#SOL20: Life Lesson

“No, no, no,” I muttered to myself. (There may have been an “Oh, sh#t” mixed in.) I ONLY had two sides left to sew.

“How does a steam iron become a volcano spewing brown crud covering the entire length of my 24 inch piece of fabric . . . FORMERLY WHITE!”

“What on earth caused that?”

“I only had three.”

“Had” . . . already speaking in the past tense.

Already thinking of options. “Is it fixable? Replace with ???”

I’m deep into gift planning and sewing. Christmas will soon be here. I know. It’s not even “mid-September.” (I am one of those.) Before today, three items were complete. Three more waiting for trim, arriving soon via mail. Twelve more begun. Ready to assemble as or when time allows. Probably about 30 of those will be assembled in the next three months. A list. Organized by names and then by colors. Adult gifts.

Today was sewing time. New project. New Christmas idea. Iteration of previous projects. It began slowly.

Envisioning . . . One piece of fabric, measured, measured, measured, and then cut carefully into thirds. Daring in a simplistic design. Eking three out cautiously because it’s such a gorgeous fabric. Now ruined by a recalcitrant iron that decided to spew dark brown lava the entire length.

Scrubbed.

Allowed to dry.

Scrubbed again.

Drying.

Reduced, but still visible.

“Maybe this will be my gift to myself. Maybe this will be mine. Who else will know? But (insert whiny voice), it’s not the color I want for myself!”

Back side

Less visible? Or just wishful thinking?

Front unfinished view

The day after. How BIG of a problem is this in the light of the next day?

Life resembles my sewing. Mistakes happen. Often only the “designer” or “constructor” knows when the plan or pattern deviates. Creativity is stretched to handle the adversity.

When have you had to “fix” a problem? Did you “downplay” the issue? Did anyone else even notice?

How we respond . . . How we recover . . . says much about our own character. Learning to “fix” mistakes. Learning not to give up. Learning to “try, try again”. No, not by choice; but out of necessity. Life continues. Another lesson learned.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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6 responses

  1. Fran, such wisdom, so needed. How do we fix problems? I love that little picture book, What do you Do with a Problem? In this time, at this moment, we have to be more of our strengths and less of our anxieties. We create mantras and then whisper them to ourselves to keep going. Thanks for the boost.

  2. Fran, frustrations are constant in life but optimism and your inspired spirit win out in the end. Thanks for sharing the story (that I know well the travails of a steamy iron gone wild). I am happy that I read your post early because my days of juggling too many balls has led me to frustration. I start my day off fresh with your inspiration.

  3. It is so true that unexpected things happen. How do we handle it? Do we throw up our hands and give up? Do we look for a way around the problem? I know many quilters purposefully put a block in their quilts that has something wrong with it. They call it their “humility block” to remind themselves that they are not perfect.

    1. Love it. I am still at the stage where it is all humility. I think my dad had a saying something like “Everyone can build something, but it takes a carpenter to cover up their mistakes.” Sewing is easy but it takes a quilter to “fix” the mistakes!

  4. I love your dad’s sayings. My FIL used to say measure twice, cut once. We could make a book out of sayings like that! I love the way you brought a message into your mishap, Fran. And I think the front unfinished view looks fine!

    1. Melanie, On my third soak. It actually looks like it has been through a “tea bath.” Parent sayings… we will have to compare!

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