#SOL21: Self-evaluation

I had a plan to construct a 9 x 11 quilt out of 10 inch blocks (raw size 10.5 inches). I had a pattern. I had fabric. 35 different fabrics because I didn’t want a lot of repetition in some of the columns. Column 1 and 9 were organized as planned with just a few shifts to ensure that certain colors were not adjacent. Columns 3 and 7 used fabrics for the most part that were NOT included in columns 1 and 2. Column 5 in the middle was a blended mix of squares combined from column 1 and 3. (After all it’s the middle column!)

Fairly simple. I constructed the squares – each with 7 pieces of fabric. I laid them out on the pool table to check the patterns. I shifted and revised some: flipping end over end broke up a line that wasn’t meant to be or reversed the original pattern. Column 1, after all, consisted of 45 stripes. A veritable vertical feast of colors.

When you view the grid above, it becomes obvious that the placement of the blocks needed to be done in an orderly fashion to match the pattern. But which concerns should receive priority? Blocks with 2 seams, 3 seams, or 4 seams?

I quickly became adept at checking for two or three specific fabrics as my love for them caused them to be included at a higher frequency rate. I knew that checking in advance would keep the dreaded frog away . . .

RIP IT!

Rip it!

RIP IT!

Not my friend. Physically “revising” by ripping out fabric in a quilt.

Last Tuesday, I needed to make a decision. I knew that two blocks bothered me. How much? Enough to rip out? I couldn’t decide. But they did bother me ENOUGH that I decided to construct the quilt rows in two different pieces so I could manage the fabric more easily ( 90″ in width and 60 ” in length).

Here is what I was facing. Two fabric colors were too similar.

Should I replace them? If yes, with what color or pattern.

It wouldn’t be too obvious to anyone else without a fair amount of studying the pattern.

Here’s where the plan failed in execution.

I waged an internal debate.

Who would notice? Who would care? Would it really be that noticeable to others? Was it good ENOUGH as it was?

Would my nephew notice?

And I instantly thought of other times in my life.

Did I settle for good ENOUGH?

Was this about the final product? Or the process? OR both?

I’m not YET jammed for time, so should I do it “correctly” as defined in my planning?

OR should I “LET IT GO?”

PAUSE. Can you name a time when you have been faced with a similar quandary? What helped you make your decision? Did you have any regrets? How would you evaluate your own QUALITY of work?

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Like Paul Harvey

“And now for the rest of the story . . .”

Have you predicted my response to my self-evaluation?

Yes, I spent 90 stinking minutes ripping out and replacing the four fabrics in the block that did not match. I could NOT leave it as it was.

My biggest project to date: Quilt number three, a 90″ by 110″ project.

10 responses

  1. This happens to me with crochet. Inevitably I end up doing what you did – taking the time to undo and restart, otherwise it will bother me for a lifetime! Great slice about practicing patience and perseverance!

    1. Thanks!
      I was stuck on whether I was seeking perfection . . . And that boat had sailed! I like the notion of practicing patience and perseverance!

  2. Congratulations on finishing such a huge project. That’s a big quilt for your it being your third one. Impressive! A veritable vertical feast of colors leaves me wanting to see photo of your masterpiece. Quilting is a mental exercise from start to finish and the struggle is real when a quilter notices a mistake and cannot let it go. My master quilter mother taught me that mistakes add to the beauty of the quilt and that only another quilter would notice it, so it’s best to let it go. Then, she’d turn around and rip out her own mistakes to make it perfect. I was happy to read the Paul Harvey update at the end as I was left on a cliffhanger wondering what you decided.

    1. Thanks. Patty!
      The error looked like a mountain to me as I knew exactly where to look. It was easy to forego other small errors in matching corner, etc.! And I’m glad you appreciated the Paul Harvey moment! 🙂

  3. Spoken like a true quilter, Fran. Others might not notice something that the quilter’s eye catches and if the quilter is not happy then the frog comes out. Kathy has been there many times. Looking forward to seeing a picture of the finished project.

    1. Poor frog . . . So maligned! What’s our personal tolerance for error? That’s our guide! Now quilting and then binding. So close! Soon!

  4. First, congratulations on a HUGE project. I usually focus on baby sized quilts – more manageable and time sensitive! I do have to agree with your need to make it right! I have abandoned almost finished quilt tops and have ripped out more sections than I care to remember. I cannot imagine worrying that someone else might someday notice my mistake/issue!

    1. Thanks, Anita! It felt huge … physically and mentally! Often, pre-planning helps but this felt doable! And it was! Perhaps I was foolishly naive, but also ready for the challenge!

  5. I was already overwhelmed by the time you wrote — Fairly simple. Not for me — LET IT GO!! Unless it brings you joy… sometimes that is the fun of it all if you love what you are doing. See you tonight!!

    1. Clare,
      Fairly simple. It’s all relative!
      You design book baskets so you use a process already. Is it the process? The product?

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