Saturday, January 19, 2013

Frame Up

Quilt In the Frame
I haven't had a quilt in the frame for a couple of years, and I miss it. So when I started to think about what to do with this quilt top, I thought maybe it would be a perfect candidate for hand quilting. Since it is made of denim, I thought I would use the Gees Bend style of quilting, done with regular thread on a large, size 5, Between quilting needle. I get mine from Colonial. 

Of course the minute I decided to spend some time sitting quietly at the frame my activity chart went crazy...that is, my email started filling up with urgent and cool things I needed to do. I got a contract from Craftsy for a series on my piecing workshops. I got an offer to be on QNN for my computerized machine quilting stuff. And a couple of nights ago I heard from Handi Quilter that I will be getting my own computerized machine pronto. So I have to finish this in a hurry to make room for it. 

One of the great joys of my life has been to be able to work along in my studio while listening to music. I have a lot of musical friends, so I often have discs by them to listen to, but the world of music is so vast that I can hear pretty much anything anytime. I can start out in the morning with a Skip James album and wind through a Bartok piece, Philip Glass, Dr Dog, Jack White, Duke Ellington, Tennessee Ernie Ford and etc.  

At the moment, however, I have so much prep work for the video shoots, so much I need to get done besides getting this quilt  done that I have been sitting there most days in silence. Just working along with my hands while my mind wanders over the coming tasks and sorts them all out. It is a marvelous fact of hand quilting that it is so easy it barely requires any thought at all. And it occupies that part of your brain that needs to be judgmental, that needs to line things up, that criticizes your every thought. This means that the rest of your mind is free to be creative, to float for hours through problems, challenges, strings of thought that you would not ordinarily have time or peace to follow. 

So I have needed to silence. And I have started to feel like silence is the real luxury of my life. To have silence in our world is something rare and something we usually avoid by staying plugged in to all the forms of input we can stand. The news. Music. Facebook. TV on all the time. It's a joy and a luxury to sit quietly and work. All I hear is the birds outside my window, the wind, occasional traffic sounds. 

So while I will be going back to the computerized machine work soon, I have to figure out a way to balance it out with the hand work. They go together nicely.