"Process" I am not

Some crafters are process oriented – in love with the act of creating.
Some are product focused – more into their finished object that what goes into making it.

I am most certainly the latter.  Come to think of it that is probably why I have such a tough time with the repetitiveness of scarf knitting….  I love finishing things, I love that I made it, I love being able to give or use it.  Unfortunately this has a tendency to lead to rushing and shoddy work. 

And that is certainly the mess I find myself in this morning.   

As I have mentioned I am working on a quilt for a friend who is getting married in the fall, the first of two in fact.  It will be just a lap quilt but I can imagine the newlyweds snuggled up on the couch with it, watching tv, hanging out.  But not eating anything messy, that I just cannot put near my as-yet-unfinished-let-alone-given quilt even in my imagination.  Anyway, my goal was to finish the quilting this week so I can sew the binding during our trip this weekend and maybe even give it to the bride-to-be while we are away.  However, I have hit a number of snags in this plan and here is the biggest: 

There you have it.  I have actually done this on all three quilts I have quilted but this one has been by far the worst for it.  This was just one of several wrinkles (gathers?) I managed to sew into my backing.  I even managed to put some, how shall we call it… texture into the top too.  
DH had taken the boys out to the library this morning to give me some sewing time.  So after eating breakfast (I was up with the boys before 6, washed last night’s dishes, put them away, put away the laundry, and dressed the boys but still hadn’t found time for breakfast – there is something wrong with this picture and apparently my priorities) and getting everything set up, I set to work.  First I had to rip out the first bit I had quilted when I realized I had forgotten to change the stitch length and therefore ended up with really close, really tight, really ugly stitches.  That were really hard to pick out. 
Second try went well.  Except for the first set of wrinkles on the backing.  But I muddled on and took extra care to smooth everything out back and front for the next go.  And the second round of quilting went well, no lumpies or bumpies and even mostly straight.  But this was where I managed some puffiness on the top.  Third row was again gathered.  
So as I stood there examining what I had done and trying to figure out how to stop making this mistake and if I can just keep going it hit me.  I am embarrassed by this quilt.  The top has many imperfections like corners that don’t match up and pieces that were apparently not cut or sewen uniformly and now the backing has to serious life of its own.  My anxiety over being able to finish it “in time” and about then having to show it to people is going through the roof.  So there’s my answer.  Out again comes my trusty seam ripper and out go the poorly sewn stitches.   
And it’s just a little killing me.  I want so to be done!  But my haste is doing nothing but bring me heartache instead of the joy of a beautiful gift to give.  So I need a break.  Not a long one, I don’t think.  I’ll work on the scarf for my mom, which is coming along pretty nicely, by the way.  And I’ll cast on another Baby Surprise Jacket for knitting on the trip.  And a friend said she’s teach my to knit hats while we’re visiting.  And I’ll finish up my library books before we leave and take just one book with me.  So I think I’ll keep plenty busy.  But I need to stop thinking ahead to whatever comes next and just enjoy what I am creating now. 
 I think this will be really, really beneficial in my quest for peace.  Learning to enjoy the here and now is probably something I struggle the most with – I think most of my other challenges (in attitude or however you think of it) come either from not enjoying where I’m at or lead to not enjoying where I’m at.  A “which came first” kind of cycle.  So I am going to enjoy this scarf project, gosh darn it, not just the thought of giving the scarf.  Even knowing there is another one in green waiting in the wings.  I’m going to be in the process not rushing on to what I can finish next. 

So here we be.  It’s gently folded and stashed away from small sticky hands.  The threads are thrown out and the pins and seam ripper are safely stored.  For another time when I can get back to imagining the happy couple snuggled under it and I can take my time putting the care and love into it that they deserve. 

About *kate

A mama looking for a little piece of peace in her day.
This entry was posted in knitting, peace, quilts, sewing, stress, uh-oh. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to "Process" I am not

  1. Jean Fleck says:

    Kate are you basting or pinning before machine quilting? I find that I must baste a lot in order for the machine quilting to come out without bunching ( though it sometimes will anyway). I have never had success with pin. Basting and leaving the ends open may help. I know how frustrating it can be. I still have a Christmas hanging unfinished for many years for that problem!

  2. *kate says:

    Thanks Jean! I did pin it but I was kinda thinking that was at least part of my trouble. I'll try basting it when we get back. I did try basting one of the others but ended up sewing it to the carpet in so many places that it was a real mess 😉

  3. Emily says:

    I think sometimes we are so in love with a project and what the potential it has when completed, that we sometimes rush through the process of creating to get to the end point.

    I would try basting before sewing. And go slow when stitching. I was going to fast and it was upsetting my sewing machine at times.

  4. Clare says:

    Most important thing to remember…always work on your craft with a pleasantly full stomach. Empty stomachs always lead to no good.

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