Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quilt guilt

This weekend I'm exhibiting a quilt in a local show.

I do not love this quilt.

I feel pretty guilty about not loving this quilt, because the two of us have spent a lot of time together these past couple of months. Well, actually, there've been three of us. Me, the quilt, and a seam ripper.

I had great plans for this project initially. My guild's challenge for this show was to create a quilt inspired by a poem or a song. What a great challenge for an old English major! (Which I seem to be mentioning a lot lately, for some reason - maybe because I realized it's been exactly 30 years this month that I graduated from college. But anyway....)

I spent ages searching for just the right verse to transform into a quilt design. I went back through the classics. I dug through anthologies I hadn't opened in years, looking for just the right metaphor, the perfect image, that could then be expressed through quilting. I mean, I really beat it to death to a ridiculous degree.

Then I stumbled across the works of the contemporary American poet Mary Oliver. And without question, I knew "Wild Geese" was the poem for me. It was a celebration of diversity -- that everything has a place in this world. And of course the traditional Flying Geese block would set everything off perfectly. Bingo.

I envisioned a whole collection of traditional American blocks and motifs, pieced in a wide variety of fabrics and "embraced" by a sweeping arc of flying geese, giving a place and a purpose to everything below.

But despite charting everything out on graph paper, I had the darndest time getting everything to fit together. The cohesive, everything-has-a-place-in-this-world effect I was going for just didn't ever click. Even as I was sewing, it started to feel too 80s-country to me. Ick.

I finished it and submitted it for the quilt show anyway. It looks OK -- just OK. But it won't become one of my favorites.

Poor quilt. It's not to be blamed for turning out this way. But now what do I do with it?


Wool Winder said...

Maybe you can give it to someone who loves it. Or maybe you will grow to love it as time goes by. I think it's pretty.

tiennie said...

Even if you don't like it - I think you should be proud. It's wonderful!! said...

Pretty helpful piece of writing, thanks so much for your post.