Finally sharing a quilt! This has been complete for a couple months now and people have been asking about it, so here it is…
I started this quilt for my son just over a year ago. Not to suggest that it took nearly that long to actually make it – surely it did not. Rather, it was done in a few intense stages, as my larger projects often are.
The color choices were a joint effort between myself and the then 7-year-old, who also happens to be color blind. He persuaded me to use bold yellow and I convinced him of the greens (turns out Wasabi is not the most glorious color to him that it is to me…go figure). Once the fabric was chosen, the first stage of cutting was done rather quickly and soon followed by piecing of the top. And then it sat. Several months later, the back was pieced. And then it sat. At last, the desire to have the finished quilt was enough to set the final steps in motion.
My procrastination totally paid off when Carolyn Friedlander created the perfect fabric for my binding in her Doe collection – thanks, Carolyn!
Triangle Quilt, 58″x88″
The randomly pieced back was the result of using the limited leftover triangles I had along with an odd, “not quite big enough” cut of gray fabric. Make do! It worked out, with the downside of it being a bit narrower than I had hoped and I ended up having to trim the the sides of the top.
This is a twin sized quilt for my son’s bed and it’s the largest that I’ve made to date. I can say now that I love it (and maybe want it for myself), but I also want to talk about the emotional part of making something so “big” and struggling with its imperfections. I say this because this quilt is far from perfect and though I never had any intentions of it being contest-worthy, it wasn’t entirely easy to accept all of its flaws during the process. Also, because I’ve seen others struggle with this. I think the struggle comes when you know that something is not perfect (and by perfect, I really mean your own personal standard, whatever that may be), but you don’t always know if it is the kind of imperfection that you can live with or if you need to undo your hard work only to repeat it with hopes of a better outcome. Sometimes its difficult to know whether or not to move forward.
My imperfection with this project was largely the result of machine quilting this on an older machine without a walking foot and then struggling with being able to keep everything feeding evenly. There were many moments of pause, experimenting with different feet, different stitch lengths, and of course just walking away. Did I rip out a lot of stitches? Maybe. Did I undo every substandard stitch? Not by a long shot. There are some conflicting notions floating around out there (and in my head) – “Do it well or not at all!” or “Better done than not!” Well, which is it?
I think what really made me move forward was the reality that I could accept this project for what it is (and love it!) but not be defined by it. For me, this is simply one step in a lifelong learning process. Plus, just one little snuggle under a handmade quilt will convince you that it really is all good.
Have you ever struggled with moving forward with something that doesn’t quite meet your standards? How have you come to terms with accepting imperfections in your work? I’d love to hear your thoughts.