I suspect that some people wonder how a person can stand to knit. I mean, really: it is VERY repetitive. Stick the needle in the loop, draw through the yarn, making a new loop. Repeat. Ad nauseum. Quilting, too. Hundreds of pieces to be cut and sewn back together. Or, in the case of the applique quilt I’m working on: hundreds of leaves and berries to be appliquéd in place (after having been traced and cut by hand), plus all of the piecing. You’d have to be a little crazy to want to do something like that, right?

Don’t answer that. I know the answer.

But just look at what emerges from the knitting needles (credit has to go to the dyer, too, for making the yarn that make stripes like this:

Sock progress

This sock is going insanely fast, in part because it is so much fun to watch the color shift back and forth. I won’t be able to wear these until fall, but all of that repetition results in something fun and beautiful that is also useful. Cold feet are bad. Warm socks are awesome.

And all of those leaves and berries and tiny pieces are starting to come together, the final product is starting to shine through, which makes me want to work on this even more:

holly and mistetoe quilt

I’m trying to ignore the fact that I still a border of red/cream triangle squares to finish, plus an applique border, which has 96 leaves, 24 stems and a bazillion berries to applique in place.

When I first started quilting, I wanted to get to the finished product as quickly as possible. This often meant that I rushed and either ended up with a less-than-stellar final product, or, more likely: nothing to show at all. Eventually, though, I slowed down and let myself enjoy the process. With very little exception, I loved every part of making a quilt. And I made a lot of quilts.

And then I got burnt out by everything to do with quilting. Somewhere along the way I lost track of how to just sit and enjoy the process, and so I pretty much stopped. I am surrounded by all of the pieces and parts, and there has been a lot of guilt involved in letting fabric and tools and machines just sit unused.

Part of it was being busy: working full time outside the home at a fairly stressful job, meant that time at home to just sew was harder to come by. Every so often I’ve had flashes of wanting to “get back in the game,” but those have been short-lived — or overshadowed by being too dang busy. I quilted a lot at Christmas time, but I was the cheerleading sponsor this past year and I think January and February were almost entirely swallowed by basketball.

June is going to get swallowed by baseball, but school is out: and while I still have a lot to do at school, I will get to be a little more leisurely with my time at school.

Here’s the thing: I am finding myself wanting to make time to work on this quilt: here and there in the evenings and spending a lot of time on the weekends, instead of reading or sitting at the computer doing heaven only knows what.

Interestingly, even though I have hardly done any quilting over the past several years, I still tell people I’m a quilter, but have felt like a bit of a fraud saying that.

I feel like maybe I’m kind of sneaking up on actually being a quilter again. I should probably stop talking about it, though, I don’t want to scare it away by blabbing too much.




  1. Lynn Douglass says:

    I absolutely love that quilt! I admire your tenacity, even if it is sporadic. Burn out has hit several quilters I know, including myself! I’m starting to itch a bit, too, but I want to play on some painted quilts. At least that’s my itch for the moment. That may change tomorrow! 😉

  2. sammi says:

    One day at a time, Suzanne. We have all been there and some have come back. I am only back part way myself. I adore that gorgeous quilt you are working on and don’t even need to see it finished. I could look at it as-is forever. And the socks! I can almost feel them on my bare feet right now. Mmmmmmmm!

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