Saturday, January 03, 2009

What was I thinking?

When I started with this quilt, several years ago? It is just black and white patches, no colour, the design is not working and the size is huge!
Although the quilt was named after our cat Pico (yes, the b&w cat) who already tested the softness and the quality of the fabrics I used, in reality this is my frustration quilt. I only work at it when something is bothering me, when I am frustrated or am wound up.

There is something calming and relaxing in hand-sewing quilts. With small patches you build a block. When you start to sew the blocks together you get this large top of soft cotton. Baste this top, a soft padding and a backing fabric together to form a textile sandwich and then start with the most tedious work: hand stitching through these three layers - the real quilting.

And that is where I made the mistake. I was so eager to make a new quilt, something to do that would be relaxing and calming because I just needed that. So eager that I completely overlooked the importance of the design process. Instead of carefully selecting a design, I just took an old design which was tucked away in an old folder (that is the reason it was tucked away of course - the design was just not good enough). Not even bothering going through all kinds of colour decisions, and picking out the bunch of black and white fabrics that for some unknown reason I had been collecting, I started - just wanting to get going.

And when I started piecing the blocks, it got so addictive that I kept making them - all 224 of them. By the time the top was completed, I was convinced that I had truly made a big mistake. And there I was, with this huge quilt top that I could either disregard or finish. Seems that I am not the quitting kind of person. So I keep on quilting, pulling the thread through these layers, bonding them together. Regretting that I did not take the time to make a better design cause this one is not working. Regretting the choice of black and white - I know that I am not a black and white kind of person anyway. Regretting the size...

What was I thinking when I started this quilt? The point is, I was not thinking at all.
Just wanted to get something going. Did I learn something from this? Maybe. Probably. The next traditional quilt has already been designed in my head. I know which colours will be used and the quilting design is planned as well.

I might not have planned this time-consuming quilt - I might do that with the next one. But so now and then, I just need to get things going. Spontaneous. Not taking too much time to think about it. I dared and it did not turn out so well. Maybe the next time it will?

1 comment:

TJ said...

I am impressed that you stuck this project out through to the end and didn't quit. I LOVE this quilt, but I know how it feels to have to keep going on something that I wish I would have started differently...