I think making a quilt is much like making a baby. My Mom wouldn’t have agreed, she probably would have laughed at the thought, but she never made a quilt! Okay, to be fair, I never made a baby but I know all about it, sort of, as long as we don’t talk about the icky parts.
Initially, you conceive of a quilt as a sudden thought, a light-bulb moment, or, in some cases a thoughtful consideration of all the options. You know… hmm, I want to make a quilt, when would I like to have it done, who am I making it with/for, etc, etc. See, much the same as deciding to make a baby. Well, maybe it’s not as easy to accidently make a quilt, but I’m sure it happens. I see the actual conception part of the quilt as the decision and the procurement of materials, maybe visiting a fabric store or your stash or your friends stash. As for the conception part of making a baby, I don’t think I am allowed to actually detail that here, nor should I.
Once conceived, there is the construction process and, as we know, this can take months. Ha, you see what I did there? I’ll bet you immediately thought of the number 9! During this stage, all kinds of things happen. With a baby, there is morning sickness, cravings, moodiness and other neat stuff. With quilting, there is cutting, sewing, unsewing, swearing and such. As time goes on, both the baby and the quilt get larger and it gets harder to maneuver through the process until, near the end, you feel like you are wrestling an elephant. At some point, you reach what I think of as a peaceful state. With a baby, most of the side effects have subsided and you are just waiting, maybe a bit uncomfortable and sweaty, but not too bad. You can visualize what is coming, sort of, but there will probably be some surprises anyway. You are getting pretty excited now. The same is true with a quilt, the top is done and, if you are me, you have sent it to the quilter and you’re just waiting. You have an idea what it will look like but there is that element of uncertainty. It’s pretty exciting!
Now, BAM, it is time. You are just hours away from completion. Now, you are either giving birth to a baby or putting on binding. I know, I know, Julia, you don’t see the similarity. You probably don’t see how I can compare hours and hours of pain, pushing, sweating and yelling at your husband because it’s his fault to binding a quilt. Here goes. I spend hours pushing the needle through many layers of fabric which can be rather difficult, especially if you use a larger, fatter needle because you don’t want to be dropping it all the time. As part of the process, the quilt opens up and covers my legs, making me pretty hot and sweaty, especially if it is a big baby, er, quilt. My cats always want to lie on the quilt, pinning it to the floor or the couch and I have to yell at them. And I always, at least once, prick my finger while I’m sewing. Ouch.
In the end, though, we end up with something special, a baby or a quilt. If you’ve done it right, maybe you have both!
See you at the meeting.