Quilt making for me has never, nor ever will be, about making quilts to sell. Then pressure steps into the equation and the whole point of quilting is to get away from pressure.
A few years ago my father 'volunteered' me to a lady he played bridge with, who was looking for someone to turn her 'lifelong collection of batiks' into a quilt. I wasn't wild about the idea but felt I had no alternative to say 'yes' if they were to remain happy bridge partners.
A couple of weeks later two big boxes arrived at my house...full of old clothes. What no one had told me was that this Malaysian lady's collection of 'batiks' was in fact her old saris and such like that she had worn over the years and the fabric required to make the quilt would be provided by cutting off all the cuffs, pleats, button holes, hemlines etc etc. The note with the boxes thanked me for my kindness and said she would be pleased to receive a 'super king size' quilt.
I won't go into how I felt at this point suffice to say I knew it was going to be a very simple pattern that I attempted. Many months later the requested quilt was completed and then came the awkward question of 'how much?' I had spent hours and hours on the quilt but I just felt asking for what it would have cost if I had charged myself out at an hourly rate would have been so mind-numbingly huge, that I chickened out and asked her to 'pay me what you think it is worth.'
She sent a cheque but it was so far short of the mark that it made me realise that non-quilters really have no idea of the hours we actually spend creating something and that if I was going to do it again, it would most definitely not be a super-king size quilt and I'd only do it if I had control over the design and the fabrics. I also concluded you're not going to be taking early retirement just by making quilts so I will only make for others infrequently and when I do, whatever is spent on supplies, I will double for my time which I do realise is still well short of a quilts actual worth.
Fast forward to a month ago and a work colleague asked me if I would make a quilt for her to give to a friend with a 'nautical' feel. I thought about it for a bit, memory sufficiently dulled by the batik experience and said yes. In my head, nautical was all about bits of driftwood, a beachy, laid back kind of feel and I thought I could achieve that. She thought that too but unfortunately she didn't think her friend would; she thought his idea of nautical would be:
I don't dislike them...but I don't really like them either. So I needed to find a way to work with them to make them more modern and hopefully I have found it:
All I did was cut up 6 1/2" squares into half-square triangles, played around with the pattern and colour until I was happy with it and then sewed them all together.
I really like it now.
On with the quilting.