Monday, 2 August 2010

Quilt top in progress


When we arrived home today, late afternoon, I had a craving for sewing in the same overwhelming, all-consuming way that one can sometimes have a craving for chocolate. Last week I had barely managed to turn on my sewing machine with the small ones home (which was lovely in a non-sewing sort of way). As I unpacked our bags and put some washing on, I frantically thought through the things that I could sew once all the chores were done. I wanted something where I could get down to some stitching almost straight away, without the need for pattern drafting or cutting. And something that couldn't go wrong.


I've always felt that quilts are the one thing where one shouldn't strive to make things look completely perfect. I want my quilts to look like they've been made by me, whereas with most other things I'd much rather it looked like it had been made by some highly skilled elves...so in the hope of coming close to this ideal, I try to be strict with myself about how things are finished and will use the seam ripper over and over. But not so quilts, I want my children to see the humanness, the mistakes and with that, the love and care that has gone in to making them, that shows that they have very much been made by Mummy. Sometimes when I see the flaws in historical needlework (such as at the V&A's quilting exhibition), it's those bits that fascinate me the most - they bring the quilt's creator to life for me. I wonder whether the stitcher worried over them, whether their brow furrowed before they decided to leave it and move on, or whether the imperfections were only noticed later, with a flicker of irritation, once it was completed.


So starting on Zebra-girl's quilt seemed the perfect undertaking for a day when I didn't feel like slavishly trying to get things 'right'. Having already planned the design on my computer a week or two ago, there was no procrastination and I was, once again, delighted by how much simpler this way of planning a quilt has proved to be.


It came together easily and I'd pieced together most of the top in less than two hours - I just have the more intricate border to work on now...which I'm looking forward to doing over the next couple of evenings.


As they'd sat waiting to be turned into a quilt top over the last couple of weeks, I'd somehow fallen out of love with the colours of these fabrics. Luckily sewing with them has been restorative in this department.

Florence x

Ps. This quilt top and post were brought to you wearing mens' deodorant. I'd packed our bags in something of a hurry on Saturday morning and forgotten my own. Despite being apparently non-scented, I find that, having borrowed his deodorant, I now smell just like Mr Teacakes: my nose has kept twitching happily at the scrumptious biscuity mannish scent that I can smell...I don't think I had realised that this smell was his...until I smelt it on myself and felt like I had stolen part of him. I think I may be in danger of falling in love with myself.

7 comments:

  1. Florence - I have to say that your comments about stealing Mr. Teacake's scent was very funny. I'm not sure my nose would be twitching so happily over my husband's deodorant! The quilt looks beautiful - can't wait to see the finished product!

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  2. The quilt looks so beautiful - your little miss Z is going to love it. And thanks for making me laugh out loud at the bit about stealing your husband's scent and falling in love with yourself. I nearly spat my tea out!!!

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  3. Scents are so evocative, aren't they? When my husband worked away during the week in term time, taking his things out of his bag at weekends (not just his laundry!) would be a real reminder that he was home. I've borrowed his deaodorant on occasion and it makes me feel quite different - strange isn't it. Quilt is going to be lovely - a great way for Zebra-girl to come out of the 'pink' period.

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  4. Ditto on the tea - I had to gulp very quickly!

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  5. On Saturday the postman kindly delivered me "material obsessions". This is a beautiful how to book about quilts. Very inspirational.I love quilts - ever since visiting the Bath museum as a child in fact (and being obsessed with Little House on the Prairie). I like quilts that are quite simple and home-spun and expressive. I prefer applique to complex piecing. I dream of making a quilt and finally feel confident enough to have a go. I don't care if it takes months. The difficult part for me will be choosing the fabrics. I expect that bit to take a while. Then I'm going to hand quilt it (to see if I can). I may hand piece as well- the next decade taken up! Your quilt is very beautiful as are the others that you have made - food for the soul; a quilt is so many wonderful things. I love how traces of other people are captured by their 'smells'. Most evocative.
    Siobhan

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  6. you're so funny!
    I totally agree with you on how quilts, especially those you make for your loved ones, shouldn't be perfect. Of course I strive for perfection but it's the love that goes into making them that counts!

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  7. Arg, so sorry to have been the cause of tea wastage!

    Siobhan - I have both of the Material Obsessions books - they are so beautiful, aren't they. I'm thinking that I may try out some of the more complex piecing on a cushion-sized project before a quilt-sized one...perhaps that would break the fear for you too?

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments,

    Florence x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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