Friday, September 2, 2011

Why I Quilt

I've noticed something about quilting in the last couple of days.  It is, more than anything else, a craft of precision.  When the pattern says cut a two and seven eighths by seventeen and a quarter strip, three by seventeen and a quarter just won't work.  That eighth of an inch will throw you off.  In a way, it scratches the same itch that knit and crochet do.  Yarn is of course dramatically more forgiving than fabric... but it's still the same concept.  You take tiny, precise pieces and put them together into something new.

On the other hand, the nature of the difficulty levels are very different.  In yarn work, difficult things are generally complicated.  You k3togtbl and have to keep track of intricate lace or cable patterns, or do fancy shaping.  In quilting, on the other hand, the hard parts are so basic.  For example, sewing a scant quarter inch seam.  I still have not figured out what this is supposed to look like, because I am still working on just plain ol' sewing in a straight line for more than about three inches.  Or cutting a square to be exactly three inches on a side.  Simpler patterns are of course more forgiving of error than more complicated ones, and there are still advanced (and HARD!) techniques, like piecing curves, but for the most part the things that get screwed up on quilts are very simple.  But oh, so tricky to do just right.

But you know what?  Then I remembered how hard it was to maintain even tension when I first started to crochet.  And I realized that I just enjoy learning something new.

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