Someone asked me recently via a blog comment, if I was planning anymore quilt retreats in New Hampshire. Since I had this post sitting in my blog drafts for quite some time, I decided to review it and adjust it as necessary as an answer to the question.
I can not place my finger on the cause, but the quilting weekends had lost their glamour over the last two years. Perhaps I lost interest because I had a sense that this was to be my last quilt weekend at this place and with these people. I do know that some of it had to do with the very nature of a mystery quilt weekend. I found that I could no longer tolerate the uncertainty of guessing whether the fabrics you have will work for an unknown pattern. Fabric and cutting requirements arrive before the weekend, but for me, I always felt that there was not enough guidance concerning the fabric selection. It seems that it would have been easy enough to suggest that a fabric should be a solid color, or a subdued print. As a result, I no longer was purchasing fabric for the weekend but raiding my stash for colors that would suffice for the weekend. I felt that the quilt from that last weekend was a perfect example of this problem.
I finally completed this project sometime during the summer of 2014. This particular creation, named Rambling Roads, was destined to become a donation quilt. Once completed I gave it to a coworker who organized a raffle for one of her many causes.
I am not sure why this particular comforter took me so long to complete but I do know I lost interest in it shortly after I began the hand quilting process. Perhaps it was the fact that someone commented during our sewing weekend that it reminded her of the seventies. Now to me, that particular time period was not well known for fashion so maybe the statement conjured up a definition of “ugly quilt”. The colors and the pattern have grown on me over time so that was not my reason for donating this blanket. I had wanted to make a quilt to donate for some time and given that this one was smaller than what I had been making of late, I envisioned this one giving some comfort to a child or young teen.
As a hand quilter, I barely finish one quilt a year. Realizing that I was expending a lot of energy on quilts that I may not like, suddenly made the whole process seem silly. It had been years since I created a quilt of my own choosing and I missed that. The wedding quilt that I am currently working on is the first creation, outside the structured weekend, that I have done on my own.
Finally, something had changed between me and my quilting buddy to the extent that I was not even sure we would be attending these last two sewing weekends. We attended them anyway even though there seemed to be a lack of interest, so somehow I knew that this would be the last.
This particular friend arrived in my life when I really needed the support of someone outside my family; someone who would provide a strength I lacked. She did this and more. I hope I provided something for her in return. I know that I have no regrets and enjoyed our friendship while it lasted but the signals coming my way during the last two years have finally penetrated my brain and I understand that it is time to move on.