Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Becoming A Quilt.

Becoming A Quilt.
Originally uploaded by Erin Or Die.

How To Make a Quilt, If You Are Me.

1. Check out the entire shelf of Kaffe Fassett quilting books from the Davenport Public Library, Main Street branch, several times over, on your delinquent library card. Carry them home, about half an hour on foot, past the high school your imaginary kids will go to if you never move again like you said, until you think your fingers are going to break off from the weight of all that color. Wear big sunglasses and listen to your ubiquitous white headphones. Think about the segment you saw on the Today show about the white headphones being a dead giveaway that you have an iPod in your pocket and makes you a target for theft. Realize that if anyone did try to jump you, there are maybe two quarters in your wallet and about ten JoAnn sales receipts.

2. Spread out all your Kaffe books and your mom's Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework with the cracked binding and sketch pads and Sharpies and calculator and doodle until you come up with something. Calculate your yardage. Realize that this is going to take something like fourteen yards of calico. Get a stomachache when you think about how much this is going to cost.

3. Spend the next four months or so buying a piece of fabric here and a piece there, mostly at work, sometimes from eQuilter. Diane gives you a vintage one when she comes over to help you with your overambitious X-mas gift hand-quilting, and it goes perfectly with a Tracy Porter print you already have in the pile. Think about how quilting is sort of magic.

4. Mostly your fabric will hang out in a market bag on a chair in your sewing room for a long time, until you have collected enough prints.

5. Eventually you will realize you have to start it or you'll never start it. You spread your collection out and you will be horrified by the visual chaos you have invested too much in to start over. You will ask yourself over and over why you didn't see this coming. You resolve to buy yourself a 6.5"x24.5" ruler and get moving on this thing, and whatever happens, happens. Most of you believes that matchy-matchy is the most boringest thing going, and that the things you are attracted to most will coalesce into a groovy, well-loved harmony. But a little bitty part of you is scared you are making a huge, drawn-out, expensive mess of a blanket. Norton consoles you.

6. That ruler makes such a huge difference it makes you want to shout it from the rooftops. It doesn't take long until you find a groove. You knew you would eventually, it's just finding initiative. You are making mistakes but you are learning from them. You leave what you can deal with alone, you rip out what you can't. Sew all night while your huzz is out playing rock shows that last longer than you can.

7. You have absolutely no idea how long this thing will take you, but you can wait. This is a gift to yourself. Treat it well.


Nikki said...

yes. definately we should be friends. I've never tried quilting though. It sounds scary. I have problems turning my (brand new hardly used) sewing machine ON, let alone making an entire quilt! Good luck to you, use the force!

PS- once you finish it, whenever that is, you'll love it to a bajillion tiny pieces. LOVE it. not cut it. that would be horrifying. I would cry for you.

jenna said...

YOU are magic! It will be so, so groovy.

Chicago Sarah said...

That sounds soooo familiar (especially the part where if you get mugged, all you have are fabric and yarn receipts). Although you are way farther ahead than I am, I haven't any courage and the thought of breaking into a full size quilt makes me vaguely queasy. :)

But how do you get to take out books when you have stuff due? CPL has totally cut me off and I've lost a book, I am not giving in, I know it must be somewhere...