January 20, 2022

I read an article the other day that spoke about the benefits of doing needle work.  The authors indicated that this type of activity can provide calmness because it is repetitive and requires focus.  While the article spoke mostly about crochet, they did mention quilting.  I know this to be true as I experience this sense of calmness when working on a quilt particularly when I am doing the actual quilting, sewing the three plies together.

Generally, most quilts allow for the quilt stitching to be seen as it can embellish the design and adds a certain dimension to the final product.  In the case of the quilt I am now working on, which is definitely not your grandmother’s quilt; the quilt stitching would interfere with the design.  In order to minimize any of the stitches being seen, I used the same color of thread as fabric.  For those areas where two different colors are side by side, no matter the color of thread it would always be contrasted with the adjoining fabric and therefore be visible.  So I decided to use invisible thread.

I could barely see the thread to thread the needle.  I couldn’t see where I started or ended.  It was taking FOREVER.  The equanimity that I once enjoyed with this process was now interrupted with these obstacles.  I came to realize these obstacles are no different than those that appear outside, like snow or rain, Covid, unfavorable basketball scores, sports injuries and so on.  Accept or change?

So I bought an LED head light to direct as much light as possible to the target area.  I learned to thread the needle using touch as well as sight. I marked the area with a pin so I knew where to start or finish.  I stitched from left to right so that the hand that is above the quilt can more easily grasp the thread to avoid knotting.  I plowed on.

I am pleased with the decision to use the invisible thread as it is the right one.  In the end, I believe that greeting the obstacles introduced by the invisible thread and finding ways to overcome the obstacles has intensified the experience making it all the more satisfying and enjoyableCalmness?  You bet.