Friday, November 22, 2013

Pretty Pockets, Pretty Pockets

Whew! All the pockets are sewn on the aprons. I am tired of their pictures because, after all this time, they are still WIP's!

My maternal Grandmother taught me to embroider...a pretty primitive bunch of stitches, and so when I was lucky enough to inherit her patterns for the state bird/flower squares, I bought some white and some threads. I could have finished them with more sophisticated embroidery, but somehow, I wanted to stay tied to her way of doing it.

It was a decades old project. Of course, at the time poly blend fabrics were the rage. All those years of embroidering late at night. How I wish I had bought cotton. But oh well. It is what it is and they are beautiful.

Claudia at 5HeartQuilts, here in town, helped me figure out a pattern where I could use the 2 sets of 50 that I had, and make five more of the CA block so that each quilt had that block (where I live). This way, I could make seven lap size quilts with 15 of the bird/flower squares on each for my Grandchildren. Pictured is the first one for the eldest of them all and the seventh one for the youngest of them all.

Fine, the tops and backs were completed. Then I realized I didn't know anything about quilting, and I did not want to make a mess of them, so my quilting life began.

Practice got me going on potholders. Simple 9-patch, and practice on binding. 

I moved on to table runners and and small wall hangings. Its not easy to start such a creative art form without experience and without a lot of money to buy the kinds of fabrics that make your heart sing.

I've been taking my time learning the traditional methods so that I feel good with what I do. My talents are unique. Using them in well-planned ways benefits me emotionally and spiritually. Others have different ways they approach this art. This is mine. Slow and steady.

That makes me laugh because I have never been slow at anything in my life. I just want to keep making these quilts so that each member in my family has one from me and somehow feels connected to the family because of it.

My goal has always been to feel confident enough to quilt those first ones that are still waiting for their batting, basting and quilting. THEY are the reason I started this work. 

THEY tie me to the Grandmother I loved so dearly and then to my Grandchildren whom I also love. Isn't that what women did in days gone by? Isn't who they were too?

I think I am a Confident Beginner. I kept seeing that label and feel like it fits me more than Intermediate Beginner for whatever reason. Nothing is defined and you get to self-identify. When I can machine quilt a quilt and feel good about it, then I am onto the next stage of work.