Rocky Mountain Blue Columbine parts and pieces by Dana Jones ©2021
I'm slow in quilt classes. That was the case last week when I took Jane Sassman's "Abstracting from Nature" workshop through the Quilt Surface Design Symposium (QSDS). Check out Jane's work. I was one of several "tortoises" in the class. There was some comfort in knowing others were feeling a bit of the stress I do when I see others sprinting ahead. Most in the class finished their compositions and began stitching them to their backgrounds. Not me. Even after working into the early morning hours several days, I'm still creating the parts of my quilt and will be for awhile.
Handling the stress of being a slow maker is a challenge. I find I do lots of self-talk. I'm really competitive so I have to constantly remind myself — sometimes outloud — that a quilt class is not a competition. I constantly remind myself it is the journey I love. Just sitting at the sewing machine calms me to a point I forget how far behind I am.
I will finish this quilt. It will take time. Next steps include satin stitching, something I haven't attempted for almost 40 years. (That's a story for another blog post.) Next steps include quilting, which I want to do myself but first must learn to do on my brand new sit-down long-arm machine (also another blog post).
There are more parts and pieces to this quilt that I must finish. Some will make the final composition, some will not. One of the things I love about Jane's technique is that you make the parts and pieces never worrying about what will or will not make the final quilt. The orphans will find a home in another piece. Her style is mix of precision and letting the piece go where it will. This so works for me. It's a style of making art that resonants with us Type A folks yet it's tinged with improv. What could be better?
My thanks to my Facebook friends who said go for the columbine. It was a bit more complex a flower than many used by others in the class but it provided so many variations, so many shapes from petals to leaves, from top down views to side views, and more.
The lush color is because I worked entirely from scraps of hand-dyed Cherrywood fabrics. If you haven't used these wonderful fabrics, check them out. They're a bit pricey but worth every penny.
I'm here to affirm it's okay to plod your way through a class. A quilt class is never a competition; it is never a race. At their best, quilt classes, like this one, are pure joy.