Weblog and Idea Spot for Quilters

13 September 2007

Zen and Applique

Applique isn't hard, it's tedious. You just have to be prepared to take a Very Long Time to finish whatever project you set out to do. If you simply adopt the attitude that your only goal is to make This Stitch a Perfect Stitch, clearing your mind of any stitch that precedes or follows it, you'll achieve wonderful results. Don't let yourself keep working if you are tired. Don't applique if what you need is to feel a sense of accomplishment, immediate gratification, or any other such american-style self-pat-on-the-back feelings. Don't applique while cooking or listening to the poem your third-grader is memorizing. In those directions lies madness and failure.

Applique is a delightful way to focus your meditative skills. When you feel the rest of the world slip away from you and all you can see is the tiny space between the stitch you just made and the needle poking up through the fabric two threads from the edge of your applique seam allowance, you reach an enlightenment that freezes time, enhances your sense of smell, makes you younger, thinner and richer. Well, it is at least mildly pleasant.