Monday, July 18, 2005

Another Beauty-ful Day

Yesterday (well, today...I haven't been to bed yet) was day 2 of my Karen Stone workshop, and what a great day it was! It started off with room service breakfast in my hotel room ... something that always delights me. I think it's the decadence of having a hot breakfast brought to my room, where I can eat in silence with my book for company. I do adore breakfasts accompanied by Caroline's lively chatter and Roger's commentary on the daily news, but occasionally, a silent breakfast feels like heaven.

Then, a day of sewing. After most of the day yesterday was spent defining the palette for our quilts with some tips on block construction, today was sewing.

I'd sewn a long time before I'd ever taken a quilt workshop and sewn among a group of women. (Not since my high school sewing classes had I had that group experience.) That first time, and today, I find sitting in a room full of sewing women to be a real delight. There is something about working intently on one's own project while surrounded by others working on theirs that is very satisfying. Plus, I've met some delightful people and had some very enjoyable conversations. Once, a discussion about Martha Stewart and her jail time led to almost every woman in the room sighing longingly for "house arrest" with nothing to do but sew. "Do you think they let you have a rotary cutter when you're on house arrest?" pondered one woman.

Anyway. It's ironic that Melody should choose today to post her "why piece when you can fuse?" commentary, while I was spending the day enjoying piecing very intricate blocks. Maybe I'm scattered, or a woman of diverse interests, but I like fusing AND piecing. And even though it took me more than a full day of sewing to sew two blocks, I loved it...and can't wait to do more.

If you read Melody's posting, you'll see my reply to her in her comments. But basically, I said this: Some of us like the challenge of piecing intricate, curvy, or pointy, or curvy AND pointing, complex designs! It's that simple! Fusing is fun, but piecing is, too! And just because it's hard doesn't mean it's bad or to be avoided! (Unless you hate it, and then why do it if you hate it?)

Unlike Melody, I don't think it's a matter of process obliterating design. I think that for some people, the challenge of taking the limitations of the process -- any process -- and seeing if they can be stretched to accomodate a given design is fun and exciting. I guess the trick is to find the process that works for you.

And -- as Melody knows because she and I have had this conversation at length before -- it's not just a matter of fusing OR piecing = same result. I see a very different look in a pieced quilt than in a fused one. Not better, not worse, just different. For some designs, I might want the pieced look...for others, the fused one. It's okay to prefer one or the other, or even both and use and enjoy both processes.


  1. I love your blocks and hearing about your workshop! Can't wait to see more. I did a Stone New York Beauty in 1999. It's one of my favorite quilts -- for many reasons. Maybe I'll take a picture and blog about it.

  2. Well said and now I don't have to write the same argument. Process is personal....kinda like loving what you are doing more than the finished piece. Give Karen a big hug for me....and keep on piecing.