Getting off my HIGH HORSE

Cutting out shapes and trying to get the placement right~
I seem to do everything from scratch.  For some reason making things the hard - time consuming way gives them more value in my book.  I think I inherited it from my parents

I was raised by two wonderful people who grew up during the depression.  It was a time of making do with what you had.  You saved string, screws, and scraps without a project in mind.  You just might need them someday.  My mother made all my clothes and my dad built our house.  You didn't go out and buy something you could manufacture with your own hands.  (And, they didn't have credit cards.)

I like the satisfaction of doing things that are difficult sometimes.  I started a stamp quilt a few years ago (1" blocks) and my son asked me why I wanted to do something like that.  "I want to do something hard" I said as I laughed at myself.

I made all the girls clothes when they were growing up.  Sewing for the boys was another kettle of fish.  I didn't want to make jeans and they often wouldn't wear the shirts I made. (Although Nathan has worn the Hawaiian ones.) Who would have thought boys could be so picky.  But sewing for the girls was fun.  I made shorts and tops, swimming suits, prom dresses, and eventually brides dresses.

I'm a scratch cook standing at the stove for hours just to keep stirring the perfect pudding.  I make my cakes from scratch, my pizza and pie crust from scratch. (I've been pondering making my own pastrami now that we have our own smoker). I can see the 70's influence of doing everything the natural way here.

My husband is the same way.  When I told him I wanted some quilt frames and showed him the Grace frame from a magazine he built me one for our 23rd anniversary.

I have quilted on these frames for 19 years now.  They are easy to assemble, keep the quilt taut, and don't take up much room.

So, when it comes to quilting and I've got an applique project going - I  do needleturn applique.  There is just something in me that feels like I'm reducing the worth and significance of the quilt by using a sewing machine to apply the applique pieces.

I hope I'm not offending anyone here.  It's just who I am.  (Keep reading, I turn into a real person later in the post)

So when I started this project;

When the Cold Wind Blows
I fully intended to do it all with needle turn applique like I have done with these  quilt tops.

Folk Art Tribute by Dawn Heese

Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs

Alma Allen & Jan Patek pattern

Moda Mystery

My daughter calls this one "Jousting chickens".
But, after prepping 3 1/2 blocks that took days and days I began to applique the oak leaf blocks.  I'm already falling out of love for this project.  I can see it's going to take me years to complete because the enthusiasm is dwindling with each stitch.  My leaves are crooked too.

Wrinkled frustration

I don't like the bulk of the 28 1/2 inch block.  It's way to big and the applique is a chore instead of a pleasure.

After extensive deliberation, I got out my Heat n Bond Lite and began tracing, snipping, pressing, and trimming.  It is going so much faster in the preparation stage alone. I'm having fun already

I am going to machine applique it like I have done with these tops

Fig Tree Danelions

Jan Patek

Center is machine appliqued
Compilation of Blackbird Designs

Santa heads are Debbie Mumm pattern

Black Mountain Quilt design

SO, I'm going to get off my "HIGH HORSE" and revive the  joy in sewing.  

That is the reason I quilt after all.



Anonymous said…
First off I love reading your blog and today I totally related to you concerning applique. I have a project right now that I've been working on for a couple years. It's patchwork with an appliqued center. I too love needle turn but this center is very large. I also feel like I'm cheating when I fuse and machine finish (even though I have done this & I know THERE'S NOTHING WRONG W/THAT METHOD). I'm not liking how it's turning out so have put on the back burner. Have thought about taking all the vines & flowers off and doing another method. Maybe now I'll not be so hard on myself and just get it finished. :) ~Jody R
Robin said…
Jody, Thanks for commenting. I think I put too much pressure on myself to make the perfect quilt. Sometimes the perfect quilt is the one that is done and wrapped around someone I love. If it takes weeks to make or years - that's up to me - the recipient just feels the warm cottony hug.
Janet O. said…
I can so relate to the "cook from scratch" and "sew my girls' clothes" comments. If I did applique I would probably feel like you do, so that may be a subconscious reason for not getting involved. Sometimes I want to yell at myself "lighten up, already!" : )
I applaud you for doing it!
Anonymous said…
Instead of explaining who I am and why I do things the way I do - I'll direct anyone who asks to this blog post! I could have written it myself - absolutely everything from scratch - the longer the route the better I feel - crazy isn't it? Only since I've retired have I had a chance to rethink and realised that time's moving on - I need to do the same if I'm ever to do half the things I want to do, soooo.... machine applique it is (mostly). I don't think I'll get past the cooking from scratch though - I like to know exactly what's on my plate, and I cook better than "they" do! Love the blog. Elaine
audrey said…
Lol Had to laugh at your post. Good job you for figuring out the way to power through and get to a finish someday.:) We do get stuck in our routines and favorite ways of doing things!
I am new here but enjoyed this post. I've done a lot of from scratch things in the kitchen over the years, from grape juice from my own vines to home made noodles to canning, etc. And I love applique and while I prep mine with the starch and iron method and have not attempted machine applique, I do know that the prep work drags me down. So I only do a little at a time. I can take about 20 minutes at the ironing board IF THAT and then I have to run screaming from the room :)

That is one talented husband you have...what a lovely frame. Now I am going to look around a little more : )

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