Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Mad Quilter of Central Park

In between working on my thesis, I've been working on making a quilt. It's crazy, because the quilt is about the same size, if not larger, than my entire bedroom, so that makes it really hard to put together. I've been experimenting with different techniques. If you've never made a quilt, you must know that a quilt has three parts: the top, the batting (fluffy stuff inside), and the back. When you stitch the quilt together, especially such a large one, it's very difficult to get the two parts to line up properly across the entire thing without weird puckering and bunching in parts. Usually quilters have a large frame that they stretch the pieces across, securing them tightly to ensure nothing moves while they sew. I have no quilt frame, so things are progressing slowly... Finally today, after ripping out two days of work that was going badly, I took the quilt to Central Park and stretched it out on the grass. I tacked the corners down with pins into the soft earth and started securing the whole thing with safety pins. It's not an ideal method, but at least it will make sure everything doesn't shift and move while I'm sewing a section. That is, I hope.

While I worked, I was blasting tunes on my ipod, in my own little craft-world, so I didn't pay much attention to what was going on around me. Still, I couldn't help but notice how many people strolling through the park stopped and stared at what I was doing. Me in the grass, pinning a quilt together. Women stopped and watched, men stopped and pointed me out to their children. One old man walked over to me and asked if I'd seen the tapestry exhibition last year at the Met and how much was I going to sell the quilt for. I said I had no idea, as I had no intentions to sell. But maybe someday. Someday when I get a quilt frame and space enough to make a quilt properly instead of in the shade of an oak tree in Central Park on a hot and steamy New York day.


Donnie Barnes said...

Quilt frames are rather simple devices themselves and can be made relatively cheaply. As you note, the problem is space. Looks like there area a bunch of them on the market and they do fold up (and I believe you can fold them with your work still in progress).

My great grandmother used to quilt pretty much non-stop. Reminds me of a story I need to blog...

Lady Holiday said...

That's the thing--even if I had a quilt frame, I would have to take it to the park to work on my quilt because my apartment is too small. I guess Central Park is my new living room.