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Friday, 15 November 2013

What to do with an unloved quilt top

Mia's Quilt

So I've told you about Mia's quilt before.  And everytime I have you have all been super suppportive and lied to me about how pretty it is.  But I was not enamoured anymore.  And nothing anybody could say was bringing me out of the funk this piece of patchwork was throwing me into. Just having it sit in the room was making me grumpy.

Originally, I had combined a couple of charm packs of bright sparkly spring fabrics - perfect for a little girl - and thrown them all together. 

 
 
I had started by making hsts, thinking I'd try pinwheels, but then felt I was losing some of the pop from the prints, so went back to straight squares. This created some interesting points when I started sewing rows together...


As you can see, I also put in some larger squares/rectangles and appliqued (my first ever attempt) some hexagon flowers on top. I love these big bright totally girly moments in the midde :-). I also threw on some iron on flowers and butterflys, hidden in the prints. LOVE!!

But I was left with a very odd size quilt top.  I thought I'd add some borders and bring it up to size. I bought a nice gingham-y pink and added it all the way around. At this point, it went horribly wrong.

I just didn't like it anymore :-/ And so it sat and stared at me from the corner of my sewing room.  I could have basted it, quilted it and given it away, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I put more pictures up and everyone said it was great! But I still didn't feel it. And then the epiphany.  It was those borders I didn't like.  They felt insipid.  I had put some piecing in there and a big applique of Mia's name, so it should have felt busy and bustling like the centre, but it just didn't.  So out came the seam ripper.  Or, more accurately, a pair of scissors.  Yes, I cut off some of my seams, just to get them gone.

It was hard to do.  I felt so anxious and silly and slightly crazy to be un-making a finished quilt top.  It wasn't like there was a mistake. Or a stain. Or something was upside down.  This was a quilt that was doing exactly as I had wanted it to... It felt like I was second guessing myself.  I couldn't believe I was really about to take apart something I had worked really hard to make, and for no real reason. I dithered about it for at least 20 minutes before I took the plunge.

I only took off the top and bottom, and it immediately felt better.  I think I even fell a little in love with it again. Turns out, the extras I'd added had really distracted from the top.


 
It looks less... balanced... Symmetrical... Square... But that's only really in the photos. It's better. It is an odd size and shape, but it feels like it has it's personality back.

Don't despair that I have done all the fancy applique for nothing!!  I haven't destroyed it.  I've just swapped it's home.  I've decided it's going to live on the back of the quilt.


And I like the name applique better now too!!  It feels brighter!  Less clunky than it did with all the patchwork.  I don't know how I'm going to make the back yet.  It could still be a month (or two or three) away, but I feel much happier with this plan. I like this quilt again.

And what I have learned is: If you fall out of love there is probably a reason.  If you ignore that and try to push through, it's not going to make you happy.  Sometimes we need to go back a step and while this can be hard, and it can make us feel all squoogally and anxious, it means we resolve the issue and can then move forwards again and love again! Instead of standing in one spot and being grumbly and unhappy.

True in life and in quilts. 
 
I'm so wise!

But seriously.  There is no law against unpicking. There is no rule to say that we can't change our minds.  And what we are doing is suppossed to be creative, so sometimes things won't look just like we thought they would in our head, and sometimes that's a win - it turns out even better, and sometimes it's not, and that's OK.

I know I just had my pompous grown up momnet, but I really am going to try to remember, that I do this for fun and for love, so if it's not fun, and I don't love it, there's no harm in pulling it apart.

E xx

 

 
 


6 comments:

  1. I do like it much better this way! The name on the back should be fabulous too! Hurray for unpicking success!

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    1. lol. Thanks Julie. It was nerve racking, but definitely the right decision. Huzzah for the unpicker! Honestly, I'm not sure how I'm going to get the name on the back, but I'm putting votes towards myself that it'll look great.
      E

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  2. Falling out of love with a project would be terrible! But I'm glad you've found a solution. I think this quilt will be smoking hot when you're done!

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    1. I think the hardest part was not really knowing WHY I wasn't loving it anymore. And thanks for thinking it'll be smoking :-)
      E xx

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  3. It's looking really great now, you are right, why carry on if you don't think it's working, it's meant to be fun! The applique will look adorable on the back. Keep up the good work, I'm looking forward to seeing it finished :-)

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    1. It's been sitting on a shelf for almost a year, just staring at me in all it's PINKness, so I'm not sure how quickly I'll get it finished! Hopefully, now that I've made a start, I can whip it together really quickly. Would be nice to have it out of the house before Christmas.
      E

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I'm still working out how to make email reply's work, but I promise I read every one and will reply by email or on the blog.
E xx