Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lesson Learned, I hope

This is a confession. In the past I have been an impatient and frequently sloppy quilter. I wanted the finished product and it didn't have to be perfect Well, it's still not perfect but I've been reforming and trying to make myself more of a perfectionist. I now try to really square up my quilts and bind them neatly and see that they hang straight, etc. But old habits are like trying to kill a bat that has got into your house and your only weapon is a broom. [I have had considerably more experience with this than have most people I know]. It's damned hard to beat a bat to death with a broom. Well, it's damned hard to kill a bad habit with good intentions. In both cases it can be done but there are times when you think it's a losing battle.

This the story of this green quilt. It's one of the chopped up nine-patches I've had a spell of doing the past few months. It's okay but far from thrilling. In fact I decided a week ago to finish it and get it out of my sight, somewhere on the highest closet shelf waiting for an opportunity to give it to charity. Some needy person might find it reasonably pretty, if they like green more than I do in these proportions. As I finished quilting it, rather lightly, I tried to talk myself into adding farm animals as I think I wrote a week or so ago. I was growing tired but decided to bind it by turning the backing to the front. Fine, that's easy. Except the backing wasn't even so the amount of turn over visible from the front is uneven. Sloppy! I was tired and grumpy and I just did it. And proceeded to be angry at myself and decided no way do I want to spend any more time on this. No farm animals, no reason to name it the 4-H quilt as I had thought of doing. Because it has some fabric with the 4-H clover logo and because my mother actually started a 4-H club when I was 10 so that someone other than herself would teach me to sew. She knew she was not a good seamstress, she didn't really like sewing. But she was serious about mothering and wanted me to learn the fine points of domesticity. I'm glad she did. I love to sew! [Even if I get sloppy] So I finished off that green schmata Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning, rested, the Times puzzle finished, I was in a good mood and just couldn't resist looking at the package I purchased maybe 10 years ago of Debora Kochinsky's patterns for farm animals. Did I mention I grew up on a farm? And I did once show a cow as a 4-H project. I like those patterns and I haven't used them in all this time, thought I. Why not add a couple cows? Well, I spent ALL the rest of Sunday adding cows, a pig,a goat and a lamb to the green quilt. As you can see above, especially if you click on the photo and see it enlarged. Don't look too close, I allowed myself a certain amount of sloppiness.

So the lesson I hope to have learned as I look at this less than wonderful quilt? I haven't killed off my old habit but maybe this will be one of the final whacks with the broom. The whole thing was a waste of time. I know better. i like green but not in such quantity on a quilt -- a hillside, but not a bed. I didn't even need another quilt this size. Almost every choice I made was suboptimal. I have several times promised myself not to do it again.

But you know the thing about living in a house where you "think" the bats have been banished from the attic is that they sneak back and if they're in the attic sooner or later a confused little beastie will blunder into the house and won't find his way out and you'll have to kill him ... a life lesson to ponder.

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