Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Where do you draw that line in the sand?? Yesterday seemed like an eternal struggle for me with that damned entry in the quilt comp. It seemed the thing had taken on demonic possession and refused to co-operate with me at every turn. Everything I tried with it turned out awful - I could not get things to sit straight, or alternately look artistically crooked and intentional, every colour or texture or whatever I tried looked wrong, wrong WRONG. Then, when I looked at the whole thing at the end of the day, I decided that it was NOTHING like what I had in mind that the elements did not work as a whole and try as I might I could not come up with a way to change it that a.) would work, b.) would comply with the competition rules and c.) would not take endless hours of work and/or unpicking. I almost burst into tears and wanted to take it outside and set fire to it. Instead, I went to the local hardware megastore and, being a public holiday blessed with the most glorious weather, struck every man and his dog there (which made me feel better strangely - as if I was being given the cosmic message that outdoor work was what was really intended for me that day). I purchased some bits of trellis for the climbing stuff like my passionfruit vine that is threatening to encroach the entire world, like the others that have also shot off with a magnificent burst of spring enthusiasm. I really hate when they need to be cut back so I decided to simply extend the support for some of them, including the bright ruby climbing pelargonium that is inching across my back lawn at the moment. Also got several punnets of petunias, encouraged by the "bushes" that have developed from last year's lot and a trailing snapdragon that I haven't seen before and some penstemons that I have always wanted to try.
Back to the horror of the quilt. I know this is definitely not a new thought, but I really think it's time to say, quite firmly, to myself STOP - it ain't never gonna work and you hate it therefore you are not going to do your best with it. Then, I read the rules again and noticed that they want not only a photo of the front, but the back as well and that was truly the last straw for me. I don't know about everybody else, but I rarely if ever pay any attention to the back (which I know breaks the cardinal rule of traditional quilting where the back must look as good as the front.) Now, given that the front of my quilt looks like hell in a handbag, can you imagine what the back looks like?? So, rather than distress myself any more and feel obligated to at least finish the bastard, hoping some miracle will occur and it will suddenly transform itself into the most amazing creation, it will be stopped immediately. I have decided that I am going to follow the lead of Arlee and , instead of stressing about all the UFOs I keep creating, I am going to relabel them "Components for Future Use". In fact, I might even cut out the good bits and just keep those. Whatever I do, I am definitely going to spend today being a lot more free flowing and playful. If anyone feels like letting me know about any brilliant ideas they have for dealing with unco-operative projects, please share!!!

1 comment:

arlee said...

Fire sometimes *is* an option :} You'd be surprise how saving the good bits and reworking them or adding them to something else will not only give them a new life and new meaning, but they will make you PROUD of your work.
As for "backs", that's a big question. Some well known artquilters simply cover the whole thing with a new piece that shows no "marks" or stitches at all, some are neatniks and some let it all hang out and manage to make the back say something too :}
Calling things Components has been very liberating! I even got rid of pieces/UFO's when i realized looking at them on their own that they had NO value *anywhere* but the nasty gar-bahj!
Chin up, dear--it's all part of the process :}