#172 Jumping In

Okay.  So here’s my deal with quilting.  My grandmother was one heckofa quilter/embroider.  She made some amazingly beautiful things.  My mother took up the craft later in life.  And then, she tried to teach me.

Only I wasn’t game.  I wanted to like it.  I wanted the end results.  But the process was not enjoyable.  And I distinctly remember during my lessons a few years ago feeling like, “This is silly.  It’s like paint by numbers or something.  What is the point of all this work if you are following a pattern and thus know exactly what it’s going to look like in the end?  Yeah…you can choose your own colors.  But following a pattern means that every time you screw up it’s so visible.  And obvious.”

I’ve never liked doing what people tell me to do.  So this is no surprise that I was put off by quilting.  Still, I was conflicted.  Because I really, really wanted to make stuff and have stuff that I made.  But I really, really was not liking the whole process.  And so that’s why it took two years to do that first quilt for 6.

For the past 6 months, I have had it in my head that I wanted to just sit down and cut.  And sew.  And see what happens.  I didn’t have a name for this.  Or a way to go about doing it.  I was seriously living in such a vaccuum that I didn’t realize until just last week that people do this all the time.  It’s called improv quilting.  And it’s a pattern-free way to just cut and sew and create.  And stand back and say Wow.

So when I started to think I wanted to do it, though, I wouldn’t let myself until I had finished one of those damn quilts I started for the kids.  Once I got 6’s done, I took out a small stash of fat quarters I had…and started cutting.  And sewing.  And cutting.  And sewing.  And in one week, here’s what I did:


I am not really sure where this will go from here.  I am envisioning pale pink fabric to border these wonky blocks up with and turning it into a wall hanging for over my machine.  But who knows.

I’m annoyed that I’m so into this project right when I am saying good-bye to the machine for the next 6 weeks.  But hopefully my enthusiasm won’t wane while we are traveling and I can pick this up when we get back.

I had no idea what I was doing and am learning as I am going.  It feels brave to just jump in there and try.  And I’m glad I did.


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