Sunday, January 23, 2011

The fibre artist goes traditional!

As immersed as I am in fibre art, I have been pondering through some of my UFOs and realized I have more than a few projects started and left undone for one reason or another. I pulled out one particular quilt that I had put a lot of effort into getting it half done with the hand quilting and realized it needs to get done. It is time to go back to the roots of my quilting.

When I began to quilt before my son was born, I signed up for my first hand quilting class through the local leisure guide. It was a wonderful class and I was always motivated to finish the homework and more before the next week's class. I really loved it. But when the last class was approaching I decided to skip ahead and really start getting this baby sampler quilted. So I quilted a few blocks without much direction. When I brought it to the class. The instructor said, "Oh, this is so over quilted that you'll never finish it." I was very surprised and secretly devastated. Rather than doing one line of quilting on each piece of each block, I had completely quilted every square inch to the point that there was barely a quarter inch space without stitch. After the lesson, with me used as the bad example, she discussed ways of removing the stitches which sounded quite time consuming and difficult. I left the class and put the quilt away for quite some time. I even justified not getting it done because I had given birth to a boy and the quilt was in blues, but floral.

Now if that sounds like a sad story, no worries. I still dove deep into the world of quilting making several quilts for my son and have never looked back. But this project has been hidden away as my one major UFO. I have pulled it once in a while and added a few lines of stitching, but it has always seemed so daunting. Lately I have realized that for years I was letting the teacher's comments diffuse the joy I had in the process and I was focussed on the incorrect end product.

So here I am with a beautiful unfinished quilt. I have decided to pull out this quilt and have fallen in love with it all over again. The simple act of unfolding it and laying it across the table to look closely at it again gave me a huge rush. I am poised to finish it in plenty of time for my very first trunk show. I have accepted that the overstitching is beautiful because it taught me a lesson. I have learned to love the process of creation no matter what the outcome. And besides, I believe it is true that every quilt should have a mistake or even a bunch. It adds to the charm, the tradition and shows the heart that you have put into it.

My very first hand pieced, hand quilted quilt - all done!


  1. Well said, Brandy. And it looks like a beautiful piece to me.

  2. What a heartening story of the resurrection of an unfinished project into what will be a much loved treasure. Thanks!