Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just tops

At the members' flea market at the Empire Quilt Guild meeting last weekend, one of the older members, who is a very prolific quilter [and quite good] of mostly traditional quilts offered for sale over 20 tops she has made. They were all lovely and all well deserving of being finished and used. But she has found her pleasure in making the tops and goes from one to another. She also makes a lot of quilted tote bags.

I've been thinking about that. I'm not as old as she is but if I get into her habit in the near future I would probably have an accumulation like that in another ten years. For now I try to finish whatever I start -- sometimes it takes quite a while but I feel a guilty if I don't finish something. There's a tug of war going on with my Midwestern values and the [not entirely] nascent self-indulgence that not finishing quilt tops would represent to me.

I feel something like sinfulness [waste not, want not?] if I don't finish something I've started. That used to be true of books. I literally felt guilty about 20 years for not finishing Pollyanna Grows Up when I was ten or so. Finally I realized that it reflected a basic good sense and good taste and started being proud of not finishing it. Still, I rarely start a book and not finish -- only if I find the author very, very dull or his story, fiction or nonfiction, untrue or too superficial to waste my time reading.

I will keep on thinking about going from one finished quilt top to another -- at the moment I have four tops in the process of being made. I know I will finish two of them and think I'm likely to finish all four. Often, I've found, another person's example is the PING that rings through out old habits and taken-for-granted truisms to makes us realize our set ways of doing things just might not be any better than doing the exact opposite. At the least that's a good reason not to become a hermit and to be a bit introspective about things that catch our attention.

2 comments :

Stephanie D. said...

I have a lot of unfinished projects right now, but that doesn't mean I WON'T finish them. I have only abandoned a project once--after 20 years--and it needed to be abandoned, because I didn't know what I was doing when I started it. I had decided to make a double wedding ring quilt entirely by hand, using any kind of fabric, including sheets, and cardboard templates, which we all know will not last. (This was in the early 70s and was the first thing I ever attempted) I finally tossed it.

But even though it takes me a while, I do finish everything because it bugs me not to!

June Calender said...

Actually I have two very old UFOs, one probably doesn't deserve to be finished but the other is a double wedding ring. Okay but not exciting fabric but I just got hung up on curved piecing and quit...maybe some day....or not