Wednesday, June 20, 2007
One for the Dog
When I was young and my Mom made pancakes, she would always say the first one was "for the dog," which was confusing at those times when we didn't have a dog. Nevertheless, what she meant was that, while the pancake was edible (I know, I snuck a bite once), it was the tester. It might look ugly, or be a little too doughy in the center, or maybe too tough. It was the one that she wouldn't serve to anyone because it always took one pancake to get everything right: the heat, the batter, the cooking time. But everyone knew the dog wouldn't care, and would love the pancake--no matter what it looked like, no matter that it might be a little under or over done.
I think the same thing happens in quilting.
This isn't my first quilt. The first one was blessed with a great deal of beginner's luck, I think, and when I gave it to my DP she swore it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. The second one was for my 7-year old grandson, who would probably eat the first pancake without even commenting on it, were I to serve it to him.
But I'm running out of people to give my quilts to who love me so much that they oooh and aaaah and get all shivery at my gift and pretend like there isn't a single thing wrong with the quilt. And believe me, there is plenty wrong with this quilt. Too much to list here in detail--or maybe I just can't bear the humiliation of pointing out every flaw in detail in such a public forum. Let me just say that I understand now why trimming blocks may not be such a good idea (especially when I'm no better at trimming blocks than I am at piecing them); and that yes, I probably should take that machine quilting class, if for no other reason than to learn how to correctly set my tension so that my top thread doesn't "bleed through" to the back fabric where I've free-motion quilted.
So, that just leaves the dog. In this case, the dog is Max (short for Maxine), who seems to like the quilt almost as much as she does pancakes. She doesn't seem to mind in the least that her new quilt has quite a few flaws. And, we both agree that she looks very nice perched on the quilt.
By the way: I said a month ago that I wasn't making any more pieced-block quilts; instead, I was going back to freeform, patternless quilt-making as with my first quilt. What I discovered is that I really don't like block quilts, but they're good for me. I can practice cutting, seaming, and pressing, and I know when I'm off because my blocks are off. I still don't know how NOT to be off, but at least I know I need a lot more work in those areas. So maybe I will occasionally make a block quilt, like this one--or better yet, not like this one, but like one that is right. I only have so many dogs.