Sometimes our creations are not as great as we’d like.
You know – a few wonky seams, a lumpy bit of quilting, a missing point or two, a bit of a mess, to our eyes at least!
I’ve just made a small quilt like this. Every time I look at it I just see another disaster or mess, another missed seam.
Never mind ‘stitching in the ditch’ – I wasn’t even in the same field!
For a while I have had it scrunched up in a heap in the kitchen. As I passed by it I growled at it for pretending to be a quilt. Pretending to be a work of art. It had to go.
So, instead, today I gave it to the toddler – to do with it whatever it is that toddlers do with a blanket. So far it has been a door, cape, blanket, roof of a den, mountain and car park. He’s not bothered that it’s squiffy. And the way he’s throwing it around you can’t even tell it’s squiffy. He is really pleased with it.
Now, I could decide to quit sewing as a result of this recent and stressful disaster, or I could decide to learn from my mistakes.
If a school report were written about this quilt, it would eerily reflect all those I ever had at school…
‘Alison shows promise but must try harder’
Here are my five top tips to improvement:-
1. Check that your pre-cut squares are actually square before you start;
2. Take your time to line things up before sewing, and even pin if necessary;
3. Sew your seams with care to be a consistent 1/4 inch rather than seeing how fast you, and the machine, can go;
4. There’s no such thing as a short cut – really, there isn’t;
5. Unpick your mistakes rather than trying to hide them.
You might notice the theme to these points all revolve around time issues. Why, with this quilt, I thought I had a time problem I don’t know – but the result showed careless and sloppy sewing practices. In the end, patchwork is a hobby, it’s meant to be fun. There are no time limits, except perhaps if you are sewing a gift, and then I’m sure the person would rather something beautiful and late than a mess on time. (My mum’s 2015 Christmas present didn’t reach her for ten months!)
The next quilt will be sewn with care and love.
As my dad says, ‘If a job’s worth doing then it’s worth doing well.’
And as much as I dislike this quilt, toddler loves it, so I guess there is no bad quilt, just a chance to learn.
I’m now off to think about my next sewing project – note the word ‘think’ not ‘charge in and hope’!
Bye for now