Friday, 30 July 2010

My favourite quilts.

1. My first quilt ever - re-bound, 2. My Cathedral window, 3. Grandmothers flower garden, 4. Triple Irish Chain with flowers 2, 5. Hand pieced hexagon pinwheel, 6. Orange and teal log cabin - done!, 7. Doll quilt so far..., 8. Triple Irish Chain with flowers 2, 9. Dresden cropped, 10. Josephs coat quilt top, 11. String X quilt top, 12. PP flowers on Kona snow

There is all sorts of things I wanted to blog about but they all went out of the window when I got sidetracked by the release of Issue 2 of Fat Quarterly (go have a look, as in my humble opinion it’s a good one!) and a blog post I read a couple of weeks ago. I can’t remember for the life of me where i read it (I suspect it was a link, from another link, from another link) but it got me thinking.

The lady said something along the lines of, her not understanding the current trend towards quick and easy quilts. It got me thinking a whole lot.

Now I do understand that quick and easy is good for the times that you need to make a quilt as a gift and you need something that doesn’t take 3 years to make, or you need a utility quilt, but on the whole i would absolutely say that I’m with her all the way.

In the 5 years ish since I started quilting I have made (or in the process of) around 45 quilts and I would say that they are pretty evenly spread between quick and easy, fairly easy but there was something slightly challenging about them, and difficult and time consuming. I’ve come to the conclusion probably it comes down to 2 things:

Are a ‘process’ or a ‘product’ quilter. Why do you quilt? Do you quilt because you find something very satisfying about the process or is the process a means to an end – the end being a finished quilt? Also, how confident are you about your abilities?

I already have more quilts that I know what to do with (and I’m sure that having them piled around the house must most definitely be fire hazard) and as I can’t stop making them, for me it is probably about the process. The maths, choosing the fabric, pressing it ready for cutting, cutting it into smaller pieces and then very carefully sewing the pieces back together. I guess for some the repetition would make them want to poke themselves in the eyes with a sharp stick but I love the repetition, the project being all consuming, and the meditative benefits. I am also pretty fortunate that i am not intimidated by very much (only curved seams!!!), I think because I am naive enough to think that i can actually pull just about anything off if I work hard enough at it.

Much more importantly though, the quilts that are my absolute favourites (and the ones I would grab and save if my house was on fire!) are the ones that have taken hours in the planning, the ones that i have painstakingly hand stitched or have challenged me in some way. Those are the ‘special’ ones that will be treasured forever.

Monday, 12 July 2010

It feels pretty good to finally be back on my feet after not feeling very well for the last 3 weeks or so - culminating in the mother of all viruses last week. I’ve spent much of the last 7 days laid on the sofa either sleeping, or watching the Crime and Investigation channel (just in case you’re wondering, i am a frustrated forensic scientist not an axe murderer!!!).
I had 6 days completely sewing free. 6 days! So you can appreciate just how bad i felt if fabric pursuits held zero interest!

Curly Boy has also had a bad bad dose of chicken pox and i can tell you that never in my life have i seen anyone with as many spots as he had! I think i was about 7 when i had it and do remember feeling quite crappy and having that chicken pox itching for days, but either the last 30 years have dulled the memories or he had a particularly bad dose!! Poor bugger. I have a picture of him covered in spots but i think he'll kill me if i show you!

Both us felt pretty good on Sunday so it was time to tidy up some the stuff that has just been dumped on the flat surfaces, fold and put away 2 weeks of laundry, boil wash the bedding (or maybe napalm might have been a better idea?), scrub the red cross off the door and do some bits of jobs related to some chimney work that’s been going on – namely remove the big pile of soot out of the dining room fireplace (including a poor dead bird that had dropped down) and clean the soot off the removed chimney pots stood in the back garden, as a lovely clean white cat....

Plus one sooty chimney pot....