Imperfectionists Unite!

auction quilt

SO not me. (courtesy normanack, flikr commons)

I have started making quilts. But I am careful NOT to tell people I’m a quilter.

Quilters choose patterns, or design their own. Quilters pay careful attention to color contrasts. Quilters cut cloth into little tiny pieces. Quilters MEASURE the heck out of those pieces as they stitch ’em together. Then they measure some more, because, to quilters, like carpenters, precision is everything.

I’m a lousy carpenter. So I never thought I’d make it as a quilter either, and I never tried. Till I discovered landscape quilts.

Landscape quilting is just what it sounds like: you create a landscape, like a painter, substituting appliqued cloth for paint. The effect can be as realistic or impressionistic as you choose. Me, I’m all about the impressionism. Who cares if that flower has eight petals in real life? On my quilt, it gets five, and it’s still pretty.

...or four petals. Who's counting?

…or four petals. Who’s counting?

Another way landscape quilting is like impressionist painting is in its wonderful, inherent sloppiness. Who cares if my stitches are uneven, or if I miss an edge here or there which might fray? Nature’s full of ragged edges, weird curves, asymmetry. It’s a gorgeous slop-fest out there! Too much precision = unnatural-looking landscape…or so says I.

Nice and sloppy, just like nature.

Am I making a virtue of necessity? Cheering myself up for being lazy, not to mention bad at arithmetic?

You betcha. But hey: I’m quilting, aren’t I?

Isn't it gorgeous??

Isn’t it gorgeous?

THIS is what I’m shooting for (someday!) These three come from Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell’s book, The Art of Landscape Quilting.

Yup, it's all cloth!

Yup, it’s all cloth!

I'll never be this good, but I can dream, right?

I’ll never be this good, but I can dream, right?

So what’s your version of landscape quilting? What’s something you have NO patience for, but have found yourself a better way around? Maybe you’ve discovered an ingenious way never to empty the cat box? Or a recipe for croissants that doesn’t involve sticking the dough back into the fridge every half-hour? Don’t you feel smart? Let me hear from you!