#SOL20: Bull-Headed


It was suggested last night that I was a “tad-bit” bullheaded.

Growing up as one of seven children, I was in the middle. Sometimes silent. Sometimes bossy. Sometimes in “Git’er done” mode.

I’m sure that I come by some “bullheadedness” honestly as I believe it’s a prevailing theme in our family. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

As I actually moved into “real” quilting and not just piecing last night, I left the world of designing, sewing, pressing, sewing, ripping out, pressing and thought about the quilt design that would “showcase” the pattern and the fabric.

Because I had a specific idea in mind, I was ready to quilt all by myself.  The first row of stitching was a breeze. I could put my presser foot on the edge of the seam and “let’er rip.” Confident. Competent. Making progress.

But it was not meant to be.

I wanted to use the presser foot with a lengthy gauge but I could not remember how to make it stay on. And then I couldn’t just add the old presser foot back on. Without an instruction book, I searched you tube for videos. Zero luck.  Somehow I managed to add the presser foot back on but I was exhausted.

And yet, not ready to “give up.”

Plan B. Rig up a cardboard guide that would stretch from the previous seam to the needle. This cardboard/duct tape “spacer” worked for about a third of a row . . . BUT each stripe” was wider than the previous and my expectations were no longer being met. 

Rip out the stitching and begin again.  Revised plan.

Plan C. Eureka. Find the pen that was able to write and then be erased from fabric. But where was it? ARGH! I searched in boxes of fabric, a basket of odds and ends. But I could not find my pen with the ink that was “water soluble” and therefore ideal for my sewing project.

When I looked in the basket next to my machine, it quickly became apparent that I hadn’t looked EVERYWHERE, because the pen was there. Right under my nose the whole time.


I continued to work. It was nearing midnight.  I was determined to complete this gift item at this time. 

While a teacher, I was not fond of “chevron themed” classrooms with picture perfect bulletin boards and tidy work areas that seemed to promote cookie-cutter work products. So it was unusual to find myself sewing a chevron pattern and being quite specific in “the best sewing” ever. I marked out the points and then connected the lines between the low and high spots on the fabric as preparation for sewing.  

Time consuming.


Necessary prep work for the outcome I desired.

A specific envisionment.

Matching my plan with the real work.

And top stitching carefully 

Not perfection

But improving with practice!

Getting Close . . . to sewing on the line consistently!

And even closer!

Repetition . . .

 Over time . . .

Stubborn . . .

Persistent . . .

Determined . . .

Definitely a middle child . . .

Matching my perception 

Project nearly completed.

One more to be added to the stack of completed Christmas gifts. 

When are you persistent, tenacious or bullheaded?

Words Matter!

When do you stay with a task long after others have moved on? 

What decision points allow you to move on?

Do these traits exist in your personal AND professional lives? 

What traits might you strengthen? Which traits might you actively decrease? 

Which words will you choose?_____________________________________________________

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

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9 responses

  1. Your quilting lingo is a whole new language to me! You are so persistent and an excellent model of lifelong learning! I love how you connect it all. I love your reflective questions and definitely have traits I need to actively decrease…

    1. Erika,
      It is like a whole new content area AGAIN with specialized vocab, res and belief systems!!!!

  2. I choose the word persistent to get through the messiness of life right now, Fran. You are more than determined to get your Christmas gifts completed early. This quilt seems to be moving on beautifully so good luck with your goals and sharing your story with us.

    1. So much to do. The stress from procrastination just does NOT work for me. Tenacious is my current fave!

  3. I don’t know of any stitchers who are not expert at “frogging” – rip it, rip it, rip it. Perseverance pays off. The more you do the easier and better the outcome is. As Kathy often says, “Having the right tools makes the job much easier.”

    1. Tools are so critical. . . For all work! Love frogging. Just plan on it! 🙂

  4. I like how you wove your personality into the quilt project. It is a project and persistence is needed to improve and progress to do “the best sewing ever!” I can relate! I am just completing my first quilt. It is really only pieced rectangles and panels. But, I have learned so much – like stitching in the ditch – which I finished tonight. My edges are the next and final step. I’ve been very persistent with this project since I started it in April. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your next project.

    1. Omg…. hate. Hate.hate binding.
      Sometimes sew straight.
      Only squares and rectangles so far.
      My first quilt was panels in May.
      Aye yi yi. I have learned so much since then!

      1. Yes! I finished. I hope to do another quilt soon! Glad to know you started with panels too! It was an easy way to start, IMO. I don’t plan to increase the complexity of my next quilt, only work on improving my technique. I learned a lot too! Thanks!

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