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My Tipsy Quilt

My Maine Tipsy Quilt. I've fallen in love with the imperfect.

I don’t know what’s been happening lately.  I tried quilting years ago, and just didn’t take to it.  A bit surprising, given my affinity for all things fiber.  Regardless, there it is.

However.

Return.  Return.

Lately, however, I have been picking up quilts, quilt pieces, already cut up cutter quilts, etc., right and left.  I just can’t help myself.  I still don’t want to quilt.  I just want to honor and adore these bits and pieces I’ve been accumulating lately.

To a one (just about) the entirety of them is hand-stitched.  From the piecing, to the quilting, to the binding—when applicable–hand done.  Period.

Nothing matches, and I love that.

I want to incorporate these bits of wonder into something new.  Something that I am doing.  Honestly, I am a wretch who wants to lean on the talents of a bygone era to make something that is cherished, that makes someone take pause, if not weep, to have this tenderness of talent applied to their tech moderated lives.

Can that be done in our day and age?

On one of our recent (and frequent) flea marketing outings, my husband and I picked up a quilt.  At least 60 yrs old.  Honestly, extremely poorly done.  But equally honestly, that requires a certain ability of technique in of itself.   One side of the border starts at about–what?–6 inches wide??.  Over the course of its run, it finishes at maybe 2 inches.  The squares–and not a one matches another–are tilted and skewed.  Drunken is really the best description.  And at the end of the day, it is a quirky, amusing, and even lovingly ridiculous squarish quilt that warmed some hardworked and (hopefully) well loved body.

There is not only beauty in that, but poetry.

I couldn't do the math to recreate this border.

I have spent the past two days piecing pillows together.  Pillows, that on the face of it, should have been relatively easy to assemble.  But given the patterns.  And the repeats.  And the lack of a — Square.  True.  Grain.  —   And everything else that annoys the cr$p out of me—it took days and knots in my back, and tons of caffeine.  And it suddenly occurred to me, looking at my acquired tipsy quilt, how hard it must have been to pull off a NOT PERFECT quilt.  That takes a plenitude more skill and technique. I think I know that now.

If I have to lie my life on the line to be able to make something square and true, how on earth do I make a respectable quilt that scoffs at longitude and latitude??

So, my crew introduced me to Gee’s Bend.  And I may just see the light.

And the cutting table beckons.

I aspire to being able to be this "not right" so beautifully.

2 thoughts on “My Tipsy Quilt

  1. Jess –

    AMEN. I love the old quilts and I love that you love them. oh, and I love you too!

  2. […]  I clung to it for ages, not quite figuring what I would do with it.  Then, you may recall, my Tipsy Quilt wended its way into our home.  Its complete ease with its own imperfections unstuck something in […]

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