If my approach to quilting were an appetite, you could definitely call my eyes bigger than my stomach. A bit longer than two years ago, I decided to make a quilt. A king-size quilt. I'd never quilted more than a place mat before, and just one of those.
But I began, perhaps foolishly trusting my patience and skills with other crafts to carry me through to the end, and trusting in the growing love between myself and the man I was making the quilt for.
About three weeks ago, I finished what had become our wedding quilt, approximately 54,000 hand-quilted stitches and a number of hours I couldn't possibly begin to count.
I had completed it with skills learned from books, from the Internet, from trial and error.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to bring my finished quilt to the Stitch-N-(Kvetch) in Shoshone by Karma Fitzgerald, with whom I have built a friendship primarily via Facebook. So it was a little strange to sud-denly be in a room with other quilters, talking technique, discussing design and dishing about our lives.
It was as though the chrysalis of my private quilting experience had just erupted into a social butterfly.
Because the group's regular meeting time on Wednesday - not to mention the drive to Shoshone - ate into my workday, it may be a while before I return.
But for a few moments I felt connected to those generations of women for whom quilting was not just an art but a necessity - the creation of warmth for their families' beds and the creation of community among those who couldn't connect in the ways we can today.
Although I expect much of my future crafting will be as physically isolated as my wedding quilt was, I know that these women are out there if I need them.
- Ariel Hansen