With A Little Help From My Friends!

Debbie Reed © 2007

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Iíll be the first to admit that Iíve been in a stitching slump. Iím not sure why because I love it so much! Normally, Iíll squeeze in five minutes of embroidering any time, anywhere. I would routinely take my stitching everywhere I went, but not lately. My mind is usually whirring with ideas for my next project, seeing possibilities for new motifs in my everyday experiences. My brain is normally overloaded with so many ideas that my fingers canít keep up.

What could I do to get back on the creative track when all my efforts seemed permanently derailed? I took a trip! "No way," you might say, "I canít take a trip" or "it will break the budget." Donít worry, this trip wonít cost a dime. Iím talking about taking a trip to see your stash. Take a cruise through your fabric collection. Touch some of that luscious fabric and rearrange the stacks. Sort through your beads and see if you get inspired. Look at all your charms and buttons. Pick some up, if you dare, because it will likely increase your heart rate, and the creative side of your brain is sure to start working again.

That is exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I started going through my crazy quilting supplies. I was rearranging and sorting things when I came across three of the most gorgeous round robin blocks known to mankind. At least that was my impression of them, because the stitching is exquisite! However, since the final stitches had been lovingly put in place, I had shoved them away in a drawer and almost forgotten about them. It was as though a light bulb came on at that moment, and I knew I had to do something with these beauties.

My first thought was to make a table runner, but because many of the motifs have a specific directional orientation, I ruled that out. My next thought was to turn them into a wall hanging, so I laid them out across my workspace. The result was too "square-ish" for my liking. Then I thought, "what if I were to chop up one of the blocks Ė oh, mercy Ė to form a point on the bottom of the wall hanging?" I toyed with the idea for a couple of days, not wanting to destroy anyoneís hard work. I decided if these blocks were ever to become what they were meant to be -- in my mind that meant a finished project -- one of the blocks was going to have to meet my scissors.

So I carefully trimmed the block, saving the rest for another someday project, and sewed the three blocks together. I added a few motifs to cover up the obvious seams and some bare areas on the blocks. I did re-orient a few of the charms and appliquťs to improve the overall look of the piece, but all in all what remains is a great testament to the joy and sharing of round robins. I donít even know who did all the stitching, but since I have hung it up on the wall near my computer, it has become one of my favorite and most special pieces. To think my stitching friends and a trip to my stash brought me out of a stitching slump!

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