Friday, June 27, 2008

"A Day In The Life of a Quilter"
I am giving thought to why I like to sew. I like every aspect of the process. I love choosing fabric from my stash to get started. I don't think I ever have a thought of actually starting a project, I just see something and it gives me an idea. I have never planned a Quilt.
I love the cutting of the fabric. The rotary cutter, mat and ruler are wonderful tools, but I love the feel of a 'great-cutting'pair of fabric scissors. I love to sit for hours, EC beside me in his chair, Mack and Thelma at our feet, and the "Helper Kitty" roaming around contemplating mischief; with my best scissors, a pair of KAI's, in my hand. Sometimes I cut six or seven hundred one inch strips that need to be cut into six, seven or eight inch lengths. I love arranging the strips and then the cutting of them.
I fill one of my home-made baskets with all the smaller pieces. The next part of the process is the sewing together of all those (sometimes thousands) little pieces. Now why would a grown woman want to sit for days,mezmerized by a sewing machine needle going up and down. The simple, short answer is: for the love of it.
Finally, when I see the completed piece that I've sewn, my head starts racing with ideas of what to do with this newly created piece. Should I cut this up and add new fabrics to it? Should I leave it alone and just add boarders? What kind of boarders? Racing Strips? Blocks? Maybe it needs fish, maybe a bird, should I put a cloud above the tree? Does it really need a tree?
All this is the fun stuff for me.
At least I'm sure of one thing, I have definately decided on the batting. Years ago I discovered that Hobbs Washable Wool Batting was the best. I buy that by the 'giant, huge roll. I love the drape of it, the loft of it and the hand of it. Since I travel with my Quilts, it folds well, without leaving that horrible, permenant crease.
I've even learned to love 'reverse stitching'. To quote my friend Marty, "Mr. Seam Ripper is my friend!" I have one Quilt that I removed all the Quilting from, not once, but twice. It had to be done. There is no reason to sit and wonder about it. If it has to go, it just has to go.
Even after the Quilt is finished, with the binding, backing, hanging sleeve, label, I may sit for weeks, painting the thread . Don't ask. It is just something I love to do. My most often used motto is "Whatever it takes" and if that's what it takes, I love to do it.
The binding takes me three full days to hand-stitch down. That is such a peaceful time. I love all the tiny stitches.
There are so many awful things one could be hooked on, I am so fortunate that Quilting is my choice.
Oh, I forgot! The Top of the List! The never ending hunt for the most beautiful fabric. The 'road Trip's,wonderful Quilt Shops, the stacks and rows of color that is FABRIC! Oh, and the thread that is the 'glue' that holds it all together.
Aren't we lucky. How many times have you ever met a Quilter that you didn't like? Very seldom. What a great craft we have chosen to be a part of!
What's not to love?
We'll talk again soon,
Carol Ann, Quilter

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