Aug 26, 2006

slump ended/why I quilt

I will be the first to admit that I have been in a quilting/piecing slump. Part of the reason was just winding up the loose ends before we put the quilts out on the pews last weekend. Another part was my grandmother's passing and making that 5 day trip out to MO and then trying to get caught up at home from my absence. The other part is frankly, I just didn't feel like it. Who feels like having that hot thing on their lap when it is 80 degrees in the house and the fans are not cutting it? I know better than to sew when I don't have the desire.

I did manage to get the binding finished up on this one Thursday. Yesterday I added aome quilted lines around those large half square triangles and in the large red and plaid flying geese around that center star to get the large pieces to lay down a little better. My frequent readers will recognize the picture from a July post.

I threw it in the washer to remove the markings I had made and DJ was looking at it laid out on a chair in the kitchen as we ate supper. "That sure is a pretty quilt", says he. High praise indeed! (Thank you, Betsy for making the top and then giving permission to scale it back a notch)

The machine was and is still set up for quilting so my eyes lit next on my 30's Pioneer Sampler, pinned and waiting for me to decide whether I am handquilting any of it or machine quilting all of it. I don't know if my sore thumbs are up to the hand quilting part. I started locking in the outer border and some of the vertical lines and the next thing I know I am quilting a few of the blocks. Guess I made my decision though there are a couple blocks that would be easier to hand quilt more in the middle. Man, that thing is heavy with all the pins and just plain BIG!! I'm hoping that it will be easier to handle as I proceed because right now it feels like I have been wrestling a bear. I really want this on my bed sometime and this will make that happen quicker. Y'all have been after me to quilt or piece something for myself so I guess this was it.

Patti asked the question on her blog "why do you quilt?" Well, since I was in a bit of a slump that was a little harder to answer but I think I can come up with a few answers anyway.

Part of it is for the reason you see in the picture at left. Occasionally we get pictures of children with quilts we have donated. This happens to be a little fellow in Paraguay wrapped in a quilt I made and sent with my niece/godchild who had gone on a mission trip with a group from a church in the Bradley/Kankakee/Bourbonnais, IL area about 5 years back.

I feel that quilting is my mission and a way to use my God given talents. My own nieces and nephews don't necessarily need me to make them quilts--my mother has already taken care of that (or will do so if they are still waiting). They, fortunately, will never want for anything in their young lives. I have no children of my own--I've made DJ's grandson two quilts and probably another when he graduates from college so where should I best use my talents? You got it--for someone else that needs them.

I quilt because I do not care to make garments. This way I can still play with fabric but not have to wear it or expect it to fit properly. I have always done something creative with my hands and tried a lot of them. My husband swears that when I die they will have to beat my hands to death with a stick because they will still be fidgeting. He may be right, LOL. I cannot just sit and watch TV without having something else to do--redwork, knitting, even ugh, binding.

I quilt because I love trying new techniques and new patterns. I quilt because I am reasonably good at it and I can't really do things like draw or paint as much as I would like to. It is an art form I can embrace and be a part of.

I quilt because my mom and grandmothers did to some extent. It is something my mom and I can share since we both make quilts for WTIL. It is something that has always been around either on my bed or in borrowed quilt frames and my helping to tie them or at quilt shows I have attended. I own a quilt my great-grandmom made and will share that with you one day. It keeps me connected with all our quilting foremothers and their part in women's history and preserving our craft, seeing that it gets passed on to the next generation.

I quilt because I blog and blog because I quilt. I have friends that do as well and make new ones everyday through this medium. That's about it off the top of my head which is how I usually write anyway--and then re-read to see if it makes any sense, LOL. Hope you all are having a good weekend so far------- Posted by Picasa


  1. all good reasons! and I became your friend too as a result of our shared quilting making friends is a great part of quilting!

  2. Lots of comments... I love the flying geese border in your picture. What a priceless photo. I'm sure you treasure that. It helps imagine all the other recipients. Also, I your statement - blog b/c you quilt, quilt b/c you blog. I've been thinking about the blogging thing - just started this month - is it taking time from the machine? Maybe. It is inspiring me to quilt more? Definitely. Thanks to everyone out there for the inspiration.

  3. I'm glad you're coming out of your slump. I like the way you write, it's like having a conversation.
    That child's picture really makes it all worth while, doesn't it?

  4. Lots of very wonderful reasons to quilt. Little Boy had a play date with a 9 year old girl today and you should have seen the 2 of them sitting on the couch, wrapped in quilts and reading (ok, so it is a little colder in Canada than where you are). I just have to make that little girl her very own quilt now - she loved LB's flannel and fleece one...



  5. Hi Linda, good reasons indeed! Every single one of them...*VBS*

    Fun to see the donated quilt again...and I have to say that without YOU there would be no quilt for DJ to commment on...LOL
    It would still be slapped together folded sort of lump in a dark corner of a closet..*S* If it's pretty, it's because of what YOU did with it..*VBS* SO grab tha high praise for yourself too!
    Glad to hear you've begun quilting the sampler..can't wait to see it someday, finished and on your bed. Hugs, Finn

  6. love your quilt. sometimes it's necessary to step back from something we love to really appreciate how much we love it!!
    glad your slump is over

  7. Slumps are normal and coming out of them can be fun. I'm glad you're coming out of yours. The photo of the boy with your quilt says it all. Quilting is meant to be shared.

  8. Had to look at your link for your photo of the 30s Sampler. It's lovely and i love the fabrics.

  9. I'm glad you're mojo back. And good for you to finally be doing something for yourself.

    That picture says it all. What better reason to quilt than that!

  10. I love the picture of the little boy wrapped up in the blue quilt - what an inspiration!

  11. I love your post. Any of your reasons for not quilting are understandable, but time will heal your wounds. The seasons will change. I usually just piece quilts in the summer, or work on things like placemats or table runners. It might be an idea for you. I know small victories (completions) always make me feel better. The little boy picture is priceless.


  12. I was wondering if something was wrong because you don't go 3 days with no new post...only to figure out blogger is what's wrong! Anyone else have trouble seeing new posts without hitting re-fresh??

    Anyway, I love the new re-done quilt! It turned out so wonderful! I know why you quilt and it's all right there in the eys of that child! What a wonderful thing to do. You know you can always through in a bit of hand quilting on the sampler if you want! I'm still not even to the sandwich stage yet, so you are far ahead of me!!

  13. Good to know someone else sometimes "just doesn't feel like it". Sometimes it's easier to not do it, than to have to sit and rip out seams. What a wonderful picture of that little boy with the quilt made by you!

  14. So well said. I understand and feel every bit of it. Quilters together!

  15. What a lovely post Linda :-)
    It went directly to my heart. Here is now 2 care quilts ready to get binding. It is a blessing to be able to bring a warm quilt embrace into a childs life. We are lucky quilters indeed.

  16. Lots of thought on why you quilt -- I think a lot of us have the same reasons -- I for one can't sew a stitch of clothing and have no interest whatsoever in it!

  17. Wonderful reasons for quilting - you express yourself so very well. I'm so glad you are coming out of your quilting slump. Not a fun place to be at all!


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