Friday, February 19, 2010

quilts take years.

Every time I finish a quilt it takes a couple of years from conception to cutting the last thread.  My first quilt was created out of leftover fabric from clothes I had made.  I was 18.  My mother taught me.  It took forever.  And when I finished, I swore I would never make another.  The process was too much- paying attention to every little cut to ensure a tight grid, sewing hundreds of tiny squares together, hand quilting the batting and fabric together and then binding the layers.  My first quilt wasn't fancy.  The fabric didn't match.  The backing was pieced together because I had made a mistake measuring how much it would take.  And I have to hand wash it because I had decided to put a satin binding on the edge.  It has a giant hole that burned through when I accidentally set my apartment on fire.  I sewed around the edges of the burn hole and then my dog at the stitches.  It's almost ten years old now.  I still use it.  I love it.  It makes me want to make more quilts.  And I have.  They age so well.  They go well with my other favorite hobby, which is napping.  And they record history - fabric squares taken from my brothers favorite pants after my mom had retired them, skirts that have worn out years ago, fabrics that I trade for others from my mom or my lady friends, so many other fabrics that look familiar, but I cannot remember where they came from.  Every time I finish a quilt I get inspired to make another.  This one is going to be based off of a thunderbird pattern from Native American beading.  It was going to be a mini quilt or a flag- I had pieced it together from one inch squares that were thrifted for me, but they weren't all the same size and they weren't all square.  I didn't want to sacrifice a lot of time to end up with a frustrating and wonky finished product, so I let it sit.  And then I cleaned up the pieces a week later.  And then I went to my mom's house and slept in a bed with a pile of quilts.  And I began thinking about my thunderbird design again.  So today I figured it out.  And now I am on the lookout for thrifted fabric to fill the need.  I can't place the moment I had the idea for this quilt, so I am going to call today Day 1.

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