Live and Learn, More on My Epic Quilting Journey

I started a quilt for my mother in the hopes of getting it finished for Mother’s Day. Life and other minor annoyances were not co-operative!

So I have maybe four squares left on the massive quilt I started  a year ago.  I started hand quilting  because the sewing machine I have is a loaner and I like to imagine I am a princess locked in a tower. 

I have learned a lot.

  • Bamboo batting is great for machine quilting but not so great for hand-stitching.  While I like the idea of bamboo, I also learned that it takes a lot of chemicals to get it so nice and soft, sort of defeating the whole purpose of buying a “renewable resource” that is more expensive.  It also tends to “beard”, have little bits come out with the needle, and it is not uniform in thickness in some places.  It was really hard to get the needle through.
  • Speaking of needles, you can’t just buy the cheap packet of needles from the Devil Store even if they say “quilting needles”on the package.  They are crap.( I call it The Devil Store for killing all the small local businesses, killing unions and buying crap that is cheap but marked up from the price they paid the “crimes against humanity sweat shops” that produce the crap, while attracting the type of shoppers who cram too much into everything, including those horrible stretch pants, I know because I have waited in line behind them…  If you buy them you will find they can’t be threaded by any thread larger than the kind used to sew fairy wings on.
  • There are videos that show how to hand quilt.  The nice lady on U Tube who gets five stitches on a tiny needle  is actually a magical being who uses fairy thread and fairy needles.  I am trying to find where to buy said items on line.
  • Which way you iron your seams is important. I should have had a plan when I started.  If I had a plan I would have known which way to iron my seams.  It is hard to get a needle through two layers of fabric and batting but even harder to get it through four layers.
  • An eighty year old woman who has been quilting all her life is not easily impressed.  I recommend hiding it from real quilters and only showing it off to the plumber, if he is a man and has large fat hands.  He might be impressed by your stitches.

I have realized that I am more of a “glue it” type of crafter.  In the journey of life I am a set designer, not director, or a writer.  I don’t build things that last but I do like a bit of splash!

I took my quilt to a professional to get it machine quilted.

I’m SO excited to see how it turns out. When I get a picture I will post it here along with the website for the artist who machined quilted it for me.

I have started another on for my mother. It won’t be ready for her 90th birthday but hopefully by Xmas. I am having a hard time getting excited about it though, as it is all in blue and not the colour buzz I have gotten hooked on. It is a busy time right now getting ready for her party this month. We have people coming all the way from Auzzieland!

This is not mine. It is from Brandon Mably at a recent workshop he conducted. I love it!

Colour me crazy!

Be Fearless.

This is a great article about growing old and expressing oneself. 

I read a line in a short story recently that went something like, “She figured things out too late” and I thought to myself, well how sad is that. But then I thought of another quote I read recently that went: “We do Zen practice so we can enjoy our old age.” and somehow I felt better. I have often felt I realized things too late you see, and yet here I am, still alive!

Zen practice teaches that awareness is not a possession or even a tool, it is the constant arising of this moment. For some it is what they call “God”. It teaches us to live in imperanence. “Too late” is not sad. To realize  is to realize now.

 How we express our understanding is not dependant on criteria we stuggled with at 20, 30 or even 40 years of age, and it is a waste of effort if we try to repeat the “look”.

For those who don’t know it, I am mad about Kaffe’s fabrics.  He is a wonderful artist. 

Continuing News from the Sew Op!

Penny thinks cross stitch is fun!

Okay, first off, I have no camera. I had one but it has disappeared so, until I get someone to photograph it, you are just going to have to use your imagination. My first quilt is BEAUTIFUL!!!

I am nuts about how it turned out! I lovingly stroke it, drag it around with me everywhere, and fight with the furryies to keep them off it. It’s too hot to sleep under it but I keep it on the top shelf in my bedroom.

It has to go to my daughter as her birthday gift on the 18th and I am already suffering from separation anxiety. Her cat, on the other hand I would part with in a second. (Sorry Penny, I love you but it’s time for you to go home…)

On her birthday I will get people to take my daughter’s photo with the quilt and send it to me…