Thursday, June 30, 2011

Slow Poke Quilter

The truth is I am normally a slow poke at EVERYTHING! So it's funny I should find this site, Slow Poke Quilter, just now when I seem to be whipping out quilts left and right! I saw the badge on my friend Minka's BLOG and after checking it out I had to add it.

You see, I've challenged myself to create a quilt for each of my friends (
The Girls) for their birthdays.  Of the seven quilts on the list I've completed 3, have one in process, and three percolating between fabric/color choices and pattern choices.  Mind you, I started this project the year BEFORE I turned 50 and suffice it to say that, while I'm the oldest in the group, we are all now PAST 50! So I promised myself that this is the year I will finish all of these quilts.  Meanwhile, I've got a whole list of other quilts that are ideas just waiting to materialize.

I truly enjoy the process of quilting from start to finish.  Starting with picking the patterns and fabrics.  I pour over magazines, read BLOGS, visit fabric stores, check with my quilting friends, and go to quilt shows.  This activity alone can entertain me for weeks and months on end. 

My sister Dutchy and I have taken many quilting classes together. She shows up to the class with all the fabrics for the project washed, pressed, and neatly cut so she can sit down and get right to sewing.  I on the other hand show up still missing a key fabric or two which leads to shopping when I should be sewing.  She ends up with a finished bed size quilt while I've created a potholder!   But never mind, she's an over-achiever and I love her for it.  She encourages me and helps me out when I'm stuck or a deadline is looming.  She's definitely NOT a slow poke.

Twiggy has

Actually, she's just one of the over-achievers in my monthly quilting group.  Each one of the ladies in the sewing group is talented and creative.  They produce beautiful work!  I am always anxious to see what they've come up with and hear the stories that go along with each quilt or wall hanging or other crafty project they're doing.

We all had a good laugh at our last get together over how many items I'd brought for Show and Tell.  I'm notorious for not having anything new to share.  This month I had 2 finished quilts and a very creative label for the one I had just dropped off at the long arm quilter.  

Appliqued bikini

I've learned so much from them over the past 10 years it's been wonderful.  Most recently they taught me to hand applique.  Here are a couple of examples of my applique efforts on Audrey's beach quilt and on the "Twiggy" quilt. 

Three of the group members are expert hand quilters so the next thing I want to learn from them is hand quilting. 

From the beginnings of the group they have tried to entice me to join them in a true  "group" project.  You know the kind, where someone has a really great idea for a quilt or a cute pattern to share with everyone?  Sometimes a person will show her work and others in the group will just decide to make the same thing.  I've liked some of the ideas and didn't care for others but I really loved that they wanted me to join in.  

Unfortunately, I am never able to participate in these activities because the pressure to perform becomes too stressful for me.  There's no pressure (or should I say very little pressure!) from them but I'm just such a slow poke I know I won't be able to finish when they do so I just don't join in.  Besides, the last thing I want is a stressful hobby!   

Here's a beautiful example of a group project the "just happened".  Two of the girls in our group are cousins, Carol and Deb.  Both are from my hometown, where Carol and I went to school together.  They had started this quilt at the same time and brought it to our monthly sewing group.  It was so much fun to watch the progress.

Deb, Dutchy, and Carol with their "People" quilts
at the 2009 Capital Quilters Guild Show in Concord NH

I just love these "People" quilts!  The girls shared fabrics and even a few blocks but you can see that there are differences.  Deb and Carol used the angled borders and corners while Dutchy adapted hers to be square on the out side corners.  Each of the figures developed it's own personality as the girls added the clothes and hair styles.

These are Carol's "People" - look at the braids!

Dutchy decided that she's like to make one too. She spent many enjoyable hours creating the little folk around the edges.  In the end, she gave the quilt to the Rector and his wife when she retired from St. Paul's School in Concord NH where she had worked for over 25 years.

These are some of Dutchy's "People" - Check out the baseball cap
and the pockets on the pants!
While the three girls worked diligently and entertained us with the creative process, rest of us in the group chickened out.  Or should I say I chickened out.  For a slow poke like me this looks like a life's work!  I could never have managed to get it completed in time for our semi-annual Capital Quilters Guild show like they did.

For a very long time I believed I was alone in my languid approach to quilting but finally I've found some kindred spirits on-line.  So I will continue to indulge my slow-pokieness to my hearts content. 

By the way, I've saved all those patterns and tucked away the ideas in hopes that someday I may just surprise my quilting friends with my entry for the "Group" project . . .  just a bit later than planned.

Would you attempt a project like the "People" quilt?  How long would it take you?  Are you a slow poke quilter or a slow poke in general?  Maybe you have a friend or family member who makes you wait all the time.  Admit it, you're still happy to see us when we finally show up right?  ;o) 

Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you.

1 comment:

Minka's Studio said...

You know I'm a slow poke! BTW, if you learn how to hand quilt, I need a lesson...real soon! Want to teach me?