Monday, February 11, 2013

Emotional Quilting

Do you quilt when you're emotional? I do. I also quilt when I'm not emotional. But that doesn't make me any less involved in my quilting.

After having a very heated and argumentative discussion (you'll learn I'm not one to get into arguments often), I've found that touching the fabrics I'm working with and refocusing my attention on the task at hand works really well to calm my nerves, melt the stress, and give me an overall sense of achievement. Since I rarely win arguments with humans (arguing with the dogs? I only occasionally give ground), I've learned that arguments with my fabrics work so much better. 

"No, not you yet." 
"Ahhh, THERE you are!"
"Come on, lay flat!"
"Sweet heavens, you look fabulous!"

Is it that the fabric doesn't argue back? I don't know. But aside from catching tears that have fallen, my quilts pick up the random dog hairs that collects under my chair. They also pick up the bits of sand occasionally that the dogs have brought in from the yard (discussion for another day entirely). They also pick up memories. I can remember the arguments that have no meaning now except as a reminder of pain by a simple picture of a completed quilt made during that argument. 

My quilts also pick up names and lives of their own. After making a painstakingly-tough backing for "Girl Swirl", I tackled the applique and backing for the 'flannel monstrosity' that I have yet to properly name. There's the "Beach-Tones Stitch Quilt" and the "Garden Flowers" quilts that bring back memories of sitting working through the decorative touches, the quilting, and the events in my life during those quilts. Some time this year, I want to start pulling all the pictures of my quilts up to my website, and then start pulling some of them over here to the blog. I want to review what each meant to me then, and what each means to me now. 

There's emotion between the layers and in each locking stitch, whipstitch, sashing cut, or curved seam. I quilt when I'm emotional, but my quilting is also emotional.

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