26 February, 2012

On Being Productive


I finished a quilt today.  Notice just how very casually I make that statement.  I'm really just trying to be super-cool, tempering my glee, and not typing too many exclamation points here.  It has been a very long time since I have completed an honest to goodness bed-sized quilt.  So before I burst, here are my exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!  I just could not help myself! The quilt looks rather nice here on the antique iron bed in our teeny guest room, don't you agree?.

There is a very real sense of accomplishment for me in completing such a project, especially since I have felt like somewhat of a fraud as a quilter for some time.  I called myself a quilter, but it had been a long time since I had actually produced a body of work.  But I am happy to say that I am presently on a very real productive roll here, having finished a number of things lately.

This is my Bear Paw Sampler quilt, one started just because I thought I might be actually be able to complete it.  I began it in September of 2010 as the Block-of-the-Month project for my Quilters' Guild.  Each month we received a variation of the Bear Paw pattern. I thought that I could certainly manage to get just one block made per month, even while shouldering my duties as Guild President to 110+ of the most creative and accomplished quilting ladies imaginable.  I actually told myself that I would be such a very sad and hopeless case if I could not complete even a single block per month.

So I puttered away, making my one block each month, each one just a bit different, and then put them together with sashing that I thought looked interesting.  Along the way,  I decided to actually quilt the thing on my Bernina.  I broke it up into units and then put the units together after quilting.  I added the scalloped border to make it fit on it's intended bed.  I'm not completely thrilled with the results since I am always my very own toughest critic, but then I am just beginning to do machine quilting, so it's not really so terribly bad.

The good news is that if you kind of sqiunt at the quilt, it appears to be heavily quilted, which was my goal and intention. And the quilt is comfy, seriously cozy and comfy.  I know this to be a fact because I actually nap-tested it this afternoon.  I was completely bagged after hand stitching all of the binding.  PHEWWW!!!! My fingers are raw and sore!  They only bled on the quilt twice.  Had to dig out the Hydrogen Peroxide to removed the blood stains...

I supposed that I can't expect perfect quilting results as a beginner.  I kind of call this exercise a Life Lesson.  I have almost always had success at most anything that I try.  I am a pretty good hand quilter if I do say so myself... but not so much with this machine quilting stuff.  I know that it will take lots and lots of practice to become as proficient as I would like to be.  But that's OK.  It's the learning process that I enjoy.  I'll get there, eventually... with time and patience.  And sore fingers.

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