The weather gets cold, and I start digging around in my bag of wool scraps, thinking maybe this year I will get around to making that quilt I've been vaguely planning ever since my stash expanded out of its first plastic bin. Well, a couple of rainy days at home and I've got half the main squares cut out--nothing decided yet for the connecting strips, cornerstones, or borders--and a full sketch on graph paper, which I think is pretty achievable for a first-time effort. All squares and strips, nothing fancy.
It's gonna be big, though. No getting around that. But I have never let having zero experience stop me from trying something new. (To wit, all the sewing I did between the ages of 16 and 21.) So far, the cutting-out process has been very rewarding--I love watching my scrap pile shrink down as I harvest at least a 3" square or two out of nearly every piece. I've also been cutting squares out of some old WIPS, all long past salvaging and probably woefully poorly drafted. That black and white basketweave up there was going to be a six-gore skirt with kick pleats and a side zipper. Do you know how many seams that is? None of which I stabilized or finished beyond a quick zig-zag, so of course it was stretched out and fraying like crazy. It's nice to give it a new home outside the drawer of crumpled disappointment.
When I'm not cutting out squares, I've been spending a lot of time reading quilting manuals from the 70s on OpenLibrary.org. Books in the public domain are available to read immediately, and more recent books just require a free account to check them out and read online. There is a book called "Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!" which I am still on the waiting list for, so if you have it checked out, please return it. I recommend Scrap Patchwork and Quilting by Marti Michell, for the practical advice, and My Mother's Quilts by Sarah Nephew for a historical perspective on Depression-era quilting.
Until next time!