August 21, 2012

a quilt. or muscle memory

It's been a long time since I've made a quilt. I think the last time I did any kind of quilting was just before Evelyn was born. Feeling bad at the stack of quilts (mostly not made by me, but still) that Briton had at birth and the utter lack of quilts for my second child (ah, isn't that the way of it, poor second children) I made a violently pink and green diamond quilt and matching bumper for her room, finishing it a few days before she arrived.
I used to quilt a lot. Baby quilts were always my favorite and were once my go-to gifts for the new babies in my life. Two babies of my own, however, somehow sucked the quilting mojo out of me I guess. I hadn't even thought about making a quilt until I spotted a gorgeous log cabin lovely on one of my favorite blogs, Posie Gets Cozy and realized that that, that  was just what my girl needed.
It's funny. Even thought it's been years, literally, since I did any kind of quilting, I find myself sliding back into it easily. My hands remember the smooth, sweeping movement of a rotary blade along a wide ruler, my fingers press out the seams, lining them up for ironing. I'm not in a hurry with this quilt, and I probably wont get fancy with the actual quilting. I've always liked piecing better than quilting. In fact, I'll probably just tie this quilt when it's done. But for the moment I'm enjoying the slow, steady process of piecing a log cabin, which I think has always been my favorite pattern.
This weekend I unpacked some of the last boxes, one of which held two quilts passed down to us that have been packed away in tissue for years, waiting for the right time, the right age of kids, to be used. I'd forgotten, really, about the Sunbonnet Sue quilt. It's fits Evelyn's bed so perfectly that I almost don't need to make her another. Although, having been made in, and for, the south, it's not particularly warm. So I think it will become her summer quilt, and the log cabin will have thicker, warmer wool batting for the winter. The Postage Stamp quilt is on our bed right now, much appreciated, and not just by us it seems.
Quilts have an odd fascination for me. As a little girl I used to gaze at the big block quilt that covered my grandparents bed and try to find the pattern in the patternless order. My fingers walk over the tiny squares of the postage stamp quilt, thinking of all the hours- hours and hours- that went into sewing those tiny squares. I wonder if Evelyn, or someday Evelyn's children, will find the same fascination in the quilt I'm making now. Is that just me?

Briton has been watching me work and has requested a quilt for his bed, except in solid colors. I'm tempted to make another log cabin since I so enjoy them, but I should probably branch out. Any suggestions for patterns that are boy-ish and would look good in solid orange, blue and grey (and maybe black and white too)?