Hot Mess Quilting

Last night my daughter, with no particular good prompt to do so, said, “Mom, you’re a hot mess.”

Today, a friend and I went to a local quilt shop, lunch and came back to my place to start on a Christmas tree skirt for her daughter.

When we got back here, we talked first, then I was the one who said, well, let’s see what materials/fabric you have, and do we want to use this pattern design from the Missouri Start Quilt Company’s video on a Christmas tree skirt from charm packs (though we were using yardage and cutting squares ourselves).

So, we watched part of the video, went downstairs to start cutting.  First, I/we placed the cat fabric down to see how a 5, 5 1/2 or 6 inch square would look. Then, I scrambled for a piece of paper and pencil so we could figure how many squares we would have to cut of each for the finished size we wanted if using 6″ squares to start.  Then, she did fussy cutting on a Christmas print with cats on it, and I cut strips and then squares of the two of her other fabrics she had purchased (last year) that we decided to use instead of the original five total prints.

Then, she was still fussy cutting with my 6″ square grid ruler and smaller rotary cutter, while I said, what about the border – I can cut strips for that, so we played around with  that design for a while, as I searched here and there for different items.

We never did figure out the borders on this quilted Christmas tree skirt, though I think we decided we needed another print because yardage for bias binding for the center circle was going to be a problem.

She decided to press the blocks, so I heated up my iron, and while she was pressing, tried out some quilting threads I had to see if any matched up well.

Then, we were going to start sewing the blocks together, but instead I took two extra 6″ blocks and gave her a mini lesson on free-motion quilting (FMQ) (which she had never done, she was [is?] a hand quilter).   She immediately asked about my quilting gloves (Machinger’s) and the quilting foot I have.  Now, I forgot to tell her that I have a Juki foot for my machine, being high shank, and that it cost about $42, but it came with my used machine and I love it, and I wouldn’t trade it or give it away for anything.

Instead, I pulled out my machine notions box and found her a quilting/darning foot I had two extra, that I used when I first started on my Kenmore machine, low shank – but somehow couldn’t find the one I had modified via Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Blogspot (originally with a ponytail holder to hike up the spring a bit so the foot didn’t ride so close to the fabric, and bent back the part that rests on the needle bar, but I found waxed dental floss worked better to hike up, ,and I cut between the red line to get ride of that plastic in the way of visibility [WTF did my low shank darning foot go? I wonder]).

Anyway, I gave her one of my extra feet because she swears her machine is low shank and I don’t use my Kenmore for FMQ anymore, and proceeded to show her on the 6″ block how I sometimes basted with spray basting, and then used a paper stencil template with a riding horse to start showing how to FMQ, but also how to get a cool design FMQ that was precise and more like heirloom, hand-quilting.  Then, around the horse, I showed her a stippling/meandering pattern, telling her this is really one of the more simpler ways to learn how to FMQ.

Anyway, she then got a call from her husband and something was amiss, so she had to run – but sometime during this session of where is this thing, and let’s move that, and I just put this over here. . .

I remembered what my daughter said about me being a “hot mess” and realized – I’m kind of a HOT MESS quilter.  I know where things are, and even when I remember “oh, where is that ‘thing’ I {wanted/used/knew I had/remember seeing and not knowing what it was for but now I do and want it} – even though my quilting stuff is spread out between old family room  in lower level (we live in a tri-level),   living room cedar chest  on main level, garage bins of fabric from mom, and dresser draw of fabric from mom in upper level – I can usually locate said “thing” within 5-15 minutes of searching.

OMG, I’m not as bad as my mom, but granted, she was a packrat, and had things skewed all over, but she could usually locate something  random and obscure withing 15 minutes.

Now, I’ll grant that I didn’t know all the sewing and quilting projects she had in progress, so if I had asked her, where is “this thing you showed me 5 years ago and I don’t remember you showing me the finished product” – I’m not sure she would have been able to do that – but still!!!

She was a TOTAL HOT MESS quilter.

I try to organize and simplify, and put things where they belong, or at least where they would be handy/easy to find/organized/categorized/put your organizational term here – but, no matter how hard I try – I find that if I am creating something new, which is like almost all the time – I don’t want to “waste” time “organizing”.  I just want to create, and piece, sew, quilt, bind, press, watch tutorials and then do them, etc.

I’m a frigging HOT MESS QUILTER!

But, I will confess that even my sister said, I’m a “get her done” quilter.  Yes, once I have decided to finish said whatever project, it’s usually done within six months, and that’s on the outside.  It’s more like usually two weeks or months (depending on who supplies the pieces to be finished).

However, I am cool and confident in my choices.  I totally feel free and comfortable that whatever I create will  be fairly awesome.

I embrace my reality and Zen. . . . . .


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