Friday, August 30, 2013

Quilting, Or How to Overcome a Crushing Sense of Inadequacy

In the summer, I usually do some kind of home improvement. This summer it was supposed to be my kitchen floors, but that didn’t happen. Grr. 

But now it’s almost autumn, and in the fall I usually try and another kind of project—something creative and useful.  So I decided to make a quilt, one I could use in my office when I write. I wanted to use a tattered wool blanket that I love as batting. (It’s tattered because I ripped it in my sleep. Don’t ask how. I don’t know. But sometimes when I’m asleep I grab hold of the bedding and tear it.) Anyway, I wasn’t too worried about making the quilt. I’ve made quilts before. Although it was years ago, when my twenty-year olds were babies. But quilting is quilting. Right?

An idea formed in my head and I Googled. Big mistake. Quilting has gone from a by-gone era curiosity to an art form. Quilts range from gorgeous colors and stitches with movement and gravitas to playful, even humorous whimsies.

File:Hawaiian Applique Quilt 2.jpg
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia

File:Quilt, 'Log Cabin' Pattern, 'Pineapple' variation LACMA M.86.134.18.jpg

For a moment, I had the crushing sense of inadequacy. I don’t have the time or the ability to even attempt these creations. But then, I reminded myself that I don’t have to. A quilt, at its base, is a functional piece. It’s warmth and love in fabric and stitches. And I can do that. So stay tuned. I’ll post updates. First on my list, coupons. Nothing is happens until I can take some great coupons to the fabric store.


  1. I am making a quilt too! I have used old damask tablecloths that were my grandmothers for the squares. And, though the old wool blanket I have isn't big enough for the batting on this one, I have saved it for the next one. And...I am making one for a sweet little girl who will need one for her bed too! Time to DO what I love once again.

  2. I love the idea of some of these more complex and intricate quilts ... but then I remind myself that if I want it finished before I have great-grandchildren, I need to go a little simpler. Definitely can be easy to feel inadequate in comparison to some of the quilts we see today!

  3. You can go really easy and simple in the beginning. My mom quilted when her arthritis didn't bother her that bad, and some of the most simple pieces were just as lovely as the more complicated ones.

  4. I'm actually taking quilting classes! It's a lot of fun, and I'm loving the idea of seeing the quilt take form.

    Adore the pattern in the second photo. :-)

  5. Quilting is one of those things I've always been interested in picking up. It seems fun and you have this cool, useful thing after. Plus, I have a lot of cool shirts that I don't or can't wear anymore, but I don't want to give them up. It might be nice to remake them into a quilt.

    Good luck! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

  6. I love quilts, although I have no room for another hobby (I like to paint when I'm not writing.) But I do love the patterns, and the connection to the past a quilt makes me feel. Good luck with your project.

  7. I love quilts and their connection to the past. (I write historical novels.) Good luck with your project.