Saturday, April 28, 2007

Quilting Ignorance & Quilting Bliss

In the late 80's and early 90's, as my journey returning to the 'quilter's fold' continued' I started to become a bit prideful - thinking that I could sew anything. Perhaps I should mention that I am a self-taught quilter and at this point I really had little to compare my ignorance to ! I found a bold rendition of a LeMoyne Star pattern in a book and decided I could do that ! I grabbed fabrics that were on hand and started cutting and sewing. My first experience with the "meeting place" of many seams. I refused to think it required finesse - after all I was a quilter wasn't I ? Perfectly matched seams are supposed to be second nature - right? Ha ! The quilt was eventually completed - slightly mounded seam meeting points and all. Corners should match - most did --- if you stretched your imagination ! This was a masterpiece ! I had done
it - Phew! I had never entered anything other than photographs in the County Fair - but
surely this was a winning quilt ....after all it it had panache if not perfect seams and squares !

Summarily, I entered my quilt in the Fair . I was pumped ! Shall I say that the comments of the judges (which I distinctly remember tossing into the garbage after I read them) were kind. They did mention the color combinations in a complimentary way- and they very effectively danced around not calling my seam junctures downright horrendous. I was devasted.... they surely just did not understand my efforts !

Happily, after a time, I accepted the fact that I had a lot to learn ! I learned that there really is a way to make all of those intersecting seams meet flawlessly and I learned that I could be cavalier with some aspects of quiltmaking but I needed to hone my skills on the basics before I could consider being anything more than humble ! Igorance was, perhaps, not so blissful after all !

This quilt, that was once so proudly displayed on a wall, is now keeping the animals happy and has endured countless washings. I still chuckle every time I see it - it was a great lesson. One can be blissful when one is totally ignorant - but that's not the best way to be!
Above is a page from my Quilt Journal - it shows a couple of small pieces from the mid to late eighties. These came before the LeMoyne Star . The little hearts quilt was all hand appliqued and hand quilted - I gave it to a friend for the birth of their daughter. It was not bold & vibrant but peacefully pink and striped. It's a poor photograph from a Polaroid that they thankfullly sent to me - otherwise I would probably have forgotten that it existed ! I WAS happy with this little quilt and I still very much enjoy hand applique. Maybe we feel best about what we do well naturally ! It was also hand quilted over a puffy batting --- hummmmm - yes I did learn about different battings from this one too !

The Little Blue lap quilt was called "Pacific" or something like that. Once again I thought something along the lines of "Wow! I'm cooking now with this quilting thing!". It was borderline okay - and again, I managed to learn a lot along the way.

I am glad that ignorance gave me bliss at this point. I am glad that the judges were kind with those first comments. It took me a long time to consider entering something in the Fair (let alone any shows!) again - but now with many blue ribbons and honorable mentions on the wall I am most grateful for all of the lessons that came my way. I still tend towards ignorant bliss at times - but at least now I know that KNOWLEDGE is even more blissful than ignorance. Nothing beats the satisfaction of trying a new method (the possible ignorance part) and having the result be something to be proud of (the bliss part). Yes, we do need to know the basics well in order to be blissful, ignorant AND satisfied ! I am still learning something everyday - and hope I always will !

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