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