I had this fruit and vegetable quit top I made a few years ago when I worked for the National 5 A Day for Better Health Program. My thinking at the time was that I would hang it in my office. I made the top and never got around to quilting it. In the meantime, I moved on to work for a different program, and 5 A Day morphed into the Fruits and Veggies; More Matters campaign. So what to do with the quilt top? I didn't really want to quilt it. And once I got it quilted, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. It was too small to be a charity quilt and I was not interested in hanging on the wall. The problem was that the quilt was no longer speaking with my voice. It's a fine quilt. But if I was going to make this quilt today, it wouldn't look like this. 5 A Day has moved on and so have I.
I don't want UFO's hanging around my studio judging me. If they are not going to be finished, they are going to be repurposed. So I decided to make it into a binder cover. My husband tricked me into cleaning out my cooking magazines by saying that if I had fewer magazines, I could have more cookbooks. So I tore out the recipes I wanted and put them into page protectors. I always intended to cover the binder with fabric or a collage. I even bought the book, "Fast, Fun and Easy Book Cover Art" with the magazine project in mind. Halfway through basting the fruit and vegetable quilt top I thought, "I could use this for the binder cover".
When I was in elementary school, we used to get these exercises where you would start with a word, and then by following the directions, like "cross out all the vowels", and "replace the r's with a's", you would end up with a different word. I rocked the following directions exercise. Somewhere along the way - either in college or grad school - I lost the ability to follow directions. Maybe I stood too close to the speakers at the Palladium. Maybe that research design class burned out some synapses. I don't know. But I managed to bungle almost every step of making this thing. I drew the pattern wrong, I drew it on the wrong side of the interfacing, I didn't get how to put the sleeves on and just made it up, and I managed to break or bend 4 sewing machine needles. And yet, I got the thing together and had fun doing it. It is important to be able to follow directions. It is equally important to be able to improvise. And I think that it is a credit to Jake Finch that even if you don't follow her directions exactly, you can still complete the project.
There is still a nice hunk of the old quilt top left. I think I'm going use the rest to make an apron. Somehow, I've been infected with the apron making bug that seems to be going around. It would be cool to have an apron that matched my recipe file. By the way, I don't follow the directions on recipes either.