There’s something very unsettling going on here.
I have made about four quilts. I say “about” even though the results of my efforts have been four quilts. There are four quilts on the beds at my house. I have physically sewn four quilts.
But if a “real” quilter were to look at my quilts, I would throw my hands up over my head in anticipation of the verbal flogging I would no doubt take. I quilt because I get an itch. There is something akin to tapeworm gnawing at my innards and I have to sew until I can expel this horrible parasite.
I’ll bet you’ll never find that sentiment in any “I make rainbow and angel quilts because it brings me closer to my creative muse” kind of books.
I’ll let you in on a secret…quilters scare the shit out of me. I feel comfortable when I knit. Even if I am presented with something that I have never done before, I feel comfortable trying it. I’ve never knit a lace shawl, I’ve never steeked a Norwegian sweater. Is it because I’m afraid to do it? No, I’ve just never been inspired to do it. If I saw a pattern that I loved and couldn’t live without, I’d do it. Sticks and string can be converted into enjoyable projects. Small bits of cloth, on the other hand, can easily be converted into wonky seems and screwed up backings all with the overarching possibility of running your fingers over with sewing machines or rotary cutters (I have done both, thank you very much). When knitter’s criticize my knitting, I have enough knowledge to either agree with them or secretly tell myself that they are catty bitches whom I secretly despise (this only happens occasionally.) But when it comes to quilting, I have a hard time sorting out the constructive criticism from the destructive criticism. And I have some incredibly talented and wonderful quilting friends who could teach me so much, but I’m too busy cowering in the corner.
However, I have two quilts on my bed now that I have made and with all of their imperfections, I love them. One is my stars quilt and the other is my recent stack ‘n wack quilt. Being a knitter, I realize that some people are totally drawn to yarn and others are totally drawn to patterns. I have just come to realize that I am the former. I purchase yarn with no ideas for projects (this can be a VERY dangerous thing). I also spin yarn with no idea for projects (much to the chagrin of a spinner I know that INSISTS you must know what you are spinning for before you ever sit down at the wheel). Now, I have recently been purchasing fabric with no idea what I will do with it either.
And just a few months after I finished my stack ‘n wack quilt, I have begun to salivate over retro fabrics. I want to make a quilt with a 1950’s Beaver Cleaver theme. I will repeat that…I want to make a frickin’ Cleaver quilt!
(This name sounds far more appropriate than a “Beaver” quilt although from a feminist point of view, that might be a fun project as well. I’m sure it would be a crazy quilt with a lot of fuzzy novelty yarn). After the 1950’s quilt, I want a 1960’s quilt. Yes, I am thinking two quilts into the future.
I have still been knitting on the mosaic squares. Being halfway through the month, I am on task to finish 8 although I am less than enthused about the current square I am working on. I do believe it will be the red headed step child in the afghan when I am done. I have crocheted around 10 of the squares with black and I’ve even attached a couple to see what it will look like. I tried to sew the squares together because I was less than enamored with the look of the crochet but sewing looked like crap. Crocheted with black will be the answer and I hope to have a few squares to edge when I’m at the fiber retreat in March. Mindless activities are best when you’re surrounded by friends and food.
Aside from the mosaic squares and fabric envy, over the past three days I have gone to town on my double knit mittens. These are the mittens that have been languishing for months on my knitting table. The inner shells are knit with handspun alpaca and I really vacillated about not knitting the outer shells. Who wants to knit four mittens when two will do? Well, I started the shells and I am glad I did. They are bullet proof. I had to re-knit the top of the first shell as it was a little cramped when I was done. I wasn’t about to let the mitten be uncomfortable when I was finished.
Since it’s been so horribly cold here lately I’ve been wearing my most favored Norwegian mittens every day. I’ve realized that since I made them four or so years ago, I’ve never washed them. Hmmm, I wonder why they feel a little crusty? (sniff sniff)
Unfortunately, I don’t have any back-up mittens. I need to finish these so I can wash my primary mittens and leave them to dry naturally. Also, perhaps I won’t freak out so much if I find my daughter wearing them. (There were a few days of personal high drama when I thought I had lost them last month only to watch my daughter saunter into the living room with them on…my precious precious mittens. MY mittens. The soft warm glow of motherhood does not extend to the wearing of my mittens!)
I am a very bad Buddhist.
A very bad Buddhist with very warm hands.