these being one of the ways the human race keeps track of things. It's not a new concept, even animals know the signs of what "is" and what "will be". In thinking about this idea of 'tracking', I realized that quilters do in their own unique way. We 'run the stitches'...or at least we used to. It's a smaller population, these days, than when I started hand quilting in the 1980's.It's hard to explain exactly what I mean by "running the stitches". It relates to the rhythm... Patti knows, and a few others I am aware of. Hand quilting lives on, thank goodness. In the history of quilting, this quilt would not be considered OLD. It's pretty much a "newbie" and would be for many more years. It was quilted in 1986, as part of a class I taught on hand quilting. This closeup is a 2008 picture...thanks to digital!
The quilt in the 1986 picture, definitely FILM. My, oh my, my hair isn't silver in this one...LOL
But then, it was 22 years ago....I suppose that makes a different....for my hair, at least. The quilt hasn't changed much over that 22 years.
This is the quilt this morning, in my little house in the valley, where both the quilt and I live. Has the quilt been used? You bet! Washed in the washing machine with Tide, and dried in the drier? Yup. Certainly not every week, but often enough. Many of the red prints are quite faded with use.
It's a utility quilt. The only beauty you will find in this quilt is the quilting. I zipped up 12" 9 patches, assorted, basted up the top, and began teaching the class. If I had stopped to think I suppose I might have taken time and pieced something worthwhile...but it was a last minute thing for Community Education....and I still had 4 kids in school. Fast was good.
Technically, this top doesn't merit this type of hand quilting. Might as well get your head straight on that one. Some tops merit the time and effort. Some don't. That doesn't stop a person from doing it anyway...just ask me. Over the years, it's NOT a quilt that I have been proud of, nor that I share with others at show and tell. Yes, even the Very Maverick Finn falls prey to the "critics". I'm in tune with knowing what is 'suitable', 'acceptable' and what is just plain embarrassing. But ya know what?(in my best WI accent) I think we ALL need get over that! Everyone has a place where they started. If you don't have humble beginnings,in your quilt making, then you're kidding someone....the critics or just yourself. Very few of us make Baltimore Beauties as an early effort. And lately I've wondered, IF this Almighty Perfection Syndrome is such a big deal, how can those same quilters RAVE about the Gee's Bend quilts? Trust me, the Quilts of Gees Bend were NOT intentionally made as Art Quilts. They were made for USE, WARMTH, and of necessity.
I've been thinking that more of us, with ANY accomplishments in quilting, should be ALOT more tolerant of what new quilters make. We should encourage them, and tell them we all started somewhere, and to be proud of their efforts. Find something to like about the quilt they are showing us. Just plain squares sewn together keep you as warm and dry as a Baltimore Album quilt.
I was blog hopping a day or so ago, and on someone's blog...(please tell me if it was you and I'll put a link)... the blogger asked "what kind of quilts do you like to make???" It got me thinking about what I choose to piece, what I ignore, and WHY....but that's for another post.