About Me

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I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and businesswoman with a passion for life. I try to keep my priorities in life straight - Faith, Family, Friends. I love to try new and challenging things, spend time with friends and family, sew, embroider and laugh. I run a custom apparel decorating business from my home. I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Imperfect Quilt

Creating small quilts for my nieces and nephews brings me joy.  Brandon, the newest member of our family has been waiting for a few months for his 'Mona's Originals' creation.  This week I decided the time is now.

I found a pattern I liked and the size suggested was perfect, 42" x 42".  Although it was shown in pastels, I envisioned it bright and cheery for my great nephew.  I dug out my box of scraps and sketched in my mind as I searched for the Noah's Ark fabric I knew was hiding from me.   I had used it years ago for my nephew, Noah, and I have a tendency to save every scrap.  Success was quick to come and soon  found coordinating prints that gave the look I envisioned.

Usually I just start cutting and let my imagination lead the way, but this time I decided to use the graph paper  purchased during the Back to School sales. "Time to draw your quilts before stitching."  I chided myself as I tossed the pad into my shopping cart.  My new markers were eager to help with the process and soon I had detailed all the ideas, dimensions, yardage and even the fussy cuts I needed to make for my center block.

http://www.quiltingandwhatnot.ca/images/Half_Square_Triangle_Pattern.JPG I enjoy making half square triangles so I did a bit of math.   I needed to create 4 sheets for a total of 72 completed 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares.  I discovered a speedy process for this online.  It involved using my copier to make 4- 8.5 x 11"  prints. I found the original pattern at http://www.QuiltingAndWhatnot.com

 I sewed on the paper with two rectangles of fabric pinned to it, right sides together of course.  I followed the dotted lines and then cut according to the directions.  Tah dah! - after a bit of pressing I soon had 72 perfect squares of two triangles.

More stitching and soon my creation began to take shape.  I continued to refer to my illustration and when I messed up, I ripped it and did it correctly.  In my eagerness to complete this project, plus the excitement of a new project underway, I found myself in my sewing room about 4 a.m. several mornings.  I wanted to get a few hours under my pajama elastic before starting my day.  I felt so pleased with the progress I had made.  My goal of completion this week was about to be realized.  My brain began to move to the next quilt on my list.  Same pattern in pinks, purples for a great niece, who is expected this fall.

And then I discovered it!  A problem I have never encountered before.  In my zeal to press each seam perfectly, my iron overheated.  I had it set for cotton, but the polyester thread complained and melted.  This has NEVER happened to me in over forty years of stitching - a seam that disintegrated before my very eyes.  And the non existent seams landed in the interior of the block. It went from perfection to flawed in a few shots of steam. This creation would never hold up to the love my nephew, Brandon, was sure to administer.  And that made it unsuitable.

My next task: to repair it  with hand stitches or tear it apart and start over.   As I contemplated my options, it occurred to me how my life is so similar to the quilt I was making.

I plan my life out, what steps I will take, how to do it, according to my wishes.  I work hard at making my ideas come to fulfillment.  But sometimes things happen and it careens out of my control.  Things come apart at the seams. It is then I have two choices.  I can either turn to my faith, reevaluate, adjust, or throw a royal pity party.

I choose to figure out the best thing to do with my circumstances.  When I visit daily with my Lord, I take time to look at the dilemma  from a new view.  I  take what I have learned and apply it to my future.

 I don't know for sure how my finished quilt will look, just as I don't know what time holds for me.  What I do know is I can use my skills acquired through experience and practice, to live my life to the best of my abilities.  I  can take my strengths to create a world around me filled with beauty by my attitude, actions and prayers.  When I look at the underside of my quilts, they look messy.  Threads hang, paths crisscross, bumps, snips and imperfections draw my eyes until I see only mistakes. At times this is what I see in my world around me.  But I know when I reach my final destination some day, all things will be revealed. I hope I have the privilege with my Savior in my view to see my life as patterns of beautiful pieces stitched together with the love of Christ.  It is then the project of me will be completed.

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