I like to delude myself into thinking that I am way past making the quilting blunders that I may have made years ago. I mean I have learned a thing or two along the way...
(Nice, unvarnished quilt top before I defaced it.)
I know not to machine quilt when tired. So how come I decided to start quilting this evening, even though I was indeed tired?
I know that if the quilt top or back is puckering, stop! Something is not working as it should. So how come when I saw, (right into the first couple of rows) that this was indeed happening, (on both the top and the backing fabric) I just kept on going... I actually told myself that it wasn't really a big deal. WTF?
I know that good quilting takes concentration and time. So why was I plowing through the task and not paying attention to the fact that this quilt top, (that I just spent a good week putting together) was getting increasingly distorted and sloppy?
How come, (when I really did pay attention and truly saw how bad it was getting) I choose to repeat and follow that untruthful quilter's lie... you know the one..."Just keep going, you can quilt the wrinkles out" when I know from past experience that at least 7 out of 10 times you really can't.
And why, oh why did I start and stop every freakin' row, (all 54 of them, each 4 feet long... which equals 2592" or 72 yards) with little itty bitty stitches that I back stitched over several times, ( I will tell you why... because I am such a conscientious quilter and I don't want my threads to unravel). Of course I did this with the full knowledge, (gained from past experience) that should I have to rip any of those rows of stitching out, I will never be able to undo those itty, bitty, backstitched ones without ripping holes in the fabric. Now how conscientious is that??
So now I have a mess of a quilt. Not only is it a distorted mess, it is also very difficult to fix... besides those itty bitty stitches at the beginning and ends of each row, the whole backing is a homespun woven fabric that the stitches have simply disappeared into! It took almost two hours just to rip out 5 rows.
Now, what to do? I really liked the top. So, do I spend the next few days ripping out stitches, straining my eyes and making my hands ache? Or do I let it go, wasting what was a pretty top, and lots of fabric, along with my vision of what it could have been?
Ultimately it doesn't really matter, because the most important lesson here is that the quilt isn't what is important. (I mean it is just fabric and batting and some time spent. No big deal in the scheme of things.) What's important is re-learning the lessons that I knew, but choose to ignore, as well as some new lessons. So I thank this mess of a quilt for teaching me and reminding me...
~ To slow down and breath.
~ To stay in the present moment.
~ To do it right, (lest you re-do it later.)
~ To remember what I already know, (and apply it to the situation).
~ To not believe my ego when it tells me it knows better then my inner voice. (Inner voices always know best!)
~ To be kind to myself when I forget and screw up. (That's how we learn, and relearn, and remember.)
~ To be conscious. To be aware of what I am doing, and why I am doing it, and my attitude while I am doing it.
~ To remember that a good attitude in any situation goes a long way! Nothing is worth doing with a bad attitude, (and no quilt is worth saving if it will make me a miserable person in the process!)
~ Shit happens. Accept each situation with love, make the best choice you can in each moment, let go of what doesn't work and move on to something better.