Monday, 29 March 2010

After the storm

I started this quilt in 2001 - just after I'd left Oregon but was still returning to visit 2 or 3 times a year. The top went together quite quickly although I pieced a lot of it by hand, sitting in planes and airport departure lounges.

Then came the quilting. I started quilting by hand with concentric circles centred on the large square blocks. It looked ok but didn't set the world alight  - not so much storm at sea as raindrops on a stagnant pond - so I put it to one side and moved on to other projects.

And then, earlier this year, I made a decision to complete as many of my unfinished projects as I could to clear space for new projects and new pursuits. And so, I spent a few snowy evenings snuggled under this quilt removing the hand quilting. I was surprised by how neat and even the stitches were and in some small way I was sorry to see them go, but my mental image of windy, wavy swirls kept my mind on the task and my hand on the seam ripper. I've spend the last couple of days sewing big swirls and I am very happy with how it has brought this quilt to life. Just the binding to go, and my list of unfinished quilts will be one item shorter.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Shrugging my shoulders

I had planned to finish knitting this shrug this evening but look who got here first! I just had the collar to complete but I guess it will have to wait until Bonnie finds somewhere else to curl up and nap.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

All's well that ends well

Last year, I was asked if I could quilt a vibrant log cabin quilt top for an acquaintance of my mum's. It took me quite a while to complete and I struggled with a few confidence issues along the way, but I am very happy with the way it has turned out. Here is the finished quilt - which I returned to its owner at the weekend.

Lessons learnt:
1) the fear of going wrong is far worse than making a mistake, ripping out the stitches and requilting
2) if no-one gives you deadlines, make them for yourself
3) if you push yourself, you can achieve far more than you ever thought possible.

Even with this philosophical outlook, I don't think I'll be be quilting for others in the near future. Crafting is my escape from the stress of work, so I think I'll keep the pressure off, hone my skills and work through my stack of unfinished projects.