Quilting as therapy

I am currently rushing to finish quilting a quilt because I have two more in line behind it that I want to knock out quickly.  And, we all know that rushing means things seem to take forever to get done.  I’m not sure I’m going to be able to finish this one before I have to set it aside, load different thread in the machine, and move on to the next one.

I hate to do that when a quilt is 90% finished because when I come back to it, I’ll have changed and it will be hard to quilt so that it looks the same as what I’ve already done.  I will be differently inspired.


This little quilt will never be a quilt show piece.  It’s cute and most of the points match, which was very tricky because I was cutting the blocks to half size and that wasn’t always compatible with all the seams you can easily work with at regular size.  And, it’s okay quilted, but there are some inconsistencies, too. 


But that doesn’t mean this little quilt hasn’t served it's purpose.  This one has been real quilting therapy.


There is lots of tiny stippling that I did after Sydney’s surgery, sitting at my machine, 10 feet from the foot of her bed, listening in case she rolled over or called out or tried to get up.  And, there are feathers.  Tons and tons of feathers.  Hundreds.  I can do feathers while hardly thinking about it, so, as we prepared for Sydney’s surgery and after she was on the mend, I quilted feathers because I had lots of other stuff on my mind;  medication and pulling her off the pain meds without leaving her in pain and making sure she ate something with more protein than cold cereal and milk. 

I’ve let myself call this quilt a practice quilt, where some things worked and some things didn’t.  But, it’s more than that.  It holds a lot of my time and my emotion and it shows in some tiny and precise stitches that were an outpouring of stress in an appropriate and creative way. 

It will always be that.  But, that’s not something that a judge can consider in looking at it at a show quilt.  Instead of telling a story about me to other people, it tells a story about me, to me, that only I can ever know the full truth of.  I hope that I’ll always think of me sitting, focused on the kid, whenever I look at it. 


Speaking of this quilt, I need a new filler.  I am over feathers.  Sheesh.  How many can I possibly use?  I’ve nearly run out of ideas for where to put them.  It’s time for a new shape.  I just have to find one that appeals to me as much as feathers.


Last night I was playing with camera speed and managed to get some pretty good pics of the fish.  Fish are very hard to photograph.


Always in motion.


Little whirling dervishes.


I like it.


I just waved to Sydney and said goodbye.  It’s not my job to make her carry an umbrella.  It’s just my job to tell her she’s going to need it.

Be well and have a wonderful Tuesday.  I am so behind reading blogs it’s not funny, so I hope you have all been well. 



Rebecca Grace said...

That's so true, the way a quilt is infused with all the memories of what was going on around you while you were making it. My hand-quilted Maple Leaves quilt is like that, because I hauled that thing around for an eternity, at least a year, before the quilting was complete. So it's maple leaves and fall colors, but when I look at it I remember that I took it to Disney world and was putting those tiny stitches in while we were driving there and back, and at night after a long, hot day at the amusement park with little boys in Micky Mouse hats, waving spinning light-up Buzz Lightyear toys around (and smacking each other with them).

Marei said...

I agree that some quilts just hold so many memories...and that's what I love about them. So, Lane, what do you think about doing some McTavishing as filler? You'll still have the movement of a feather but it feels a little more 'linear' to me. Just an idea.

Vesuviusmama said...

You aren't the only one behind on reading blogs! I'm trying my best to catch up, but only with about 5 of you.