Whenever I start a quilt, I always have an idea of where I want to go with it. But it's just that, an idea. A seed that's been planted in my mind and I let it simmer for awhile, and think about what I want it to look like, how i am going to approach it, and I start to gather my materials. Then, when I am ready and I know that can have an uninterrupted block of time, I begin to play around with the fabrics and the shapes I want to make. And as I start to put things together, it suddenly takes a turn in a direction I wasn't expecting. It either doesn't look like what I envisioned or the fabrics won't do what I want them to do. And will people 'get' what I am trying to say? That's when the self-doubt starts creeping in...
I started this quilt as part of the Mod/Trad challenge put out by the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild last year: take a traditional quilt block/pattern and make a modern interpretation of it.
I drew my inspiration form the Traditional Double Wedding Ring Quilt. My intention was to put emphasis on the space inside the interlocking rings.
I cut the 'wedges' free-hand and made an equal number of black and white ones.
And being that they were cut free-hand, they were not a uniform shape which presented me with the first challenge (and frustration) of how to assemble the quilt top. Plus I realized that they would have to be assembled 'on point'. Not a huge challenge but still...
I played around with the arrangement quite a bit,
tried to balance out the white with the black
But as I moved things around,
I discovered that the more white I removed
The more I felt drawn into the quilt
I was frustrated though, because I had wasted so much fabric to make the white pieces. Add to that the fact that the quilt was going to be lager than my design wall.
And this was the point when the self-doubt really set in. I was straying further from my initial plan but still wanting to see where this was going. A tug of war of sorts between being determined to make the initial plan work or following in the direction that I was now being taken into.
Several times during the process,over the course of MANY days, I came close to giving up.
And maybe about a year ago I would have. But what I've learned from experience as a quilter and a teacher is not to be discouraged if things are not perfect. That's what I tell my students. 'Don't let inexperience stop you from pushing forward. How else will you gain experience under your belt?'.
So I pushed forward with this project. I had already come this far. No one needs to see it if it doesn't turn out.
And that's another point too, isn't it? "No one needs to see it". Why do we always concern ourselves with that others will think?
The lessons to be learned are to trust our own vision for what things should look like, trust in our abilities and our skills and never create for someone else but from a place that is true to our selves.