It turns out that writing about quilting and actually quilting a large number of projects in a short amount of time are competing interests. I stopped writing in favor of having at least some of the quilts for my nieces and nephews finished by Thanksgiving. Eight was a lofty (and unattainable) goal, but I did manage to piece six quilt tops and, of those, completely finish three quilts. I probably could have finished one more top, but three worked out as a good stopping point.
Included in my list of quilt recipients are my cousin’s two children — we don’t typically exchange Christmas gifts and so this deadline was more so that her children didn’t feel left out. But it turned out that my cousin was spending Thanksgiving with her in-laws and so any fears about sad toddlers were averted. Additionally, I really wanted my teenage nieces to have a little input regarding the colors and design — I know how picky I was at that age! I have lofty goals to get their (much larger) quilts finished by their birthday at the end of the month…as usual, I am pushing hard against reality there. Finally, my youngest niece is just six months old. It would have been nice to have hers finished, but right now her big sister opens all of her gifts anyway. I did bring her finished top to show my sister and brother-in-law.
I’m really proud of the three quilts I did finish, although they are FAR, FAR, FAR from perfect. These are actually the first three quilts that I have ever completed and aside from, you know, having actual quilts on my list of things I’ve made–I’m especially proud of the fact that I pushed myself through all the times my perfectionism wanted to throw in the towel and walk away with the quilts half finished. This, in fact, is what happened with my nephew’s quilt–I pieced the blue and orange plus quilt four years ago, not long after he was born. I even pin basted it and started quilting but the quilting just did NOT work and I was already frustrated that the piecing on the front wasn’t 100% accurate. It sat in a bin for three and a half years until I had a little CTJ with myself regarding motivation and action and the horrifying accumulation of fabric that in no way was matched by actual making.
This is not the first time I’ve had a sit-down conversation with myself, but for whatever reason, this time it stuck. And I have finished quilts. Not only that, I have a second wind in this hobby — I’m starting to be ok with the fact that a learning curve means that beginning projects just probably won’t be 100% awesome and that probably in a year or so I will be amazed at the skills I have acquired. But I can only go forward if I take the first steps.