Monday, November 07, 2011

Why I quilt...

Elizabeth asked an interesting question in the comments (I love both comments and questions - keep them coming!):

Can I ask why you keep making quilts when you don't like to? Why threaten your mojo and joy with things you don't want to do?

That's a great question, and one I actually think I have an answer to. Basically, I quilt for 4 reasons.

1. I quilt to finish up old UFOs.

The red quilt belonged to this category. This black-and-white quilt I did with my mother is the same - it sat in the UFO pile for more than 3 years. These projects tend to be fairly involved, left over from the days when I used to make quilt tops all the time. These are really grudging, with very little inherent reward. Why I do it? I do enjoy the satisfaction of checking something off a to-do list though, and that's basically what keeps me going.

2. I quilt to use up left-over fabric.

I can't stand fabric waste, and I'd much rather piece a quilt top than throw away scrap fabric. This is my most frequent type of quilting. My favorite quilts in this category are the woolen one shown above, and this crazy quilt. Examples of this kind of quilt top abound through my blog, and actually, of all the kinds of quilts I make, I have the most fun with these. Why I do it? It gives me immense satisfaction to make something useful out of scrap.

3. I quilt as a gift for other people.

I don't often sew for other people, but there are times when a quick little baby quilt is the perfect special present... The t-shirt quilt made for my brother falls in this category as well. And the photo quilt top pictured above was a very special present for my grandmother's 90th birthday. Why I do it? I might grumble about the process of making these quilts, but I'm actually all warm and fuzzy when they receive it and really enjoy it. (I've made one quilt for someone who wasn't super appreciative, I won't be repeating that. Most people love being given a Linkhand-made quilt.)

A subset of this category is when my mom needs me to quilt her something (she's a quilter herself, so I only get asked when she's seriously short of time.) I might grumble (a lot) but my parents spoil the heck out of me, and it's the least I can do in return. (Damn! My mom reads my blog. Does this mean she'll pile more projects onto me? Kidding!)

4. Very rarely, I'll quilt because I have nothing else to do.

This is pretty rare though, but this will occur when I'm spending the day at my parents, or something like that, where I can spend some time sewing a quilt, but don't have any garment patterns at my disposal. (Also, my mother's sewing machine is the machine from hell - I'm not ruining a nice garment by using that thing.) The quilt above was similar - I was on vacation in Madras, my hometown. The internet access wasn't great, so in the spaces of time between visiting family, I made a quilt top. (Incidentally, this is the quilt that's on my bed right now. I do use them!)

So, though I whine each and every quilting project (and trust me, I whine!) - I actually get some satisfaction out of it (even if it is to just cross it off a list.) What I've become very good at nowadays is not starting a new quilting project (unless it is to use up scrap). And eventually, I'll be all caught up with the UFOs (ha!), and then, no more quilts. Until that day, I'll grumble away...

1 comment:

ME said...

Your quilts are beautiful..