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Quilting Lessons ~ Jenga 2 Tower Block #22
This lens is part of the Jenga Tower 2 challenge! I am the 22nd block! My challenge? BuckHawk wanted me to write about lens about how quilting has made a difference in my life.
Quilting *is* my life! Something about the process of quilting just seems to seep into every part of my life. There are memories attached to every piece of fabric, (and boy, is there a lot of fabric!) I have learned, and taught, so much through quilting, that I hardly know where to start. So, I'll start with my heart...
Quilting Warms My Family
Nothing draws a family closer together than time spent working side by side on a project. As every quilter knows, fabric multiplies faster than coat hangers in a dark closet. In no time at all my quilting "corner" spread to the family room, where everyone gravitated.
While I ran the "grown-up" machine, little hands were busy sorting quilt blocks and picking out colors for their very own keepsake quilts. I remember so many days and evenings that we sat together, bonding as a family, before I tucked the kids in bed under quilts I'd made for them.
But we'd roast if we used *all* the quilts we made! Quilting is an addiction. You can't stop quilting just because every bed in the house already has a quilt on it! The extras went up for sale, and the money bought more fabric, (to keep the addiction going!), as well as paid bills and bought extra treats for us.
Quilting Teaches Me
Quilting is an art form with tools and rules. Creativity with boundaries, which is how I learn best! Every quilt is a permutation of factors such as length and width, colors, pattern of blocks, pattern of stitching, thickness of batting, and binding type. Change any one factor, and you'll have an entirely different quilt in the end.
One of my favorite parts of a quilting group I was in, was when we would all be assigned the exact same pattern, but choose our own colors of fabric. We would be told, for example, to choose one "light", two "mediums", one "dark", and one "tone-on-tone". Weeks later, we would all get together and display the finished quilts, marveling at the complete originality of quilts that started with identical instructions.
In learning to quilt, I had to learn to read those patterns. Then I gradually learned to use specialized tools for quilters. My first quilt was marked with a standard grade-school plastic ruler, and each square was cut out painstakingly with scissors, one at a time. That simple "Around the World" twin-size quilt took months to finish! I was so pleased with myself for managing it at last. Nowadays, using a rotary cutter and strip-piecing technique, I could make that same quilt in a day.
My First Machine
This is the very first sewing machine I ever bought! It's a workhorse of a machine that lasted through many years, and many memories, before I traded it for one that had more speciality stitches and a computer brain.
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Quilting Helps Me Teach Others
Patience. So much patience.
Quilting is one of those things that draws onlookers. Some of them sincerely want to learn to quilt, and I can never turn away from a kindred spirit. Over the years I have passed on what I learned to countless others. By the time my kids were born, I was much more prepared to homeschool, because I had interacted with so many learning styles.
And quilting itself requires patience. Like a jig-saw puzzle, the pieces must match up exactly, in order for it to look right. That patience has served me well, not only in raising my own children, but in all sorts of everyday interactions.
Make Great Comforters.
Quilting Helps My Faith
Churches seem to draw in quilters. Whenever I've had to move, I've been able to find a new quilting group through church. So, not only do I find 'fabric buddies'; I find strong women of faith. I've been blessed with a great community of crafters everywhere I've gone.
My Next Toy...
This is the machine I want next! 60 fancy stitches to jazz up my projects. Woo hoo!
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This is the place to tell me about quits you've made, quilts you've received, quilt projects you're planning, or just say "Hi!"