December 23, 2008

Never again

It is with great joy and relief that I announce the completion of this commissioned quilt. I took it on just before conceiving and now, a mere two weeks shy of my due date, every last stitch is done, it is washed, and I can lovingly place it in a box to New York.

Except for the left edge at which the quilting puckers inexplicably, I am pleased with this quilt. It is very graphic, with a clean design, but still incorporates random piecing which I do so love. I used a vintage quilt top off of eBay for the back and in some moods I think I like the back better. Oh well.

Working on this quilt taught me a lot. Namely, that creating for someone else who is paying you and has a say in the design is wayyyy different that working on what you want, when you want. When the person you're creating for happens to be the founder of Etsy who also commissioned several other quilts on the same theme at the same time, this artist's capacity for self doubt may be amplified beyond all expectations.

Strangely, of all the quilts I've worked on, this one evokes the most stories for me: my first pregnancy, my grandfather's death, my sewing machine's leave of absence. I think I even became a little superstitious about the "protective" theme of the quilt and though I could have completed it a month or so ago, I have managed to hang on to it until the very end of the pregnancy. Maybe I wasn't ready to let go of it's protective powers until baby was full term.

When I couldn't work on this quilt it tortured me. My Etsy shop essentially died in the process, since I didn't feel I could post new sewn items while months overdue on the eye quilt. When I thought I could complete it over several weeks my asking price seemed fair. Now that it has taken me several months I know my labor (mental and physical!) was worth three times as much, or more. In the end though, I had money for fixing the broken sewing machine and getting a stash of cloth diapers together for the little one. And I learned something very important - I'd rather create for me than someone else. I guess that's a good thing for an artist to be clear about. So thank you quilt, for teaching me so much. I hope your new owner appreciates you.