Sunday, March 02, 2008

An Obsession and an Excuse

Quilting is my new obsession. As with many projects I embrace, I’m having a tough time taking a break.

When my friend showed me the lovely book of artsy quilts meant to be wall hangings, I jumped at the chance to make one, never having made more than a tiny patchwork quilt in a class. I remembered from that experience how essential it is to be totally accurate in terms of piece sizes and seam allowances.

I fell in love with the peacocks in this Hoffman fabric. My friend managed to find a local store that carried it. The quilting gurus who work in the store helped me find the companion fabrics and suggested the tiny pink highlight separating the quilt face from the border.

I chose to piece my quilt with a machine, as opposed to doing it all by hand as my friend is. However, it is still a lot of seams that must be done in a very orderly way for everything to fit properly.

My attention was on putting together the hundreds of small pieces this morning when it should have been on practicing my tap dance steps for our “number” which is slated for next Sunday. I hoped maybe I could coast through our last class without disclosing the fact that I never practiced this week.

Not so. I quickly decided that if I have the nerve to show up next week, I will most certainly remind the audience of a few Lucille Ball performances where she totally made a fool of herself. I toyed with the idea of inviting NO ONE to watch, but our dear teacher Roberta reminded us to bring our families and friends, so I suppose I must at least bring my husband. I’ve already warned him what to expect.

I have promised myself to practice every day this week so I can at least dance as well as the blind girl in our class.

But meanwhile, I took the evening to add the border to my quilt and get ready for whatever the next steps are. My friend has the book, so I have a good excuse to stop, sleep, and find out later this week what happens next.

Hopefully by then I will know the dance, replete with its hand movements, the last of which is supposed to simulate an airplane as we grapevine off the stage. Roberta promises that our Air Force hats are arriving in the mail this week.


Blogger KC said...

It's magnificent! And it looks like every little corner is a perfect match.
I'm glad we can share another obsession beyond Italian wine and market-day chicken.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

KC -- The small photo doesn't reveal all the many imperfections. But hopefully the overall effect is what's important, not every single intersection of fabric! And I'm happy with the "big picture".

Thanks for getting me hooked!

6:14 AM  
Anonymous lr said...

Wow, Barbara, your peacock quilt is fabulous. I hope to see it in person someday.

9:03 AM  
Blogger kimy said...

gorgeous job!! you have taken to quilting like a duck to water!!

it is perfect!!

9:09 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LR -- Come see it any time, although it's only a quilt face at the moment. I should thank you for actually finding the peacock fabric amongst the hundreds of bolts that day at the quilting store.

Kimy -- Lots of fun!

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything is SO you. Thanks for sharing your life. I really like reading what you are up to. Wish I could see your dancing.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

FL -- Our 73-year-old teacher reminds me in many ways of your tap teacher, who was just as supportive and encouraging.

You were definitely my inspiration in looking for a tap class. If you were here, we could practice together and then I might know the dance!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Everything you put your "needle" to and show us is exquisite. The only quilt I ever made was started in the 8th month of my pregnancy with Adam. I remember being on the floor of the living room working on a queen-sized quilt with a belly the size of a whale. "They" call it nesting. I think Jonathan at 3 and Frank at 43 thought I was insane.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I just re-read that....... obviously I had the whale belly, not the quilt.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I know this Hoffman fabric... Imperial Garden in blue... you've done a nice variation of "card trick" with it!

After the piecing, taking the quilt from blocks to a quilt top is exciting, but exacting.

When I think of imperfections in the quilting process, I think of those women on the prairie who didn't have much more than paper patterns who were quilting for love and warmth. I think of how their quilts must have added a burst of color in a gray life.

1:13 AM  

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