I have been remiss in posting some quilting pics for my dear reader in Maine. I'm always flattered by the question, "How do you have time to quilt?!?" I don't. I believe that this quilt was begun before Baby Dent was born. It did not cooperate and had to be re-visioned at numerous stages. Lucky for me, Little Man is into cowboys again. It started out as a lap quilt but was too busy. So the sashing was added. Then it wasn't big enough. So the FIVE borders were added. I gritted my teeth at every additional border. As I gritted, I also waited... months. It was only at the end that I asked how on earth this was less busy.
The one part of this process I greatly enjoyed was the free-hand machine quilting. Five years ago my mother and I invested in a Bernina. There is a long story about my mother and my interest in sewing. The short version is that she supports my habit in spite of thinking I am mildly crazy. By supporting my habit, she enabled me to get the Bernina and with that purchase I became a VERY HAPPY quilter. I've long admired creative and organic folk art style quilting. The Bernina allows me to do that to some degree and to have the quilt finished before the child enters college.
There are a variety of designs quilted on but what you see above is an arrow and a target. I was incredibly happy designing and sewing this. I was able to zone out for thirty or forty minutes at a time. I seem to recall that this part was done after Baby Dent was weaned so I was feeling superhuman at the time.
When I began quilting at 19 I could only focus on a finished product and was constantly frustrated and aggravated by the process. What redeemed all that frustration was hanging out with my quilting mentor, Kate. As I've gotten older and mommy-fied, I care much less about finishing. I've stopped giving quilts to everyone for holidays and special occasions. Although there has been grumbling, the removal of the pressure of time constraints has helped me to enjoy the process much more.
Now I quilt primarily to have some time that is not focused on family or work. The whirring of the machine, the methodical and repetitive movements, the hypnotic effects of the fabric colors all combine to give me a little escape from my active mind. And from short people who yell in my house. So what was about social connections and completion has become a solo, meditative, meandering process. That pretty much sums up my experience of aging, too.
To my readers in Maine - hope retirement is treating you well. Remember, the plan was to CHILL OUT!