Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best Laid Plans

The Fast Friday Fabric Challenge for May was "deconstruction". We were to make a small piece or use an unquilted piece we already had laying around, chop it up and put it back together in a whole new way. Ken thought the concept was pretty crazy but I was happy because I have a collection of "also ran" tops that I have never taken to the final quilting step. I leave today to judge a quilt show in the southern part of the State so I knew I couldn't do anything too big. I had this small (16" x 24") top that has been sitting around for about seven years so I decided it was time to take the plunge. This was originally created to be part of a larger quilt. It was meant to be the quilt within a quilt, but once I got everything put together, I realized the scale was too small so I set it aside and made another, larger piece for the original. I had invested far too much time in this piece to just throw it out and yet I hadn't put the attention to detail in that would allow it to stand on its own as a miniature so it just sat around looking abandoned until now.
Once I decided on the piece I wanted to use I needed to come up with a new design. The lupines are blooming all over our place right now and the colors were perfect so I decided to go that direction. I chopped up the quilt top and added in some pale fabric for the background. Then I ironed some Wonder Under onto a few fabrics of the right colors and started cutting free form. I ironed everything down and then free motion stitched close to all the raw edges. It then got quilted and bound and - voila - a whole new quilt. I will admit I am happy to have a finished piece rather than one more UFO (Unfinished object for the non-quilter). It is certainly not perfect and there are things that I know will be shot down by a judge, but all in all, I think it was a good result for a day and a half of effort!
My intention was to finish this piece, do a painting for Illustration Friday and work on another small quilt, all before I had to get in the car and drive south this morning. Of course, all that assumed I would have so many hours each day to work on things. But then I lost an entire day on Monday and my plans had to be modified. The problem with Search and Rescue this time of year is that it is inconsistent. Once you go for two or three weeks without a call you find yourself lulled into a state of complacency where you forget the disruption an emergency can cause. So when the pager went off at midnight on Sunday night it was even more of a rude awakening than usual. The call was for a stranded party in the mountainous area east of Cody. The problem was that a young man had called 911 on a cell phone and had just managed to give his approximate location and the fact that he was stuck before the phone died. We all knew no one from around here would call 911 just because they had to spend a night in their car so we had to assume something more was going on. Were there children in the vehicle? An injured person? Someone who needed medication they didn't have with them?
Nine of us showed up to respond. Two stayed at the hall to manage the incident and the other 7 of us headed into the field with four wheelers and a six wheeler and enough gear to treat just about any situation. We found the vehicle at about 3 am. Imagine our surprise to discover a young, healthy college student with enough camping gear in his vehicle to survive at least a month in the wilderness. It turned out he was a biology major from a college in North Carolina who was taking a road trip as part of his summer vacation. He had been on his way from Greybull to Cody the night before when he decided to take a detour onto the dirt roads to see if he could see any wild horses. This, despite the fact he didn't know anything about the area and that it had been raining for three days straight and that he had a very small, un-powerful vehicle without 4-wheel drive. His biggest concern seemed to be that we were unwilling to spend the time at that stage of the morning to figure out how to get his car pulled out of the mud. He was upset that we expected him to call a wrecker and that vehicle removal was not part of our services.
If I sound a little annoyed it is because I am. Ken and I arrived home at 6 am and spent the day Monday barely able to function. We do not charge for Search and Rescue in this State. All our people are volunteers who give up time in their lives to help others. Would I respond to this same call if it came again the next night? You betcha. Without a second of hesitation. That doesn't mean I wouldn't have appreciated at least a "thank you" from the person we (9 of us!) gave up a night and a day to help out of a sticky situation.


Tomme said...

Ooh, I love this piece! And what a great idea. I, too, have a few of those "also ran" quilt tops that I could cut up. Great quilting on your piece, too. Decent FMQ is still a ways off for me.

You and Ken are more patient than I. I would have had to give the kid a piece of my mind. :-D

annmarie said...

That is a gorgeous recycled quilt. Your creativity continues to amaze me. Your dedication to search & rescue is remarkable too. I love your blog.