Monday, August 4, 2014

Machine Quilting Stitches

I figured out how I wanted to machine quilt "Snowy Roads", a quilt that goes to my Nephew-in-Law Patrick. The first horizontal rows are the stabilizing stitch-in-the-ditch. It made me smile to read an online thread or discussion about this simple method. On one side of the discussion, quilters see it as a beginning stitch and feel that it is too boring to use after one develops more skill.

The other side of the discussion brought up the concept of quilter's choice, well any of our choices. We make decisions about our quilts from start to finish, just like we make choices about our relationships, our behavior, places we live and work as well as where we worship and how we vote. Yet, as within the world of quilts, our choices are not always valued by others. Owning a hand made quilt or piece of art doesn't mean it has the colors that everyone likes. And the hard work and financial resources are usually not understood by folks who either do not quilt or do not create.

We live in a world of judgment, unrealistic expectations and unrealized potential. Consumers who frequent stores like Walmart and Target have learned to buy as cheaply as they can, and return anything that doesn't work or doesn't fit in their lives. That contradicts the entire energy and purpose of owning something uniquely hand crafted.

After using eight horizontal lines of stitch-in-the-ditch, I am quilting a serpentine stitch down the middle of narrow green bars, and "Snowy Roads" is looking good to my eye. There are more of the narrow bars going horizontally that I will most likely do the same. Blocks made of 16 squares might like to have a grid going across them, however, like life, it is one step at a time. 

Another 16. This number has been coming up for me so often in the quilts that I looked up its vibration & meaning this morning to discover that people under its influence need to keep their feet on the path of higher learning, and cultivate their personal willpower & independence to enable them to overcome any obstacles. I want to think about that more. Over the years, I have learned that the cosmos presents deeper lessons and to pay attention when something, like this number 16, seems to repeat.

The other side of the discussion regarding machine quilting techniques is that most people support a quilter's choice in how they work. They recognize that we all start at the beginning of the art form and evolve according to how much we practice and how open we are to changes. Everyone comes to their projects with their own values and skills and usually does the best they can with what they have.

None of us has the right to play the all-knowing to another's work or to another's choice. We really cannot see the outcomes or the what a person learns from what they do. 

What we do have is the responsibility to listen to our inner voice, which always guides us to our greater good.