Thursday, February 19, 2009

How This Happened

First, I should clarify.

I am not a quilter. Not by a long shot. Not in the way that I'm a Knitter or a Spinner. I appreciate quilting, but I have no interest in becoming a Quilter. It's just not my thing. In fact, I believe I've mentioned before how little I enjoy sewing. No, if you want a Quilter....speak to my Mom or my husband's aunt.

Rather, I am someone who just happens to make a quilt every once in a while. To be precise, I've made two. The first, seen here, is a simple patchwork that I made the summer before I began college for my dorm room. In fact, my roommate came to spend a weekend with me and we made a similar quilt for her as well. The second, often seen in the background, is a strip pieced log cabin which I made sevenish years ago for our bed. In all honestly, it is poorly quilted and falling apart from much use and love. When it became apparent that it needed to be replaced I did not jump at the chance to make another, but rather asked my Mom to do that for me.

So what could possibly have caused my knitterly heart to go nuts over some fabric and a pattern?

I blame two things.
First, The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket. I fell head over heals for this book when it first hit the shelves last fall. Ask my BKB...every time I went to Barnes & Noble I would pour over the lovely pictures in great delight. I was obsessed! I couldn't quite justify the purchase, though, so I put it on my wish list and hoped. To my great delight, my in-laws purchased it for me for Christmas. It quickly became my evening reading - tucked into bed with my rice bag at my feet and a mug of tea at my side. At it's heart, this book is a testament to all that makes home life beautiful, and I eagerly devoured each page. The one thing that surprised me was how attracted I was to Brocket's quilts. Each chapter has a quilt, and they are far from the traditional quilts that most of us are familiar with. Bright, bold and rather simple in design they are for her a type of living, usable scrapbooks. (It's no surprise at all that Kaffe Fassett is a major inspiration for her.) I had never thought about quilts in this way, and found myself both charmed and oddly attracted to the idea of making these gems.

This is where my second inspiration, The Wooden Spool, comes in. The Wooden Spool is a lovely quilt shop in Excelsior Springs, MO (my hometown) that happens to be owned by a woman who grew up in my church with me. Jamie is just a couple years older than I, and she and her sister were constant playmates during my childhood - although Jamie was just enough older to have that mysterious 'grown-up' air about her. My mother used to make Jamie's Easter dresses, and as soon as the store opened she became one of it's biggest fans. Anymore, it's just about the only place Mom shops for fabric. I had no idea when we were younger that Jamie was a Quilter, but it is obvious that she loves her handwork, her shop and all of the people involved.
We go to visit The Wooden Spool almost every time I go home, and I'm always a bit of a joke...the knitter who hates to sew, but who might be tempted at any minute. Last Thanskgiving I finally fell. My mother, my brother's girlfriend and I all went to the shop so that Mom and Erin (Actually, both my brother and his girlfriend are named Erin, but that's a story for another day.) could pick out fabric for a quilt. Now that Mom's made one for us, it's my brother's turn after all. I always make a beeline for the fat quarter selection, having a strange fascination with these little bundles. This time, though, my eye was drawn beyond the fat quarter bin to a bench just beyond it, on which sat the most glorious group of fabric I had ever seen. AND, it had a fat quarter bundle that was well in my price range! I left without it, though. I did purchase two or three individual fat quarters from the group, but I didn't really want/know what to do with the entire collection.
But I couldn't get it out of my mind.
Armed with an imagination full of Jane Brocket's quilts, Mom and I went back in January. The rest is history. I can't wait to get to work....


Paula said...

I am so much the same way! I like the IDEA of quilting a whole lot more than actually doing it. I have made a few quilts, some pillows, and a purse. Just recently I bought some fat quarters just for the colors. It makes me happy to look at them. Looking forward to hearing about your quilting adventure!

Jewel said...

I love making the tops of quilts, I just don't want to quilt them.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

I know what you mean about that book! I got it for Christmas too (you may remember); I've been daydreaming about taking a sewing class at my local community college next fall when Cal is in full day prek. Can't wait to see what you do!