I have discovered my inner quilter. She wakes up when I accompany my mother or my sister to their favorite fabric store haunts. They are magicians with the craft and I have become comfortable with some of the quilting lingo: Log Cabin, Bear Claw, appliqué, quilting stitch, batting, backing. But nothing brings out my inner quilter more than walking into a clean, sunlit room filled with rainbow racks of fine cotton. I anticipate being bored on these little excursions, but instead am drawn into the sensuality of color: emerald, violet, mustard, umber, teal, gold, blue. The brilliant imaginations of artists are displayed through the designs: lions, tigers, bears, horses, roses, daisies, exotic plants twirling in and out of graceful bamboo stems, rainbow swirls, dove gray bubbles on ivory. My eyes rake over the feast, drawing in my favorites into one magical piece in my mind. I have a quilt in me somewhere waiting to come out. Unfortunately, it will have to wait until I have time because of one teeny, weeny piece:
I don’t know how to sew.
I can’t seam a straight line.
Before my inner quilter can grow up, we will have to take care of that little detail.
I have a way with a needle. I can do just about any embroidery stitch you hand over. My shelves are filled with counted cross stitch and needlepoint pattern books. I was just never interested in s-e-w-i-n-g. The process of pattern cutting, pinning, cutting and stitching is one great, big yawn.
Except for an eighth grade home economics class where I was forced to manufacture a green corduroy jumper that made me look like the frozen broccoli box version of the Jolly Green Giant, I have neither the knowledge nor the desire to toil over zipper insertions, buttonholes, darts, pleats or inseams. If the hem unravels on my trousers, double-sided tape works great. If I find a hole in a favorite tee shirt, well, why did God create iron-on patches?
When I accompanied my mother on a little jaunt to Sandy’s Quilt Shop, http://www.sandysquiltshopllc.com, in Harbour Heights, Florida, I was captivated by the dazzling array of patterns and colors of hundreds of fabric bolts standing at attention on the shelves like tall, soft books. The little store was filled with natural light so the colors could show their true selves. There was the fresh smell of clean wood, and there were a few customers who had already stacked up their choices on the cutting board. The piled fabrics were a gourmet of color. I wanted to eat them.
My inner quilter took out her credit card and bought the nucleus of her stash, this year’s Hoffman’s Challenge; http://www.hoffmanchallenge.com/2008challenge/2008main.htm.
Keeping in mind that my inner quilter is also a birder, who could resist? I bought two yards and have no clue what to do with it. But like good quilters everywhere, this fabric is part of a plan greater than myself….