Monday, April 7, 2014

All's Well That Ends Well!


Thanks to each of you for your thoughtful comments. After reading them all it is apparent to me that; A) as quilters, we will all be faced with this sort of thing from time to time, 
and B) there are many paths to take when it does happen... 
the important thing is to find the one that feels right to you and follow it.


It was midnight when I wrote about my botched quilting in my last post. After I posted it I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning I had decided to re-quilt what I had ripped out, and then finish quilting the whole bugger, mistakes and all,
 (and believe me the quality of the quilting did not improve any). 
The end result would be to give it to my dear dog, who I knew would love it no matter what. 
(I was warmed to see that a couple of you suggested this as well.)


It took me a few tries to adjust my attitude accordingly, which meant letting go of what I had thought it was going to be, and accepting it for what it was. It helped to keep my happy little dog's face in mind, and know how delighted she would be by this quilt.


Once I got it all quilted, I did a really quick machine binding, then washed and dried it in the hopes that the desired crinkling from the washing and drying process would help blend in the non-wanted, machine-quilted puckering boo-boo's. Once the quilt was out of the dyer, I headed over to my pup Eleanor, to show her her new quilt, but was intercepted by my husband who wanted to see it. 


Now, my husband is a dear and supportive man, but truthfully has never shown a great interest in my quilts, outside of a quiet nod, followed by, "It's nice, I like it. And that is that. 
(He is a man of few words, unlike his wife, who is rarely at a loss for them.)  
But on this quilt, he started to hold it, stroke it and sing it's praises.


I tried to show him all that had gone wrong with it, the way the quilting had distorted and pulled the blocks, how the fabric had fed unevenly thus turning under hear and there creating a puckered mess, how the whole thing wasn't even squared up... he would hear none of it.
To him it was the best thing I had ever made, and he preceded to lay it over him,
while he watched TV and eventually fell asleep under the warmth of it.
Luckily, he and Eleanor like to snuggle together, so I guess they can share the quilt. :)


I know now that this very humble, little lap-sized quilt has come into being to reinforce in me some lessons that I  need to continue to learn over and over again, (and I am not just talking about the quilting lessons!) The real lessons are about love, forgiveness, gentleness, acceptance, patience, humor, happiness, giving, non-judgement and staying present in the moment... 
all things that I am trying to practice and strengthen myself in.
(And that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder... )


Also, the irony is not lost on me, for I am always drawn to the beauty of imperfection, in love with all that is wabi-sabi, and I often try to incorporate those esthetics into my work... but I am also a bit of a control freak, and slave to perfection in craftsmanship... 
I want to be in charge of intentionally creating that look of imperfection. 
The reality is I am not so comfortable with actual imperfections that come unintentionally from me. 
I believe that is what we call ego and she is a bit of a joy killer...
I need to keep her in check!

So again, thanks to each of you for sharing your experiences, 
for laughing at my folly, and for offers of help and kind suggestions! 
xo

42 comments:

QuiltSwissy said...

Yes, quilting often humbles me. And when I get too much of myself, I put something into a guild show and watch others get all the ribbons! LOL.

Your quilt is beautiful. the colors are some of my favorites. I say, take it and run with it. You finished a successful quilt is someone loves it somewhere!

SandyQuilts said...

Well definitely seeing a quilt in person and seeing it in a photo doesn't compare. BUT I really like it. I'm really excited that your DH likes it and wants to make it his own (sharing of course). If you have put it away for a month then taken it back out I bet you would completely different about the quilt. As they say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Congrats on a lovely, striking quilt.

SewAmy said...

It is beautiful! I am happy it turned out well in the end and your husband likes it. Mine is the same way. He isn't much for expressing things. hahaha. I do love your dog in the all the photos. I just want to squeeze him and hold him and call him 'George'.

patty a. said...

Victoria, I am just catching up on your quilting woes and can feel your frustration. The quilt looks beautiful in the pictures. Despite the issues, the quilt is still useful and it still works not like a dress that ended up too small and I had to put it on and model it for the 4-H fashion review! Tight squeeze! If you haven't made a bigger quilt in awhile sometimes it is the practice of making quilts all the time vs. just knowing the rules makes a difference. Hey, if the dog doesn't want the quilt I will take it! Hang in there and don't beat yourself up over this. Make another one right away - yes, get back on the horse! I am sure it would go better!

