I have been doing a lot of thinking about my process and my work. Being one who loves handwork and the feel of nice cotton fabric. I have been thinking about what I am doing and why. We live in a world where everything is created quickly or available at a moment's notice. Slowing down and being thoughtful in what I do, and how I do it, is good for my health, well-being and, of course, my art.
I began my quilting experience with the idea that it was all about the end result and wanted to get there as quickly as possible. As I worked, I learned something about myself: the parts that excited me most were the things that took time and thought. The reason I was quilting shifted, it was no longer all about the end result, it was more about the process. When I realized this, it gave me permission to slow down, and really think about how I was going to create my pieces.
One of my aha moments occurred as I was finishing my first bed quilt (a queen-size nine patch). It was then I realized the most enjoyable part was hand stitching the binding! Stitching by hand. By hand! And that led me to needleturn applique. The meditative process of needleturn ... the needle goes in... slides through the fabric... and out the other side... Over and over and over again. While stitching, I seem able to solve the problems of the world. Oh, the wonderful benefits of engaging in the process at this level! Have you experienced that joy recently?
While working on a large quilt, such as a Hawaiian bed quilt, many changes will occur in your life. Depending on how diligent you are, your quilt can take years to complete. In that time you experience many life changes; and when you look at your quilt you remember those experiences. The imprints of memories in a tangible form. And isn't that one of the incredible things about creating your art?
This is how it applies to me in my world, but it can be said about any and all fiber art. Whether it is done on your machine or by hand, just take a deep breath, think about what you are doing, experience it, relax, and enjoy!
Then consider how adding needleturn applique to your quilts can help you slow down, relax, and enjoy the process. The quilt will be finished in time, and you will have a work of art to be proud of.
To learn needleturn applique, or improve your skills look for one of our DVDs in your local library, your quilt guild library, or purchase your very own copy here. Make your quilting matter.