I began designing this quilt immediately after QuiltCon 2016 literally – the first draft was made on the plane ride back home. I was very much inspired by the thought behind Melissa Averinos‘ Best of Show winner, My Brother’s Jeans. This quilt made me reconsider the amount of intention and feelings I put into my projects as well as what fabrics I use.
I normally begin designs by inspiration related to visual interest. I see something I like, think about it for a long time, and then execute a quilt based on that. Sometimes it is a fabric collection, sometimes it is architecture, etc. My Brother’s Jeans made me think about representing my personal feeling in an abstract modern way. This quilt represents my feelings about a family member who has gone away because of a mistake. This isn’t the first one though and I have too much experience waiting for that person to come back while at the same time wondering who exactly I will be getting back. Will they be changed? Will this be the last time? For people who have been in this situation, you might realize that, at first, you steadfastly count the days but as time wears on you sometimes forget a day or many days and have to mark them down all at once. I hope this quilt represents me waiting for someone to come back and mirrors them waiting to get out at the same time. The same method is used for representing time but the feelings behind those tick marks are vastly different.
I’ve been striving to use all my fabrics – no keeping things that are “too special” to use – and that has already begun to pay off. I organize my fabric on cards but not in color order. I routinely go through and move the fabrics around to create pleasing palettes. I had this Lizzy House star print (I bought a million yards of this) next to the mustard solid for quite a while and began adding the other pinks, purples, and oranges. I kept “saving” that combination for something worthy. When I saw Mellisa’s quilt I felt like such a jerk for keeping easy to buy fabric as if it was too good for any of my projects. I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to cut up something so irreplaceable like Mellisa did and was really moved by how she turned those jeans into a work of art.