Craft.

I was joining rows on the very large quilt I’m working on right now and was reminded how much we use our bodies when we make quilts — anything with our hands, really.

My rows were 5 blocks across. No big deal, except that each block is 12″ x 12″. So I’m flipping one side back and forth, gently laying pieces on my shoulder, feeling with my fingers (also known as “burning my fingers”) as I work the iron over the seam. You can’t use too much force or you’ll stretch out your patchwork; you can’t use too little or you won’t achieve that gorgeous, crisp edge.

I discovered at the ironing board that if I squatted down a bit, really put myself eye-level to the board and worked from that plane, then I was truly confident about my press. It was very modern dance of me, which felt good, but the resulting patchwork was better, which was the goal.

To make a quilt is to put a piece of oneself into something outside of oneself. But I’ve discovered that in fact the whole body — not just the hands — yearn to be used for the pursuit.

 

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Mary Fons

About Mary Fons

Mary Fons hails from a prominent quilt mafia family. A professional writer and performer, Mary co-hosted the nationally-airing PBS program "Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting" along with her mom, famed quilter and educator Marianne Fons. In 2010, Mary began hosting Quilty, an online show offered weekly on QNNtv.com. In 2012, Mary became editor of Quilty magazine. She holds a Theater Arts BA from the University of Iowa.

6 thoughts on “Craft.

  1. OMG, I do that when pressing AND sewing! Of course, in my case, it’s only because I’m as nearsighted as Mr. Magoo……but now, when anyone asks why I’m nose-to-nose with a project, I can tell them I’m using my whole body as a tool in my quilting art. You are the awesome, Mary!

  2. I love your comparison to Modern Dance. I believe my “beginner” quilts are my ART and I truly include a piece of me in each and every one of them. Lovely – Thank you for your sewing dance!

  3. I WAS WATCHING A SHOW ON CREATE TV ABOUT QUILT AS YOU GO & LOVED IT ,BUT ALSO WANT TO DO IT .
    WOULD YOU BE KIND ENOUGH TO SEND ME THE DIRECTIONS ,
    PLEASE ?
    YOU MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY! THANK YOU.

  4. Love love love you Mary Fons! I am a beginner quilter and your shows are amazing! Wish they were longer and more often!
    Just bought you and your Mums DVD “Learn to Quilt”…everyone should own this!
    Keep Quilty coming! x

  5. Hi, Darlene:

    This is the blog for Quilty, and I think you’re looking for a technique that we haven’t done yet on the show… If there are QAYG steps for Fons & Porter blocks/projects, just email customer service and they’ll be able to tell you. Good luck and thank you so much for watching. 🙂

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