Vacation piecing

I left the third large quilt I have been working at at home. It has exhausted me and I was in dire need of a break from working so large. Normally my vacations have been filled with endless hours of machine quilting since I have had little time during work to tackle larger projects. But this time I left all my projects at home and did not take them to the beach house. I decided instead not to quilt, to only sew some clothing.

I used to make all of my clothes and I learned to do fine sewing by tackling Issey Miyake patterns. I belonged to a group of women who traded the rare patterns- and we had some amazing seamstresses that could look at a couture dress and figure out the pattern. We would meet monthly or every other month in Washington DC and show the projects we had been working on. For those of you who do not know Issey Mikaye- look at this older work. It is origami in cloth. And it is quite difficult to sew. I figured that digging out a few older patterns was just the vacation that I needed.

I originally started quilting years ago because I simply had too many clothes. I could knock off a new outfit every week if I wanted to, and at a certain point it was just silly. I had a closet full of couture clothing, and I am more a jeans type of person. I still have these clothes 15 years later, and they are still in good shape. I was a finicky sewer- all my seams had to be flat felled, and more than once I have worn blouses inside out, since you really could not tell the right side from the wrong side.

So at the start of my vacation, I vowed to only sew some blouses. That lasted exactly 4 days. I made three blouses and got bored. I have always thought that my tailoring has improved my quilt making, and I was amazed to see how much my quilt making has improved my tailoring. Inset seams or strange angles that used to confound me are now so much easier. But once again, I kept thinking how much I do not need another 6 or 7 blouses.

So instead, I started to use up the many scraps of material that I have at the farmhouse. I hate to throw Annette's fabric out, so every now and then I start a scrap quilt. I seem to do these during vacations when I need a break, and honestly I have been having a ball. I never took Nancy's strip piecing course so I decided to play around with strip piecing and just have some fun combining colors and lines. It has been a lovely way to play around and have a real vacation. On Monday- I go back to work, and back to tackling Quilt No 4 of the Mexico series.