Thursday, July 1, 2021

Life is too short to make quilts you don't love

Sometimes we get started on a project that we are so excited about and then once we get into it, we realize we don't really like it.  Has that happened to you or am I the only one?  Please tell me I'm not the only one. 

So then we are left with the decision to abandon the project which creates yet another UFO (unfinished project) in our quilting area along with the guilt and negative self-talk of why did we spend so much money on something we aren't going to finish, that we don't like, etc. etc. or are we going to "put on a smiley face" and keep making a quilt that we don't like which basically sucks all the passion out of quilting.  

Ya, tough decision.  And I've done both.  

So instead of having to make a decision between two loosing propositions, let's see how we can create some type of win out of the situation. First, take a step back and figure out exactly what you don't like about the project.  What were the expectations and why aren't they being met?   Is the fabric wrong?  Are my skills not where they need to be make the project?  Did I make a mistake cutting or sewing and I've lost my confidence?  Did I under-estimate how much time the project would take and I've missed a gifting date? 

Many times for me, it's the fabric selection.  Once I get the first block made I realize I don't like one of the fabrics in the quilt or I don't like how the fabrics are playing well with each other.  It's not giving me "the look" that I expected.   A fabric that looked great on the bolt looks horrible when cut into small pieces. 

So instead of abandoning the project and giving up completely, let's take a detour and make a mid-quilt adjustment.  We do this all the time in other aspects of our life, why not quilting?  We come to a row closure and we have to detour around it - we call that taking the scenic route.  We are missing a key ingredient while cooking and we have to substitute a different ingredient - we call that culinary genius!  So let's take what we have learned and substitute different fabrics, different blocks, different techniques so we get back on track. 

I recently had to do this with one of my quilt blocks in the Old School Block of  the Month.  I made my March block but I didn't love it.  And I knew at the time I wasn't loving it.  Here's a link back to my original blog post where I knew immediately that I wasn't loving it and I knew it was the fabric. 

Since March, I've been searching my stash for a bolder fabric in my pink - white - blue colorway that I could fussy cut and I'd been striking out.  I've been looking online and striking out too.  I shopped the other vendors at the quilt show last week and nothing caught my eye.  In my stash I found a leftover section of backing that is a gorgeous Kaffe Fassett print.  It had a bit more orange than my original colorway but it was the best I could come up with.  Plus I've got 6 months to introduce orange into the rest of my blocks to make them all look like they play well together. 

Using this focal print, I remade my March block and I'm loving it! The fussy cutting really made the design pop and since my flowers weren't symmetrical, I opted for a kaleidoscope layout in the center. The fussy cut dots in the corner are just perfect. 

It has so much more life and vibrancy than the previous version.  Don't you agree? 

And what is even more surprising ... the March block plays beautifully with all my other blocks and I even incorporated orange into the June block so it all works great!  I had planned on remaking my June block but I don't think I need to - unless I change out the outer corners to make them a bit "bluer" instead of aqua.  Yes, I'm a matchy-matchy person.   

So for the rest of my blocks over the next 6 months, I will plan to add a bit of orange and maybe a bit of aqua or lighter blue to pull in the June block colorway and all will be good.  YIPPEE!

And since I've got plenty of the focal print left, I can fussy cut it to finish my April block.  YIPPEE!  I don't like to be behind on projects so this was really bugging me. 

So just like life, sometimes we need to take detours in our quilting projects and get back to making quilts we love! 

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