A new project finally begins

A new project means different things to different people. It could mean starting a new woodworking project, a new writing project, a new painting, a new garden plot, or maybe a new venture altogether, like beekeeping. Whatever you feel passionate about. For me it’s always a new quilt. Getting started again, regardless of your preferred area of creativity, is all about motivation.

I had lots of fun making a number of quilts in 2017 for many of my favourite people (my grandchildren!). Not the case in 2018 and 2019. Well, except for one. The motivation for that one was impossible to resist. One of our nieces, who had been a few months shy of 3 years old when I first met my husband(-to-be)’s family, became a grandmother in May of this year. A grandmother! And we had spent a lot of time with her daughter, the new mother, when she was a tiny thing, living for a short but sweet period of time in the same town together. She was the cutest thing ever. Now she had her own little daughter. Suddenly the idea of making a baby quilt had appeal. Lots of appeal.

Little sweetie on her quilt in June

6-month old quilt recipient. How quickly they grow!

But, as is evident from the now 6-month old cutie on the baby quilt (my great-great-niece!), that was quite a while ago. Then, recently, motivation to start a new quilting project came knocking on the door from some unexpected sources: a post by a fellow blogger, a local human interest story, and – believe it or not – CNN.

A few weeks ago one of my very first blogging friends, Country Girl Life on the Farm, posted of her excitement at completing a quilt for her granddaughter. This was a quilt her granddaughter had requested; she had picked out the design and had chosen the fabric she wanted from Country Girl’s fabric stash. I could imagine the pleasure my blogging friend would have taken in quilting away, thinking about her granddaughter and the excitement to come in being able to give it to her, a gift of love. That’s exactly what motivates me.

Fired up to start a new project, I ran through a few tentative ideas and some possible target recipients, but nothing was clicking. And then I saw this news article in CNN online: “A woman found an unfinished, 20-year-old quilt and complete strangers are helping piece it together”. The woman in question went to an estate sale and, while admiring a completed project of a map of the U.S. done by the deceased, was asked by the organizer if she’d like to see a box in the bedroom that contained a 20-year old unfinished quilting project. She discovered a box with a complete design for a full queen-sized quilt, all mapped out to be tackled but never done because the quilter had to focus all her time caring for her ill husband. The story goes on to describe how this estate sale-goer bought the box for $6 and sent out a message on social media looking for people who wanted to help her complete this project. She got over 1000 volunteers! It’s a fun story to read.

Hand-stitched map that led estate-auction goer to acquire stash of unfinished 20-year old quilt design details: CNN source

Hmm, now there’s a legacy, I thought. Maybe that should be my next project, to plan a full quilt, sketch out each block, maybe even cut out all the pieces, and then box it all up and hide it away to be found when our loved ones are going through all our belongings. Surely, they’d all exclaim over the brilliance of it and excitedly organize a group quilting bee in my memory?! Or not. I’d probably be setting myself up for disappointment, although of course I’d never know!

A few commitments got in the way of this wave of quilting enthusiasm. But last week an article appeared in the regional section of the online CBC entitled “No quit for this 95-year old quilter”. Another inspiring story, certainly if you’re a quilter. And she only quilts by hand. Wow, if she’s busy quilting at age 95, I’d better step up to the plate. [As I struggle to thread a needle with my 73-year old eyes and as I have to give my arms and fingers frequent rests when quilting, I can only marvel at this woman’s physical prowess.]

Edna Bennett was born in Fairvale, N.B., and learned how to sew quilts after her marriage in the 1940s. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

And so, with this accumulation of inspiration for getting back at it, I’ve done it. I’ve come up with my idea. I’ve decided on my target audience. I’ve completed my design. I’ve assembled my fabric. It’s now a work in progress. I’m pumped!

Of course, I can’t share the details or I’d be giving away the surprise! With a little luck, it might be ready by Christmas. Stay tuned!

What about you? What motivates you to get started on your next project? What kind of projects stir your passion? Are you working on anything special for someone at the moment?

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27 Responses to A new project finally begins

  1. bernieLynne says:

    Adorable baby quilt and little girl! Those are my favourite — baby quilts. I love when they become the “blanket” that they must have. I feel you are like me — you need a reason and a recipient before you start. I have a friend who just cranks out quilts but they just sit stacked up as she makes like 30 to 50 a year. I want to pick the colours, the design and sew love into the quilt for the person who it’s for.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Bernie. Yes, I do need a reason and a recipient, which is why I’m having a quilting dry spell at the moment. That was my first baby quilt, for a great-great niece in Burns Lake, BC!

  2. Pingback: Designing memory quilts: summing up your memories in 12 squares | Robby Robin's Journey

  3. A great post, Jane. And congrats on embarking on this important new project.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Cynthia. And, as is my want, I have done precise little besides work on this quilting project since I thought of it when I wrote the post. I should be able to “unveil” it in a follow-up post as soon as I give it to the intended recipient! You’re right, it is “important”.

  4. calmkate says:

    I can feel your excitement through this … I’m not a quilter but did start one about two years ago. I wanted something special and personal for my own bed.
    Still not there and have used some of the material on another project, I do sew. So maybe I should drink of your enthusiasm and get motivated again 🙂

  5. iidorun says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to quilt ! Currently I am working on a crochet blanket for my niece – it was supposed to be a welcome baby gift but now I’m hoping it will be a Christmas gift. Otherwise, it may turn into a first year birthday gift! 😂

  6. Jean says:

    I definitely am not a hand quilter at all. I have been a sewer …tailored suits, etc.
    Looking forward to the reveal.

  7. You are so talented.
    Im a crochet person. Right now I’m crocheting Christmas decor. 😊

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Kavitha. I don’t know about talented; stubborn may be another way of describing my approach! 😏 I have yet to try crocheting. My sister-in-law used to crochet beautiful snowflakes and then starch them to use as ornaments on a Christmas tree. Not too many real snowflakes in SA! I could send you some!!

      • If take it too!
        Jane I made snowflakes but didn’t starch them.
        Then I made Christmas. Coasters for all those wine glasses etc… Love what I do. I never tried quilting, you are definitely talented. I send night wishes from wet South African skies, sound of rain trickling is quiet soothing all seems right with the world. 🌺

  8. I love the baby quilt, all those colors and the heart shapes. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with.

  9. K E Garland says:

    Your quilt looks very nice! I was thinking if that was my family, my husband would be like, “hmmm, guess this won’t get finished,” and give it to the Goodwill lol

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Kathy. Lol indeed. I procrastinate about lots of things, but once I’m happy with a new quilt design, it’s everything else I’m supposed to be doing that suffers! Not sure if I can complete this intriguing one by Christmas, but it won’t be for lack of trying or for being more than willing to ignore most responsibilities to do so. 😊

  10. Now I have to think and get me in gear!

  11. I absolutely can’t wait to see the finished project and this Country Girl is so proud to be part of your inspiration!! Now, I’m really looking forward to Christmas!!!

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