about the improv method of quilting.
If you are not a pattern follower, chances are you’re in possession of a certain amount of ruthless decisiveness. Ruthlessness is not, as I may have previously thought, a virtue — something akin to bravery. It’s more of a necessity. With the improv method, you simply have to be willing to cut, re-order and switch out sections, live with uneven edges, and throw shit out.
It can be frustrating — abiding by the tweaking redo’s that don’t work, the major botches that can’t be saved. There is frequently the feeling of running in place, or worse, traveling backwards. Photo-documentation, while a boon for recording the process & sharing online, has the unfortunate capacity to reveal that previous iterations of your quilt were better (sometimes, way better) than what your repeated tinkering’s produced.
Have you worked on a quilt for two months and suddenly need to see how it takes to the indigo vat? Hold your breath and dunk! Fed up with the progress on a large pieced Global Warming wall quilt, perhaps also two months in the making? Cut the fucker up! Can’t sort the edge of a composition? Walk away and work on something else for a while.
Cutting off worked sections of cloth to true up an edge is routine and I generally do it without much more than a twinge of regret. This week, however, the idea of removing an inch of edging along half the quilt’s length feels like sacrifice. Sacrifice.
Have I changed? Has my cloth-making changed?
I can pinpoint two material reasons for my hesitation. One, I am piecing smaller bits of pattern together these days. A corrective slice now potentially subtracts an entire little world of color and geometry!
Two, I now apply hand-stitching to pieced sections as I go, meaning that a long cut-away would cut through rows of stitching, with unknown result. Anchor later? With what effectiveness?
I’ve slid two pieced sections under the edge to see if I could avoid the cut. One section came off the top of the quilt and the other came off the bottom, so the cloth is consonant with the rest (there’ve been times when I’ve had to use poorly matching fabrics to fudge something). But, even well-matched, it looks like shit.
*This is actually, for me anyway, an oversimplification. Even as I’m finishing this piece, I’m drawing on a photo that may become a pattern.
Can you just “let it be”?
Which reminds me of a song … “Ruthless” by local singer-/songwriter Jimmy Daddy Davis. You can find it here https://www.reverbnation.com/jimmydaddydavis
If I let it be, I might have to give up finishing the edge a certain way and maybe that’s okay because since taking the backlit pix I’ve determined I don’t want to back it with batting anyway. will listen to song later.
It looks like pojagi from where I’m sitting … perhaps it was meant to shine
I am not a quilt maker or a maker of straight lines, does it matter in the scheme of things? You could leave raw edges, I find these conceal all matter of mistakes as they soften.
that’s a second vote for letting it be. taking under advisement!
in the fragile wobbly state of the world this year a wobbly edge works beautifully & love the light coming through, like a stained glass window
Vote #4, I yelled “NO!” out loud at the idea of cutting it. Wobble can be wonderful, and a part of all it is.
Ok. I’m convinced that it would constitute a sacrifice in this case.
Ahhhhhh I LOVE this piece against the light !!!!
(wobble or no wobble !)
I’m considering a very light backing to preserve its glass like qualities. Thanks, El.
yep let it wobble! I thought it was a pojagi too the stained glass quality of the seaming is lovely in the light
Maybe if it hangs in a window instead of against a wall, the wobble will matter less.
I agree: let it be.
I am currently finishing a piece doing a satin stitch in different colors of DMC floss using3 strands. It is slow going but am loving it. But I do thinks leaving a raw edge works.
Have a PeaceFull day.
Satin stitch edging? Sounds pretty.
I’m always aiming for straight and never get past wobble. I say embrace it. This piece is just gorgeous against the light.
Ah but your wobble would be my straight! 🙂