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before Prozac, there was quilting...

or so they say...

My personal motto is "Don't start quilting and you won't need Prozac."

To understand my feelings about this, you have to first know something about me. Patience is not one of my virtues...instant gratification is my game. Anything precise and time consuming awakens the suspected ADHD in me. And the second thing you need to know is that my Laura has...the patience of a saint, of Job, of the heavens and earth, of however you want to call it, she's got it and I don't. I learned this today when she called and wanted my help with appliqué. Oh, to even type the word makes me shudder....

Now, I love to sew and have been doing so for many years. You need a costume or a new dress or handbag, no need to look further, you've found your girl. What I don't like to do is all the preliminary steps before you get to sew...cutting out the pattern, the interfacing, the fabric. And then you get to iron it all before you start! Whew! If someone would do all of that for me, I could sew all day. I love the construction part. With that said, Laura, the patient one, remember? She's making a gorgeous quilt called "Petal Play" by Denise Sheehan.

It's a beautiful color scheme as you can see, with all the blue and green batiks. But it's an appliquéd (oooh, that word again), quilt and that's where the fun *insert sarcastic grin here* begins. Thank God she had all of her pieces cut out. All 96 petal pieces to be exact. So just the thought of all the work she had already done was exhausting to me. In other words, I had to get this right or ruin all of her hard work thus far.

All she needed me to do was teach her to appliqué... and even though I had never done it before, I thought to myself, "How hard can this be?" That was the just the first of many wrong thoughts that swirled through my head today.

According to the appliqué gods: "Appliqué comes from the french word appliquér which means "to put on". In appliqué, one layer of fabric is layered over another layer of fabric and is sewn into place. Appliqué opens a whole new world to the quilter allowing for many more possiblities than piecing alone."

A wonderful description, no doubt, but then they tell you how many different ways there are to appliqué. But I, a self confessed know-it-all, figured within the five minutes it would take Laura to get to my house, I would learn appliqué. Hah! So much for being a smart ass. Ms. Sheehan's detailed instructions, which would suffice any another human being, left me going "wwwhhhaattt"?

You see, she graciously included the "freezer paper method" which, if I had You Tubed it, would have understood it. I have to emphasize here, it was not her instructions, but my "don't give me any direction, I know the way there" ego. So when I got to the "liquid starch" part, my brain shut down and refused to think any further from that point on.

Not wanting to seem "inexperienced"...wise ole' sewing guru that I am, I proceeded to tell my poor Laura how I would appliqué the petals...with one major flaw. You see, it appears my brain has about a five minute delay between my thoughts and my mouth, and as I am spouting all of the directions to Laura, I am... (and this is confession time)... trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing as I'm telling her what to do. Make sense to you? I thought not, it didn't even make sense to me! Here I am desperately, silently, trying to reinvent my own way to appliqué...and there sits my trusting Laura obediently following each step of my frantic brain. After all...didn't I say to her, "Sure, come on over and I'll show you?" How was she supposed to know the unnerving chaos that was about to engulf her?

So after a long and tedious afternoon on her part, which involved cutting, interfacing, spray adhesive and numerous confusing stops and starts on my part, she managed to come up with a stunning first block. And bless her heart, she even smiled at the camera. Oh wait, I think I see a little tear at the corner of her eye...hopefully that's just bad photoshop.

She left for home after many reassurances on her part that she was satisfied. Geez, she only had 11 more blocks to do with my quirky direction...and she would have done it my way, without question, because, well because that's just the altruistic soul she is. I, on the other hand, am eating "what were you thinking" crow and feeling so guilty...

After all, I don't want to discourage her from doing this again and with my way, I wouldn't have done it the first time! If I had been her, I would've thrown my hands up and declared, "Never mind!" Or at the very least, "Never again!"

Not to mention that she had already put in numerous hours cutting it all out.

So, I sat down at my computer and did my research, which admittedly now, I should have done in the first place. And after I researched appliqué methods, I did find that it's not hard to do at all! I called Laura and 'fessed up and gave her a much better solution to the fiasco I created earlier. She loved it! Now, I can't wait to see her beautiful work of art. Quilts are art pieces you know, somewhere I heard, "Asking a quilter to mend is like asking Picasso to paint a garage."

That's my Laura, the quilter, the fabric artist. I am so proud of her, she tackles any task with a smile. Even crazy, nonsensical ones...

As for appliqué methods, you better believe this old girl knows what she's talking about now! Here a good link from Quilt. com about the basics. If you are a visual learner, You Tube it, there are so many wonderful quilters out there who share what they know. As for "my method"...I learned my lesson well today, enough said.

Paul Sweeney once said, "How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners and instant cameras teach patience to its young?" I got your answer, Mr. Sweeney, teach them to appliqué a quilt! could just give them a mom who thinks she knows it all...

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams

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