amy isaman writerTen or fifteen years ago a quilt magazine ran an article featuring a prolific and talented quilter. I remember neither the magazine nor the quilter, but I do remember one thing she discussed.

Her son was getting married, so she let her future daughter-in-law choose a quilt top from her fairly large stash of completely pieced but unquilted tops.  This woman would finish the quilt for their wedding gift.

I remember thinking, “What the hell? Somebody has actually has unfinished quilt tops stuffed in a box? Who is this woman?”

At the time, I was making quilts for my family, for all the beds in my house, for gifts. Every quilt had a purpose. I knew where they would end up when I started making them, but now I’ve been piecing quilt tops for almost twenty years, and like the lady in the article that I read, I make quilts for no reason other than I love to create them.

My latest quilt took all of last year to put together because finding time to sew, with a full-time job, two teenage children, and a fledgling writing career, has been tough. But it’s the one “piece” of my life that I refuse to give up.

I’m now that quilt weirdo with a tub of unquilted quilt tops under my bed, and each year I manage to add one or two. I’ve thought about quilting them, but they’re just easier to store as tops. My daughter has claimed one of them, and my husband claimed this one, but the rest I’m saving in my tub until I need them.

Some of them will never be quilted as they’re truly ugly – an experiment in color, prints, or value gone seriously wrong.

Most of them are scrappy because I believe that the more fabrics there are in a quilt, the better. I love pulling fabrics and putting them all together, playing with colors and value.IMG_2390Some of the individual fabrics look terrible next to each other, but all together, you don’t see those combinations which I love. It’s all about the whole.

One other thing I love about this quilt is the lack of a border. I haven’t put borders on a few quilts now, and I like the look. Sometimes a border can overtake a quilt, and on a historical note, few scrappy antique quilts had big borders. Nobody had giant chunks of fabric necessary for a proper border, so they didn’t use them.

My next quilt will actually be a much smaller one, and I have a deadline with only a few months left before that quilt’s new owner makes an appearance in the world. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll get more than one done this year.