"It's a quilter's prerogative to change her mind," my Darling Wife said as she closed the door behind her and followed me into the house. We had been out walking on this cool November day because, she said, "I need to clear my head." She needed to clear her head because she had just finished part two of an eight-part quilt, and she had to wait a month now for part three to come in the mail. So, of course, she decided to make a new quilt. She chose one kind of quilt and then changed her mind. Ten times. Her head got stuffy.
"I thought it was a woman's prerogative to change her mind," I said, hoping the walk had cleared her mind. I couldn't tell from what she said on the walk whether she now knew what she was going to quilt. What she had said on our walk through the park was that the color of some of the leaves that had just turned on the maples reminded her of some fabric she had in another drawer that she had forgotten about and, therefore, she could make an autumn leaf quilt instead of the one she might make or....never mind.
"I'm a woman as well as a quilter, so I get two prerogatives," she said.
"More like ten prerogatives," I suggested.
"You're not taking my problem seriously," she said. She hung up her coat on the hall rack and stopped to face me.
"I liked the first quilt idea you showed me," I said.
"I liked it, too."
"It was my first choice," she said.
"And?" It was a queen-sized paper-pieced design that was in her book of stash quilts.
"But then I looked at the other quilt in the other book," and I changed my mind and decided to do that instead."
"Yes, but--" I began, but she went on without pause.
"But then," she continued, "I had to find the right fabrics for the second quilt, and that took a while, and I was short a few colors, so I decided to make the first quilt."
"And that stuffed up your head?" I asked.
"Of course not. Two quilt ideas wouldn't stuff up my head. But when I went through the color list for the design, I didn't like the colors, so I had to change them."
"That's why you spent the morning coloring in the little squares and triangles?"
"I only colored in one square and then I changed my mind."
"And then you're head got stuffed like a olive with too many pimentos in it?"
"What are you talking about? I'm not using any olive. I decided on black with red and dark green."
"You have lots of blacks," I said. Another package had come last week. One yard each of eight kinds of black. Black is the color of my true love's stash.
"I only have eight blacks. The second quilt needs ten, so I don't know if I can do that one."
"Can't you change colors?"
"I did. I changed my mind about the colors three times, but each time I went through all my fabric, I was short one or two or three colors. So I have to pick a quilt I can do with what I have."
"You could go to the quilt shop and get one or two or three more colors of what you need," I said.
"Then it wouldn't be a stash quilt. The rules say I have to use up what I have."
"You never use up what you have. You never will." I wasn't going to mention anything about rules. We had been through that before.
"I'm going to have some tea and then I'm going to choose my project," she said. "Do you want some tea?"
"Yes, I'll have some tea," I said. "Green tea."
"You always have green tea," she said.
"I like the color. I choose a color and I stick with it."
"Are you saying I should choose a quilt that has green in it?"
"Do you have enough greens?" I asked.
"Probably not." She thought a moment. "I have the dark greens I wanted to use. But then I'll have to go with my first choice for the quilt. Or was it the second?"
"It doesn't matter. You'll change you're mind again," I said. I needed a lot of tea.
"I can choose one of the other designs for the theme," she said.
"The theme? I thought you were trying to decide between the paper-pieced quilt and the regular pieced quilt."
"I was, but I changed my mind just now."
"There's nothing wrong with my changing my mind. Starting a big quilt is a big commitment. I don't want to waste any fabric."
"So you know what quilt you want to do now?"
"I'm close to deciding."
"I can't have tea now. I have to go check my stash to see how many yellows and golds I have."
"What happened to the dark greens and reds and blacks?"
"I'm still using the blacks and reds."
"And adding yellows?" I needed to have my tea, with or without her.
"Do you think yellow would work with red and black?"
"You're asking me?"
"You don't like that combination, do you?"
"I like it fine," I said.
"No, I'll have to think of something else."
"You'll let me know when you decide?"
"If I don't change my mind by then."
Copyright 2000 by A.B. Silver
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