An artistic tornado

That’s what someone called me on twitter when I posted how much stuff I’d done in the last couple days. I can’t help it; I had to run with it.

Since last weekend with the igloo, I’ve been quilting. Not so much sewing tops, but getting over the creative hump and *quilting*.

Oh, and I painted two coats of beige on the new bedroom walls.

So, that helped – even though it was tiring – and the one quilt I was working on became drudgery, so I bagged it up and set it aside and told myself I had two small project to quilt, and it would be easier without stuff all over my table.

And it was!

Really, it’s mostly mental. I discovered a few things:

– you can make your own rules
– machine quilting freehand / free style is SUPER FUN
– perfect only counts in competitions

By own rules, I mean this – you usually do all the quilting then bind, right? On the pink baby quilt, I did all the straight quilting, then I bound it, and then? I went back and did the free-motion quilting.


Then on Friday I tackled the border to the blue Christmas wall hanging mom pieced for me, and I did swirls and snowflakes. I had drawn it on there with my chalk pencil, because I was inspired and thought it would look good. It did, but not near as good as when it was done!

Shelley told me the loop-de-loos I was doing both on the pink quilt and between flakes, was one of the things beginners find difficult. I thought it was easy, once you get the hang of machine quilting and the feeling of guiding your fabric through the machine counter to everything else you have ever been taught.

Then I got to thinking I should get some small projects worked on, because now my perspective isn’t fear of quilting, it’s that each quilt is practice. And my mistakes are someone else’s “you made this FOR ME???” I bought a small table topper pattern and made it while super was cooking, and a bit after supper. on Saturday I quilted it while Ron made pancakes for lunch.

I also made two runners from striped / border fabric. I’d seen the pattern at the quilt shop, thought it was super-easy, came home & looked it up online, then just… figured it out from the picture.

I also laid out another baby quilt, cut 40 white-on-white blocks to go with the 40 4″ pastel 30’s prints and stuck it on my design wall.

Then today I gathered fabric, printed off instructions, and free-pieced an airplane block. On top of that, I folded & put away about 6 loads of laundry.

The only down side to all this creativity is that it is probably a side-effect of having a stagnant boring to-do list for my work. If only I could switch. :-/ Just for a little bit.

I have learned to view the imperfections in hand-made goods as part of their “DNA.” It’s what makes each one unique. I have some quilts my grandmother made completely by hand: needle and thread for every stitch. I wouldn’t trade them for any piece of perfection. Even the tiny bloody spots where Grandma’s finger got in the way of the needle one too many times. That’s *her* DNA, right there on my quilt. My mom made her own version of the same quilt pattern Grandma had done as a young girl. The two quilts are completely different, yet exactly the same. I have Grandma’s. DD made me a quilted wall hanging for Mothers Day/my birthday last year. I’m sure there are some imperfections in it somewhere, but all I can see is a magnificent work of art that she learned how to do on her own just for me. I was speechless… except for all those tears running down my face!

Freestyle quilting? Sounds gangsta.

You’re so street.

Your post sound a little bit fun making quilt by hand. I really like the one what your grandmother had made. It must’ve a very sentimental value. Lucky you to have a grandma like her!Good post!