Thursday, February 27, 2014

Slowly, slowly catch the monkey

Dad used to say that all the time. It's just one of those weird things I remember from growing up, for no particular reason. Really it's just to say 'be patient and take it slow' which I have to keep telling myself about this quilt.

I brought this quilt up to Sacramento thinking I'd spend hours stitching away on it in the evenings and have it done by January. Ha. I hadn't touched it until last week when, sensing the stress of an upcoming deadline, Karen invited me over for soup and quilting one night. She worked on piecing a baby quilt, I gratefully nestled onto her couch and got some momentum going on this.

I started this quilt quite some time ago, and worked my way through the top in the summer of 2012, eventually basting it that December. Fast forward a year and a bit, and here we are. A lot has happened in life since then, but alas not much hand quilting. I've considered many times just machine quilting the rest of it, but that seems an awful lot like giving up, and I'm not sure I'd be as proud of it as I hope to be when I finish the last hand stitched dash. I just needed to get jump started again, because now my fingers are itching to get back to it -- a good sign. 

I'm going for subtle stitching, trying to use the colors I have to blend as much as possible. It's a pretty busy piece as it is, and I like the texture of the hand quilting, but I'm not sure I want a bunch of stitches asking for attention especially since, ahem, they aren't all even. "Organic-looking" right? I'm debating what I'm going to do for the dogwood shapes in that big sky blue border -- I will likely use one of my brighter colors, gold or coral, to make them stand out. I could also see using the cream, though. No worries I've got a lot of little squares to outline before I get to that point. 

Despite my lack of progress and apparent lack of enthusiasm during the last year of this quilt's hibernation, it is pretty special to me; it was my first big project where I used so many different techniques in one piece, the first where I challenged myself to use only the fabrics in my cabinet (hence the odd assortment of colors and textures), and it is certainly the first piece I am hand quilting. I am glad I'm happy to be working on it again instead of irritated and overwhelmed with it. I shall keep in mind the monkey and how I must move to catch it. Hopefully that will inspire me to patience and remind me it's ok to take it slow!


  1. It's fabric! And it looks AWESOME! You'll get there. The one thing I can remember my dad saying (or singing rather) is the chili pepper song, which usually involved him miming an axe with his hand and "trying" to cut my arm or leg off. But then my dad is really weird.

  2. I really love the hand quilting that you are doing on this. It's going to be quite the heirloom when you finish it!


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