Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From EPIC FAIL to Can This Be Saved?

Two or three months ago I bought some really gorgeous, earthy toned fabrics that I loved at first sight. I didn't need them, but couldn't resist and bought them anyway.  I loved them so much I pinned them up on the wall so I could stare at them.  They hung for weeks, and I loved looking at them, but I was working on other things and couldn't get to them. 

One day as I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, The Quilting Edge, I saw a place for tutorials.  Wondering why I hadn't looked there before I, I saw one in particular that caught my eye.  One she calls, Wonky Circles. That was it - the "design" for the earth fabrics.  The instructions were clear and there were excellent pictures.  I knew the basic idea and was certain I could do it. I was so excited I dropped everything else and began pulling fabrics to coordinate.  

At the end of the first day I noticed the thing was a mess! I wasn't sure whether the fabric combinations were working out, I had not planned any placement of the squares at all and didn't really know where I was going, I couldn't seem to get the right rhythm for sewing the concentric circles. I was feeding the fabric in wrong ( I guess!) and my squares were anything but square!  They poofed out in the middle, they had lots of other pooches - frankly, they were crap! That day I was undaunted - if the squares were wonky that was fine, I was going to press them with steam and starch, and trim them down quite a bit anyway. Besides, I would get better by the second day, I was certain.   So I just forged ahead and did a lot of seam ripping, and re-sewing, but with joy, with excitement. It would come together, I was certain.  I had faith.  

However, by the end of the second day I told my husband I was considering throwing all that beautiful fabric in the trash - it stunk.  Late in the evening, I began to trim the squares (perhaps I should have waited until the next day?) and they still sucked.  I had to trim the things three times to be able to have a uniform size.  Then, even though I they looked more like water pouches than quilt squares and despite utter exhaustion, I insisted on pressing, pulling and starching the buggers; after that I still could not stop and I kept trying to arrange the voluminous squares to a pleasing state. And no, I was not zen - there was a lot of banging, pulling and cursing, although I did bring myself back to presence again and again....and again and again. And again.

Finally I forced myself to go to bed at 12:30.  As I did, I noticed all the squares being blown off the design wall by my ceiling fan.  I did not care, because I had decided to trash the entire thing.  I was just accepting what was.  And what was was that it was not.  Working out, that is.

Otherwise occupied so I couldn't work the next day, and having decided to chuck it all anyway, I was serene.  Oh well, it has to happen sometime - not everything works out, I figured. I was sad about the waste of those delicious fabrics but "OH WELL,"  I was letting go.   Still, I could not resist checking one last time on The Quilting Edge just to see if there was something I had missed.  As I sighed and stared at the perfection of Marianne's work, I noticed she had put sashing on her piece.  I am normally not a fan of sashing, but the thought crept into my brain that sashing might be a way to save the quilt.  Just MIGHT be, no guarantee.  

So I decided to try it - give it one more chance - what the heck - I really adored the colors and fabrics.  I had even (surprisingly) cleverly taken a photo of the arrangement I sort of liked with my iphone.  With the promise to myself of remaining calm and present no matter what, I  began to add sashing, cutting the sashing exactly to the correct lengths and making it fit.  And to my surprise - it began to come together!  By the end of the day, I had most of it done and OMG!  It looked good.  And even, dare I say - SQUARE!

So the thing worked after all.  I won't say it is perfect, because it ain't.  But it is - well, I'll let you judge for yourself:

I deliberately put in a large photo so as not to hide the imperfections - they exist, but I think they actually go well with the overall feel of the thing!


For me, the answer is YES!  It could be saved.  And I am so very


GRATEFUL.