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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

To Be Or Not To Be...

Surrounded by Scraps

To Be Or Not To Be...

Linda Nussbaum

Early last year I was all gung-ho to participate in the Portland Modern Quilt Guild (PMQG) Word Quilt Challenge — the theme for the guild's special exhibition at the 2018 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I've once before submitted a quilt that has been accepted to the PMQG booth for this show. That was several years ago, and I had the great fortune of being asked to publish the quilt in a national magazine after the art director at the time saw it among the show photos.

 Photo credit: Staff photographer, Simple Quilts & Sewing, June 2013

Photo credit: Staff photographer, Simple Quilts & Sewing, June 2013

As early as February 2017 I started making notes about what I might like to say in my #PMQGspeaks2017 (The fact that the hashtag includes the year should be a bell for y'all) quilt. Then I started making sketches in my sketchbook some time in April/May. Once I decided on which direction I'd like to go, I moved to mock-ups using Affinity Designer on my Mac.

 The text is an excerpt from a Pink Floyd song, The Post War Dream, on the album The Final Cut.

The text is an excerpt from a Pink Floyd song, The Post War Dream, on the album The Final Cut.

Not sure exactly when I started piecing the letters, but my first in-progress photos are from late July. Then... nothing.

I got hung up on how to bring the bulk of the design to fruition. I toyed with a couple of different techniques theoretically (as in on graph paper and in my muddled head) until I landed on a way to break it down using muslin foundation-piecing. So I prepped the muslin strips, basted them together before drawing the lines on (so I could match points at seam allowances, again theoretically). And then I just put it off.

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This Thursday I received the latest newsletter from PMQG which announced that the deadline for submitting our PMQG Speaks quilts is February 6th. WHAT??? How did that happen? To be fair, they've probably announced that half a dozen times in as many months, but it just didn't sink in. Up to that point this is all I had completed of the quilt (in addition to the muslin strips pieced into a partial top - seen above, but before even having the markings):

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So Friday I decided that if I want to throw my hat in the ring for this exhibit I'd better get down to it! Man, what a struggle THAT has been so far!! Even after so much consideration of how to go about building this quilt, it's proving to be quite a challenge. I'm also struggling with my fabric choices and placement — which admittedly is odd for me as I love mixing things up. But I've been second guessing myself all day, and it seems like I'm picking out stitches and seams more than I'm sewing them. 

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With the knowledge that I will only get one more day in the sewing room for over a week and a half I'm just not sure if this is worth the frustration to meet the deadline. Is it worth it to press on in order to solve the puzzle and come up with a solution on time if I'm not in love with that solution? As I write this, my inclination is to say, "Yes, it's absolutely worthwhile to keep going. the worst that happens is that you finish this top, don't find it up to muster and CHOOSE not to submit. In that case, there is always the option to remake it as you envision on your own timeline and know it's yours to present with pride." Or it could end up that it comes together and I surprise myself once again.