WIP Wednesday – Blockage and Purging

yellow sea of calico
yellow sea of calico

I was that kid with the homemade Little House on the Prairie dresses in calico, complete with eyelet pinafores and even a couple bonnets. It was the late 70s/early 80s. My mom sent me to school with granola bars and whole wheat, apple butter sandwiches in my Holly Hobbie lunch pail. I had whole, raw milk in my thermos and thought the kids with weird hockey pucks wrapped in aluminum foil were the odd ones.

I’ve been given a lot of vintage calico (wait, does that make me vintage?), and while I love it, it has a huge place in my heart, it has been difficult deciding what to do with it.

gifted calico
gifted calico

I don’t want to cut it up into tiny pieces where I can’t quite appreciate the field of calico yardage, and I don’t want to make it into little dresses only to be discarded as the girls grow….but the idea of a traditional patterned quilt AND traditional fabric doesn’t thrill me either. That’s a lot of work to be back at tiny pieces.

On the other hand, hanging on to fabric creates this….blockage, for lack of a better term. That’s sounds grossly gastrointestinal, but it’s true. Having something like 15 accumulative yards of vintage calicoes clogging up my stash and my ability to move forward. I can’t just let it sit there and rot. I can’t justify buying more fabric and working around this pile, over and over. There’s a mental white elephant in the room. Part of my brain is continually dedicated to “what am I going to do with that fabric” even while I’m working on something else.

So….enter the picnic quilt. These are well made fabrics and my family is in need of a “laying out in the grass” quilt. Truth be told, I’m sure the moment it shows any wear on it whatsoever, it will be retired to a couch, but a decision has been made that I’m happy with.

I took some of it, and sewed it into large, 6″ wide by about 40″ long strips, and sewed the 2 halves together.

calico top
calico top

It has this Provencal, country bumpkin thing going on. There’s a smidge of Robert Kaufman cotton/linen denim in there.

The back has quadrants of large yardage split by some leftover strips. It’s running about a queen size.

Holly Hobbie threw up
Holly Hobbie threw up

Now that I’ve finished up Alex’s quilt, I can baste this and zip it together. I’m thinking simple line quilting – keep it simple.

I’m happy with my decision, and even more so, I’m happy with that little nagging feeling being gone. I don’t have to give up my calicoes. I wonder if I can find some audiobooks of Laura Ingalls Wilder to make the family listen too while I quilt it. Oh, or even better, The Firefox series.

A couple shots of NASCAR Zoe, testing the new track in the living room….she thought she was just being hilarious.

Calico NASCAR
Calico NASCAR
Calico Derby
Calico Derby
calico drag racing
calico drag racing

2 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday – Blockage and Purging”

  1. If you want more, there are two rubbermaid totes here full of fabric to compliment, even duplicate, your new quilt.

    Yes, Washington Co. Library System has all the audio books for your family!

  2. I can relate to that feeling of being blocked by something that logically, you know shouldn’t be blocking you! I’m glad you figured it out – and creatively at that. 🙂

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