What Shade are you with Kristen

It’s Kristen… You can find me on Instagram @thesistyuglerstoo. A little about me: I love to create… pretty sure that’s what I was born to do! I started painting when I was 6 and haven’t slowed down since. My love of quilting began about 27 years ago when I took a class at a local quilt shop. There were 3 old ladies that taught and they were all in their 90s. We did everything by hand… There were no cutting mats or rotary cutters or sewing machines. Just templates, paper patterns, a pen, a pencil and a needle and thread. Although I see the value in this type of quilting as a busy mom I do not have that kind of time and I’m very thankful for my modern quilting tools. I stopped quilting for a few years but took it up again when my kids were little because painting watercolor was too hard with toddlers. So I saved painting for my Saturdays at art and quilted during the week with my girls.

On to my quilt… It’s called, “A metaphor of life”. I’ve known for a few months that I was going to be part of the RJR what shade are you blog hop. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew I wanted lots of bright fabrics because rainbow is my favorite color. I also knew from the beginning I wanted big elongated flying geese blocks with lots of negative space. I had an idea for the square blocks and I was super excited. Then guess what… plan A didn’t work out. That’s ok, I had a plan B, guess what… plan B didn’t work out either. So on to plan C right? Only one problem, I didn’t have a plan C so I hit a creative slump. I put the quilt away for a bit because I had a few months and truth be told I work better under pressure. Well fast forward a few months and my quilt deadline is only about 5 weeks away. So I started sewing the flying geese and racking my brain for a plan C. I’m still feeling very uncreative and frustrated that I have no plan C. Because I’m usually super creative and ideas come to me easily.

Then life throws my family a curve ball. One of my daughters’ best friends is diagnosed with cancer. Well she has never been one to sit back and let others take care of the problem. So she says we need to have a fund raiser for her friend. I say as soon as my quilt is done we can do that. She says, “Nope mom! Service always comes first and the rest falls into place.” So I say ok let’s go for it. And we do a fund raiser that was huge and successful and lots of work. Okay now time for quilting. Then a different daughter is struggling a little and she just needs some attention from mom. So I spend the time help her to feel better and it only puts me 2 days behind. But my quilt is still sitting largely unfinished. I have no plan C and I’m running out of time. So I still work on sewing flying geese and one night it hits me… I want a block I can use most of the colors in with hard lines and angles. But I’m sure I don’t have time to draft one because I’m so short on time, but where would I find one? I remember I have the book, 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars by Carol Doak. I colored at least 30 stars before I found the one I loved… Massachusetts. So thanks to Carol for helping me break my creative slump. Well now its crunch time. I’m way behind and I need about 7 of me to finish. So I ask for help and I am reminded that in life sometimes we all need help. Thankful for a sister that can help iron and cut because she is a quilter too. My quilt is going smoothly so I think it’s time for a bit crazy, Don’t you? Since plan A and B didn’t work and I made a math mistake on 1 square of plan C and a small cutting error I didn’t have enough background fabric to finish my quilt and I need to have it to the quilter in 2 days. None of the brick and mortar quilt shops within driving distance of my house carry RJR solids. (I say get with the program Utah quilt stores.) By some small miracle my sister finds a small Etsy shop that carries the color I need and she delivers it to my house. I call these small miracles tender mercies, and oh how I am thankful for them.

I spend most of the next 2 nights sewing so I can get it to the quilter on time. And even though I’m up most of those nights the quilt gets finished on time! I am so thankful but also a little worried that because of the above craziness and some other small craziness that happened along the way with this quilt that maybe for some reason it doesn’t want to be made and it just might spontaneously combust at the quilters. (Haha, but really only sort of kidding.) But Rhonda @olieandevie on Instagram does a fabulous job quilting and my quilt survives.

So I call this quilt, “A Metaphor for Life” because sometimes life throws us curve balls and sometimes plan A and plan B don’t work, it might even take plan 532 before we find our answer. Maybe we lose our creativity and we feel defeated for a while. But if we stick with it and we jump back on the wagon and we only give up 2 nights of sleep or maybe 10 because your baby never sleeps. We discover in the end its all worth it. We’ve created something beautiful and worthwhile. And we wake up in the morning and say, “Let’s do it all again.” Even the crazy and the tears. Someone once asked Picasso how long it took him to paint a painting and he answered in the number of years, months, and days he was at the time. When they looked at him confused he replied that it is our whole life that shapes us and helps us to paint the way we paint and that everything in our life influences our creativity. I often answer this same way when I am asked about how long a painting took. And as quilters I think we can say the same thing… So I guess this quilt really took me 46 years 1 month and 19 days to create. Happy sewing! Thanks for sticking with me to the end.

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Comments (3)

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    Joy Dickson


    Beautiful quilt, and interesting story. Congratulations on the wonderful finish despite problems. Bright and beautiful!!💕

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    V2ry nice job love the color mix…ty for ideas and sharing….

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    Maryse VaillancourtPrescott


    Beautiful…..I love those colors!

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