Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quilting Teaches you Patience

Quilting takes time. Quilts themselves take time, and in some ways are a measure of time. A person learned in such things could look at a quilt and know, by the fabrics, when it was made. Quilts tell a story and the story, well, it takes time.
Nowadays the stories are much quicker. We have tools, cutters, rulers, electric sewing machines, that enable us to make quilts more quickly. Also, by and large, we can go to the store and get just the right fabric pretty much whenever  we want. Yet even with all of that, quilting takes time. Usually hand sewn ones take more of my patience, and are a calmer experience for me. But sometimes, machine-sewn quilts can be a lesson in patience as well.

Like this piece, that I made as one side of a reversible quilt:

This quilt has all straight lines, true, which usually means that the sewing happens quickly. However, the quilt also has a LOT of pieces. Small pieces. Lots of them. Each black star is made up of 4 squares of 4 pieces each. So each star has 16 pieces. These all need to be cut, sewn, and ironed straight at each step. Each of the 4 little squares measures 4 inches. The quilt is King Size. That's a lot of squares. The quilt has 100 stars, that's 400 little squares, at 4 pieces a square. How many is that? Lots. 1600 pieces if I have the math right.
A close up:
I did this, not because I am crazy, but because I wanted to try my hand at a traditional design, but make it fit my bedroom. And the choice of colors AJ and I favor.
So I sat, for what seems like months and months, sewing bits of fabric, ironing them, sewing them again, ironing, sewing again, and so on. By the end, I admit, my patience was wearing thin. The points do not match up as well as I would have liked, for example. But all in all, I think it came out well. 
It is now one side of our summer blanket, the other side being shown here: Kaleidoscope.


  1. I get what you mean about the patience. It's one of the things that I like most about quilting though. One of the projects I'm working on at the moment has 2450 pieces in it, but I'm not pushing myself to get it done, but just taking my time with it.
    Your reversible quilt is going to be amazing. Both sides are amazing. What quilting design have you got planned?

  2. 2450 pieces! Wow! What pattern will it be?
    Thanks for the nice words about the quilt. The reverse side is a One Block Wonder about which I posted here:

    The quilt is our summer quilt, though it's on our bed now as a second quilt since it's been pretty cold (for this area), this season.
    What kinds of stuff do you make?