Thursday, January 14, 2010

Call me a quilter?

I wish I could say that I pieced this quilt myself, but I can't. My mother-in-law pulled my sister-in-law, Jan, and me to the side on Christmas Eve to show us her thrift find of the week: four vintage quilt tops for $50!

The three of us (Jan and I being the only sewists in the family) headed out to the fabric store that evening to pick out fabrics for the quilt backs. This one (which was my favorite) was given to me to complete. I picked out some solid green, brown, and a tiny navy and white houndstooth for the backing. I can't lie - I am not thrilled with the back. Not that I hate it - I just wish I had put more thought into the design. In my eagerness to begin the project, I didn't think it through as much as I should have. I am telling myself: "Who cares? it's the back!", and even though I don't really believe that, I am moving on...

I decided that I wanted to hand quilt mine rather than doing it by machine. Partly as a challenge to myself, but also because I feel some respect for the person who pieced the quilt together before me. (It is hand pieced). My mother-in-law told me that she was in complete disbelief when she found the quilt tops - and even more so when she was able to get them so cheaply. Even though it is sad to think about someone's hand work being discarded, I think that it is all for the best though. Now we can finish them off and they can have the opportunity to be used and loved for years - as they deserve!

I have (machine) pieced quilts before, but never made it through the entire process of quilting them. That would be a good goal to shoot for after I am finished with this! (Noted). I am really loving the front and the dimensional effect the quilting is giving the design. The stars (which I am leaving un-quilted) are really popping out against the surrounding blocks of color.

It's definitely not mindless work, but I'm finding that it offers the opportunity for zoning out a bit while you stitch. It's very relaxing. I enjoy knitting, but I find that if I don't focus on knitting alone I tend to go back and fourth from my work to the pattern trying to remember where I am and end up making mistakes no matter how much effort I put into the process.

This is the little kit that I have been carrying along with the in-progress work. It contains: good fabric scissors (I could probably go out and find some little thread snips for better portability), and a little box where I store my basting pins, a couple of extra needles, and a thimble. The purple band around the box is meant for protection from my two cats (Azzedine and Manito). I keep the spool of thread banded to the box while I'm working at home to ensure that they don't make off with it, or spill my pins all over the place. Oh, cats!

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