I have made two of the Sweet Stripes baby quilts, using the same design premise and many of the same fabrics for two separate sweet babes in two families. This one was for my niece whose name is Lia Kaliani and I am thrilled to say that she loves her quilt! She will be two in a few months and so I completed her quilt quite late. I did give her a quilt I bought at the Austin Area Quilt Guild show when she was born. The joy of giving her a quilt made with my hands was significant. That she loves to sleep with it and pulls it up over her head every night is the icing on the quilting cake!
I have had a policy to send my large quilts to be quilted on a long arm professionally, but the many baby quilts I make to give to friends and family I have quilted myself. My quilting on this quilt is unsophisticated and looks somewhat stilted to me now. It was one of the last made before I decided to stop being scared of free motion quilting and JUST DO IT already! I have entered a new era in my quilting journey and started quilting with a free motion foot and the feed dogs down and I am truly on my own! I will track that process in another blog post. I am not apologizing for the simple quilting here because learning to quilt and really being at the stage you are at is part of the process. We cannot all be expert level when we begin and too many people deny themselves the joy of crafting and the arts due to feeling they must be perfect or at least good. I say that is nonsense.
It is the process that is a large part of the joy. I have loved learning to quilt over the last 21 years and much of it did not come naturally to me. I was not great at it. I came to quilting from a design standpoint ( I loved the design process of a quilt) and my crafting ability was mediocre at best, my attention to exact detail nonexistent. Designing, choosing fabrics, and sewing quilts is a difficult process with multiple steps and a dozen or more skills. Especially if you are not using a pattern but are designing your own. So many skills to learn, so many abilities to master. I did it even when I was not sure I could or I felt the outcome would be crappy. And sometimes it really was. There are new studies that show doing something creative helps humans be happier and healthier even if they are not good at their chosen craft.
And it did make me happy and it did improve the quality of my life, as creativity does every single day. So I have keep on doing it and it makes me happy still, even when my quilts are not perfect. I am enjoying the process, being exactly where I am in this creative journey. I am pleased to say that little Lia seems to enjoy this quilt with all its imperfections that are so lovingly stitched.