Want to see my progress on my quilt?
I basted it according to the basting method found on this video (and the next one), although I modified it a bit.
Mainly by going ahead and putting the batting (in this case an old fleece blanket) with the bottom layer, rather than having them separate.
If you watch the videos, you will understand these pictures!
Do you have some handwork that you love to do, or some other creative outlet?
I’ve been quilting for about twenty-five years. I actually don’t have many quilts to show in that time, because of course I was learning when my kids were really little, and kept having to take breaks because I was too pregnant to cut material out on the floor, or had a nursing baby in my arms all the time, or just couldn’t get to it.
But you know, it’s very fulfilling to be making something — to do something loving and creative even when you feel like you are too busy. I have found that scheduling the time necessary to set myself up with a project yields major dividends in finding myself prepared later, at unexpected moments, when I can reach for my quilt bag and pull out my handwork. It’s the setting up that’s difficult. But with some thought, it can be done.
We need to learn to enjoy our days, to take satisfaction in small acts of beauty, however humble.
I believe that the recovery of this sense of satisfaction will lead us to be better to the people around us: more patient, kinder, and more affirming.
I say “recovery”, because I think that before the feminist revolution, the great majority of women, simply and without much fanfare, led quite satisfied lives, in no small part thanks to the little touches they gave their homes, without too much regard to the high fashions of the day.
I know that my own grandmother, who raised seven children herself (but without indoor plumbing for a good deal of the time), made lovely objects that were part of daily life at home. No biggie: they all did!
I think this is why I’m drawn to crafts and styles from her day. I love the idea that women put so much creativity into their homes, with so little to work with. Quilting does have the advantage that thrifted materials are not difficult to come by.
The problem with us moms is that many of the things we do each day are ephemeral. Worthwhile, but quickly undone!
The exact same dishes get dirty again, sometimes within minutes. A clean room seems to attract little people with crayons, clay, and grand visions of sofa-cushion-fort-architecture. Even a lovely meal doesn’t have a long half-life.
If you have been sort of drowning in the riptides of your life — and it does seem like that, doesn’t it, sometimes? — I encourage you to ask yourself what makes you feel really happy in a homemaking kind of way.
When you get the knitting needles in your hands? Making a bag? Crewel embroidery?
I have a friend who tells me how energized she feels walking into her sewing studio, and I concur. It’s a wonderful feeling.
If it’s something like working with furniture, pottery, or sculpting, you may also want to take up needlepoint, because it’s hard to throw a pot while watching a baseball game or sitting outside of dance class! And you know, you can get a lot done in those hours here and there, just… sitting and waiting.
I like to talk to other moms — I think most of us are starved for conversation, aren’t we? But I don’t like to just sit there.
Remember the Middletons in Sense and Sensibility? “He hunted and shot, and she humoured her children; and these were their only resources.” At least Sir Middleton had the advantage of a warm personality; Lady Middleton was… cold.
In contrast, the women in this book, The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art, which I posted about a while back, give an inspiring example of women who create in the midst of astonishing activity, with days of back-breaking work that put our soft situations to shame! And they made the things because they needed them! No whining about “my busy day, boo hoo.”
I got it out of the library and enjoyed every moment of reading about these lovely women and their clever melding of their social and work lives into a beautiful and productive unity.
Thanks to Hooked on Houses for the link!