biqr- remembering who i wanted to be

remember this quilt?

pnqe-2007 by you.

i first saw this quilt over 3 years ago and have had it stuck in my head since, but it would take me 3 years to decide the direction i was going to head with it.

who i am

finally, last january i started in on making my little girls.  i had a definite plan and even took the time to draft it all out, however, time was limited (as usual), and by the time september rolled around, i only had 5 girls made.  i then decided that these little girls were going on a road trip with me to see gwen.  i packed up all my fabric, loaded up the featherweight along with my detailed plans for the quilt, and off we went to michigan.

wednesday was our first sewing day and i hit the ground running.  i was able to finish up the last 4 girls needed for the quilt and then set them all together with this really cool retro aqua fabric.  my plan was coming together nicely.

the girls

i absolutely loved how it looked.  come thursday morning, i jumped right into things and started making the border that i had decided on several months beforehand.  once i had made a 12″ strip of it, i plopped it alongside the girls, stepped back….and instantly knew that it wasn’t doing anything for the quilt.  after brainstorming on my own, i was at a loss, so i decided to pick gwen’s brain a bit.  she had a unique approach-take my center and place it on one of her finished quilts to see how different borders would look.  brilliant!  we found one that we both loved, and i switched gears and got busy.

liberated squares

the liberated squares border definitely was the way to go.  i finished it up friday morning and was thrilled with the results.

the next border i had planned required a focus fabric…one that i had already purchased and brought with me. just like before, i pulled it out, placed it alongside the girls…and the instantly rejected it.  okay.  !!  i decided to step away from the quilt for a bit and have some lunch with the other retreaters at a local restaurant.  afterwards, we headed to a quilt shop that i was sure would have a focus fabric that would work.

after almost 2 hours at the quilt shop, we came up short.  absolutely nothing was working.  these little girls were really starting to become unruly!  fine.  if there wasn’t a focus fabric that these girls found acceptable, i’d just make one with the load of fabric i brought with me.

liberated strata

some liberated strata did the trick.  it was late friday night by the time i got it all together and sewn on, and i was exhausted.  as i walked back to my room that evening, i didn’t even want to guess what the third and final border was going to be.  i figured that it was safer to not even try what i had planned, because those girls would reject it anyways! 😉

saturday morning, bright and early, i headed up to the lodge and checked in on those 9 little darlings.  after studying them a bit from a distance, i got to work.  i worked steadily all morning and right through lunch.  finally, at about 7 that evening, my girls had a final border.

remembering who i want to be

it’s hard to see in the picture, but the solids vary from aqua, to orange, to a coral solid.  that was done out of necessity.  i used what i had until i had no more, and then moved onto the next solid.  no planning, just steadily working through it all.  once i stepped back and look at the final product, i was quite surprised at how it had all come together.  it didn’t look anything like what i had planned (big surprise!).

well, of course, the quilt has to be named, right?  the name(s) came about at different times throughout the week.

one evening, while i was walking back to my room, i saw a bumper sticker on a car that read, “remember who you wanted to be.”  that struck me.  this year has been a crazy busy one and on the drive to michigan, all i was hoping for by the end of the week was to feel calmer.  life was just so hectic with school, work, selling the house, building another one not to mention all of the other day-to-day things that life throws at you.  i was feeling quite frazzled.  that simple saying really hit home.   there was a plan in all of these things when they were started, but all i was seeing was a crazy, hectic mess.  i just needed to remember.  later that evening, as i mulled those simple words over, i knew that i had found the name for this quilt.  not only had i come to michigan to spend some time with a fabulous quilter, i (unknowingly) needed to be reminded to  simply remember.

the second name for this quilt came about from a story from another retreater; she was sharing how excited she was to attend gwen’s retreat for the first time a few years ago.  she had called her husband on her first night there, and breathlessly rambled on and on about how much fun she was having and how wonderful gwen was.  after listening to her for several minutes, she said that her husband interrupted her and asked, ” you are coming home, aren’t you?!?”  when sharing this story with gwen the next morning, they had a good laugh and proceeded to throw around some ideas for “gwen’s home for wayward girls” that needed to be started.

i have high hopes on starting the quilting on this sometime during the winter once i finish my “stoning giants” quilt.  progress is…well, nonexistent at this time with the move and all.  i’ll get there. oh, and wait until you see the backing fabric i plan on using on this quilt.  LOVE it!  i know that i packed it and brought it along with me to this house, but i couldn’t even begin to tell you where that box is at this point.  and then there is the problem with the missing camera….


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