Saturday, December 19, 2015

a finish & a greeting

I whipped up a little doll quilt for a super hero-loving grand niece who is expecting a special baby doll for Christmas. I have been enjoying watching Audrey's quilt along, wanting to join in, but haven't had much time with Holiday preparations. This quick little toe-test of the circle blocks have me wanting to make more -- next year.

Wishing all y'all a safe, warm, love-filled Holiday.
xxx, smazoochie

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Misses & Hits

There is a Modern Quilter whose lectures & lessons I listen to online. It seems like with every quilt of hers she uses as an example, she will exclaim, "I LOVE this quilt!" I find it a little off-putting. Does she really LOVE every quilt she has made? Is there nothing about any of them that she would change, do differently in the future?

There are quilts I have made that I had great expectations for -- perfect colors, perfect fabrics, perfect pattern -- but when they were finished, they just didn't hit the mark I was aiming for. Some are just off a bit, others not even close. As blogging quilters, we show our efforts out here on the Internets & our readers, our friends, will applaud them. Even when we say 'I don't like this' or 'I wish I hadn't done that', our readers & friends often say, oh no, it is beautiful just as it is. I do this myself. And when I do see something about someone else's quilt that I don't like or wish had been done differently, I don't say so. We seem to go by the If-You-Can't-Say-Anything-Nice-Don't-Say-Anything-At-All rule. So on Big Reveal posts, the comments are full of praise. I find that sometimes it gets hard not to believe all the praise, hard not to think, 'yes, smazoochie, another awesome quilt'.  But I try to keep my feet of clay firmly planted in reality.

Anyway, all this is leading to this quilt. It isn't often that I am so unabashedly pleased with something I've made. This quilt is not perfect, but I really don't think I would change anything about it. I LOVE this quilt! I don't say that about many of my quilts, just a few -- one more now!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Proud, happy & thrilled

I began piecing this quilt more than 3 years ago; looking at my blog posts about it, I see I got the top put together in about a month. I basted it in the late Autumn of 2012, then began 3 years of quilting.

3 loooong years of quilting.

Not 3 constant years of quilting -- I would work diligently for a while, be overcome by the boring & tedious nature of the quilting I chose, then I would put it away for a month, a few months, a year. I finally got tired of the thing lying around & soldiered through. I put the last quilting stitch in a week ago today. After finishing, I would have Sworn an Oath that I would never quilt another quilt in that sort of dense, echoing way again.

But a week has passed & the memory of the boring tedium is fading.

Some time ago, after 2 failed attempts, I got to Hollis Chatelain's class at Quilt Festival, "Quilt Line as the Third Design Element." The only class supply we were to bring was an un-quilted top. Through the day of the class, the 25 or 30 of us would show our top, then with Hollis leading the discussion, we would talk about ideas of how to quilt it. I think after waiting years to get into this class, my expectations were pretty high. I suspect I was hoping for some sort of magic algorithm -- 
If This, Then This = Awesomely Quilted Quilt. 
Instead, through the day I heard Hollis ask the same set of questions to each of us. By early afternoon, I was sitting there like Peggy Lee wondering, Is That All There Is?

It has taken me this long to find the value in the questions Hollis asked each of us:

What is this quilt for?
What is your favorite thing about it?
What do you want to emphasize?
What do you want to achieve?

My Laura's Lightning is to be a utilitarian quilt; I really like the combination of fabrics, colors & I wanted to emphasize the zigzag streaks of lightning. I think I may have blundered onto the perfect quilting to achieve that. I am now hand-stitching the binding & am eager to pop it in the washer & dryer & get a good look at this quilt.

In other news, the chaos & mess in my sewing room has gotten SO BAD, trees are starting to grow!