This block is one of those in the "secret project". Hopefully using this one, lonely, example will not get me kicked out of the group, but it has a special place in my soul now. This is the block that has "sunk" my self-esteem and caused me days of frustration. There are small 'v' points on each piece at the center...that are made to form a neat little point on each section. Our leader is an amazing, highly talented, pattern drafter and her measurements are always spot on. I have made the block as directed with picture perfect results all the way as I sewed the blocks together.....until I began to join the sections at the center! I tried hand piecing and machine piecing...with the same results. After making four I decided that it was, after all, just a quilt block and so I decided to "solve my un-ability" problem with a masking circle at the center. I actually don't mind this look...but....
I was still frustrated. So. I decided to give it one more go and try EPP. Again, it all looked perfect , until I went to join my perfectly crafted inner points....
My point being that is is a good idea to know when you have been beaten by a block, a quilt, or design, or , really, anything in life. Perhaps beaten is not the best choice of words....perhaps I should say that it is good to know when to walk away and approach a problem by an alternate method. Time to accept that "done" is better, perhaps, than "perfect". I am fine with my results now. I tried everything that I could think of, checked and rechecked my seam allowances and pattern size, sewed carefully and slowly, read and re-read the directions......it was my "Ah Ha"! moment and I had to accept that for whatever reason this block was my personal "Waterloo". Hey! Being able to say that a quilt block is your downfall is not so bad!
I had been feeling stifled by too many current projects too. I am working on not one, but two copies of the "secret project" (up-to-date), one Applique BOM (I am almost up to date on that), The Farmers Wife 1930's (now 5 blocks behind) as well as my "potato chip" project, Glorious Hexagons. All well and good, but I was not doing anything just for fun and I had no time to make any clothes...which is something that I really miss.
SO.....decisions, decisions. My friend Janet "gave me permission" ...I asked for it....to let one of those projects slide for now and I will pick it back up when, and if, I felt like it. I need to make two small quilts for children and so, to celebrate, I picked Jenny Doan's (Missouri Quilt Company) fun, easy, pattern, "Jack'n'Jill". I have only bought one jelly roll in my quilting life...and, at this point, I had used a few of the strips...but I decided to use them all up for this project since it called for a jelly roll or 2.4" strips. My friend, Barb, had come up with another, similar, pattern using layer cakes, but since I did not have any of those either (well, I have one...but it's not what I would use for kids).Can I just tell you what a relief it was to just zip through so mole blocks? I spent a couple of hours and almost have enough for a quilt.....love this!
Lessons that I have learned from quilting recently?
- Know when to back off. Know when enough is enough!
- Imperfection really is okay and done really is better than perfect (thank you to Brenda Papadakis and Dear Jane for this quote)
- When it stops being fun - it is time to make decisions that will clear away stress, get you back to your happy place, restore your self-esteem and enable you to move in a positive, forward, direction.
- Have anyone had a similar "road block" project? What did you do?
- Have you learned any valuable life lessons from sewing and quilting lately? What?