Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. The Process of Quilt Making

This week I've been teaching Simple Sampler, our beginners quilting class at The Workroom. I LOVE teaching Simple Sampler. Leading people through their first experience of the process of making a quilt. Navigating the early trepidation, the rush of pride after that first 9 patch block, the mid quilt doubt ( too much of that fabric, too little of that?), the burgeoning confidence as English Paper Piecing and Applique are also mastered. This week we've been talking about construction. Taking those treasured 9 blocks and transforming them into something that can be held aloft - shown off to your family - bought out when someone asks 'what are you making again?'. It's a magical transformation. The careful consideration of sashing fabric and borders, the tactile flumpfy wadding ready to bring your quilt top alive.

I've been thinking about the process of quilt making a lot. What is it that draws people in, keeps them wanting to make another, and another? Yes, it's about fabric and colour and wanting to keep experiencing new combinations. But more primal than that I think it's about rhythms. Its about the rise and fall of progress and patience, contemplation then bursts of sewing, the stages, the sense of moving into another phase as your quilt nears completion.

Tomorrow it's Long Arm Quilting day at The Workroom. A convergence of amazing projects will centre on our little room tomorrow - year long, hand sewn Farmers Wife Quilts, patiently stitched. Super speedy, elegant Swoon quilts, galloped through excitedly in anticipation of the glorious end result. Bulging bags of treasure bought to our room to share and to move to the final stage of readiness. I've watched all of these seamstresses learn their craft in Simple Sampler then fly, fly making wonderful quilts. It's going to be a fantastic day. I can't wait.