just hope it doesn't take me another 15 years.

16 comments:

Freshly Found said...

Wow! The completion of a 15 year project is definitely cause for celebration. It looks so good! Well done for finishing [eventually] what you started!

Linda Sue said...

Oh ANAIRAM, you are a girl after my heart indeed- I have started many of these sort of projects and in the end chuck them or make a pillow and give it away, quickly, out of sight! Your's turned out to be a very nice work! Instead of quilting you might consider tieing... less time consumming and sort of goes with the primitive quality of the work. It is gorgeous and you should be pleased with your self- 15 years! WOW!

aimee said...

awesome! the crooked look completes the charm. i love how you dig up these projects in progress and ideas on little scraps of paper all over the place. sometimes projects aren't meant to be finished right when they're started, especially if another idea comes along and hijacks your mind for a while...

Sarah said...

Well done! It actually doesn't look crooked but very smart! It is funny that you took so long but it sounds familiar-I have little bags of different projects squirelled away all over the place. I just completely forget about them.
Your method of patchwork sounds familiar too-I have made one patchwork thing-a big quilt-made out of old clothes and my fabric collection. It is in strips based on colour. It is in no way straight and perfect but I do like it.

lea said...

it looks beautiful spread out on your bed!! i'm in awe that you managed to finish it, as i also have some unfinished projects that i will most likely never finish : ) well done!

Sarah said...

I will do! To be honest it is on the futon settee thing in our sitting room under more quilt type things-it probably deserves its time in the sun! The other quilt type things are other people's work-one is a lovely old patchwork quilt I bought from a woman at a local strange sale which seems to have been a one off. She was very worried about letting it go but at the same time seemed to want to as it reminded her of her old life which she wanted to forget! I had to promise her I would look after it!

Lady P said...

Crooked is loved, cherished and hardworked - I can't believe that you did it all by hand - now, that is why it took soooo long! congrats for pulling out an old project and finishing it - that always feels just so rewarding. ANd the final installation in the bedroom - very cute indeed.
Caution - this may become addictive, the whole fiber thing.
Admission - the yarn you saw was only what I got the previous weekend and is intended for "knit graffiti" projects. I have boxes in my closet - I mean - boxes....

Anne said...

It looks good - and I'm sure the different fabrics have particular meaning to you. Like Linda Sue, I was going to suggest that you tie it, as that would go with 'look'. I have lots of unfinished quilts - they'll get done sometime! If you follow the link on my blog to my flickr page, you can see photos of some I have finished and if you check my archive, look for the easy peasy tutorial for a quick and easy project. love, Anne

kat said...

Better late than never!

Nenslens said...

I think it looks GREAT on the bed! And you made it yourself!!that's the main thing...gives me hope for all those half finished projects around my house.

Wildflower Studio (Michelle Dransart) said...

Great job! I bet it feels so good to be able to enjoy this finished project! I love it!

My Castle in Spain said...

Anairam, it just looks divine on your bed ! i wasn't too convinced by the first pics and then seeing it on your bed...wow!! it gives such a warm feel, the fabrics are all matched very harmoniously...
bravo!!
:-)

Jesse said...

Well done! That's a lot of work! It does look great, and if it's crooked (which I can't see in these photos), well, that's how these things should be. What's the point of perfect, charmless quilt?

Word veri is 'knomple' which does sound like a sewing technique: "Knomple die stukkies aanmekaar."

trinsch said...

love it! and love that it's crooked and your approach to sewing (well, maybe because that's i completely identified with the pins=serious and projects that never finish ;)

kendalee said...

Oh how did I miss this? It's gorgeous! Beautiful colours and it looks great on the bed. In fact, I love everything about it - most especially that you finished it. I have so many unfinished projects and I have hope now that even those that have been hanging around for years might one day be completed!

TonyaA said...

I think this is just wonderful! I love the look. It reminds of the comfy ones my grandma use to make.
Blessings, peace, and love to you,
~Tonya