I am making a patchwork Christmas quilt. The pattern is “Piece by Piece”, designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio located in Oak Park, Illinois.
This project requires that I cut and stitch together 1084 pieces from 47 different printed fabrics. This will take a while – probably 60 hours or so.
These 3 photos show several of the steps of this quilt project: the stacks of cut pieces, fabric pieces in line for sewing and sewn blocks placed on the design board.
The design board is my favorite part of the process. Here I will combine and recombine the various blocks until I arrive at an arrangement of all these various fabric patterns that I find pleasing.
Essentially, my intention is to create a visual balance out of a vast array of clashing fabric patterns. And I have found that the more differences in color and design, the more interesting the overall patchwork. (Feel free to take a moment to reflect upon that idea.)
While I have not yet finished this arrangement, I’m not worried. I have come to trust my ability to arrive at a desirable outcome. When I was a quilting newbie, I would struggle to find the “perfect” combination. I self-imposed a lot of pressure and I never was completely satisfied with the final product.
And I carried that dissatisfaction with me. Mind you, the quilt was fine – usually pretty good. Yet my misplaced shame of not having made the “perfect” quilt would compel me to say as I gave it away, “It’s not great, but I hope you like it anyway.”
At some point, I began to understand that each quilt is unique. No two are ever exactly alike.
And I began to accept that there is no one absolute “perfect” arrangement. Rather, one can create many different combinations – all with merit.
So when I ditched the belief that I had to be that “perfect “quilter, I actually began to enjoy the process. I began to trust my own ability. I no longer set up that impossible goal of perfection. Now I consider many options and go with what I like best. It’s all about just trusting myself.
Now when I give a quilt away, there are no words of my personal inadequacies. Instead I say, “I enjoyed making this quilt for you.”
So as soon as I finish writing this post, I will return to arranging and rearranging those 1084 pieces of fabric with the intention of finding a pleasing balance – there will be no pressure, just joy.
Less self-imposed stress and more joy: now that’s a pleasing balance for each of us.