Posts Tagged With: Quilt

The Seven Levels of Dante’s Quilting

Have I ever mentioned crafts on this blog?

No? Not surprising.

I DESPISE, okay maybe that’s too strong of a word, I highly dislike, crafting. Participating in, if I’m more  precise.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

I am currently in the middle of a ginormous CRAFT FAIL of epic dimensions.

English: Red Pinterest logo

If you haven’t, just don’t. You’re life will thank you for it.

Okay, maybe it isn’t technically a craft. Yes, yes, it is. It’s something that requires the PINTEREST gene. Born in the last century, I am sadly lacking in this apparently critical gene segment in my DNA.

If these quilt frames weren’t borrowed they would have been part of a ritual burning in my backyard during the past several hours of insanity and aggravation.

Apparently, as I found out last week with my daughter, putting a quilt on a frame requires at the minimum, two people. Sixteen would be better. Twenty might make it turn out well.

Four people need to stand at the north, south, west and east fung shui points in the room in which the quilt resides. Four people must stand equal distance apart chanting the kumbayarowtheboatashore chant. Four more people need to summon the craft powers of the underworld to levitate fabric, batting, fabric, quilt frames and quilt stands. Four more are helpful if they don’t mind getting stabbed by giant thumbtacks whilst they attempt to pin, simultaneously or laboriously one at a time, all three layers of said quilt to levitated boards.

These C-clamps look like torture devices for good reason.

These C-clamps look like torture devices for good reason.

Most helpful of all is the four horsemen, er magical C-clamp operators, who can open attach and clamp the four corners of the earth, or in the case, the four corners of the quilt to the self-moving, non standing stands.

My daughter and I managed to do this with only two people last week. I’m not sure how. There must have been quilting angels standing guard. After only two hours of wrestling wood, fabric, tacks, clamps and bad words we finally managed to have to quilt suspended midair. Ten minutes later we had finished tying the quilt together. An hour after that we had disassembled the contraption and sworn off quilting for the rest of our unnatural lives.

That is until my quilt top was ready for quilting. Which it has been for the past four years and one week. I’ve put it off. For good reason, obviously.

Today, I thought I’d attempt putting the quilt on the frame all by myself.

Yes, you read that correctly. Alone. One single person.

Cute, yes. Innocent, no. Don't be fooled by the folksy denim look of this monstrosity.

Cute, yes. Innocent, no. Don’t be fooled by the folksy denim look of this monstrosity.

I reasoned I am an intelligent, well read individual. Besides, I googled it. I’d just done the deed last week. How hard could it be? It’s just fabric and wood. I’m a grown up with skills, talents, logic and some patience.

If I ever think I might make another quilt top, please stop me if I suggest I might want to. But if I succeeded somehow in creating one, I would do everything in my power to allow someone else the privilege of machine quilting it. I’d sell plasma, collect beer bottles, play the violin on a street corner collecting change, whatever it took, to pay for someone else to finish the danged thing for me.

I must be insane.

If I wasn’t before this, I surely am now.

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Oh, Sew What

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m thankful that my mother taught me how to sew. Can’t tell you how many times that’s come in handy. I swear I’ve sewn a zillion buttons, a thousand hems, a million tiny tucks here and there and prom dress alterations out the wazoo.

Then there’s all those costumes; pilgrim, cat, a pig for the play Charlotte’s Web, a scarecrow, a pirate, a fairy princess for a Shakespeare scene, witch, ninja, monster, angels, shepherds, devil, beauty queen, pumpkin, butterflies and bugs. Don’t forget all those princess dresses, a cowgirl, a cowboy, an Indian, 50’s outfits galore, and a genie. I could go on but I won’t.

I’ve sewn curtains, and pillows, valances and purses, puppets and stuffed animals. I even made my kids clothes when we were a really young family barely able to scrape a couple of pennies together. What a challenge but so satisfying to make something out of almost nothing.

A patchwork quilt from random scraps.

A patchwork quilt from random scraps.

My favorite things to put a needle and thread to is a quilt.  For me, there’s something therapeutic about combining small pieces of seemingly useless fabric together into something beautiful and useful.  What’s more comfort giving than a quilt, fluffy and colorful, warm and embracing. Mmmm.

I created m first quilt from a box of scraps and a few old pieces of clothing I didn’t want to throw away. Then a baby quilt, which required the acquisition of more fabric. Next, a log cabin pattern  that led me on a month’s long search for all the perfect colors. Many more have followed. My one small box of scraps grew into a mountainous collection of fabric that I may never summit.

Teaching me the ins and outs of sewing must have taken more patience than anyone can imagine.  A gift that truly keeps on giving is one that teaches a skill like this. I hope it isn’t becoming a lost art.

Such a basic ability shouldn’t be taken for granted, I can clearly see that now. Thanks, Mom, for passing on your talent, your patience, your gift, your love.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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