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Crazy Patchwork

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“Mom! I found a new quilt pattern! It'll be perfect for that baby quilt!” One of my favorite parts of quilting is finding a pattern. Instead of checking Facebook and seeing what my friends are up to, I spend my time googling “quilt patterns”. I find pictures and websites that show images of beautiful, intricate quilts. When I find that perfect pattern, I bookmark it; grab a sheet of graph paper, a calculator, a pencil, a sharpie, and some colored pencils. Based on the image I see, I draw the shapes on my graph paper and determine the measurements of each of the blocks so the quilt is not too large or too small. More often than not, planning out my quilt requires patience and erasers. Once I think my dimensions are perfect and feasible, I outline my pattern in sharpie before coloring it. Occasionally, I have to determine the size of each of the many hundreds of individual squares, rectangles, and triangles to account for seam allowance.

Quilting is time consuming...unfortunately. Each quilt takes approximately 12 to 15 hours to produce, making it extremely hard to create all the quilts that I want. Even though 12 or 15 hours might seem like a deterrent for most teenagers in a world of instant gratification, each step gives me a sense of accomplishment. Due to the considerable amount of time and seemingly monotonous procedure, quilting requires a lot of patience, commitment and attention to detail to finish a whole quilt. But the satisfaction is worth every minute.

Half the joy of quilting is sharing the experience (and the quilts) with others. Whenever I show my friends a new quilt, they exclaim, “I want one!” Recently, I've started to teach my six-year old cousin Lily how to quilt. She came over to my house one day and asked me if she could help me with my current quilt. I asked her if she wanted to make her own, and she enthusiastically said “Yes!” I pulled out our bins of fabric and asked her to pick out the ones with colors and patterns of fabrics she liked the most. Then, she helped me cut up the fabrics into blocks and sew them together by unpinning and starting/stopping the sewing machine. Every step of the way, I asked her for her preference in the order of the blocks and the overall pattern. Now Lily has a quilt that she helped design and sew to call her own.

In my family, there is a tradition of making baby quilts for the first-born baby. My cousins will be having a baby in January and my aunt and uncle's baby is due in April. Consistent with the tradition started by my mom, we plan on making both babies a quilt to treasure. I can’t wait to see my new cousins wrapped up in their crazy patchwork-patterned quilts, bright with oranges, blues, greens, and purples.





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WilkinsMaureen33 said...
Mar. 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm
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