Thursday, October 9, 2014

Falling in Love

I'm thick into the process of quilting this this top
inspired by a wonderful quilt in Roderick Kiracofe's new book, 

I usually approach machine quilting with a "grin and bear it" attitude.
 "Just do it."  It'll feel good to have it done.    

I decided to stitch in the ditch, "every stinkin' seam," as Cindy Needham
teaches in her excellent Craftsy class.

So, I was going along, a few minutes or an hour at a time, trying not to rush myself.
Noticing my stitches weren't perfect, and forgiving myself for that.
Stitching, stitching, more stitching...

And then I started to fall in love. 

 Slowly stitching around every piece brought the stories to mind.

Oh, there's that red flower that T gave me from her mother's stash.  How sweet.
I love it next to the gingham I bought in Norway!

And there's that piece of men's shorts I bought at Goodwill with S.  That was a fun trip!
And the men's shirts that M and I have shared across the globe. 
Oh, and the golfer shirts that T sent from Florida.

There's a tiny sliver of red and white.  How'd that get in there?
Did I really put a scrap of bark cloth in this?   I like it!

Now I really don't care how the quilt looks overall.  
It's the stories, the connections to sweet friends, 
the memories of the design process that matter.  

I'm sure we've all experienced this.  
It's one of the greatest joys of quilt-making--
working closely with our fabrics and remembering the stories behind them.  

Wishing you finishes and love this season!


Marie said...

You've captured the notion of scrap quilts and why I love them just perfectly. It's great to be in love, isn't it?

antique quilter said...

I so love this post, I have to tell you I feel the same way when I make a scrap quilt or look at a quilt
oh I remember that fabric I bought it in Lancaster when I was with …..
oh my thats my last piece of that fabric why didn't I buy yards of it I just love it …
that was so nice of … to send me red fabrics when I was getting low look theres one she sent me
or remember that fabric its left over from making that quilt I gave to….
LOVE this post
thanks just made me smile , Memories, maybe that would be a good name for the quilt

Brenda said...

looks great! I am about to set off an a similar venture, using a bunch of oldies and uglies gifted to me, all in one glorious quilt. Are you using a walking foot and twisting and turning the whole quilt?

Rachaeldaisy said...

What a wonderful post and a perfect way of summing up that great feeling that sewing can give us. Your quilt looks wonderful, lots of wonderful shapes to stich around and fabtics to enjoy, and lovely memories old and new being stitched in as you sew.

Christine Feldstein said...

I enjoyed reading you post and... I fell in love as well with your quilt! On the opposite, I never feel this way with my own quilts... waiting for the one that will make me fall in love with!

Karen said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts today.

Annemieke said...

You literally pulled me into your post and story. I know how it feels to see a memory coming into your mind by seeing and working with scraps.
Love autumn too. Thanks for this post!

Barb said...

what a great approach to working on a quilt. I love the philosophy. Does it really matter what the quilt "looks" like, or about who we are when we make it and what we feel about it.

Mary Keasler said...

Lovely memories created. This will always be a special quilt.

audrey said...

Love how you put this: 'It's one of the greatest joys of quilt-making--working closely with our fabrics and remembering the stories behind them.' So very true.:)

Helen said...

You said it , Kiddo! The real joy of quilting takes time to discover...and once found is never lost.

Quilteuse Forever said...

What a LOVELY experience. How I understand you! My BEST experience about piecing remains the quilt I made about my daughter's trip along Amazonia, it is the craziest scrap quilt I have ever made. The process is so liberating, the memories of past things with the fabrics so moving...
Thanks for this great post.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Oh, my ... What a marvelous way to share the magic!

Tonya Ricucci said...

gorgeous and yes, every seam will make it look soooo good. love seeing those fabrics and hey, spot some plaids and stripes I brought you from Florida.

~Niki~ said...

love this! these are the BEST kinds of quilts. I made a shirt quilt once for my friend. Her husband died and I wanted to make her a quilt of her husbands plaid checked shirts. Came out beautiful. can't wait to see yours when it's completed.

Marit said...

For me, this quilt top was love at first sight... So nice to hear of all the memories it keeps for you as you are quilting it. Love the book by Roderick Kieracofe, so glad you introduced me to him.
; )

fiberchick said...

You articulate so well what is so moving about these kinds of quilts in Kiracofe's wonderful book. Your quilt is a beauty and I can't wait to see it quilted. I do have to admit I felt kind of hostile towards Cathy Needham when she talked about stitching in the ditch "every stinkin seam" in her Craftsy class. It's kind of like when you resented your parent telling you what to do as a child even though you knew they were right. You are leading by example... Please finish soon so we can see this stunner!

meli B said...

I do the same thing when I'm using scraps. Some of them are really old and left overs from earlier quilts, too good to throw out, so the last few scraps suddenly become precious and bring back memories. I received my Quiltmania magazine this week. Congratulations on a wonderful article.

cinzia said...

You've captured the essence of a quilt in this post! Evry step in the process of making helps us to get to know the quilt and ourselves as makers!

smazoochie said...

There is a LOT to love there!
Quilting (always by machine for me) was never my favorite thing, but I have learned to enjoy it, much for the reason you describe: revisiting the fabrics & patchwork.

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing with us.... It reminded me of when I took my Mom on my favorite hike. I lived in Montana the hike was steep in places so we went slow and we had to walk through a creek. It was open so you could see the beautiful mountains as we walked up. I saw more on the hike then I had seen before cause I took my time and really looked at where I was. Life is good!
Thank you!

Deb Rowden said...

you said it so well - isn't sewing like this the BEST! thanks for the lovely lovely post.

apiecefullife said...

Well I can't say anything original. I was set to tell you how inspiring this post is but I see many others have beat me to it.
I was just talkining to my sister an hour ago about what I would make with dad's shirts when i can bring myself to do it.
I find when i pick up a quilt I am placed back in the moments I was working on it.
Don't you love making quilts?

Sujata Shah said...


The quilt, it's making and the stories behind it, they all are so true to your heart and it is what shining through here. I love this quilt, I think sometimes we do get caught up in how it is going to look in the end and forget the purpose of the process. That bark cloth was meant to be there.. that's why it's there and the tiny little red scrap holds that corner with it's all mighty existence. Without it, there would be a hole in this quilt. Every bit has a purpose of some sort.
Your stitching looks beautiful!

Cynthia@aquilterbynight said...

This is just the kind of quilt I love. Your machine quilting will make it so durable, and will allow each unique piece to shine, simply.

Sharon said...

Love your post. Well said, and I agree!

Victoria said...

Oh, yes! A quilt with a story, a quilt with a soul, a quilt with love infused into it by each thoughtful stitch, that is the best quilt of all. You have a true treasure here!