Monday, May 18, 2020


From talking to friends and keeping up with others on social media, I've noticed that our current situation (quarantine, lockdown, or whatever you want to call it) has either stopped creativity in its tracks or it's hit the accelerator. For me, that's definitely been the case.

I've been writing a ton, deep into the third draft of my next Tudor book, and I recently made a 4' x 4' quilt for the loveseat where I sit and do a lot of my reading and writing.

Let me say up front, I've never been a quilter. And while this turned out well, and I'm really proud of it, I doubt I'll ever make another one. It's a Log Cabin quilt, obviously, and my favorite part is that all the front fabrics are secondhand, and locally sourced (sidewalk sale, town thrift store, donation from a neighbor). The batting was on hand for microwave bowls, but I don't need to make any more of those right now becase there are no craft shows for me to sell them. I did splurge and buy 1.5 yards of backing fabric, but I'm using the remnants from that in another project, so it's all good, and no waste.

This is the first patchwork project I've attempted where I followed a plan and actually tried to be precise. And it more or less worked. There are a few blocks that don't line up perfectly, but good enough is good enough. The perfect, as they say, is the enemy of the damn thing ever getting finished. (My last quilted project, a much simpler effort that is on our bed, took me 17 years because I messed up and shoved it in a bag until I got over being mad at it).

This, with waiting for the backing fabric to arrive , and crawling around on the living room floor sticking it together with far too many safety pins, took about 2 weeks. The quilting is all done by machine, because I will never be that dedicated to handwork, especially of the kind I can't see. The binding was hand sewn down on the back because that seemed easier than trying to line it up perfectly and run it through the machine.

Another reason this is my first and last quilt: anything bigger would not fit comfortably in either my sewing machine or my workroom. I caused several avalanches by trying to maneuver far too much fabric in a cramped space. Bad enough I have to clean up the scraps and thread tails I leave everywhere; having to excavate the floor after knocking over a stash pile is not the workroom fun I had in mind.

So here it is, PandemiQuilt 2020. Just in time to not want to curl up under it and read. Next year, quilt. Next year.


theresa said...

Karen, I can so identify with what you went through. I am not a quilter either but inherited my dear MIL's quilting stash. As quilters go, hers was not enormous but there was still a good bit of fabric. It's taking up room in the sewing/guest room. I'm wading through it bit by bit making cloth grocery bags (20 yards out so far) but there is still a lot left that must be maneuvered around. Your quilt is very nice. I wouldn't have even machine quilted but used the "tie" method. Hats off to you for persevering.
Theresa in Tucson

sewingkm said...

Your lap quilt turned out quite nice and you should feel pride. I'm mainly a garment sewist but during this pandemic I've mainly been sewing lap quilts that I call decorator quilts as all of them have been made out of Asian prints I've collected over the years and I have a home decorated in an Asian theme. Since I haven't felt motivated to sew clothes reaching into the tub has made me feel good to finally use these fabrics. I've also done a lot of reading including your book and am so glad you've made progress on your latest. Keep creating! Karen