Monday, June 17, 2013

Recipe for a succesful quilt: Fabric, thread, batting...time

Years ago I gave my then sister-in-law a quilt as a wedding gift. Now, I liked and still like this woman, so I was happy to give her something special and hand crafted to celebrate the event. But, just between you and me, at the time, the quilt I gave her was not exactly my most favorite. I didn't hate it, but I wasn't in love with it either.
Fast forward several years and she and her husband move into a new place and finally have a place to hang the quilt. I come over one day, glance at the quilt, and realize/discover I really like that quilt after all. If I'm going to be completely honest, at that moment and just at that moment, I had a brief twinge of regret that I'd given it away so casually.
The other day I was excavating (and, yes, excavating is most accurate and descriptive verb) a closet and found this:
It's a fairly large, hand dyed and hand embroidered quilt I made years ago. All those striped fabrics pre-date my first collection for Moda by a good bit of time.
I not only machine quilted and hand embroidered the top to mimic the zig-zag of the pieced half-square triangles, but I hand stitched a blanket stitch along the entire perimeter so I could single crochet an edging.
Crazy, huh?
You want to know what's even crazier? I didn't like the quilt when it was done. Not at all. That's why I stuck it in a closet, so I wouldn't have to see it and think about it.
I had a completely different response to it when I discovered it the second time around.
Not only do I totally love it, but it's done exactly what a well done project should do: spawned other ideas.
Thank goodness there were no weddings or babies to celebrate when I initially finished this quilt. Otherwise I'd never have had the opportunity to appreciate it for what it is.
It's true, isn't it? You don't see things as they are; you see them as you are. When I finished the quilt I was tired of it, tired of working on it, tired of thinking about it. Now, I've had some distance and I can see it in a new light.


Blair said...

Malka this is gorgeous! I know exactly what you mean, this has happened to me with quilts I've given away, and other handmade things. Maybe the design was just ahead of it's time.

Molly said...

Holy smokes - that quilt is fabulous. I love everything about it.

Venus de Hilo said...

So true! Years ago I made a large Kaleidoscope quilt that started out fun. By the time it was quilted, I hated it, and was crushed to have worked so hard on something I no longer wanted to keep, but that would never sell for a price that would reflect the time and effort that had gone into it. Two years in a closet worked wonders. I pulled it out while looking to change out the foyer wall-hanging to something fresh, and now I love it again, and can see that it deserves a place of honor in my home.

HollyM said...

It really is very pretty! I've done the same thing a few times!

house on hill road said...

This is a good reminder for me...I often forget about learning from the things I make that don't quite come out the way I had envisioned. Thanks, Malka.

Byrd said...

I've had this happen once or twice before and it is a wonderful experience to have, good or bad. Thank you so much for writing about this. By the way, the quilt is beautiful! Take care, Byrd

mailergoat said...

Maybe this will happen with the quilt top I recently finished, that I was so excited for but don't see fitting anywhere in my house/life? I think I need to finish it so it can at least be stored in a ready-to-be-rediscovered state. Here's hoping!