Thursday, June 07, 2012

Admitting Defeat

Dear readers, I write to you today as a defeated quilter.  I have labored on and off for six months to finish a king-sized quilt.  After days of careful cutting, sewing, ironing, and ripping out seams and starting all over, I've decided the Purple Quilt nightmare must end.

This is the first craft project I've ever abandoned.  I have a firm policy to never start another craft project until the last one has been completed, so I've been sitting here for four months dying to start something and hating my current project.  It wasn't a fun place to be.

My parents spent good money on nice fabric in order for me to make them a quilt for their bed.  I didn't destroy the fabric by any means, and my intentions were all good.  I was exacting with my cuts and tried to be careful with each stitch.  Somehow, though, the project just fell to pieces and can't possibly be corrected.  I can blame myself, the instructions I was following, my sewing machine, my ruler or rotary cutter, accidents, anything really, but I don't know where the errors--and there must have been several--occurred.

I explained my dissatisfaction with my own work to The Man a few weeks ago, and he tried to be encouraging.  He pushed me to try to understand the problems and be creative with solutions.  He supported me if I wanted to continue to struggle, and he was consoling as I discussed admitting defeat.  He knows how proud I am of my work (not in that ugly way, but it is good to be proud of accomplishing things, right?).  And he helped me realize what I wanted out of the project.

What I wanted was a quilt that I made for my parents.  What I was getting wasn't something I could stand to give anyone let alone scrap into a baby blanket.

In my judicious use of fabric, I managed to not cut up the large piece of muslin backing yet.  We hadn't purchased any batting.  I did save a few scraps of purple fabric.  Though approximately $100 of fabric won't be salvaged, I will be able to use the rest on other projects and in the next quilt.

I won't say a king-sized quilt was biting off too much to chew.  I will say, however, that the pattern was far more challenging than I should have been taking on at this point in my quilting life.  I don't have much experience sewing many triangles, and this pattern had almost 3,500 triangles.  Yeah.  All purples.

As terrible as I feel not being able to finish this project, I am relieved to put it behind me.  I've spoken to my parents about starting a new quilt project for them (funded by me, since I haven't spent a dime of my craft budget in four months! Sell your JoAnn stocks, people), and they seem receptive to the idea of a nine patch or Irish chain quilt--no triangles in sight, thank God!

I hate admitting defeat.  I hate letting someone down.  But I won't allow this particular defeat to get me down any more.  On to bigger the same size and better projects!


cm0978 said...

Sometimes it takes more courage to let a project go than to keep soldiering on. And creating should be fun, not a chore! Find another way to express those creative juices.

Anonymous said...

Have you gone to a good quilt shop for help? Grandma's Attic in Dallas is good. I know what you mean about projects that become no longer fun. But don't fret too much about it.

Anonymous said...

Don't stress, just be happy! Craft projects should be fun and I didn't realize that you had run into problems. Yes, just let the purple monster be and move on. The new quilt is going to be much more colorful and amazing!

Mom :)

Jaggy said...

Thanks so much for your support! I am thrilled with the new color selection and itching to get back to sewing more often again. This new quilt will be AMAZING. Now if only I can get it done before we buy a house and have to move!