Sunday, March 26, 2006

the balancing act

Finn asked what is our excuse? or how life happens and we get sidetracked in our quilting path at times...including how she has been stuck doing a lot of quilts for others...not in a negative way-just as in a big part of her quilting time is spent...which is how I interpreted her blog entry.
So, that got me thinking about my quilting journey thus far: which was back in early days as I mentioned before-making a baby quilt for a friend and then a queen sized quilt for my mom. You note: nothing for myself. Many, many years break from quilting-to 1999. Again, the very first quilt I FINISH is for the charity group I support. Granted, the next one was actually for myself-the infamous black and white one which I am finally posting a photo of. That quilt was made in a beginner's class on quilting. I figured being self taught-I could stand to learn "real" quilting from someone who taught quilting. I call it infamous as the teacher upon spotting the fabric I brought said: clearly I was NOT a beginner-I brought in black and white fabric. All the other gals brought in safe matching colors thimbleberries or 30's repros or pastel colors...or florals...yes, I was the "black sheep". Once that quilt was done-the requests poured in from friends and family members. You all know the drill: oh, you make quilts...I would love one..yada, yada...and if they are your mom, or your sister, or your child-you can feel well, umm, sure! and down the road you go...until you stop and realize, when was the last time I made a quilt for myself?
Here comes the balancing act: I love making a quilt and watching the face of the one I gift it to-light up-I mean how great is that feeling??? However, the feeling I get when I follow a quilt idea and make something following that creative muse-WOW !! How fun was that??? and, I can then keep it....or maybe down the road, give it away. I like having that choice. I love making quilts and realized from the beginning-I did not want to keep all of what I make-I enjoy the process on many of them but do not always feel the need to keep it. I have at least seven quilts now that work on our bed-and another five or so lap size for cuddling with ...and plenty more in the idea and stash stage as well.
Last year in my efforts to sew down my flannel stash, four family members got quilts. This year, I promised my brother a tee shirt wall hanging-and have his box of tee shirts waiting their turn. That leaves a quilt for him and his wife. (at some future point) My sister will take any and all quilts I care to send her way, she has two already so I am not planning on any this year for her. My sons each have at least one-with the younger one really asking for a's on this year's list. And that shows the balancing I have finally come to: I will make quilts for family, on a flexible "year" list way. I don't need those deadline pressures. With a grand baby on the way...I am working on the hand quilting for her quilt-if the baby is a she. A quilt not so obviously "girly" is next up on my make a quilt list as a back up to having a boy grandchild. I am always working on a charity quilt-that keeps happening year round. I am very selective now about anyone outside "family" getting a quilt from me. So, those are some thoughts put down in print for now. And, here is that photo I promised...sorry, it had to be taken inside by my not so tall helper-and trust me when I say it truly is was in my guild's first quilt show and quilted by Merline McLoughlin. Sorry, I loaded this on the small side and it won't get any larger by clicking...drats! I still like this quilt by the way.

Life is Good:

shopping for new spring plants to put in the front yard

driving the back roads home

nice clean doggy laundry

seeing family

talking to my Aunt Naomi on the phone


At 8:02 PM, Blogger Mary Johnson said...

Just like you - who I quilt for has changed over the 5+ years I've been doing this.

I now make the quilts I want to and then decide what to do with them. Most of them end up as charity quilts but if a family member sees a particular quilt they love I've been known to give it to them. I have been paid in the past to make quilts but I don't need or want the pressure or obligation so I don't any longer.

My two exceptions are:

1)I do quilt for family members - mainly my Mom but for a couple aunts and occasionally for one of my sisters. Mom always pays me back by piecing a top that I want or helping me in other ways like cutting strips for me.

2) I will make a quilt requested by my sons or for my husband but these are made on my own schedule not theirs.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Linda C said...

good philosophy on the quilting/piecing, Cher. I like the strong graphic look at that quilt though I have seen the picture before. Thanks for posting it.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Tonya Ricucci said...

Good for you for being the black sheep and making such a bold quilt. baaaaaah.


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