Saturday, November 1, 2014

The rough part of any challenge: just before you finish....

 I try and be fairly honest on the blog here
and not just show a glossy picture of how things are.
So I thought I'd just share a bit of how I'm going with my challenge
and the rough spot I've hit with it.

This week I made a quilt from the book with what I thought was a winning combination
and in my mind it was going to be the best quilt I've ever made.

Yeah. Well when I made it, the picture in my head and the actual quilt
did not go together and I was deeply disappointed with the result.
I messaged Juliet and said I wanted to cry
because I was so sure it was going to work out just like in my head
and clearly it had not.

I realise that I may have be over reacting and it might turn out fine,
but I still felt disappointed with myself when I faced the last four quilts.
The next one I made a mistake when I was sewing on the borders,
but then I thought it was ok, so I trimmed it up and it will be fine.

Then I had to face one that should be the easiest in the book,
called Raven Rock. But because the dimensions of this thing are so big
and my cutting mat is 23 inches wide, and because that required me to do actual maths,
this thing was doomed from the start.

Also I am trying to make as many of these quilts as possible from stash
and I had some kiddie prints left over from the year I made 30 odd pillowcases
and I thought I could make it work.

Turns out that my maths + cutting skills suck in a big way,
and possibly I can't even count to 10 without making a mistake
and so the end result is a quilt with multiple flaw 
that can never turn out like the picture in John's book.

In fact I managed to completely miss one entire column
(who the heck does that?) and of course I don't have any fabric to match
but I've managed to cobble the poor thing together anyhow.

A blind man might like it. Who knows.
Or a homeless person.

It will lie flat, I just couldn't be bother pressing it by the time it was together
and I realised what a complete failure it is. 

Anyway. I'm trying to tell myself that making something that fails
does not make me a failure, just someone who needs to keep practicing.

I now have one week left before I have surgery
and the last two quilts to make which look fairly difficult,
including one that scares me (Fallen Timbers)
and one I don't like that much (Glimmerdust).

You always get to the point in a challenge
where you feel like giving up and that you won't make it.

Right now that is the point I'm at.
I've made some quilts that are lovely
and some with some flaws that don't matter,
but then I've made one where I got the colour so wrong
and one where I got the construction so wrong.

It makes me second guess my ability at all.

I realise that some of you reading this are falling off your sofas laughing
and wondering why I think this, when clearly I can turn out some good quilts.

But I just want to be honest here,
this is exactly how I'm feeling. I feel like I'm not good enough.
I really wanted to make quilts that honoured John's patterns
and some of mine really don't do that.
I'm disappointed in myself.

But I am not going to give up and 
I am going to push through and make those last two quilts.

And lets face it, I've always said,
a wonky quilt still keeps you warm.


  1. I really like your quilt and think once it is bound and quilted it will be even more gorgeous. Do not be upset, creating things is always an adventure, even when following someone else's design. I just got reminded of this and the lecture about being too hard on myself and expecting perfection all the time. I have been moaning about the little bag I just finished not having hidden seams, silly me should have read the pattern to the end first.

  2. The Quilt may not be exactly like the instructions-so what? I like it the way it is and it will be better yet when quilted. Every time I do a quilt I am in some ways disappointed by my workmanship but after I sew the binding down I stop looking at the flaws and just see a pretty blanket. It's okay. Just take a deep breath and go slower on the next one and you'll finish just fine. (Must really remind myself of this while doing hand quilting on my current project!0

  3. If I hadn't seen the pattern then I would have thought nothing was 'wrong' with the quilt! Its interesting and brings a nice perspective to these crazy busy fabrics. But I totally get how you can get upset about not having the thing in your head turn out right.

  4. There will be a kid out there who thinks this is the best quilt every. It has all the cool stuff on it! Heck, I reckon it is pretty cool even knowing what John's pattern looks like - I think yours is more interesting!

  5. Dont beat yourself up, i cant remember a single quilt ive made that i dont look at years down the line and think , if id only done tht better or made a better fabric choice , such is life

  6. Instead of "mistake", think "learning oppurtunity. Actually I think with some straight line modern quilting it will look great! You'll be surprised when it's quilted..

  7. I've made one quilt in my life and it turned out to be a lap quilt. My mother kept it in the great room and my father hasn't gotten rid of it either. I'm sure someone will love your quilt. It might not be my cup of tea but then I'm sure my fabric choices wouldn't appeal to you nor would my choice of pattern to use. I think your upcoming surgery is coloring your inner thoughts on the work. Bind that quilt and move on to the next one. Your work is good; you doubt yourself too much.

  8. We have quite different tastes in quilts I think, but I can honestly say that this one looks just fine! I know the let-down feeling when something hasn't come out as well as your mental image and in that case you just have to listen to other people :) And like you say, someone will love it and they will have the use of their eyes and be fully compis mentis!

  9. I'm no quilter, but this looks great to me! As far as Im concerned, you're the best quilter everrr! xxx

  10. The whole while reading this I had a very wise lady's words ringing in my ears...and then lo and behold it's right there at the end of the post! A wonky quilt still keeps you warm! Despite your frustrations and troubles Deb, your quilts look great to us outsiders. Mostly only you will know what's not ideal, but the end result still works and looks good! I understand your frustration with the sizes though... My mat is 12x17inches and cutting ruler 6x12! It's very easy to make a mistake and just want to let it go! Well done for pushing on and getting there anyway. Looking forward to seeing the next ones and go you for persevering! You are an inspiration xx

  11. I am not laughing at all because I feel sad that you are feeling pain because of this.

    What would you say to a friend that made this quilt? Now say those words to yourself. Write them out if you have to.


  12. I just got the expert in my house to check and his response? COOL! 10 year old boys know everything after all.

  13. This is what being an artist is....the whole messy business is 90% freak out and 10% genius. I wonder - have you ever seen yourself that way (as an artist I mean)?


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