Friday, October 18, 2013

The Neverending Quilt

I admire people who spend a year or more on one quilt, meticulously piecing itsy bitsy teeny tiny pieces into a fabulous whole, or quilting every square centimeter to get a particular effect.  I’m amazed and awed by their dedication and, well – patience!  Wish I had it.

 I guess I better go back to Zen kindergarten because I have been working on a piece (not my own design) that I’m beginning to suspect is an endless series of squares that, if stacked, could reach from here to the moon and back and I will never, ever finish making them  so I will never actually complete the quilt, I will spend the rest of my life on the Sisyphusian task of making the same squares over and over until my brain is mush and I go to sleep, only to find I have more to make the next time I sit down to work.  And the pattern says the finished quilt is only 60 x 80 inches - huh, I don’t believe it.  By the time I’m done with these bloomin' squares I bet I’ll have enough of them to insulate a three story building.

When I bought the pattern (approximately seven years ago) I was really jazzed about it – I loved the colors and the almost 3-D effect it had, and I had every intention of making it right away.  I started cutting it out but okay - ideas happened and I set it aside. Then during one of my lovely (read: annoying) little epiphanies I always seem to have while writing this blog, I declared that I was going to either get rid of or make any patterns I currently have, because it is wasteful to have something and not use it.  So I’m stuck working on the neverending quilt…Again.

[Author’s Note:  You may have noticed this theme cropping up often – it is rather a struggle for me.  I don’t know why I have this trouble with art when I have no problem at all trashing homework or important papers  (although in my defense, if it is so damned important, why would it be sitting on the kitchen counter for so long and how am I supposed to know it matters when you put EVERYTHING on the kitchen counter all the time?!).  I can toss (or giveaway) clothes that are perfectly good because I’m tired of them.  I can let leftovers stay in the fridge until they grow fuzz…I can throw out, give away, or get rid of almost anything – except for something that I have a potential idea for, which may or may not include some of the following: foam wig heads, bits of rusty metal, baling wire, various colored tiles,  colored tacks ( I have an idea for them!) mason jars (that’s the teacher in me – never know when you might need a jar with a lid…) and of course, fabric I like or quilt patterns I might like to make someday.   I would never define myself as a pack rat – I really cannot abide mess, but when it comes to my art, well – lets just say I have a lot of ideas and not so much time.  But I am still excited by them so I keep the stuff because I might get to it…someday.]

So...I want to have this piece, but…but – I’m so sick of making these endless, monotonous, neverending squares!  I’ve been making them, off and on, for about a year!  I get bored, work on something else, and I swear - the more of them I make, the more I still have to make!  It’s like that Star Trek episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles.”   Except instead of the making more squares (I’d love it if they’d make themselves), they just multiply the number of each square needed every time I walk away from it.  I mean – look at these piles of squares!


Some of you may look at this and say "Oh, that's not so many squares!  What is she complaining about - I've done much, much more!"  Well, you say po-tay-toe and I say po-tah-toe, so - WHATEVER!  I can only share my own experience, and besides, the picture makes the piles look way smaller, and that table is BIG...And that's not even all the squares, anyway!

However, I know from my experience with being so ZEN, that I am supposed to focus on the doing, not the outcome, and like I said, I admire those people who can spend so much time on the one, fantastic, amazing piece and not be antsy for the next one.  I aspire to be like that, really I do.  I just ain’t there yet!  

My spiritual teacher says to be grateful for the things that make you go deeper, that force you to become more present.  Sooo – thanks a lot, Neverending Quilt - for making me focus on one little itty bitty teeny tiny neverending square at a time.  I’m absolutely certain you are helping me become a better, more enlightened person.  I’m grateful.