With Extra Lumps

With Extra Lumps

One of the things I got wrong on my original scrap quilt was just kind of going for it and not learning rules first and just seeing what happened. I ended up unhappy with a lot of it because not trying somehow lead to it being not perfect. This time, though, I’m just kind of going for it and not learning rules first and just seeing what happens with the understanding going in that it won’t be perfect and that is a big part of my goal.

Sometimes I find the prospect of learning a new thing or building a new habit overwhelming. I like to do a ton of research to the point that I can sort of already feel what it’s like to do a thing before I even start. But when it comes to actually starting, I find that just doing the thing as though there weren’t a million resources I could turn to for guidance helps me internalize my understanding of it better. If I plow through on my own and make mistakes by myself and deal with the frustration of redoing things a dozen times with “no one to help me”, it gives me a better idea of what questions I have, where my focus should be best directed to try to get better at the thing. Once I do that a bit, then I’m ready to go back to the reading and research and stopping and asking for help when I get stuck.

[Image description: an improvised quilt top in mixed quilting & salvaged clothing fabrics, about 58” x 46” lying on top of a queen-sized bed.]

[Image description: an improvised quilt top in mixed quilting & salvaged clothing fabrics, about 58” x 46” lying on top of a queen-sized bed.]

I had a lot of fun making this quilt top this time. I won’t say the years of separation dividing me from the circumstances in which I made the first one didn’t help. And I won’t say the reason it’s so much smaller than the original isn’t largely because one day I just got bored with it. But look at it! It’s a little bit of everything all at once and it follows no rules at all and it is therefore perfect.

Now it’s time to quilt it.

[Image description: a close-up of the same quilt top, now assembled with batting and backing, showing some hand-stitched quilting lines in a 9-patch block and a log cabin block. The face of a white and gray domestic short hair cat is just visible in the upper left.]

[Image description: a close-up of the same quilt top, now assembled with batting and backing, showing some hand-stitched quilting lines in a 9-patch block and a log cabin block. The face of a white and gray domestic short hair cat is just visible in the upper left.]

I gave it a try by hand first. This was hard. I’m not sorry I did it. But I did not want to do it for the entirety of this quilt.

Now I’m giving it a try with my machine. It’s a very squooshful process, slightly slower going than I expected, but it’s coming along.

[Image description: another close-up of the same quilt top, showing diagonal machine-quilted lines running from a row of half-square triangles out to the edges of the quilt, and a larger area that has not been quilted yet.]

[Image description: another close-up of the same quilt top, showing diagonal machine-quilted lines running from a row of half-square triangles out to the edges of the quilt, and a larger area that has not been quilted yet.]

The closer I get to the edges the more rippley and lumpy and out of line things get. I think that’s partly the construction of the quilt top and partly things shifting as I squoosh the whole deal through the machine. I have a few unplanned and now permanent creases. I’m curious to see if I end up with an actual square after I square it off. (I’m not entirely hopeful that part will work.) The back looks like…I don’t even know…an abstract subway map, maybe? I have the most gorgeous fabric picked out for the binding, and as I’ve never made bias binding before, I expect my attempt to be a genuine insult to all the work that went into producing that fabric and getting it to me.

I’m pretty happy with the whole thing, actually.

[Image description: the quilt back, made of blue chambray fabric, with messy pink machine quilting stitches showing.]

[Image description: the quilt back, made of blue chambray fabric, with messy pink machine quilting stitches showing.]

Sewing, So Far

In Which I Dream of Vegetables

In Which I Dream of Vegetables