Our camera disappeared unexpectedly. It’s a mystery. I should find it under a piece of large furniture, or hidden in a toy basket, but for now we’re using the iPhone.
I finished the quilt! Binding and all!
I started cutting it two years ago after spotting a similar quilt in a magazine. When I lamented the fact I wouldn’t find so many blue and brown batiks to make the quilt, a co-worker suggested I dye them myself. Of course! I never dyed anything before, but that didn’t bother me.
I discovered brown isn’t really a color, and I found it hard to achieve the chocolate colors I craved. Several experiments turned out like something a pig dragged through the muck and slept on. Eventually I had a few usable pieces, and I supplemented using any brown “hand dyed” fabrics I could find. My husband got into dyeing some blue pieces; we made a few attempts at batiking on the back patio. I say laughable, but I used most of the pieces. They weren’t works of art, but when chopped and sewn served their purpose.
I put the top together in a few weekends, over-thinking it as always. The first blue border I added was too light. It looked awful. I took it to work, and the quilting gurus assured me it was awful and I should use a bluer blue. I batiked a piece of “bluer blue” fabric with my husband and then threw the whole shebang into my own personal Area 51- where UFOs go on a classified basis.
Then last week I walked into my room to put away laundry and engaged in yet another staring contest. Suddenly I had enough.
I realized I’d never quilt this the perfect, artful way I’d envisioned and I’d probably never find five or six uninterrupted hours to use the free-motion machine at work. I had the sudden thought I’d rather have a warm, usable quilt than an unfinished one.
I said “FUCK YOU, quilt. You don’t own me,” and shoved it through my machine, stitching in the ditch and puckering every so often. My daughter watched Winnie the Pooh in another room, it wasn’t even her TV time. I didn’t care. I wanted that quilt done.
Then, all of a sudden, she was. All that procrastination over two hours of quilting. I threw on the binding and that was that. I feel strangely empty. The quilt has so many technical flaws I should hate it, but I don’t. I don’t even mind the half-assed attempts at “artistic” quilting. They look hideous, and I’m slowly unpicking them.
The wavy edges give this away as a dressmaker’s quilt. The quilters I know make flat quilts. I’m happy with the finished quilt, despite the messes and the mistakes. When I look at it I smile. There’s a flash of my wedding dress, there’s the hours my husband and I spent in the back yard with a wax pot, there’s the trip to Cairns when I visited a quilting shop. I can see the encouragement and advice from the women at work; I see much more than what it is- a somewhat mediocre quilt. We no longer stare each other down, but smile fondly at one another.
(I finished my jumper/pinafore today, I can’t wait to show you!)