I’m going to make a bit of a confession here. It’s challenging to admit this because although in thinking about it my facebook postings while I was in the middle of quilting “@play” gave a clear indication of where I was headed at the time. I kept talking about the quilt as “the unruly teenager” and for a while that’s almost the name the quilt went with however I came to my senses and the quilt ventured into the world as “@play”.
The aftermath shocked me though. I felt completely drained. Drained in a way that I never, ever expected. At first I thought if I’d only finished this sooner instead of just in time to get it to MQU. Well actually with all the other things going on like: work, teaching in Portland and Houston, needing to get things done for Jeanie and a few other thing I just couldn’t.
For the first time in a long time I couldn’t just wing it. This quilt demanded some planning and (shock horror) marking. As a general, personal rule, I do not mark quilt tops. I just go for it. Wholecloth quilts over 15″ are a bit different for me. I need to pay different attention to the design and quilting.
Not for nothing 36″ of quilting with mostly Kimono Silk is a lot of space to fill. Between design and quilting I spent about 100 hours on this quilt in a relatively short amount of time. I started the design work right after I got back from Houston. Met with a friend of mine to talk about which two Ideas made more visual sense. What I find interesting is that the strongest presence in the drawing is the flying geese, which are not quite as prominent in the quilt.
The hours spent quilting were amazing in a great and not so good way. For most of the quilt everything went fine. The red flying geese must have close to 500,000 teeny tiny pebbles. If I’d been using anything other than silk the quilt would have been really bulky. One thread I was using kept breaking ultimately meaning that I had to change something and the end result ended up better than I thought.
After all of this tight quilting the quilt shrunk – it’s to be expected but 1 1/2″ at the point where I realized it is a lot. I must add here that I’m grateful for friends who quilt that offered me encouragement when I was ready to toss this into the corner and go cry. I’m grateful for the commitment and due date on this quilt. Going from @play to “the unruly teenager” and back again was a challenge. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Yes I would. Even with this the aftermath of feeling like I’d given everything, just everything I had to this quilt. This has been the strangest 3 months ever in my quilting life.
The creative funk I’ve been in over the last several months is finally starting to lift. The ideas are starting to flow again. I think spring has something to do with it, this renewal of life, color popping out here, there and everywhere is amazing.
Going to the NY Botanical Garden and the Cloisters help a lot. Nature and architecture inspire me in so many ways. As did the piano concert I went to the other day. As the pianist played I could see machine stitching in my minds eye being stitched out over the surface of a quilt. Quilterly inspiration is filling up and I’ll have something to share with you soon!
Go quilt your world!