Several months ago I decided to make a Postage Stamp I Spy Quilt. I started cutting 2″ strips of every fun and colorful fabric I could find in my stash. I cut the 2″ strips into 6 1/2″ pieces, then sewed 4 of those together into a strip set. Then I sliced those into 3 strips 2″ wide, I mixed them up, then sewed them into blocks with 16 patches in them.
It was fun. Really fun. I found delightful fabrics with fun little prints. I used up scraps of leftover Christmas and Halloween fabrics. I used up a lot of fabric so I bought more. I imagined giving quilts like this to my grandchildren someday. I imagined lots of grandchildren, so I kept cutting and kept sewing. Every now and again I’d think, “OK, that’s enough.” Then I’d see a fat quarter of fabric somewhere with a flying pig or a cute monkey or a creepy bug and I kept cutting and kept sewing.
Finally this week I forced myself to stop cutting and sewing little patches. I finished sewing all the 16 patches together. After ironing them all flat, I looked at my piles of patches and decided to count how many there were to get an idea of how many quilts they’d make. I must mention here that my quilt group has diagnosed me with a problem we’ve come to call “FTC.” That stands for Failure To Count. I cut and cut and cut and sew and sew and sew, THEN I count what I’ve done and make quits accordingly. Most quilters do the counting First. I’m challenged in that area, my brain won’t go there.
Well, I counted and counted and made piles for each quilt, 80 blocks in each pile. 16 patches in each block. That’s 1280 pieces in each quilt. I ended up with 11 quilt piles and enough left over to make exactly 3 adorable little doll quilts for 3 lucky granddaughters someday. I was thrilled and considered it a modern day miracle that it came out exactly even (I was hoping for exactly 3 doll quilts). If I’d had 20 or 30 extras blocks, I might have been tempted to make a few more patches to finish off a half quilt.
I will admit here, I was a bit shocked there were so many piles. Eleven quilts is no small thing. I hope I get that many grandchildren someday. I imagine myself curling up in a quilt with them, saying, “Can you find a little mouse or a bird or a pink flower or a funny monkey or a running dog or a robot or a fairy mushroom or a bicycle or a starfish or a spider web or a purple polka dot or a Christmas tree or a dinosaur or any number of 100s of things in each quilt. We will cuddle and snuggle and laugh and search together. And hidden in each quilt, I am stitching one little heart that says “I love you,” my secret message to each child.
Well, yesterday, after the piles were counted and organized and the miracle of coming out even was acknowledged, I noticed a box under the ping pong table. Oh my gosh, it was full of more stip sets, cut and ready to assemble. Probably enough for at least 2 more quilts. I thought I was finished. I guess not. I have a few more blocks to sew. It’s a sickness I have, really. I am only hoping now that the numbers will come out even, somehow, and that I’ll have grandchildren someday, to match my quilts.