Weblog and Idea Spot for Quilters

13 September 2007


Quilting the Quilt

By tirane93. Sunday, 22. October 2006, 16:00:32
One of my favorite phases in the quilting process is deciding what kind of pattern or patterns I'll use for the actual quilting stitches. There are some tops that just scream out their quilting needs, but there are others that pretty much present themselves as an empty canvas, begging for something new, creative, special. I sit and look at such a top for quite some while during the decision making process. Sometimes I'll sketch out an idea on a piece of copier paper and pin it to the quilt to help me visualize how it would look repeated or enlarged over the quilt or whatever the plan would be. With few exceptions, once I've found the right pattern it just clicks. It becomes abundantly clear that no other pattern will do; that in fact, no other quilting patterns exist in the universe except the one I plan to use. It just feels right. I roll/fold/wad up my quilt, shove it under the machine, and start quilting. The quilt gets yanked around and around in circles, pushed back and forth, and generally made dizzy as I sew. This is all fine until I hit the saturation point. Sometimes this doesn't happen at all, for instance, on small quilts. Sometimes it happens right after I've finished quilting the first motif. Once I've hit saturation, I lose all interest in the quilt because the rest is just brute force application of the plan I have already begun to implement. You can always tell when this kind of battle is being fought in my sewing room because the rest of the house is clean; that is, spotless. The garage is organized, the leaves are raked, the dog is brushed, the fish are swimming in neat rows in the tank. This is all because I sit down to quilt and think, "No wait. I better go put the clothes in the dryer before they wrinkle." While I'm in the laundry room I'm reminded that the kitchen light switch is grimy with fingerprints, so I wash it. While I have the spray cleaner in hand wiping down the microwave is a breeze. Just one round of this kind of avoidance technique is easily enough for cleaning the living room, almost enough for cleaning a child's room. When I finally force myself to sit back down to quilt my reading glasses will be forgotten in another room, or I'll have a hangnail, or one of my neighbor's children's friend's pet will have a hangnail or I get another web log entry finished.