Meditations on a Quilting Motif

I’ve been having a very difficult week.  I won’t get into why.  Personal things, plus some boundary issues with a very persistent student, and so on and so forth.  I hit a bit of a boiling point on Tuesday, a couple hours before I had to leave for campus for a round of student conferences, and in a fit of needing to do something, I started quilting Verna.


I’d wanted to start in the middle, but I’d also wanted the bit in the middle to be particularly intricate, and, naturally, I let that stop me from beginning the quilting for the last several weeks.  Driven on the spur of a moment to find a solution, I measured the square, drew one of the same size on a piece of paper, and drew my design on the paper.  I then pinned the paper to the quilt (matching it up as best I could with the square underneath it), and quilted the design through the paper.

This is a perfectly good method for quilting intricate designs, with only one disadvantage; you have to remove all the little bits of paper after you’re done.

So, after a lovely half hour with a pair of tweezers…


That evening after the student conferences, I free-handed the rest of the white triangles.


I’m very happy with the results, and am looking forward to quilting the rest of it.  For the black triangles in the center, I’ll be doing a meandering line in red.

It’s this experience that has led me to understand a benefit of crafting that I’d never really thought about before.  Crafting is fun, of course.  There’s creativity, with its opportunities for mind-broadening and self-expression; there’s the soothing repetition of knitting in front of the TV; there are the manifold tactile pleasures of handling beautiful materials, and watching something new grow under your hands.  But there’s also this: sometimes, when everything is crazy, when your life defies control and reason and the best intentions, and you can’t do anything to make it saner… sometimes you just need to feel like you know what you’re doing.

Even if it only involves a quilt sandwich and some thread.


One thought on “Meditations on a Quilting Motif

  1. it’s really lovely, how you are doing this quilt! It’s going to be very beautiful. I know that it is so nice to do something that already has a lot of clarity to it. Life is full of lack of clarity and I know how hard some things are. God be with you and have mercy!


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