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Monday, March 7, 2011

Back on top again ... well, maybe

Hello everybody, thanks for visiting me and for leaving comments while I was on my mini-hiatus!  I took off a few days and had my nose to the needle for a large part of last week, I got a lot done... and I even brought you a slice of cake -
I drew the cake freehand, I think it's pretty cool.  See, you can do just about anything if you put your mind to it!

This is national quilting month and I wanted to share my thoughts on a program I saw on the Science channel one evening.  It was an episode about a man who injured his head from diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool, and later he was able to play the piano - perfectly! No training, nothing … he saw or heard the music in his head, sat down and played for hours.

He was classified as a “savant.” Until that time I’d only heard about “idiot savants” – people who had one extraordinary talent, but could not function otherwise. But this man was fully functional… it was explained that he would see the music in his head and had to let it out!

Can you imagine how an incident like that would transform a quiltmaker? She (or he) would walk into a quilt shop or studio, see hundreds of bolts of fabric – thousands of colors, textures, patterns, color ways, tones – and immediately see them come together in her head as quilts?  And would have the talent to sit down and make those quilts?

At the quilt show last weekend I saw many quilts that I “wish I had thought to make.” Maybe the design was simple but eye-catching, or maybe the use of color made me stop for a closer look.  But I think they probably all had one thing in common – they took on some part of their maker's personality.

Was it done quickly, was it finished "just in time," was it a UFO that sat on a shelf or under the bed for awhile? It really doesn’t matter because the finished product was there, hanging in the show for the world to see. First place, second place, honorable mention, best of show… again it didn't matter! The quilt started out in someone’s head, maybe got doodled on a napkin or transferred to a sketch pad.

Do you plan out and/or design most of your quilts, or are you more comfortable following a pattern or using a kit? Me, sometimes I get a little bored if I have to create the same block over and over again, unless it’s a scrappy quilt, which I love.

But whether our quilts are planned or spontaneous, I believe we all have just a bit of the savant (or "savvy!") in us at any given time that’s just itching to get out!  Happy quilting everybody - sew on and sew forth til later...


  1. Great post. I hate kits or projects where everyone is doing the same thing. Who wants a quilt that 300 people have? Maybe why I love scrappy too.

    Sometimes things just 'evolve' and other times it just 'pops' in the old bean and has to come out. I just put together in 1 day my quilt for the next Project Modern - it was just a pop idea and had to be done from touch of fabric until the last thread was snipped.

  2. I like doing my own thing but also like working on a kit where I don't have to do think about what to do next and will this fit or what size do I make the next area or block. I seem to like more contempary type quilts now and not the traditional quilts. I always have scraps, so scrappy is always great. As you can see, I like it all.

  3. Ah Haah! Everyone thinks I am a bit hard headed or can't follow instructions but NOW I KNOW I must be a savant! Great hunk of cake!

  4. Wonderful post. I have transitioned from a strictly by the book quilter to a more relaxed, scrap-happy, its ok to make a mistake quilter. I do like some kits, especially the intricate paper-pieced type where all of the foundation paper is included, but even with those, I now tend not to follow the directions to the letter. I like the idea of evolving and constantly changing. How boring would it be if we didn't stretch a little. PS, thanks for following my blog.

  5. Hi Linda,

    Your chocolate cake is great! I look forward to seeing the rest of the quilt too. The story of the savant is amazing because for one he didn't suffer injuries like paralysis but was enhanced with the gift to play the piano. I want to tap into my brains treasures too, maybe in a less scary way!


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