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How many quilts do you need?

A humble 9-patch - who could resist this one?

I know I’ve already shared how much I’m enjoying the virtual quilting bees and the flickr groups. It’s wonderful to meet an energized, talented group of novice quilters, as so many of them are.  They’re ready to try new things, they’re not so hung up on the rules, and they ask great questions.

Yesterday on one of the flickr discussions, I started to answer a question about how many quilts you really need. And I realized, as is often the case, that my answer was probably more than they wanted to hear. So I thought I share it here, since unless it’s your first time reading my blog, you know what you’re in for!

I’ve always said that Gran was a compulsive baker. She baked for every event, every emotion, every up or down or sideways. She baked to express her love, or her concern, or her frustration. It was a tangible (and not fleeting – my butt is proof of that) expression of her emotions.

I suppose quilting is the same for me (again with the quilt-butt* as proof).  It might even explain, in some small way, why I have so many projects going on at the same time. I have an strong emotional attachment to at least 75% of my current QIP (quilts-in-progress).  Some days it feels like choosing one to work on is a bit like choosing only one of your children to love right now.  Even knowing you’ll love the other one – exclusively – later doesn’t make it easy.

I realize that my opportunity for “productivity” is different than it may be for others.  Other than work, and the minimum requirements of keeping house, my time is pretty much my own. Jon is so supportive – and even my sweet pups are great enablers. Plus I have tools that were best described by my niece Chelsey’s friend Kate:  “If my mom saw that machine she’d pee her pants.” So I can plan projects until hell freezes over (and I have quilts to keep that from happening) with nothing holding me back except me.

I’m not saying that “me” isn’t a big hurdle. It is. I love virtually every part of the process (okay – loading a quilt on the HQ16 is kinda lame), and apparently I got the idea that it would be even more fun if I tried doing all of them at the same time. But it’s still within my control.

You'll see this a lot in our home

So in our home, quilts are everywhere. A couple are displayed, most are used daily, three are somewhere in the process, and I’ve go more designs lurking. But there’s more to my quilting than that. Much more, actually.

I have a big family (cue the laughter.) Big really doesn’t describe it.  Dearest Gran, parents, brothers (5), sisters (2), nieces and nephews, aunts & uncles & cousins everywhere.  Jon, Tim & Ashlee, and now our sweet Nicole and her clan. Add to that the friends in our lives that are family and the list just gets longer.  In my world, every one of them has at least the start of a quilt in my heart. Some have been gifted, others are in work. That’s a lot of quilts.

Add to that the commitments I’ve made recently (and very willingly, tyvm) and it could get a little overwhelming. But it doesn’t. Do I have an occasional deadline that looms? Certainly. I even have an occasion deadline that comes and goes. Thank goodness the question wasn’t “How many quilts do you really need to be working on at the same time?”

So I guess this is a (very) roundabout way of answering the original question: How many quilts do you need? All of them.

I must have looked like I needed help with the photos

* Quilt-Butt is not a term I invented. The credit goes to Katie (Sew Katie Did).  It did not, however, require ANY explanation when she shared it with me.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hubby #

    I have two answers to your question. First YOU need as many quilts as it takes to fill your heart bless us all with your talent, thoughtfulness and love. My second answer is more for your bloggies. You will recognize the story.

    In 1973 I attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Idaho. Our Troop volunteered to host a Troop from Japan. This meant camping in adjacent Troop sites, sharing some culture, but most importantly helping them with the routine things that were not translated into English. Our camp mates spoke much better English than we spoke Japanese. We spoke no Japanese and they spoke very little English. On one of my rotations as Quartermaster (I had to go pick up the food for the day’s meals) I buddied up with Quartermaster from the Japanese troop and off to the distribution truck we went. We received our allotment of staples and the items on the menu for the day, all pre-measured and portioned based on the Troop size. Now came the liquids, OJ and Milk, these items were nearly unlimited as long as they weren’t being wasted. The person giving us our supplies asks; how much milk and OJ do you need? After I explained OJ was orange Juice, the half a minute or so pause by the Japanese Scout, he answered, “ah, plenty.” So, how many quilts to you need? Plenty!

    July 25, 2010
  2. Beth Tays #

    Hi —You’re so good. Can’t wait to see you this fall.
    Take care—Beth

    July 26, 2010
    • Thanks, Beth. I’m really looking forward to October, too!

      July 27, 2010
  3. Linda Gould #

    To continue the train of thought, you need as many quilts as it takes to fill every bit of your heart with the love you put into your family (extended, too) and friends. That might be even more than you have time for but I know you will try to find the time! I am so proud of you!

    July 31, 2010

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