Quilting with Sandi


Why I Make Quilts (cont’d)

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Throughout my teens and early adulthood I continued to sew garments for myself and others, even for a time earning extra money by doing alterations and making bridesmaid’s gowns. And any time a gift was needed for a friend’s wedding or baby shower, I produced knitted or crocheted throws, sweaters, hats and booties.

At some point I was asked to make a quilt as a baby shower gift for a friend, and so designed my first quilt, a simple block and square creation embellished with embroidery. Later quilts were made in an easy pinwheel pattern and, finally, a bed-sized quilt in the simple “Around the World” design. I was hooked.

What about making a quilt so appeals to me? I believe it is the merging of the mathematical and the creative, the geometric and the artistic, the engaging of the left and right sides of the brain in the unity of a project. My math background features a strong interest in geometry, while my artistic training includes extensive color study. These two disparate worlds collide in my mind and hands, bringing about new moods, designs, and use of color.

Then there is the tactile part of the process: drawing, cutting. stitching, embellishing, pinning, and finally, quilting. While many of my sister quilters take their partially completed work to a quilt shop to be machine quilted, I prefer to hand quilt my work. Evenings spent peacefully and quietly planning and then stitching the designs can lead to a wonderful emptiness of mind and fullness of heart, rhythms of breathing and sewing merging to form a peaceful and relaxing experience.

Finally there is the joy of seeing the finished product, the coming together of shapes and colors, fabric and thread, positive and negative space, and, stepping back, to at last see the whole rather than the parts: the act of making with mind and hands each unique and personal statement, joined with time, care, and love. This is why I make quilts.

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