It’s been over a year since I worked on my Sampler Quilt. The last block update was in April 2013! Woah! It feels good to be working on it again.
Last year I bought some great typewriter fabric from Crimson Tate in Indianapolis, on our way to my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Tennessee. My husband got a board game as a souvenir of our trip. I got fabric. We were both thrilled.
I was just about to cut into said fabric and make a boring old star block like this:
I say boring because this block doesn’t require a lot of skill to make and I feel like a 14″ quilt block has room for lots of details. However, I was sick of my sampler quilt sitting stagnant in the corner so I was just going to pull the trigger and do it.
And then Rebecca saved me. My old college roommate is also an avid quilter and she randomly posted a cool paper pieced star block on a group sewing page that we’re in.
There was no turning back. I found the pattern that had inspired the one that Rebecca had shared and printed it off. It’s by Quilting Climber. It was designed for a 12″ quilt block and I needed a 14″ block so I reached back in my brain to 1994 worked some algebra to resize it appropriately.
So not only had I found the right pattern for my typewriter fabric, but I got to feel smart doing it. Ha!
Looking back I wish I had thought to alternate the typewriter points with another fabric so that the typewriter fabric would be in every other point. However, I am at a point in life where I just have to keep moving if I’m ever to make anything. With three kids I’m home with by day and a part-time job in the evenings, it’s a miracle that I can sew at all. So I must accept my Typewriter Star as-is. Also, I used up nearly all of the black and white text fabric to piece this sucker so I can’t make another like it. Paper piecing wastes a LOT of fabric.
My Sampler Quilt started out as a challenge for me to learn new skills. Curved piecing, paper piecing, pattern design, math, math, math.
Now it’s evolving into a quilt that simply incorporates all of my favorite things. This block has typewriters, which not only symbolize vintage writing to me, but also evoke memories of high school when my friend Jess and I would type each other letters every day. Long letters. Letters about nothing. And how I would sit upstairs in the winters in our cold, drafty farmhouse, my fingers literally numbing from cold, the clickety-clack hum of the typewriter to keep me company. Typing so fast the keys would jam. (Thanks for the typing classes, Mrs. Bishop!) Typing on red ink ribbon for fun. Computers were just starting to hit our small town, and while my little brother, the computer guru, had managed to acquire one, I still did my work on a typewriter. Probably because I liked it like that. Also probably because typing on a computer was slow going in the early 90’s. The computer would always seize up on me mid-typestroke. And then waiting for it to communicate to the printer to print…I liked the instant gratification that came with typing.
My typewriter wasn’t a cool antique one. Not some swanky Underwood or Royal. It was this (image circa 1994, with my littlest sister at the helm):
I don’t know what happened to that typewriter. But I do know what happened to my friend’s letters. They’re in a box in my attic. And one day, maybe in another 10 years, Jess and I can get together, each with our own saved box of letters from the other, and read them together. And laugh and their probable absurdity.
And perhaps we’ll do this while sitting on the couch, under my quilt with the typewriters on it.