Making a quilt about time seemed like a great plan. I almost had too many ideas: clocks, calendars, seasons, celebrations. Twelve hours in a day; twelve months in a year. Some quilts practically design themselves, as the inspiration flows seamlessly into shapes and motifs, colors and fabric. Not this one.
My initial concept featured a central medallion divided into twelve equal sections to represent a clock as well as the twelve months of the year. Of course I would look to wrought ironwork to design the framework and was rather pleased with what I came up with. (I even drew it in Adobe Illustrator – a first for me!)
Next, I wanted to incorporate imagery to illustrate each “month” – perhaps including birth stones or birth flowers or motifs symbolic of events occurring in that month. But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get anything to fit in that wrought iron framework. It was too rigid, too great a contrast to the soft organic floral motifs I was trying to add.
So I scrapped that design and went back to the drawing board. This time, I went with softer shapes for the framework. The new design blended harmoniously with flowers and leaves and allowed far greater options for fabric placement. I was hopeful that I finally had a concept I could work with.
The next big decision was color and fabric. I had picked up a beautiful border print that I thought would make a great focus fabric…
… and proceeded to pull out a variety of coordinating red, green, blue, gold and cream fabrics.
My plan was to work with these fabrics on a navy blue background. Wrong again. No matter how hard I tried, the colors just didn’t look right until I switched to a black background. Now, I am happy to report, I am well on my way.
When we see a wonderful finished quilt, we don’t see all these false starts and failed attempts – but that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen! Just remember: keep trying but keep your mind open to new possibilities. Eventually, that idea in your head will come to life just the way you imagined.