The Lives And Times Of A Quilter's Cats

Random thoughts of three or four cats and I about the importance of wearing slippers if you happen to share your home with a quiltmaker who drops pins, and other similar and related nonsense, from fabric to gardening and of course, about the cats who inspire all this madness. En inglés y en español.

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Location: Idaho, United States

Friday, April 21, 2006

Between Jurassic Park and Pride And Prejudice

I woke up today with butterflies in my stomach. As I've been doing every day for the last week, after looking at the calendar and realizing I am less than a week away from turning in the quilts I'm entering in the Seaport Guild's show, I got the lightheaded/butterflies in the tummy feeling I used to get before a test back in school. Luckily Shrillbert was near and willing to dish out a dose of his Shrillbee's Sugar (patent pending). It was nice to get some cuddles with no strings attached, since he had already had his breakfast and was ready to move to Mr. Jingles shortly after.

It's a little different this year. I finished the brown miniature in plenty of time, I don't have the last minute anxiety to get it finished. It's already washed and hanging in my sewing room. All that's left is one last clean up with the lint roller to remove the pesky cat hairs and they'll be ready to be turned in. It was a great feeling to finish the binding while laughing on the telephone.
Taking the time to analyze my own feelings, I realized I am anxious because chances are good this time around, I'll be bringing home no awards. There is only one hand-quilting category and realistically, a small pieced quilt will not win any ribbons. I will also enter Calico Garden. It might have a better chance, but not good enough if there are large hand quilted pieces.
The quilt show has reduced the number of categories significantly. I understand, being a popular vote show, it was almost confusing to vote in twelve or better choices. And I know there are less and less quilters finishing their pieces by hand (much less hand piecing them as well).

I suppose the bottom line is I like doing what I do and I'll keep on keeping on. Do I think machine quilting less worthy than hand quilting? No, not at all. I can't machine quilt to save my life and I prefer to finish my own pieces, so at the moment, I don't think I'd take them out to be quilted. Is there a touch of pride in the idea of being a quilting dinosaur? Maybe so :)
I have never seen quilting as a rat's race, I am in no hurry to finish a dozen quilts, since I don't quilt for cover and there are only so many walls to display them. I enjoy the process as much as the finished piece, maybe even more, seeing how very few quilts I have made in almost 20 years. I do feel a touch of prejudice when it comes to using up fabric for the sake of using it up after buying yards and yards of it without rhyme or reason. I think the century is producing the "top maker", quilters who make tops but don't know/don't want to quilt them. Quilting is the icing on the cake, the relaxing part of the quilt making process when the brain can go on auto pilot and just let the needle do the thinking.
I am curious to see the percentage of machine quilting vs. hand quilting at the show this year. Oh dear!, only four days to find out. The butterflies are baaaack!

And to finish on a happy note: I JUST finished Paula's quilt! Hooorraaaayyyy! It was started a mere two + years ago... got pushed aside time and time again. The sleeve is on, it is signed and it's hanging waiting for pictures.

Me levanté hoy con mariposas en la barriga. Como llevo haciendo toda la semana, después de mirar el calendario y darme cuenta que me queda menos de una semana para entregar los edredones para la exposición de Seaport Guild, me dio la sensación que me solía dar antes de un examen en el cole. Afortunadamente tenía a Shrillbert a mano y me dió una dosis de sus cariñitos. Es agradable recibir cariño sin esperar nada a cambio (ya había desayunado), y en un segundo se fue a jugar con su Mr. Jingles.

Es un poco diferente éste año. Terminé el de miniatura marrón con tiempo más que de sobra. No tengo la ansiedad de el último minuto y terminar deprisa y corriendo. Está ya lavado y colgando y lo único que le falta es una pasada con la cinta engomada para quitarle los pelos de gato. Me sentí de maravilla cuando estaba cosiendo las últimas puntadas del ribete mientras me reía a carcajadas por teléfono.

Analizando mis sentientos, me dí cuenta de que estoy nerviosa porque creo que ésta vez no voy a ganar nada. Sólo hay una categoría para edredones acolchados a mano y pensando en frio, no creo que un quilt pequeño y sin aplicaciones vaya a ganar nada. El Calico Garden tiene más posibilidades, pero no lo suficientemente buenas compitiendo contra edredones más grandes. Entiendo que siendo una expo de votación popular, era casi demasiado complicado votar en doce o más categorías. Y entiendo que cada vez hay menos quilteras que terminen sus edredones a mano (mucho menos las que cosemos las piezas también a mano).

Supongo que lo importante es que hago lo que me gusta y seguiré igual. No es que piense que acolchar a máquina tiene menos mérito, para nada. No se acolchar a máquina y prefiero terminar mis edredones yo sóla, asi que no los llevo a que los termine una acolchadora profesional. Quizá hay un toque de soberbia en la idea de ser una dinosaurio quiltera :) Nunca me ha parecido buena la idea de acolchar por terminar cosas. No tengo prisa porque no los uso para colchas de cama y sólo tengo un número limitado de paredes para colgarlos. Quizá es eso por lo que he terminado muy pocos en veinte años. Lo que si me da que pensar es la gente que hace edredones por el gusto de usar la tela que compran sin sentido ni razón. El siglo está creando la quiltera que hace sus tops, pero no los acolcha porque no sabe/no quiere. Acolchar, a mi ver, es la guinda del pastel, la parte relajante del proceso donde dejas de pensar y el cerebro se pone en piloto automático y la aguja piensa por tí.Tengo curiosidad por ver el percentaje de edredones hechos a mano en la expo. Me quedan solamente cuatro dias! Qué nervios!

Y para terminar: acabo de poner la última puntada en el quilt de Paula. Yuuuuppiiii! Lo empecé hace más de dos años y lo dejé de lado un millón de veces. Ya tiene su manga, está firmado y esperando que le haga fotos.


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