CACTI

13 comments
Nanette is off on a purposed vacation so I am filling in with an update on one of my many unfinished projects.

I know that I initially vowed to finish a cactus square a day and while I was fruitful and diligent for many weeks... I have since failed pitifully to complete anything more than matching up a patterned cactus to a solid back. I have had legitimate distractions though...

One of my distractions has been several batches of fabric, one that I posted about here. I'll post about the second load of fabric I impulsively splurged on tomorrow. Every time I buy more fabric it seems I am compelled to trace, cut out and match more cactus squares. It just seems like every fabric now seems like it would make such a darling cactus! So below I have documented this process.

The overwhelming number of cactus cutouts I have causes me to whimper "help me" every time one of my sisters comes into my room and catches me on the floor in the middle of a sea of fabric cacti and solid squares desperately trying to find the perfect matches.
I have this idea that for each cactus and each solid square that is that one perfect match, the "soul mate" if you will, that will dazzle, sparkle and cause oohs and ahhs from everyone who will one day look upon my magical creation. Yes, I am spending too much time on the floor in the middle of a sea of fabric. I know it.

It is a slightly delusional idea until you find that perfect match and then you set several of them next to each other and all of the scissor induced hand cramps become worth it. Below are a few of my favorites. Ooh how I love my favorites. I want to keep them with me in my bag and show them to people in line at the bank. Aaaaaand... we're back to delusional. The truth is, as much as I agonize over each square, this is my favorite part of the whole process. I've probably said that before. This is why I start so many projects and then take the better part of two years to finish them. I love coming up with an idea, getting the fabric for it, and then putting things together. It is fun, exciting, fulfilling and I feel like all my those creative neurons in my head get to really be put to work.

I like coming up with ideas too. You can practically feel the synapses in your brain tingle. I was reminded this year when I was in Arizona again of how much I loved the colors and the shapes and textures of the American Southwest. It really inspired me to come up with this cactus quilt idea


These aren't the greatest pictures of the most beautiful things that I saw or that inspired me, but they are reminders to me of how captivating the landscape is. Kind of like how captivating that perfect square can be and how compulsive the mission can be to find it.

-Natalie

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13 comments

belinda said...

...*LOL...Oh my...do you do that in the bank line too....for me, it's the grocery store line!!
Your quilt is going to be FAB...yes, and I'll stay tuned for two years so I can see the finished product!!

Tina said...

It's good we crazy quilters/crafters have each other...the people at the bank and grocery store just don't appreciate these things as much as we do!

Momoo said...

Picking fabric and planning a project is the best part of sewing. Enjoy :)

Sandi said...

Oh, Natalie, that quilt is going to be awesome. I, too, love the southwest as when I was a young bride we traveled from Iowa to San Diego where we would make our home and I loved the desert. The military draft called and that was the end of that but we still visit San Diego and drive out to the dessert and have circled around from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. I bought a book on desert wildflowers and am determined to draw sketches and do them as quilt blocks. I truly understand your delusions, compulsions, the need for that perfect fabric and square, the fun, the excitement.......and wanting to show the blocks to others so they can have fun, too!! :-) I think I have a few fabrics in my 40 year stash that might make really cool cacti. Let me know if you'd like me to send some. Glad your mom is getting a well-deserved vacation. Maybe I should see if my daughter would post for me and I'll take a vacation! :-)

Sandi said...

Oh, great, I wrote that we "drive out to the dessert" and, of course, you know I a meant "desert". However, we usually buy ice cream or stop for dessert so maybe that's where my mind was. LOL!!

w&v said...

V. here...
i love the idea of a cactus quilt!! Kind of warm & snuggly meets stiff & prickly!! i love your squares. Terrific idea. I love it here in the dessert too ( in NM) although we don't have the huge cactus ( like in your inspiration photo). We do have plenty of cactus though. V.

Busty LaRue said...

You are not delusional to think that each cactus has its own perfect match. I am that same way! I would rather spend days and hours and months matching things and making it all perfect. Can't wait to see the finished project down the line :) Good luck!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I agree that is the most fun part the fabric and just the right match. We will be here to see it finished. Love the ones you have done so far!

Micki said...

I love all the cacti and it will be such a fun quilt!
Great job!
Micki

Nan said...

i truly enjoyed reading about your creative process. You sound like me - sitting on the floor in a sea of fabric. Feels good, doesn't it? Love the cacti - too cute! Can't wait to see more of this quilt.

Carrie P. said...

Your cactus quilt is going to be so fun. I love your idea and the colors definitely match the scenery.

pratima said...

I'm in love with your quilt. The colors are fabulous and the pattern is amazing :)

Simone de Klerk said...

You made some wonderful matches! I like the cacti idea!