Thoughts on Hand Quilting

My grandmother-in-law pays a lady to finish her quilt for her. She’s earned it — she’s been sewing and crafting forever, and there’s a point where, hey, I did the quilt top, the rest is really monkey work and why should I be bothered when I can help support the local economy and get on to the next creative project?

She’s also done so many amazing projects in her time that she is lightyears away from feeling that she has to prove her abilities.

But for me, I still feel like I have to do the whole thing myself, from picking out the pattern to presenting the final product. I’ve only done about 7 quilts (one of them was a baby quilt that I hand sewed completely, having no machine at the time) so I still want to prove to myself that I can do it all.

I was going to try machine quilting this one (which I’ve only ever done once before) but then I realized I was supposed to buy a special foot, and I was supposed to roll it and reroll it and all kinds of craziness so that it would work out okay.

So far I’ve already ripped out an entire row because it was too bunchy.

But sitting there with needle and thread, taking tiny steps along an immense path toward the destination, there is something awesome about it. Every show I watch or music I listen to or conversation I have somehow gets stitched into the blanket, and my life becomes part of the life of the recipient.

One of these days it will be done, the weight of three (four?) years of working on the project will be lifted off my shoulders, and I can start something new.

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2 responses to “Thoughts on Hand Quilting

  1. We are so tied together at the moment, it’s spooky. This is just the sort of thing I was talking about in the rituals post: beginnings, middles and ends. It’s only by going through the process that we can experience life deeply. Good for you: I am *not* a quilter.

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