Wednesday, May 16, 2007

J'adore le bloc Rhodia

When I lived in Paris as a student more than 25 years ago, I fell in love with French paper. Notebook pages were thick and felt silky, and every sheet was covered to the edges with a faint blue grid. It was expensive, so I hoarded it. I brought a couple packs home with me, and only a few months ago I discovered a few still unused sheets in an old binder.

When I became a quilter, I started using a graph paper notebook leftover from chem lab to draft blocks and layouts. In my heart I pined for my old French gridded paper. It was such a pleasure to write on, and embarrassing as it is to admit, I felt that the quality of those elegant sheets would somehow transform my designs into something more worthy than they were.

The powers that be must have been moved by my deep and wishful sighing, because just before Christmas I discovered this little French notebook in the UI bookstore. I love it. It's small (3.3 x 4.7 inches, or 8,5 x 12,0 cm), fits easily in my purse, and I can take it wherever I go. Best of all, the paper is silky and has a blue grid from edge to edge.

No matter where I am, I can doodle. Here you can see my draft of two ways to piece my flannel blocks. I saw the heart design on TV and grabbed my notebook to draw it before I forgot the details; I think it will be a lovely border on a Linus quilt. When I'm out and about and see a great design on a brick walk, or a tiled wall, I will be prepared.

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