Brenda said...

Great ending to your problem. sometimes i fear that I've ruined my quilt tops by quilting them, but your story proves not everyone not everyone sees the mistakes the same way we as quilters do. and your experience served as a warning to me -- I had plans to quilt some newly basted quilts this weekend, but between being tired and having a headache, I decided to wait so I could be fully present when machine quilting.

Jane said...

Well it looks pretty good to me. And it looks even better with your dog's head poking out from beneath it. Glad to hear it has found a receptive audience (or possibly two!)

Nifty Quilts said...

Your dog looks very attached to it. Sounds like your husband is too. Just goes to show that perfection isn't everything. A good reminder for me too. Thank you!

Nifty Quilts said...

You've helped me realize that my dog needs a quilt!

Candied Fabrics said...

Oh what lessons we can learn when we listen for them! Thanks for sharing this whole story, it's a lesson so many of us need to learn, over and over again. And I think you'll be reminded often of this one as its goign to be on your hubby's lap for awhile! :-)

Annabella said...

I haven't read the botched post but this one really made me smile. Your crinkly quilt looks wonderful and I'm not saying that to make you feel better and the fact that your husband and sweet dog fell asleep under it gladdens my heart. I'd have this quilt over an exhibition one any day. Now I'm off to see what happened with the quilting :)

Maryse said...

I enjoyed reading the last couple posts, thank God we are not perfect...It would be a boring world. However, your quilt is absolutely gorgeous!

Michele T said...

Thanks for your last two posts... although I did not comment on the last one, I must say something today! Your quilt is stunning!! I love the colours and can see how cozy it must be... who cares about the imperfections: it is what it is!!

Kit Lang said...

Love the ending to this story!!!

Lessons we all need to learn. :)

libbyquilter said...

a great story. great posts.
a beautiful quilt.
life is good.

:-)
libbyQ

Uniquely Yours Creations said...

I hear your frustration - I think that this happens to a lot of us at one time or another - no matter how experienced we are.
Happened to me just recently - I did a quilt as you go and sewed it together all wrong! I kept it that way.

Your quilt looks beautiful from the distance - It reminds me of a vintage quilt. Very Pretty and will probably be most loved!

Kathy said...

All's well that ends well! And this certainly ends well. The quilt really is beautiful the way it crinkled after washing. No one will notice imperfections unless you point them out. And I absolutely love Eleanor! Can I ask what kind of dog she is? She looks the sweetest.

Victoria said...

Thanks to each of you for your wonderful comments!

Kathy, she is a Chiweenie, which is part Chihuahua and part Dachshund. We got her as a rescue dog from the local Humane League. And yes, she is a sweet, sweet little girl!

Venus de Hilo said...

What a lovely outcome for your quilt's story. And the dog photos are adorable (that's coming from a cat lady, BTW).

sallgood said...

Great quilt. Great post. Great lessons. Thanks for sharing!

tutto a posto said...

I knew Eleanor would love it and surprise so does your husband who sounds a lot like mine when it comes to looking at my work. "Very nice," is his usual comment. Your quilt is just beautiful and everyone who comes to visit will wonder how Eleanor got so lucky to have it as her own.

Audrey said...

I love it! And I was going to say "dog quilt!" so I'm glad you decided that would be good. It looks wonderful. I have a quilt that was assembled with errant tension, and I meant to rip it out, but it was put into household use so quickly that never happened. Dogs live here too. It's a lovely design and the fabric looks just right with Eleanor.

Byrd said...

I am continually amazed about how much I learn through quilting and I'm not talking about y-seams and perfect points here. This is a beautiful post, a beautiful quilt and a beautiful dog you've shared here - thank you so much! Take care, Byrd

Jo Jo said...

I love that you have written so honestly about the quilt and also just carried on regardless. A happy and unexpected outcome for this quilt too ! I have a husband that also just passes the odd word about a finished quilt! Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder - I love your quilt too :)

Gina said...

I think it looks absolutely beautiful!

Kathy said...

