Quilting for pleasure is much more fun than quilting to a brief. The thing is – and this is probably a shooting myself in the foot type of confession for someone who's blog heavily features the word 'quilt', I hate quilting! I love patchwork, and adore quilting by hand, but faffing about with a machine, rolling up acres of fabric into bicycle clips, in order to feed a slightly less bulky tube of fabric through the gap in a sewing machine is not my idea of fun.
Thankfully, the quilting brief was straightforward, straight lines, done in the ditch (well, the lines are straight, and the majority of them are in the ditch). Had the brief been for free motion embroidery, intersecting circles, or the type of elaborate design that for some reason, always reminds me of a custard cream biscuit, I'd have wept, knowing full well that this was a challenge too far! That type of quilting wizardry is best left to those with long arm quilters, and machine skills that I'll never in a million years possess.
I am however, in possession of a new rotary cutter, and goodness me, I hadn't realised my old one was so blunt. This one slices through fabric like a hot knife through butter, whereas my old one usually needed a little after help from a pair of scissors. With another quilt to start and finish by mid September it's just as well my tools are now up to scratch. Bernie doesn't know what's hit him (I'm more of a Sunday driver when it comes to using the sewing machine) but he's loving the extra work-out and seems to thrive on a challenge.
I'm also getting a perverse kind of pleasure from quilting to someone else's deadline, while using their fabric and colour choices has certainly been good for me. I'm usually far too conservative, preferring restrained palettes, minimal patterns and linen or Japanese woven cloths whenever possible. I am missing the more leisurely pace of sewing for myself though, and the peaceful tones of my white quilt. So, perhaps a night or two off from quilting to order is called for, a few hours spent hand sewing is just what I need.