Yesterday I delivered my fourth postage stamp quilt, a queen-sized delight made from two-inch treasures. This one was long-arm quilted by someone else, the previous three were tied. I have not yet been inclined to free-motion quilt one of these at home, perhaps because, after piecing the 3,128 (oops, actually 4,096! see note below) little squares, I am ready to move on to other projects. This particular quilt has over 2,900 different fabrics in it! Good thing I am committed to using stash, and love scrappy quilts. I call these Big Hugs, and hope the new owner will be cozy as well as entertained by the myriad of colors, patterns, and critters that make these so much fun.
There is something satisfying about seeing a quilt embraced by someone, a completed item ready to be lived with every day. As quilters we spend a lot of time choosing fabrics, patterns, playing with color, and anticipating the finished quilt. Each of us has parts of the process we enjoy the most, be it piecing, quilting, starting, or finishing. I am very much a process person, not a product person, but truly am glad when I actually get something done. After all, it is like being given permission to start playing with one of the new ideas rattling around in my brain.
Three other finishes passed from my hands this last month as well—nine by twelve-inch mini quilts for the Alzheimers’ Art Quilt Initiative. The Faded, Worn, But Lovedheart mini quilt is a piece of a 70-year-old quilt that has fallen apart, reminding me of the faded memories of people struggling with Alzheimers’. I have a good friend who spends countless hours with her dad, who barely knows her anymore, and I dedicated it to her.
Hugs and Kisses was done in memory of my Aunt Evelyn, who was a cheerful woman even when she had lost all connection to the outside. She loved getting those hugs! And Missing My Best Friend is dedicated to all the wonderful volunteers who bring pets to visit nursing homes and hospitals. If you did not donate a AAQI mini-quilt for auction yet, you still can. Just check it out through Marge at Delaware Quilts.
While finishes do feel great, a happy stack of WIP’s still makes my heart sing! What about you? Are you a process quilter, who gets the most delight out of the act of making a quilt? Or are you a quilter who finds the most satisfaction in the completed product, a wonderful quilted item for others to enjoy? What steps of the process are your favorite? Do you have a particular step that you wish a Quilting Fairy would magically finish for you?
Note, added 9/20/2010: It has been pointed out that my math is off here, my apologies! Actually the very first postage stamp quilt I made did have 3,128 pieces, and that stuck in my head. However this one is a full 8×8 foot quilt, with 64 pieces per square foot, making for 4,096 pieces! And people have been asking if I sew them in long strips, or in blocks. I sew blocks of 12.5 inches with 64 squares per block, for a few reasons. One is that I find it easier to square up, and to at least attempt to match up corners, in the smaller units. I find no joy in sewing skinny strips of squares on to a larger, growing piece. It is also easier to press as you go, you can press each block into submission before assembling the whole quilt. And lastly, I can pick it up and work on one block at a time, and set it aside easily too. You can do it either way, or you could sew piles of nine-patches, whatever works for you! – Mary
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