Sunday, June 22, 2008
Why do I quilt?
I have to backup a little before I answer that question. I spent last weekend in San Francisco for my sister's wedding. I have been very busy leading up to this trip with Quilt Market and making my dress for the wedding. I didn't have much time to plan my travel project. Now I have a hand applique project that I have been working on for the last 3 years. The pattern is Mexican Rose from Applique Quilts from 2005. It was designed by Donna McCall. I only work on it in airports and on planes it seems. It has become my flying project. I have finished one block and am well into the second. I found it goes much faster if I turn the edges at home and can focus on sewing. That is where the problem stemmed from for this trip. I needed to cut out more pieces and turn the edges. I use the starch and press method to prepare my pieces. I starch (or use sizing) the edges and press them down to the wrong side. Of course, this all requires a few minutes to prepare and I just didn't seem able to put it together in time.
So did I leave without something to keep me busy? Of course not. I have been intrigued by the dimensional flowers and have been considering putting them together with those mirrors I keep talking about. I saw mirrors used in a ceremonial coat in Seattle last winter and keep thinking about how to incorporate them in a quilt, to the point of feeling haunted by them. I quickly cut the required squares to fold into roses, following the directions of Rebecca Wat and her book Fantastic Fabric Folding. I made one rose before I left, and came home with only that one rose.
Which brings me to this question about why I quilt. Seems like a stretch, I know. I quilt because I love fabric and I love how the colors play together. I learned to sew making garments. I still make some clothes, my dress for the wedding, my own wedding dress, a shirt here and there. I still enjoy making clothes, but I have to make something I might actually wear. Quite frankly, my clothing color choices are far more boring than my quilt color choices. I wear alot of black and navy with a few colors thrown in. I just can't seem to wear that fuchsia pink and lime green combination that I can put together in a quilt.
I cut out those squares for the roses, contemplating what colors to take along and what I would eventually do with them. For me it's about the feel of the fabric and putting the colors together. I love planning a quilt and playing with different color combinations. I love making the quilt and seeing the blocks and the quilt come together. I especially love finished the quilt and then laying it out on the bed and running my hands over the beautiful results. I didn't need to sew and fold any of those squares this past weekend. I just needed them with me to take out and look at once in a while, admiring the shades of red and the feel of the fabric. Someday I'll fold all those flowers and someday I'll have 12 blocks of the Mexican Rose. I've heard Mark Lipinski say we are often buying the dream of a quilt when we buy fabric. That is what I have, a dream (Oh, and alot of fabric to play with).
So why do you quilt?