Been one of those weeks when I’ve felt more wobbly than usual for some reason, so everything’s been on Slo-Mo. That’s slow-motion. But today I woke up without a headache and headed to Free-Mo. That’s Free-Motion Quilting.
I’m working on the table runner for the Red/White Challenge hosted by Temecula Quilt Company, and the deadline is September 15th. All the blocks came in from local quilters and from around the world, so I put it together in a quilt sandwich and went to town. It went quickly, and it was good to just dig into something to get it done.
I’ve had this idea to put a checkerboard border on it, as this will be used at Christmastime and during the patriotic holidays, and I wanted to jazz up that edge a little.
Okay, while I was trying to put away the box of French fabrics (it goes on the top shelf, and I’m a shortie), this quilt fell down. It’s a seaside quilt that I stated long long ago. And abandoned. It is NOT on my list of lifetime quilts, as it’s sort of in this limbo of that place whether or not I want to finish it or not. I mean, I LOVE the background fabric and the turtle (raw-edge applique) turned out well. But I know to really make this quilt something else, it will require digging into that drawer marked “Coral Reef” and cutting and sewing and appliqueing a whole host of creatures. I even have a child’s picture book in that drawer, purchased after I took the class, because oh my! the teacher’s quilts were so incredibly cool and I wanted to learn from her.
True Confession: I also have a Ricky Tims quilt in about the same stages, but it’s a square-within-a-square quilt. I went down the night before the class to hear him speak at our quilt guild and loved every minute of it. So I showed up for class and . . . didn’t love every minute of it. I felt he was distracted and just punching a time clock that day. We all have days like that but it taught me one more truth about the quilt world: some of the famous personalities we see are fabulous in front of the camera and some are terrific teachers and sometimes you have both. But not always.
One teacher I’d take again in a New York Minute would be Roberta Horton. I’ve had several classes from her (is she even teaching anymore?) and I’ve gone away from every one of them amazed at her ability to gently, yet firmly, bring her students to the place of creativity. I’ve finished very quilt I have started in her classes. Two other honor roll teachers are Jane Sassaman and Katie Pasquini-Masopust. I’ve finished all of their class samples, but by then I’d learned to make a small quilt–less than 15″ on the longest side–in order to learn the technique and to have a “finishable” piece of art. I have also taken a class with Ruth McDowell, and she ranks right up there as well, although after a 4-day class, I don’t know how she kept us motivated and going. We were all exhausted! It took me more than a year to finish that quilt, as I wanted it to be nearly perfect. I think you’ve seen it all before, but to contrast with the unfinished seaside quilt, I present Heart’s-ease.
One of pansy’s other names is Heart’s-ease, as it was thought to be involved with the affairs of the heart. It actually refers to the “viola tricolor” which is an ancestor of our modern-day pansy. Now you know more than you ever needed to know about these sunny little flowers that bloom around here in Spring. And which, because of Ruth McDowell and this quilt, I have blooming on the guest-bedroom wall all the time.