Monday, August 6, 2012

Guidelines not Rules

Rawson Village
The first weekend in August is the date of my patchwork group's annual retreat.  It's only a weekend, but uninterrupted sewing time, lovely meals appearing like magic and no dishes to wash is a recipe for success.
It's always interesting how each of us approach our craft.  As a fan of Bonnie Hunter's scrap quilts I was surprised to hear another quilter say, "I never keep leftover scraps, you can't do anything with them."  That lead to a lively discussion, and for the rest of the weekend I was given tiny squares from everyone for my "collection".  We all make quilts but we work in many different ways.

There is a lot of buzz around the first block of the Chester Criswell Quilt.  You may be thinking, do I want to make this quilt?  How much fabric do I need?  Where's the photo of the finished quilt? If you're like me,  you have so many projects on the go that you don't need another, and yet the lure of something new is irresistible.

Let me help you decide.

If you want to read the blog, look at the patterns, and say, Oh that's nice, without making any purchase or stitching a block;  that's fine.

If you want a quick project for a weekend treat and download one block as a quick take along project; that's fine.

If you want a gift for a special friend and download four patterns to go with a selection of fat quarters; that's fine too.

If you make all 36 blocks in your choice of colours for a whole quilt and send along photos of your Work in Progress; that's great.


If you like to know exactly what the end result will look like before you begin, with detailed instructions and photos on how to accomplish the finished project, then maybe this isn't the quilt for you. If you don't start mystery quilts until you can read all the instructions, you probably won't enjoy this journey. And that's fine too.

In Pirates of the Caribbean, Barbossa says the pirate code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.  I think that's not a bad description for the Chester Criswell Quilt project.

Welcome aboard.


  1. Sharon I followed the link to you via Linda at Quilts in the Barn and I am keen to give it a go. I love the look of your quilt and love the soft faded appearance. I am poised ready to make the first block. I know you are going to be a huge inspiration.

  2. Sharon I also found you from Quilts in the Barn. I live in Chester County and am anxious to hear what town/ township the quilt is from!!

    1. The bride Mary Criswell was living with her parents in Lower Oxford. Other block makers lived in Upper Oxford, Sadsburyville, London Britian, East Nottingham, Peachbottom and West Philadelphia.

  3. Sharon, i've also come via Linda's blog and i love collecting vintage quilts, sewing machines, in fact anything to do with sewing etc.. Your quilt has definitely got me intrigued [i love the design and the history]and i can't stop thinking about it so i've printed off the first i need another project lol!! whatever i decide to do one thing's for sure i'll be watching your progress with great interest! thanks so much for sharing your precious family heirloom with everyone :))) cheers...Marian

  4. Hi Sharon, me too, I've come via Linda's blog. It's very nice to meet you in blogland. This is a very gorgeous quilt, you are right the lure of starting something new is very tempting. I will be meeting you at Linda's later this month, I'm looking forward to seeing it in the real. At the very least I'm certainly going to enjoy following along with the blog and progress and am very tempted to hop on board too. Thank you for sharing it with us :-)


I love your comments and am always happy to respond. If you want an answer, check that your profile settings include 'show my email address'; otherwise I can't send you a message.