22 September, 2011

Ten-year quilt

Here's a post I drafted over a week ago. Things didn't go my way so I didn't publish it, until now:
I started a quilt 12 September, 2001. I needed to do something so I gathered all the blue fabrics in the apartment. I cut up PJs, bed linens and, with permissions, husband's shirts. Nothing clever or fancy, just 7" squares. I worked straight and had the top pieced into strips in no time. Mr fab helped decide the order for joining the strips and the top was done day one.

Today it's been 10 years since I started that quilt and God help me if it's not done by the end of this day. As with starting this blog, a desire to do things perfectly made for years of planning and false starts followed by periods of neglect. Originally I intended to hand-quilt this one but the progress was so painfully slow that I might actually die before I saw the project completed.

Perfectionism yields to the need to finish something. Having decided to machine quilt, it only took three intense hours with the stitch ripper to undo nine years of hand stitching. This quilt isn't lovely or well made (guess who decided to skip basting?). Really, it's an ugly mess of unintentional bunching and the scars of original stitches. But these flaws suit the spirit of this project and won't keep the quilt from keeping me warm and comforting me.

Sometimes it's tough to let go of how you want something to be and accept it for what it is and move on.
Ah, the irony

I did set out to finish the thing same day only to realize I was short about five yards on binding. Five yards! I was beat. I gave up. Then I reflected on the folly of my deadline. More perfectionism? OCD? Who cares about the completion date? Would a quilt that took exactly ten years to complete be any less gruesome than this one's going to be? Why do I get myself worked up over this stuff?

At any rate, the 12th came and went and that quilt is still unfinished. Although I am happy to report that I picked up plenty of binding last weekend so who knows, you might get to see the wretched thing in all its finished glory sometime soon. Watch this space!

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