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The Quilt That Wasn’t Meant To Be



And so it was – I decided I was going to learn to sew. My first project was a pair of spa booties with removable insoles. They were a bit large when I was finished with them, but honestly they didn’t look half bad. My next project was going to be a quilt. Not just any quilt mind you – but one I liked the pattern on and that incorporated the 1800’s reproduction fabric I had bought.

I can be a bit peculiar in my tastes – as anyone who knows me can attest. Easy isn’t really my thing. After all, if it’s too simple, anyone can do it and I want to be different. I want to accomplish the impossible. It’s who I am. I never take the easy way out – although one would think by now I would have learned the easy way is sometimes better – especially when it comes to mastering new skills. Jerry warned me as soon as he saw the pattern. He suggested I choose a different pattern. One that was simplier. But – lo and behold – the Essence Of Yesteryear Star Block Quilt was the one I was determined to make.

So – I bought the material. I had to go clear to Fort Wayne to find colors that matched the antique reproduction fabric I wanted to use. I asked his mother who – first thought the fabric was ugly – and second decided to add some of her stash to my quilt project. I objected. Pinks and blues didn’t belong on this quilt – at least not in the colors she chose – but since she was a quilter I relented and used the colors she sent. I was immediately sorry I did. The pinks and blues are just wrong. In a different shade of pink and blue – ok – but not in the shades she chose. It was too late. I did not have enough fabric to start over – so I continued.

Once I completed the first 21 blocks, I sewed them together. I put seven blocks across and three blocks down. I was proud of my work. It wasn’t perfect – and I had a long way to go to make a King size quilt – but hey, I was making progress. I even thought it looked pretty good. I was proud of myself – after all I was lucky to make a C- in sewing in school – and honestly I think I only acheived that good of a grade because the teacher felt sorry for me. I simply was not a skilled seamstress.

So – quilt in hand, I went over to my mother-in-law’s house to show her my quilt. Big mistake! She hated it. She called me stupid for trying the pattern I did – because after all, no one starts out with that pattern. It is a pattern for an experienced quilter – not a beginner. Well – Jerry did warn me. She picked about the seams. I measured – they were 1/4 inch. She said they were wrong. I used a machine to sew with. She said real quilts were made by hand. Maybe so – but some of us don’t have the ability to sew by hand (I have severe arthritis in my hands).

So I came home – almost in tears. The quilt got put away in a plastic tub. It has laid in that tub for 6 long years. I look at it from time to time. It is a reminder – of what I wanted to do, of what I tried to do – and that I failed. I don’t think I will ever finish the quilt. I haven’t even tried to sew again. I feel discouraged.

Many people have said they like the quilt. That I should finish it. That many people put mistakes in their quilt so they can always identify it. I’m a perfectionist. I want people to look at what I make and love it. I don’t want them to see the mistakes that are so obvious to me. I don’t know if other artistic, creative people feel this way or not. So I am posting. I am asking you to comment. Share your thoughts. I need to hear from you – because even after writing all of this, I still feel this was the quilt that wasn’t meant to be.

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