Friday, November 21, 2014

Sabrina's Quilt

Today I woke up with the inkling to finish Sabrina's quilt, but I hesitated. Quilting shouldn't be like this - hesitation. I hesitated because my brother is expecting HIS quilt. He mentions it. He asks when his is coming. The fact that Sabrina's quilt top has been finished and ready for more than a year doesn't seem to matter. The fact that I don't have the money to buy fabric to make a (big) fantastic quilt for my brother and his new wife doesn't matter. I feel the expectancy of it. I don't like it.

See, I never expected to make Sabrina a quilt. From the very beginning of my cousin Lindsay's pregnancy there was no expectation. I have struggled with infertility for years. Pregnant people piss me off. Lindsay totally understands that (as a young woman, unexpectedly pregnant, she was worried about how I'd be pissed - I admire that sensitivity). I don't make baby quilts. Some people do - you have a baby, you get a quilt. Not from me. But when Sabrina was born I felt a need to process feelings, feelings about how I don't have a newborn. So I quilted. 

Sabrina's quilt top was finished very quickly. I had the desire to use it as a practice for renting out time on a longarm. I have a super intense quilt that I want to longarm myself - but first I'd need practice. So, Sabrina's quilt was set aside for a while while I sorted out how to do all that. At this point I don't think it's entirely necessary to do a whole quilt in practice. I don't need to seek the perfection that I had once intended. I need real and raw. So there is no need for me to wait to finish Sabrina's quilt (and for God's sake, she's two years old already!).

But. If I finish this quilt what will my brother say. His sweet wife won't say anything, but it seems that Dan is expecting this. I don't blame him, I just don't think he gets what making a quilt is all about - he doesn't get the creative process. I don't think he understands the difference between just whipping out a fun / easy quilt (like Sabrina's), and making a work of art - tailored to the recipient (like his will be).

I feel like quilters are always trying to express this. Quilts are a lot of work, fun, exciting, beautiful work. But to put an expectation on finishing a quilt for a specific purpose - to carry the feelings and love that I feel for my little brother - I just can't get there right now.

So do I finish Sabrina's quilt? Time will tell. Maybe I will. 


  1. I would suggest that you work on whatever you are moved by when you have the time to quilt. I have found that if I am not in the mood, it is more work than pleasure and it does not always come out the way I pictured it in my mind.

    As for your brother's quilt, I can relate. Several years ago I made all my family members large lap quilts for their birthdays. When it came time to make one for my youngest sister, I wanted to get some input on colors so it could be more personalized. When I asked her, she rudely said "If it is not big enough for my queen sized bed then I don't want one!" Guess what? She doesn't have one! I hate when people get demanding especially when they have no idea about all the time and effort that goes into making a quilt of any size. You've got to love family!

    Happy quilting!

  2. A finish for Sabrina will also be a finish for you too. Maybe that is why you are really struggling with it. Im unable to have babies due to cancer. I still make baby quilts, but finishing them is often hard. When I do I feel a calm joy. I have two that are wating to be quilted. The babies are coming on a year old. And I totally get the brother quilt thing. It took 15 years to finish my dads star trek quilt.

  3. It's an unfortunate part of quilting to have all of the conflicting and negative feelings that are associated with creating. A difficult balancing act that I wish I had some good advise or insight on but sadly, I find myself smack dab in the middle of the same thing much too often. Good luck with finding what feels right - to you.

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