Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Slow Quilting Reflections

Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us did a series of Monday posts called "Slow Quilting Monday" for a few months. I think I was a bit confused about the need for such a series of posts and confused about why I was confused! Then it struck me just recently that most of my quilting (until the fall of 2010, I could have said "all of my quilting") is slow quilting, and that is what I prefer. (The last part of that revelation was another surprise, frankly.) But it hasn't always been this way, trust me.

I started quilting low on patience (and skill, of course). I desperately wanted to get quilts finished, and I didn't obsess over whether points were cut off or corners matched. I assumed that, except for the church quilts, I would be machine quilting all of my quilts. And, of course, I would be machine piecing. Hand piecing would probably never happen. When I looked at Jinny Beyer's book Quiltmaking by Hand: Simple Stitches, Exquisite Quilts and realized the amount of prep work that went into hand piecing (like marking the seam allowances so you know where to sew), I was horrified.

And then, slowly but surely, something changed inside me. Maybe it was simply that I got more patient as I got older, but, since it hasn't really been that long since I started quilting, I doubt it. Anyway, gradually some things changed for me. Here they are in no particular order:
  • I realized hand quilting relaxed me and machine quilting made me very tense.
  • I started the job that required me to sit and wait for long periods of time, so my boss suggested I bring some kind of craft to work on.
  • I realized that BOMs were perfect for taking to hand piece at work because I really only had to cut out and mark one block at a time.
  • I realized that when I hand pieced I was more accurate than when I machine pieced.
  • I started caring about accuracy as opposed to finishes.
  • I realized that I like the look of a paper pieced block.
  • I realized that I am a process not a product girl.
  • As happy as I was to make gifts for friends and relatives quickly, I didn't enjoy a project that forced me to make it quickly as much as one that I could savor.
  • I started wanting to do more and more complicated block patterns. (But I haven't gotten to the applique thing yet!)
Yep, I am a slow quilter. And I love it.