This morning Jim and I cleaned a room, the room our son refers to as mine. When we moved to this house, my room was intended as a guest room, as well as for my sewing and crafts. It is again the guest room, but it no longer holds my studio. Now the family room and his room hold my long-arm machine, domestic machine, and all my quilting supplies. His room is no longer his, though he won’t officially recognize its change in status.
The room we cleaned this morning has Son’s remaining belongings, a bed and a dresser. One of the other remnants of his life with us hangs on the wall. It is a small quilt I made for him, what I call his baby quilt. In fact, I made it when he was 20, a few short years ago.
His life has changed dramatically since I made this, going from college student to Air Force pilot, from Iowa to the Pacific Northwest, from in love to engaged. My life has changed, too, as has my quilting.
When I made this quilt, I wanted to try new things. I had a Gwen Marston book (the first of the several I now own) and wanted to try the “liberated” style. I did not love the process of making the quilt. It did not feel “free” to me but both chaotic and contrived.
My evolution in quilting makes this more comfortable now than it was then. Last summer I finished a quilt that uses some of the same liberated approach.
Truly liberated quilting need not be “anything goes.” Nor does it need to include contrived, even patterned (or paper pieced!) “wonky” stars. Liberated quilting at its best is mindful quilting. Rather than mindlessly following someone else’s pattern and rules, we can make decisions thoughtfully. We can follow recognized design principles to break the rules. We can create for ourselves. Sometimes that means perfect points and evenly spaced blocks. Sometimes it does not. We are liberated when we choose for ourselves.