Friday, March 15, 2019

Unchained

My latest finish is a significant finish for me, not because the quilt or quilting itself is significant, but because of the mental process I went through when I'm quilting it, and I named it Unchained for two reasons.

First, of course it's a play on words, since it's an Irish Chain. The pattern is from Jenifer Dick and Angela Walter's book Nine-Patch Revolution. I did modify the size of the blocks so I could use a jelly roll, but the layout is the same.

More importantly, I named this quilt Unchained because by quilting it the way I did, it represents a sense of freedom. When I first started quilting on my longarm, I was just so swept up with how quick and fun it was to finish my tops, and I didn't worry about anything but that it looked good. I didn't worry whether I was being "creative", whether I incorporated at least X different designs, or whether it was "showstopping". But at some point, that started to change, and over the last year especially I was driving myself completely insane trying to come up with something crazy each time. It got to be too much, and there were times I stayed away from the longarm room for weeks on end because I was too daunted.

But with this quilt, I only made myself one promise: I wanted to keep it simple, and recognize that it's perfectly alright not to quilt every quilt like it's my swan song. This is my simplest (in terms of the # of designs) quilt in recent memory, and I feel a great sense of relief at finally breaking out of the chains I had placed on myself.

So, I kept the quilting simple with continuous curves in the Irish chains and an easy, zero marking dot-to-dot design in the negative space that also had a very efficient travel path.

I love the end result, and I especially love the sense of freedom I now feel. My blog is called Savor Every Stitch, not Driving Myself Crazy For No Reason. And hopefully, Unchained will help me to remember that.

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Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, Powered by Quilting, and Meadow Mist Designs.

17 comments:

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous! I think the slightly simpler quilting really lets the chains shine. :D

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  2. Liz, this is so pretty, and what a great reminder to just do what you like, not what you think should be done. So easy to get into that mindset, whether we are piecing or quilting or whatever. Enjoy the process. Savor those beautiful stitches!

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  3. Even your simple quilting is totally gorgeous! I think your engineering background shows in your attention to detail.

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  4. I can understand the pressure you put on yourself as I tend to do the same. Your quilt is wonderful - as is all of your work. Can I ask what the grey is on the front - make and color name? I'm looking for something similar.

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  5. It's beautiful! And I'm really glad you didn't name your blog Driving Myself Crazy For No Reason.

    I do think there can be a bit of "keeping up with the Jones: Quilting version" and it's good to stop and check that impulse. And look at the lovely work that can come out of it! So glad you are no longer tense about going past your long-arm!

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  6. Kathy R.
    Love your quilting. Whether simple or complex it looks great! The back is also beautiful. Doing what feels good to you is is probably the best and I look forward to seeing more of you work.

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  7. Simply gorgeous is all I have to say.... I think you achieved exactly what you wanted - and it is just stunning in its simplicity but its effectiveness for this kind of quilt.

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  8. And it’s beautiful! The quilting design you chose is perfect for the quilt design.

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  9. This quilt and the quilting are perfect together. The quilting enhances the design and creates another layer of secondary designs, so cool!

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  10. Great lesson learned. But to me this quilt is still a show-stopper. Because of your beautiful quilting, Liz. If this is keeping it simple, keep on keeping it simple!

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  11. It's amazing the pressure we can place on ourselves. I'm glad you were able to break free and enjoy the process. The quilting is scrumptious and while I love seeing quilting on the back, the quilt top truly shines with your quilting on this one!!

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  12. Very pretty quilt, and fabulously complimentary quilting. Good for you for you reassessing how you feel and approach your quilting.

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  13. Your "simple" quilting is still beyond beautiful and just perfect for the Unchained quilt. You are an amazing Quilter and I am still impressed that you've been doing this for only several years. Have fun; you could still make four patches and I'll still be amazed.

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  14. Thanks so much for linking up!!

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  15. Gorgeous quilt, excellent work.

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