Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Like Topsy It Grew

I don't know the origin of that saying and should look it up.  It's probably one of those politically incorrect ones, but it's also one that has definite connotations to some of us!  Did your mother ever describe a project that started out one way, changed directions, then needed something added, then....  You know, it grew like Topsy. 

This is my Topsy project.  I bought the BOM kits wwaaaaayy back before Kate was born, about 1998 or so?  Anyhow, it's the Thimbleberries Calendar series and I just loved the colors and prints.  The blocks were easy to piece and right before we moved from Dickinson I pieced them into a top.  Whoa... not big enough for a bed quilt!  So off I trotted to the fabric store for more Thimbleberries of the same line.  Fortunately, they still had it! 

I drafted out borders.  First a one and a half inch border of the black then a five inch blue border, then a border of flying geese circling around, then a seven inch blue border.  I cut the geese, cream for the background and scrappy geese.   Oops....  I cut the geese wrong!  and by this time we'd moved and I couldn't find any more of the cream background.  Okay, I started "fixing" flying geese blocks. 

That lasted until I had enough to make four Dutchman's Puzzle blocks.  The new plan was to put those four blocks in the corners and then do some fancy quilting on the now wide blue borders.  I do like how the wrap-around black border has a kind of Celtic look to it....

But the blue borders were boring!  Okay, dig out all my Thimbleberries books and trace out some applique patterns.  Not very many, but I love them!  I even added a few appliques to the pieced calendar blocks; a snowflake, May flowers, a school bell, a pumpkin face, and Christmas ornaments.  And I only spent 100 hours doing the hand buttonhole stitches....

So I've been quilting and quilting and every time I think I'm close to being done I notice that one area or another looks naked.  Sigh...  Not too much more, seriously!

***Oh, I did look up "Topsy" on Wikipedia--it comes from Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Topsy was a young slave girl who didn't know her mother or God, saying,  "I s'pect I growed.  Don't think nobody never made me." The phrase "growed like Topsy" originally meant being of unplanned growth, or sometimes just enormous growth.  Yep, that's my Topsy project.