Friday, January 11, 2008

Progress revisited

What is quilting to you? For me, it started out as another craft to learn. Having done most forms of needlework and having ordered different magazines and books through the mail, offers of others came often.

Then it arrived. The quilting book. I looked at the beautiful quilt on the cover and thought "no way I could do that." I didn't sew, really, my attempts at making clothing, while not bad and producing a few wearable objects, didn't really bring me much joy.

But I couldn't stop looking at the ad for that book. I bought the book and waited impatiently for it to arrive. When it finally came, I looked through it and was overwhelmed. I set it aside. Little by little, though, I'd pick it up and study up on the steps and techniques. I couldn't afford to invest in fabric and tools that would be wasted, I wanted to be sure I could DO this before I made the committment by buying supplies.

I honestly don't remember how long it took before I actually started my first quilt. I had the book for quite some time, periodically it called my name and I'd look through again. The steps started to become familiar, I could feel them in my fingers, I felt ready.

Pregnant with my 3rd child, I took the plunge and have never looked back. I have been quilting without a break of more than a few days here and there for almost 16 years now and have more quilts running around in my head than I will ever be able to finish.

I can't quite put my finger on what it is that does it for me. Something about pulling that needle through just quiets my heart and brings me joy. While I've joked about the many quilts I'm starting at the moment, I think these are therapy for me. Something positive and creative, something that keeps my mind off of my troubles to some extent and at the end of these struggles will be something tangible and beautiful from a difficult time.

Here is the quilt that I finished yesterday. I made a whole bunch of baby tops some time ago in hopes of selling them, but a way to sell them never really panned out. Most have been given as gifts through the years. I have a few left here to quilt yet. I may make some more tops for future babies, as with children, nieces, nephews and friends' children beginning to reach young adulthood, there will be many more babies on the horizon. The colors in the picture aren't very good, the green is a 30's print and the peach is just as vibrant as the green.

Today I'm having a friend come for a couple of hours, she's due here any minute. I was supposed to go to her house, but our van will not start now so she is coming here instead. We will chat and sew this afternoon and I know her visit will cheer me up, though my spirits are pretty good at the moment to begin with.
I spent lots of time yesterday basting leaf shaped applique pieces for one of the new projects. I may be doing more of that today and cutting the background pieces, today that one seems to be calling me. I do want to get back to the celtic applique, too.

I still haven't put that first needle full into the new frame quilt, but that will probably happen sometime this weekend. I love these post holiday weeks, it feels like there is endless quilting time stretching out before me.

It makes my soul sing.


Debi said...

What an adorable baby quilt. I make charity quilts for Project LInus and I just making them for babies and toddlers.

Marilyn R said...

Quilting is theaputic for me too. When I am sad or stressed quilting seems to sooth me. I love the creative part too. Quilting with friends is a lot of fun too. Not only do you get to do something you love, you get to spend some time laughing and visiting with a friend.