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.