Monday, September 9, 2013

emphatically

I've been pondering what it is about quilting that I love. You have time to ponder when you hunker over a large quilt and endlessly stitch.
It makes me think of a wonderful quote attributed to Michael Kanin, "I don't like to write, but I love to have written." Similarly, I sometimes am convinced I don't like to quilt, but I love to have quilted.
It would seem that the sum of quilting is greater than its parts, but like all creative endeavors, the parts are often why we do what we do.
For example, I love the part where I begin to plan, to dream, to imagine.
And I love the part where I choose fabric; hoarded favorites against silky newcomers.
I even like the math; the challenge of making it all work together, making an impossibly large number of blocks emerge from an ever dwindling array of fabric pieces. It's sort of like sudoku but with more at stake.
But then I just put up with the sewing to get on with the pressing so that I can get back to the sewing. I put up with the sewing and pressing so that I can watch the blocks magically appear, their numbers ever increasing like carrots before my twitching nose.
Mind you, I really do love to sew blocks together into a completed top. There'is no feeling that can match the joy of a completed quilt top.
Well, unless of course it's the joy of a completed quilt.
First there is the sandwiching though.
I don't like that.
And the basting.
It doesn't like me.
And then the quilting.
That can feel like standing at the bottom of a steep hill, but the view at the top is worth the struggle.
And at last the binding; a quilters grand finale. It may seem like an anti-climax but it's actually a perfect ending.
You can sit with your feet up and serenely stitch.
No decisions are required.
No math.
No hunkering, sweating or muttering of oaths.
Just calm composure.
And then you can say truthfully and emphatically, "I love to have quilted."

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