Friday, January 2, 2015

The Vacation Project

This past summer I finally accepted my personal truth about vacations: I'm not productive at all.   I'm not sure why, but since this has been my reality in recent memory it's time to acknowledge that fact.  It seems that I just don't have the mental energy for complex, thoughtful, and/or special projects over vacation.

BUT, I still want to go to my studio.  So what to do?

My solution: create a project that I work on ONLY during vacations.  It would have to be something that would keep my interest, be easy to leave and to get back into after time away, and that didn't require special materials.

A pieced quilt seemed perfect.

I let my husband pick the quilt pattern from a stack I had "pre-approved".  Two months passed before I  washed and dried sixty different fabrics while on fall break with my college-age children in October.  The fabrics then sat untouched until this past week when I set them on the floor, and took a black and white picture to help me sort them into dark, medium, and light value piles.

(Sorry, for some reason I can't get the picture to appear right-side up.)
Once they were sorted, I started to iron, cut and piece the quilt.  I have 792 large triangles and 320 small half square triangles to cut, all in order to piece 99 blocks.  I managed to piece 12.  (Ironing and cutting take me FOREVER!)

I love this pattern for the secondary circular design that appears when you squint.  Can you see it?  It's created by the placement of light and medium fabrics.  I wasn't too persnickety about my selections so there may be times when the secondary design isn't as visible, but that's okay.   Can you guess the color scheme?

Are you surprised?

The blocks and pieces will now remain in drawers until my next vacation.  It's going to take me years to finish this quilt, but I'm confident I'm going to look forward to working on it each time.  I already have the answer to the question, what am I going to work on this vacation?    With breaks in between it will always seems like a fresh project, as opposed to an overwhelming one.  I'll watch the quilt grow and that will be exciting.  

This quilt is also emblematic of one of my goals this year: to be happy with what I can do, as opposed to dismayed by what I can't.  I'm going to be realistic about my expectations.  I dont' want to be disappointed by a task list that's so long and/or demanding as to be unattainable.  Challenged is great.  Overwhelmed is not.

Now it's off to bed to try to catch up on my sleep after the party-party-party environment we've had here the last few days.  My to-do list is calling, and I wanted to be rested to tackle it.

Happy New Year!


Natalya Aikens said...

I love this project! Happy New Year!!

Karen L R said...

Great idea!
Sending you best wishes for a happy new year, Vivien!

Norma Schlager said...

What a great idea to photograph them in black and white to see the values. It's a wonderful project!
Happy New Year!

Kristin L said...

I like your vacation quilt and the great idea to have a dedicated project. Your attitude is great too -- enjoy what you can do and don;t fret over what you can't. I might need a little of that in my life.