Saturday, April 09, 2016

Quilting

My Grandma taught me to quilt when Simon was a baby. We made a small wall hanging and she taught me all the techniques necessary to make a quilt, small or large. I honestly don't remember making my first quilt. I can't think of a defining moment that made me a quilter. Knowing now the pure aggravation that is quilting, it seems like I'd remember the moment...or at least the resulting quilt. 

I remember making quite a few when Sean was deployed. I made a bunch as gifts that year for Christmas. I only remember I made them when I see them at my mom's or sister's house or happen upon one mixed in with Christmas decor. 

I go through periods where I just want to play with fabric. I can't sew clothes(other than skirts) and I don't do anything fancy. My quilts are not etsy-worthy and I don't know what fabrics are all the rage these days. Yep, there is such a thing as trendy fabrics, even in the quilting world. I can't free motion quilt or appliqué. I mostly do straight lines and I do a fantastic job of screwing even that up. Every quilt I've ever completed has some major screw ups. Each quilt has gotten better as I've gone, but still, there are mistakes in every one. I like to pretend it's the charm of a handmade item, but it's usually just a really stupid mistake. A measurement gone short. A tension issue that I chose to ignore. A seam that didn't quite match up that altered the entire quilt. 

Regardless of all the mistakes and aggravation and ripping out seams and wonky lines, I love this hobby. It's one of the things my Grandma Watson and I had in common. When we were talking fabric, we were on the same wavelength. I only wish I'd appreciated her more. I wish I'd appreciated her talent more. I wish I'd thanked her more and learned more from her. I wish I'd taken a trip up to see her with the sole purpose of sewing with her. 

I'd like to think she's be pretty impressed with where I am in my journey. I used to send her scraps of fabric from whatever projects I had going. Every time I pick up my sewing messes and hold those scraps in my hand, I think of her. I hate just throwing them away. Every time I cuss my machine, she's there. Whenever I press a seam, I hear her voice telling me how important it is and not to skip that step. 

My Grandma made tons of quilts over the years. Every Christmas the adults got some form of quilted something. I guess she passed that on to me. I love giving quilts as gifts. I love the idea of it, anyway. Usually about 3/4 of the way into a quilt I change my mind. Aside form the financial investment, there is so much time wrapped up in a quilt that I kinda start to fall in love with it. My Grandma said every quilt should have a story. I think of that every time I begin a project. I don't pick fabrics based on what I like when quilting for others, I pick fabrics based on what I think they would like. 

I made this one for Simon in December. 

And this one for a friend. I tend to "wing it" a lot when quilting. Winging it doesn't really work with quilting. Quilting is pretty precise and I get myself backed into corners. Looking at this quilt now, I see that the fabric choices didn't make a ton of sense. I made the pinwheels just to see if I could and that's what got this sucker started. The house fabric was something I bought forever ago at IKEA. It just so happened that my best friend had recently purchased her first home.

I made this one for my sister. I went with beachy for her new life in Florida. 


My niece requested a quilt for Christmas. I loved going super girly. I don't get to go PINK very often. It turned out way smaller than intended, so I owe her another one. :/
Tito Burrito got this one for Christmas. Pokemon, ugh. I had fun making it though. 

And another one for the same friend that got the hodgepodge house quilt. 

I just started a project today that might be my best quilt yet. I followed an actual pattern and measured very carefully. It has turned out wonderfully, so far. It's a really special one. So special, I may even pay to have it quilted. Usually I quilt my own, but it's such a pain. Plus, I can only do straight lines. I'd like to see how the pros do it with their fancy machines and free motion quilting and what not. I'll post some pictures once it's done!

1 comment:

Kristine Stark said...

You are amazing! What patience you have!