Friday, November 21, 2008

Inspirations for a Practical Quilter

This is a doll quilt made by my Grandmother for my Mother in the 1940's.

I was having a chat with Julie about what an inspiration Bonnie Hunter has been for me. My enthusiasm outruns my achievements and I am practically paralyzed by my stash sometimes. I need to get it cut and get it used. I have so many fabrics, mostly FQ's, and I absolutely love each one. The tone, the texture, the feel between my fingers. It's so sensual - and I mean that in the innocent sense: "of or pertaining to the senses or physical sensation; sensory". It is obviously gratifying some innate "touch" need. I mean, look how many ladies, even seasoned quilters, can't resist touching quilts at quilt shows! No matter how many signs we put up and how many white glove ladies we have on duty - it still happens. I actually carry my own white gloves so I can get away with peeking at the backs. And I have told many a fine lady to back off too. Still our hands reach out without our minds knowing.

I was never one to want to quilt gorgeous heirloom quilts that nobody used (well, not yet anyway). I consider myself a practical quilter to make quilts that will be used and cried on and dragged around and shared with the dog or cat and thrown in the washing machine with only scraps left of it for the future. I want my quilts loved to death and worn out. There are so many wonderful patterns out there and I just need to learn to trust my instincts and actually cut in to my stash. One pattern I'm totally in love with is Turning Twenty Again by Tricia Cribbs. Use 20 FQ's to make 20 16inch blocks. The leftovers are perfect for some of Bonnie's patterns. So I can feel really good about using up every bit of my FQ without waste. I can let go of my fear of thinking I'm going to make a mistake and just get on with it. The worst thing that will happen is that I will have a (hopefully) well-made ugly quilt. And someone somewhere always needs a blanket, even in a lovely city like Perth. I also need to learn "little and often" for my sewing. The psychology of making "just one block" instead of "making a quilt". This is inspired by Karen. She's making one block a week and calling it Scrappy Sundays. So in articulating my thoughts to you I am clarifying a plan of action for myself.

I think I will be ok. I'm seeing so many wonderful quilters in blogland and I know they are women just like me with work and family and health issues. Although I am so new to blogging all the comments have been nice and the encouragement is so helpful and gratefully accepted. And it doesn't matter what country or what language. Our hearts speak the same language.

Thanks for visiting and writing me.

Hugs to all



nannergirl said...

I hope you're doing well Shari. I'm really enjoying visiting your blog. I also love Bonnie Hunter and feel paralyzed by my very small stash. This fall I decided to use up what I could and I'll admit, a few of the quilts I've made are not gorgeous. But at least the fabrics are part of quilts and being loved instead of sitting in a pile in my sewing room. And now I can look for new fabrics (haha!)
I think your idea to do a block at a time is great. That way you'll have a weekly memory of your journey. Good Luck Shari, you're in my thoughts.

Terri S said...

I love my quilts to be used and loved too. I don't have much stash. It's quite pitiful, really. I tend to buy what I need and use it up. I have been using some of Bonnie's ideas for organizing scraps though, and I try to cut them into usable squares, strips and such before I get too much accumulated. I've always been one of those people driven to finish a project once I start it, but I'm learning to slow down and enjoy the process as much as the result!! A block at a time is good practice for that!!

Julia said...

Shari, I have seen your work and it's lovely, neat and anyone would be proud to own a quilt made by you.
Just go for it, there's no such thing as an ugly quilt!
They take so much time and are made with love and care.
I used to churn them out, one after another, but now enjoy having several different ones to work on depending on my mood..
Hugs julia

Messy Karen said...

thank you Shari. i often romanticize about a "grandmother-ly person" sitting in the living room working on something that no one ever knows what she is making. i wish you luck on your quest to be patient. but in the meantime i am sending happy thoughts that you enjoy your recovery and read some great books.

Joy said...

I love the quilt your grandmother made ... what a treasure, you're very lucky to have it. I'm the first quilter in my family as far as I know, (although my Mum is a fabulous knitter!!!) ... hopefully I can leave something behind that my grandchildren will blog about in the future ;o). Like you I want my quilts to be used and loved, I think that's as it should be :o).

Anonymous said...

Hi Shari

Just enjoy the journey of making a quilt and listen to your own ideas.
I too am very inspired by Bonnie and have made two of her quilts from scraps and also been cutting up my scraps as I create them in to say different size strips or squares and keep them in plstic containers ready for the next scrap quilt. I have acyually started a new one inspired by Lucy's blog.


Robyn said...

Hi sound very normal to
I think touching fabrics and quilts and not enough time are all a part of it.
I love making quilts to be used as well and am also very inspired by what Bonnie does.
Trust your own instincts as well and do what's right for you...and my motto, "Go with the Flow".
Can't wait to see what you do next.
Robyn xx

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