Welcome! This blog is for fans of the 'Nearly Insane' quilt created in the 1870's by Salinda Rupp. If you would like to purchase a copy of the book by Liz Lois with the patterns, check with your local quilt store, or visit the Nearly Insane website.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Block #18 (229 pieces)

At last, it's done. I have a few things to say about this one!

Firstly, if you start it, finish it - don't leave it for five months half done because you won't want to come back to it - ask me how I know. It is not the most difficult block in the quilt technically but the huge number of pieces just makes it so incredibly repetitive and slow to progress.

Secondly, because of the number of little triangles, it doesn't seem possible to get the colours to go symmetrically so you end up with 'odd' bits in the pattern. I did not copy hers exactly because I didn't like two consecutive sides of flying geese and then different patterns on the other two sides so I tried to make all the triangles go the way I wanted - foolish wilfulness! I've still ended up with a pattern that doesn't quite work. There are also a couple of mistakes which I will correct before I put the quilt together. If it were another block, I would just leave the errors but not this one - after all this trouble it has got to be right in the end.

Thirdly, it struck me that if I had put together 229 larger pieces I would have a complete quilt top and not a 6 inch square, which is a strange feeling.

And lastly, I just want to say that I've been seriously wondering about Salinda Rupp and her motivation for doing this. What was she thinking of? We are doing this because we see the construction of her quilt as a challenge and that's where I'm getting my satisfaction (and it looks good). But she did this for herself. When you are on the umpteenth tiny triangle and matching all those points and seams, you can't help asking yourself if this woman was seriously bored and deliberately setting herself challenges or did she have so much time on her hands that she had to make everything complicated? It wasn't just the look of it because there are already other blocks that look similar. Maybe she had a competitive friend who was making a similar one and they egged each other on to greater complexity but the other quilt is lost. Who knows, but I certainly couldn't help myself reaching back through the years to try and understand her.

Have fun in the US, Tazzie!

1 comment:

Tazzie said...

Ohhhh, congratulations Barbara! That is one beautiful block. I only hope I can make mine up so nicely when it's my turn.
I completely understand your wonderment about what Salinda Rupp was thinking when she made this quilt. And to think of the tools she had at the time only makes her achievement so much more impressive. If only these quilts could talk, they would have so much to say.
Enjoy the much simpler blocks you have in your future.