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Topic: Insert Baby Here....aka My Grandmother's Garden  (Read 7873 times)
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« on: September 29, 2009 03:28:04 PM »

    I started this quilt almost a year ago.  The desire to try something as ambitious as a completely hand stitched quilt containing over 800 tiny pieces very gradually wormed its way into my mind until my fingers were twitching, my eyes darting around every spare moment looking for fabric from my stash.  There have been a few Grandmothers Garden quilts posted here recently and although I am not normally attracted to more traditional type quilts I appreciated the vast history and connection to the past that such a time-honored pattern would bring.  It was also around this time that the mid-twenties baby insanity came upon me.  Its pretty embarrassing to type this to a bunch of strangers in cyberspace, but its relevant to my point, so bear with me.  Since actually procreating is not really appropriate for me currently, I decided to make a baby blanket in the hopes that the act of preparing for the future would help me rip the damn batteries out of my pesky, intrusive biological clock.  I also joked with my husband that if I could actually complete such a long task, I might actually be adequately responsible and accountable enough to be an adult in the first place.  We both pretended I was actually kidding.

    The reason I tell this whole story is because I think it shows something about why we craft that Ive never really been able to put into words before.  When someone asks me why I spend so much time and energy making things, I usually just shrug and say, because I enjoy it, or, if I feel a bit more comfortable with that person I might try to delve a little deeper and try to explain how I feel the most like myself when I craft, but that doesnt really quite explain it either.  When people who dont make things look at my quilts or other things Ive made, I imagine they see hours of mind numbing repetition which could be spent doing things altogether more interesting and useful.  What they dont understand is that we dont craft just simply to have whatever we make at the end of the process.  It isnt even the act of doing the craft which is so important, although that too is enjoyable.  I think that when we craft it is our way of making sense of the world around us.  I made this quilt to help me deal with all of the confusing issues in my life that I mentioned above.  I have seen examples in my own crafts and in the crafts I have seen on this site that show how people craft to show love, express emotions they cant deal with, connect with people, and be a part of something.  Thats why I craft.  At the end of the day, it may not seem like Ive accomplished much, it may even seem like Ive wasted the precious time given to me, but I wouldnt stop for anything.  Even if I tried, Id probably just go insane anyways.

Here are a few specifics on the quilt itself.  There are roughly 850 hexagons, which measure 1 from pointy end to pointy end.  It is a 34 square.  Its extra scrunchy because I have laundered it.  I found this website very helpful in creating the layout: http://www.lizardofoz.com.au/Layouts/h.htm
Thanks for looking!

This is the back of the quilt

I like to embroider my labels directly directly on the backing so that they can't be easily removed Wink


Life is too short to finish boring WIPs.
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009 03:37:53 PM »

wow! completely handstiched?!  well done!
And I totally get how you feel...  but then again I'm a fellow crafter...... Did all that stiching a baby blanket make the urge to have one go away, or did it make it stronger?

« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009 03:45:41 PM »

First of all, gorgeous! Your future child is very lucky to have this. Second, thanks for putting into words pretty much exactly how I feel. Most of the quilts I make are for other's babies or weddings and it's hard to put into words to them why I took the time and effort to make something for them. I've got the baby fever too and the clock is ticking loudly in my almost (yikes!) 30yr old ears so maybe I need to take a cue from you and make a handmade quilt for the future baby.

Blogging about crafting to keep out of (much) trouble: http://craftyjennifer.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009 04:04:26 PM »

This is so beautiful- the quilt and the story behind it. I am touched by your insight into crafting. Next time anyone gives me guff about my crafting I will tell them "I'm making sense of my world, ok? Back off."  Wink
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009 04:25:18 PM »

Beautiful. It is such a great pattern and I love your fabric choices!

I love instant gratification almost as much as I love parentheses!
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009 04:30:58 PM »

A beautiful quilt!  I'm not normally a fan of "traditional"-type quilts, but I love this - I love it because it is all hand-stitched and so it has that connection to all those wonderful women who began these beautiful traditions.

I think tradition is a big part of crafting too.  I can't explain why I get such a buzz out of making something... it is simply a part of who I am.  I think I would be very inclined to punch someone out who tried to imply that I was wasting my time!  That would be de-valuing part of who I am.  I'm currently pregnant with my first child and while I have never been a 'clucky' person, I can't wait to pass on the joy of creating to my spawn!

« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009 06:19:17 PM »

Absolutely glorious.  The quilt and your explanation.  I've totally been that but didn't know how to articulate it.
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009 06:28:06 PM »

what a beautiful quilt! Of course, that is the reason that I came and looked, but your words struck me as truer than any other I have heard.
Usually I, too pass off crafting as "I like it" but there is a deeper need behind it. You captured that perfectly.
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009 07:01:16 PM »

You're amazing and this post made me so happy  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2009 08:30:46 PM »

This is beyond beautiful and shows great dedication. Great work!

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