Thursday, July 10, 2014

Needle Turned Applique

There are endless methods of quilting and a passion for everyone who picks up a needle. And while some folks will tell you to follow your passion, it seems to me that the best we can do is be authentic and recognize what is a good fit for the work we do. I think it shows.

I sat in an all-day workshop yesterday, & learned techniques for needle-turned applique. For as much as I enjoy embroidery, I thought this was going to be something I could get into and yet it was not. The project is simple enough and will be a lovely piece, but its just not my passion. 

No one sitting at the table understood my reference to feeling as inept as Arya Stark doing her needlework on the HBO series Game of Thrones. In the early part of her story, she sits with her older Sister and some other girls their age under the watchful eyes of a tutor. The girls are learning to space their stitches evenly and delicately. Arya's hand is not steady but really, her attention is outside in nature, running and playing hard.

For most of the long day, I just did my best to keep up with the group and to give the project my best intentions. There were even a couple of Sisters teasing each other all day that further reminded me of Arya and her Sister, and increasingly reminded me that it was ok to be different.

By the time I got home, I was back-weary from sitting so long in a room without windows, and realized that as I work in my own home, I am up and down all day, stopping, starting, shifting projects. That sort of fluid routine suits my personality better than sitting still and staying singularly focused.

When I first signed up for the workshop, the finished block called out to me. The colors were bright and the 3-D look to it appealed to my sense of drama. There is more than half of the project to complete and it might take me a night of finishing it while watching a video. However, I think that its not where I want to put much of my energy.

Quilters like various parts of the art more than others. Some quilters pay to have others do steps they either cannot do or don't wish to do. Maybe most of us have come to that place in our lives where we realize life is just too short not to be involved in the passions that drive us forward.