Finally Away

This is the week that the boys and I are are away from home on our annual trip to visit with good friends. I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time and we were off to a bit of a rocky start.  The boys have had a nasty virus and we had to postpone our trip for two days!  Finally, the fevers broke and we got out of the house.   It is a very relaxing week for me.  The boys go to VBS and I stay in a house that is not my own (meaning I don’t have to clean it!).  I bring a project (or five) that I have been wanting to make some significant progress on and work on it.  It’s a great system that forces me to be very project focused.  At home, I have so many projects started that I sometimes get overwhelmed with project guilt.  Usually this does not bother me.   After all, I make stuff because I like to, not because I have to.

However, the project I am working on this week has been haunting me for a long time.

I made this quilt top in 2000.  Back then, I had a lot of time.  My husband was in grad school, we had no kids, and I needed something to do to keep myself occupied.  So, I made a couple of quilts.  Then, we moved and I put it away.  It came out last summer and I started to do a little quilting on it.  But, honestly, I was having a tough time with it.

Hand quilting is a laborious process.   It is my least favorite part of making a quilt.  It gives me a hand cramp and I just was having trouble with my technique.  I really wanted small stitches.  Small stitches are supposed to prove that the quilter is especially skilled.

See those stitches?  They are huge. And uneven.  I am getting maybe (and I stress maybe) 5 or six stitches an inch.  Really good handquilters get 10-12, or so they say.  I have tried lots of different sized needles and thimbles.  No change.  I almost gave up.

However, I think that a handquilted quilt is a thing of beauty that cannot be replicated with a machine, no matter what imperfections might exist.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to machine quilting.  In fact, I am hoping to increase my skill level in that area, but that’s another story.

I really love this quilt.  I love how the crosses echo each other.  When I made it, I imagined that I would hang it on a wall in a future house.  I think it’s time to let go of my of my perfectionist tendencies.  I think it is time to finish it now.

Unfortunately, there might be some other distractions coming up.  More about that later.


Posted on July 27, 2011, in Quilting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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