I am so glad this quilt worked out just fine. Remember some of the most interesting quilts hanging in museums are those with major imperfections. Your quilt looks just as a quilt should, warm, friendly, cuddly, and "im-perfect"!

Deb said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I learn something new about myself every time I work on a new quilt/project, and it is refreshing to see that others do as well. :) Sometimes the quilts take on a life of their own no matter how hard we try to change or "fix" them...this one was meant to look EXACTLY the way it does. I'm proud of you!

Clare Wassermann said...

I love the analogies you make with essons learned. I think the biggest lesson I'm working on is "letting go" which is similar to what you've been saying. It's hard, but at the same time simple.
I love the book Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye - he says it all so well and so succinctly.
x

Jane said...

Came across your blog by accident and the first thing I thought was, "Oh, what a gorgeous quilt!" Then I read your earlier post about all the things you continued to do even though you knew better. I do that all the time! I'm 60, so I think I'll never learn, even though I've already learned over & over & over! So glad for your happy ending, and oh what a sweet little dog!

Laura Links said...

I loved your honest sharing about your process on this quilt. I had to laugh when you got to the part about your husband claiming the quilt. The exact same thing happened to me. I'd finished a quilt top that just didn't work - in fact, I thought it was so bad that I called it my UGLY quilt. I proceeded to back it with some fabric that I didn't really like, thinking the dogs would still appreciate it. When the quilt was completed, my husband saw it and LOVED it ...and now, my ugliest quilt ever is in our living room and I see it all the time!

Jenny M said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and process of this quilt. I love the colours you used. Your husband came to your rescue and it seems he does not even know it (or does he?) and what a cute dog you have.
I would never make our two dogs a quilt, they would play tug-of-war, and the quilt would be in shreds within a day!

Emily Carnes said...

That quilt is freakin' gorgeous!!! It looks soo cozy. Lucky doggie :) I'm so glad to read that you finished it and it is being enjoyed by your loved ones. Happy ending!

Emily at backtothecraft.blogspot.ca

roccagal said...

loved your last 2 posts! It happens to the best of us!
I gotta agree with hubby, though-this quilts looks totally snuggle-worthy and it is really nice to look at too!
-so glad you put on your big girl pants and got her done!

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Well, it looks absolutely gorgeous to me! I love the colours you have chosen. They work so well together, and are so warming and welcoming. I'm a perfectionist too, although not such an experienced quilter as you, so in quilting I'm a perfectionist to the level that my skills will permit! And maybe you just haven't focused on the 'problems' in these photos - but I think it's beautiful, and obviously so do your husband and the dog! All's well that ends well. :)

QuiltSarah said...

Very nice quilt, no wonder your dog likes it so much.

Nancy said...

I'm sorry the quilt was so difficult to quilt but I gotta say, this quilt speaks "comfort" to me. The colors and fabrics are gorgeous and those imperfections that you notice.... to someone who loves the quilt (like your husband), they won't matter. I struggle with that perfection thing, too. I find it sometimes takes away the joy of the process.

Gloria Freshley Art and Design said...

I agree with your husband and Eleanor, Victoria: The quilt is beautiful. And it's muted palette and soft crinkles shout comfort. Wonderful story, too. Thanks. . .

Stephie said...

I think it's wonderful - your glorious sense of colour, texture and pattern sings! But you are right, sometimes the biggest lesson is not to be so hard on ourselves :) x

La-Isa said...

Here is another chaotic but wanting to be perfect lady who likes your quilt a lot, love it really! It looks so comfy to me, would love to cuddle under it.... Love the imperfect look and the colors are brilliant! Great to read about this proces of the making and the thinking....

Angie said...

Absolutely beautiful quilt in so many ways. I do believe that every quilt we pour our hearts into can teach us something. Perhaps you should call this quilt "Surrender". Enjoy it for what it is.

Monica G. M said...

hi there :) stumbled in

the worth of something is whether you or another loves it, for WHATEVER reason.
the most perfectly constructed piece is worthless if nobody cares about it.

i really love this quilt, the colour and all that stitching through it, and crinkles.

Terri said...

I really like the colors and the plaids.

Kelly said...

These colors are fantastic. My husband is like yours in that he really doesn't have much interest in my textile art. So, I can imagine the thrill of having him like this one so much.
I love your blog!