I decided to sign up for a quilting class taught by four talented ladies who know their stuff and have been doing it for years. They've made more quilts than they can count and each one is a kaleidoscope of contrasting colours and swirling patterns.
I've made a couple of quilts before, but I could never match up the points properly, so this was going to be a challenge. I was relying on the teachers --Suzie, Nancy, Patsy and Eleanor -- to give me the insider tips on piecing.
First up was a class on rotary cutting. That's where you turn a big piece of fabric into tiny precise squares of varying sizes. Cutting tool in one hand, ruler in the other, I was ready. "Cut two strips two and a half inches wide, and three strips two and seven eighths inches wide", the pattern said. Easy, right? Zip, zip, zip -- I was on a roll.
Except for a couple of things.
My cutter wobbled off track. I pressed a little too hard on the ruler. I had a "dip" in the cut. Every time I goofed up, Eleanor would say "No problem, that happens all the time", or "Don't worry about that. Here's what you do". She fixed my mistakes and calmed my jittery nerves.
All of the teachers were wonderful -- extremely patient and cheerfully helpful. Suzie, with her droll sense of humour, was cracking us up with one-liners while she checked on our progress. You can't help but love Suzie. She says a good sewing machine is like a husband. When you get a good one, it's a lot of fun. But when you get a bad one, it's a pain in the butt.
What each of these ladies are teaching, really, is the power of patience, taking the time to prepare, assemble, stitch and finish. In our electronic, "click of the mouse" world, quilters are paragons of patience. Their work is art and a testament to an era when a good thing was well worth the time it took to create it.
I'm excited to see how my project turns out. It may take some time, but that's okay.
It'll be worth the wait.
(Photo: "Summer Breeze" pattern crafted by Suzie.)