Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I have been working on the quilt-along that Elizabeth from Oh Fransson! put up. It is an exceptional tutorial, and I wish it had been there when I was trying to teach myself to quilt a year and a half ago. My oldest and dearest friend is married to the most delightful quilter who bravely tried to show me the ropes after I begged and pleaded after seeing her amazing quilts. She lent me some books, and helped me put my 1st (and only, the 2nd never did get it's binding on) quilt together. But what I really learned that weekend was that not everyone has the right personality to be a quilter. I am not one of the lucky.

First off, I am a knit/sew/create with purpose kind of gal. While I enjoy all of it, none of it, (and family members take note because I'm going to repeat myself) NONE of it is relaxing to me. I power through it because I really want to wear the scarf that I'm knitting, or I want to dress Mimsey in the cute outfit I'm sewing, or I can't afford to buy Christmas presents because we declared bankruptcy and I don't have credit cards anymore... Ouch, that last part was a little sadder than I meant for it to be. Anyway, the point is, I don't sew because it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I sew because I want a quilt and can't afford Pottery Barn prices...

Second, I don't enjoy housework. Again, I think there are two types of people, the ones who can't relax until the room is clean, and the kind that can only relax if there's a little clutter around. I am not saying that I don't enjoy a clean house, but I am more than happy to let the housekeeper (a perk that I very much enjoy because someone else pays for it) do it. Quilting is all about ironing. Precision, and ironing. Precision, ironing, and very careful sewing. And a lot of threads that have to be trimmed off, and wind up on my shirt, the floor, the dog, and a handful in Mimsey's hair. Every single strip has to be ironed. They don't spell it out for you in the quilting books, or perhaps it's just that they don't emphasize it, but I will. Sew a seam, get up and iron. Pick up the threads that fell on the floor. Try not to step on the dog or toddler. Sit back down and sew another seam. Keep the toddler from pulling the ironing board over. Get up and iron. Pick up more threads, which is weird, because there are more threads on the floor this time than I have even cut...

Partner all of this "fun" with the fact that I am not a precision cutter. I am a "close-enough" kinda gal. The projects that I do, for the most part, do not depend on the precise nature of my cutting. Quilting does. Cut one piece too small and you are screwed. Sew them together with a seam that's slightly larger or smaller than the pattern calls for and you're screwed. The other day as I was complaining to Jake, he said that I should be grateful that I'm living in the era of rotary cutters and clear rulers, since in the past all of the quilt pieces had to be cut out by scissors. He then went on to weave a story about elderly Amish women and the length of their hair being a sign of their scissor cutting skills, which is where he lost me and I changed the subject because he was getting too silly.

So, pretty much, the quilt that took everyone else a week to put together, I am still trying to make work. Someday I hope to post a picture of it, which will make you laugh because I have had to deviate from the pattern and blaze a new trail, which means that the quilt looks only vaguely like the cute one that Elizabeth designed. But it will be just as warm.

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