Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Time-Sensitive Quilt Project

Now that my friend has it, I can talk more about my time-sensitive quilting project.

My friend fell and broke her leg in several places.  She had to have a metal plate put in her leg.  It will be a long recuperation.

Ordinarily, I'd have sent her a prayer shawl.  What's a prayer shawl?  It's a creation that's usually knitted or crocheted out of yarn, something large enough to be draped across the shoulders.  For those of you who wonder why on earth churches would do a prayer shawl ministry, I explain this further in this post on my theology blog.

I know that my friend with the broken leg is open to the idea of prayer shawls, as she's asked me to send prayer shawls to family members suffering ravaging illnesses.  So my first thought was to send her one too.

But she crochets.  She's already got more afghans than she can use, and unlike me, she can crochet in interesting patterns.  I know she'd appreciate the thought of a prayer shawl, but I wondered about a different approach.

I decided that a quilt could fulfill the same purpose.  And I had some parts of quilt tops already sewn together.  I decided to assemble them into a single quilt top and put it together.  I liked that there were different patterns and different patches, much for her to look at as she recuperates.

And I needed to do it quickly.  I wanted to get it done before her leg healed.  And so, I began sewing like a woman possessed.

And I got it done.  It's not my best, most intricate work.  But it's a thing of beauty, and my friend reports that it's a comfort. 

This process made me wonder how many projects we could plow through and finish, if we'd just buckle down and do it consistently.  I tend to think that a larger quilt project takes too much time.  But this project, which will cover my friend from feet to upper body (so just less than twin size), took me only a month--and that includes the pieces that I'd previously stitched.

And it's not like I was working every spare minute.  It took some intense time on 2 Saturdays and 2 Wednesdays, along with some focused attention on a Wednesday night, a Sunday morning, and a Sunday night.

Is it because I was less of a perfectionist since I had a firm deadline?  I've written before about the good enough approach (see this post); maybe that process was in play.

The other factor was my willingness to just sit down and get the project done.  How many other projects might get done if I just sat down for longer periods of time and blistered through them?

It was wonderful to immerse myself in this process again.  It was wonderful to take it with me and to have something for my hands to do during long meetings; unlike with writing projects, I could work on it and still pay attention.  It was great to generate interest in the younger generation.  It was wonderful to see the bright colors of the fabric and to have the soothing rhythm of the long stitch.

I'm ready for the next quilting project!  We're going to make quilts for Lutheran World Relief at our church on September 7.  I need to get parts of those quilts assembled before that date.  No excuses about not having enough time!

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