Sunday, July 12, 2009

Such A Busy Day


This quilt had just made it to flimsy stage when I took the picture. It’s now basted and halfway quilted. And it was no fun. It was tense and anxious and frustrating.

I wanted to do this quilt without the sashing. The quilt looked great on my design wall without it. It had impact – it was bold and colorful and happy - the sashing took that away. But without it, the piecing was hopeless. I stitched one block together, and it was awful. It wouldn’t even lie flat. You’d think I never quilted before.


I learned a lot about myself while making this quilt. I learned that I hate piecing. It does not thrill me to have perfectly matched points. Yet, it makes me anxious when they don’t match. I admire them in other quilts, and wish I could do them, but it’s not the reason I quilt. I have no interest in doing them well, other than to still the quilt police voices in my head. Although I love and admire traditional quilts, I have no desire to do them. It’s not my thing.

I also learned that I don’t like jelly rolls. The pinked edge slides around under my ¼” foot and I end up with a crooked seam. Since I usually have a crooked seam anyway, it magnifies my problems.

So – what kind of quilting shall I do? I thought a lot about that while I worked on this. I had the tv off, no music, no phone calls – a lot of time to think.

When I started quilting, it wasn’t really quilts I was doing. It was quilted pictures. And I miss that – I miss the creativity, the drawing, the painting, the slap-dash hurry hurry of catching an idea in fabric before it flew away. So this poor quilt will be the last, at least for awhile – I still have hubby’s quilt to make – but I want to get back to my first love. I want to rediscover quilting for fun. I want to stop being frustrated that my quilts don’t look like the picture on the pattern. I want to create my OWN pictures.

Yep, this quilt taught me a lot. But it didn’t just teach me. It set me free.

22 comments:

Carol R. said...

You did a beautiful job on this quilt! I didn't see the quilt before the sashing, but I think it looks lovely this way. Good job!

Isabella said...

Allie I totally understand I love quilts and I just know the good Lord has an endless supply of DMC and fabic for me to stitch on for All Time so let me finish my quilt set me FREE to STITCH :-)

Serena said...

My advice is definitely don't do what's not you! I love hand work. I love using odd threads, I love playing around. I love returning to some traditional stuff. I love taking a vacation from it.

I have multiple quilts going now, but the two main ones I'm focusing on are as different as night and day. One extremely artistic and the other Trip Around The World. I find having both going make it more enjoyable. I can exit the extreme restraint that traditional quilting brings or I can return to what I consider mindless sewing. I mostly want to make a few traditional quilts for our family heirlooms and then I'm art all the way.

Let your inner voice sing!! I love your work and see nothing wrong with your quilt. I think it's awesome but understand what it feels like to be making a quilt that's not you.

loulee said...

Good for you! Why struggle with something you're not enjoying. Get your creative juices flowing again.

Terry said...

Your quilt is beautiful, but I understand about being frustrated about what you feel you're "expected" to do. I'm learning to match my corners and am proud that I'm getting better at it. I still don't enjoy it though! Hope you have more fun on your next project! :0)

Shasta said...

That is a great lesson to learn. The quilt is pretty with the sashing. I love what you said "the slap-dash hurry hurry of catching an idea in fabric before it flew away", it captures some of my quilting completely.

Dolores said...

Amazing what you learned along the way to completing this quilt. There may be even more lessons while the quilting is getting done. I have never heard of anyone not liking jelly rolls. Not yet having used them, I cannot comment but I do feel like you and like working smaller and more creatively.

Victoria said...

Wonderful post! I think the quilt top looks beautiful, and you did a great job, but that isn't worth a hill of beans if it didn't bring you joy. I love the introspection that you gave yourself while sewing it up, and the lessons that it taught you. Follow your creative urges!

Linda said...

Your quilt is gorgeous Allie, but like the other ladies have said, don't be held down by soemthing you don't enjoy. God has gifted us each with talents, you know what yours are, and good for you to remember what brings you the most joy.

atbquilting said...

I can understand your frustration, but the quilt is still beautiful! It has simple clean lines and looks very cheerful. Too bad it didn't make you feel that way. I have to agree with you piecing is not my favorite thing, I can do it, but I'd much rather be doing applique. At least with that no one can comment about the points not matching. I think we have heard way too much about what judges think of quilts and it takes the joy out of the process. For me the process is what I enjoy and I do it for me, not the quilt police or judges. Good for you figuring out what you love and committing to go back to it.

Rebekah said...

what a beautiful quilt! I really love the off centered blocks.

I also hate piecing points and making sure that everything matches up. I'd much rather quilt a quilt than piece it together.

Carrie P. said...

The quilt is pretty but you need to do what makes you happy and makes you feel like you are really being creative. Go for what you like. I have decided to do the Portholes patterns on white flour sack towels for my daughter who loves the beach. So I am not making them into a quilt. So I am doing something different and that is okay because it makes me happy.

Lauranie said...

Allie, you are wise, beautiful, and just so gosh darn TALENTED!! I really like the colors and the sashing is thin enough that it doesn't take away from it! I can't wait to see what you have been up to from day to day, so find your joy. We will be here when you need us! xo, L

Mary said...

Boy, do I ever sympathize and relate to doing a quilt that is not fun :o) I especially agree with despising the pinked edges of charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes, honey buns, etc. I can't wait to see your next quilted picture - after all, we are quilting not only for the pleasure and delight of others, but also for our own.

Sølvi's blog said...

This quilt is lovely , no matter how you originally ment it to be. Take a look in http://kviltstina.blogspot.com/
i little bit down is a quilt similar to yours, with all the blocks in the same direction.

Sharon said...

I think your quilt looks great - such happy and cheerful colors. And the sashing doesn't detract from that, IMHO. But if you didn't enjoy the process of making it, then it's not a happy quilt. I understand your frustration too. I don't like those pinked edges either!

If you learned what you don't like and what you DO like while doing this quilt, then it was a worthwhile project! And it's time to move on to doing what you DO enjoy! And good for you for figuring that out! Too many people waste their time and talent trying to do what they think others expect of them.

Anonymous said...

Well dearest Allie....the quilt is still beautiful and all the more valuable that you learned something from doing it.. I'm thinking I might be right there with you on the piecing thing but stiil haven't been through the whole process to learn what I love and hate about quilting yet....sad to hear about the pinked edges as I hate to cut and am hoping I love the jelly rolls and charms(that I haven't touched yet).
hugs, Terri

jan said...

I am sorry that the process was not pleasant, but I also think this quilt is really nice. I love the fabric cominations - it just looks cheery! I am sure that whatever you turn your hand too will turn out well. I can never imagine prefering to do a picture quilt! I am afraid mine would turn out to be a picture of quilt blocks!

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I know it's not what you wanted, but it looks STUNNING anyway! ;-) I don't like jelly rolls either...all those pinked edges leaves fluff everywhere and it drives me nuts.

I have missed you! {{{{Allie}}}}

Jenileigh said...

This was a priceless post. Free is a good thing! I can't wait to see your creativity come to life! Hugs Allie!

Cheryl said...

Great job. Love how it turned out! I'm with you on the jelly roll thing. Last one I used there were strips that weren't the correct size -ugh!!! Also, I tagged you over on my blog.

Kelly@ Charming Chatter said...

Very Pretty! You did a great job! Life is too short to work on projects you don't like--I've chucked several for that very reason! Glad you discovered your passion through this quilt, and am looking forward to seeing your new creations!

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