Quilt It! Graduation

Here I'll tell you why the Quilt It! Challenge has been such a great inspiration for me - even though I've only just completed this Final Project, began in October.


I made a hexagon runner to fit our round table.
I liked the incremental plan of Quilt It! Challenge. Jackie @SewExcitedQuilt thought it up, and it really worked! We tried techniques and learned free motion design through small steps of nine matched 16" blocks, one a month, then we were to finish the last quarter of the year with a whole cloth table runner. Remember?

These stencil cats run around center of hexagon, alternating with corner hearts
Yet every month, my projects got later and later. And it took more and more coffee (and yes, I confess, there were also plenty of donut bribes) to get myself to finish even the most fun projects like Quilt It! Challenge. Alex says that I "put the pro in procrastination." In the end, I started 3 Final Projects, but.....why did I have so much trouble finishing things?
  • Perfectionist? Ha - Not
  • Busy? Who isn't.
  • Interruptions? Excuses.
  • Priorities? Possibly....
  • Panic? Yes!
Think I'm most proud of the tiny rope border finishing stippling around cats & hearts.
Panic and donuts! I realized that is how I've always got things done. So at this crossroads, I decided to change course and see if I could find the way everyone else gets stuff done.  This Final Project would stay undone until I could "graduate" from my fear of finishing things.
1st time using this vintage Singer foot found at a yard sale.
And here I really want to thank Jackie for patience. I wasn't very communicative, as I wasn't sure myself what I was doing. But Jackie never once asked, "What on earth is going on over there @RoadHomeQuiltn?" She kept sending great inspirations for Quilt It! Challenge Pinterest Board and finished her own super Final Project.
Guide foot worked perfect for creating lattice \
between center feather wreath and cats border.
I'm always asking other quilters, "How do you get so much done?" The really successful ones say, "By Attention Deficit oooh shiny...." Alas, I am not blessed with those qualities. I can stay at the pool for hours, no problem.
Lattice and wreath show up well in this verso picture.
So while at the pool panicking about everything that needs finishing (don't call me lazy - I was paralyzed by indecision!), I decided to use my time consulting other kinds of experts. I journaled and studied writings by all types of artist and entrepreneurs. I read psychology too. And The Bible.
Found the perfect shade of red thread to match this backing in Presencia
Here is what I learned:
  • You can't do everything you dream of - you have to make choices.
  • Choices are hard because it means saying goodbye to some good ideas. Forever!
  • You must be selfish enough to prioritize your time.
  • Be present! Living in the future makes you overestimate your skills.
  • There's no point worrying what everyone else wants. They don't need you to think for them.
  • Nobody knows. So if you're not happy in your work, you are the only one who suffers.
  • Have faith your tiny efforts will matter. And that help will come when you need it.
  • Friends matter too.
Nice thing about Whole Cloth, they are usually reversible.
Yellow binding matches both sides, but I feel it is too wide. Likely I'll change it for a narrower one.
All this is still a new work plan, I'm not perfect at it yet. [As evidenced by taking all day to write this post.] And my quilting isn't magically perfect yet either (darn tension!). But I've learned to trust my design all the way to the end, and now I have the thrill of stitching without fear.
And yes, at last, I really had fun making this :)
Three things are hard:
diamonds, steel, and to know one's self.
---Ben Franklin

3 comments:

Sandi Colwell said...

The runner came out great!! Love that it's reversible. Congratulations on finishing it. I really love the list of things you learned. I think with 2 teens and a preteen, my favorite one is not worrying about what everyone else wants because they don't need me to think for them. I would love to be free from this. Thanks for a great post!

Diane Rincon said...

Well said, friend! Perhaps I can take to heart some of the lessons you've learned.

Jackie said...

Love your close-up photos. Remember this was never meant to be a chore, just an exercise to get both of us working towards better machine quilting and it worked! Great job.

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