Saturday, October 17, 2020

Quilt Camp Update

I woke up yesterday morning to discover that I had no internet access; it was somewhat frustrating, but not unexpected.  That possibility is the reason why I finished my grading and submitted final grades on Wednesday afternoon when I first got unpacked and settled in.

I listened to the wind howling and the rain spattering against the windows yesterday morning, and I realized that the internet connection wasn't likely to just pop back on.  So I settled in with Carolyn Forche's What You Have Heard Is True:  A Memoir of Witness and Resistance.  I had been reading it a few pages at a time just before I fell asleep, but I could see that it was heading into dark territory, so I was glad that I had a chance to finish it all in one fell swoop.  What an amazing story.  I knew bits and pieces of it, but it was great to get more details and new information.  I hope someone makes it into a movie.

I spent much of yesterday doing this:

It was a change from Thursday, when I took breaks.  In the morning, a group of us went to the Asheville Cotton Company, which isn't a factory or a field, but an amazing fabric shop.  Later, I created this Facebook post:  "Some of us left the quilt retreat to go to a fancy cloth shop (Asheville Cotton Company). It had a sign near the register: "Your husband called, and he said to buy whatever you want." I thought, Carl Berkey-Abbott would say no such thing--he'd remind me that we don't have the storage space for that. But he would say I should buy what I need, which is why I bought several spools of the special Metller thread that I can only find in specialty quilting fabric shops and a piece of sale material that will be the back to a baby quilt for our neighbor's son's baby who will be born in the next few weeks."

In the afternoon, a Create in Me friend and I took winding, scenic roads to Coston Farms, my favorite apple orchard.  I decided to buy a whole bushel of the apples that I love best, the Mutsu.  I also bought some jams and apple butters (those are for some of my great work colleagues who make it possible for me to be away).  Then we went to the pumpkin farm next door:

It was a delight, and not only for the apples and treats.  My Create in Me friend and I had a great conversation about church, about the possibility of seminary for both of us, about our dreams of living in some kind of creative, God-centered commune, about our creative practices.  It's rare to find someone who understands all of these elements and is interested in talking about them.

Thursday evening, I made this Facebook post:  "Today I've gone to a fabric shop and an apple farm (and the pumpkin farm beside the apple farm), and I've still made more progress on my quilt in one day than I did in several seasons. Hmmm."

Yesterday I quickly realized that I had a chance of actually finishing my quilt, so I stayed at my table and stitched and stitched.  And by the end of the day, I was finished:

It's far from perfect, especially when one looks at the edges, where I decided to preserve fabric to have a larger quilt, rather than having uniform edges.  It's not quilted within an inch of its life.  For each row (in the above photo, the vertical direction), I quilted a serpentine pattern freehand with no template.

I am so sore, both in ways I expected and ways that I didn't.  My fingers are sore, as is my lower back.  I am surprised by how much my neck hurts.  But I'm feeling good overall:

Happily, I don't think any of my aches and pains will keep me from sewing today.  My plan is to create a baby quilt for our neighbor's son.  A few years ago, he was in a horrific motorcycle accident, one so severe that it's amazing that he lived.  He has since married his high school sweetheart, and their child will be born in the next few weeks.

Here's one last picture--it's to remind me of what I can accomplish when I actually focus and stay seated with a task:

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