Posts Tagged ‘life lessons’

Adapt the Rules to Fit the Worker

September 12, 2018

I love the life lessons quilting brings. There is the grand structure of the quilting universe – 1/4” seams, press to the dark, square things should always be square – then there is the reality of the individual worker. My latest Progressive project reminded me that rules are meant to instruct, not bind, and can always be adapted.

This twisted block came with two sets of instructions, neither of which worked for me. The first came from the artist who began the project, the second from another quilter in the group. I measured angles and straight lines, trying to come up with an interpretation that would achieve the desired result. Nothing worked. “Self,” I said, “just choose the block that you like best, scribe the cutting lines on the fabric you need to work with, and run with it.” I folded the seams back on each other, marked the cutting lines, and sewed the best 1/4” seam I could manage. Repeat for three rounds and you have a twisted block.

My contribution fits in well with the others in the collection, and that’s really all that matters.

Luck and wisdom!

Forward and Back

July 19, 2017

The family had a lovely reunion a couple of weeks ago. Knowing that the first week back from vacation is never entirely productive, I’ve made a habit of getting a project prepared before I leave so I’ll have something easy to work on when I return. That planning turned out to be more of a blessing than I expected, because I started feeling under the weather shortly after I returned home. The universe sometimes does that – the two steps forward, one step back thing – so I’m not going to complain (much) that my usual week of less-than-stellar productivity is stretching into two, maybe three.

Luckily for me, my back-from-vacation project was a baby quilt that has been languishing for about a year. Life got in the way when the top was pieced and the quilting part never happened. Now it has. Rather than anguish over a quilting pattern, I let the fabric tell me what it wanted. I also lucked out in finding a new spool of coppery thread that matched nothing but blended with everything. Then the universe really gave me a break and let me unearth a coppery fabric for the binding.

I think this will look great even cut into strips

This fabric has been hiding in the drawer for a long time, waiting for the perfect project. It isn’t alone. I have many fabrics, threads, and embellishments biding their time. While searching through my collections, I unearthed a doily that might go well with a fat quarter a friend gave me.

There isn’t enough contrast between the doily and the light fabric, I know, but I’ll solve that another day. For the moment, I’m going to accept that life, especially the creative life, is all about moving forward and rolling back. There are lessons to be learned in both directions.

Luck and wisdom!

Pay The Money

August 31, 2016

The good news is I finished the body of my new handbag. I used a lot of stuff I already had. My pattern alterations mostly came out okay. The better news is I learned a valuable lesson – people who can make things well and readily are worth their weight in gold. Next time I need a new handbag, I will pay the money.

One button used, a bazillion more in the collection

One button used, a bazillion more in the collection

I am pleased enough with my work that I will actually use the bag (once I make the straps). Getting a chance to use this button is a big win.

I am not stressing over an eighth of an inch

I am not stressing over an eighth of an inch

Getting this zipper straight-ish is also a big win. I felt confident enough about my sewing abilities that I made a zippered pouch for the interior.

Zippered pouch, key chain fob, interior pockets

Zippered pouch, key chain fob, interior pockets

Still and all, I really don’t want to go through this experience again. I broke three (3!) needles, went to sleep thinking of different ways to draft patterns, and woke up worrying if I measured correctly for the interior pockets and pouches (I didn’t, but they’re still usable). It’s always good to sharpen up one’s skills, but it is better to learn when to let the professionals do the work – and be happy to pay the money.

Luck and wisdom!