Sunday, October 14, 2007

grasp and reach

One of my favorite professors at Trinity, Professor Gutteridge, was forever telling us that if we wished to learn, "our reach must extend our grasp". Wise words really. If you never try to do something you cannot do how will you learn? Of course what he didn't tell us is that true wisdom lies in knowing just how far to extend your reach before you fall out of the tree. That, it seems, is a skill I am still learning.

A few weeks before we moved I found a book of 365 patterns for foundation quilting. I was casually flipping through it and was completely inspired. The patterns were beautiful. Delighted, I marched it to the checkout with visions of fabric dancing through my head.

I had done foundation quilting before, once, about eight years ago. I remembered it being a fairly easy process and so decided that there was no reason not to flip right to the back of the book and try one of the really fancy patterns. The block I had done before had about 10 pieces total. The pattern I choose this time around had closer to 80. (You know where this is going already, don't you?)

Last week I had a day off and I sewed all day. I fully expected to have a completed project in hand by supper time. I stand corrected. I didn't even come close. Altogether, I think I've spent close to 15 hours on this project. I have measured, cut, sewed, ripped out, sewed again, ripped out again, double checked the measurements, sewed, pinned, tucked, hand fitted, hand stitched to fudge the seam and finally, FINALLY today I have a finished project. And just in time for supper.I will say this: I am very pleased with the way it turned out and it was worth it. I am trying really hard not to see the mistakes that are in it. There will always be mistakes. That is part of learning too. I think it would be fair to say that I reached too far and fell out of the tree on this one. But I did manage to finish it, and it's such a lovely tree to fall out of in the end.


Mom Colvin said...

Wow Claire,

That is a masterpiece! I am totally blwon away by it. Its absolutely gorgeous.

Well done indeed and I look forward to seeing more ambitious projects.

love, Mom XX

DAve & JAnie said...

Phenomenal indeed! I remember your excitement when you were out about all the pretty quilting that you will do! I can see that it is a very complicated piece, with lots of different shapes and LOTS of sewing! it really is beautiful. Enjoy the comfort it provides!

Sue said...

WOW THAT IS SO LOVELY!!!!!!aaaaah i love it!!!

a thing of beauty.


dr riptide said...

I'm so impressed! Excellent job... what a beautiful pillow, and perfect for the season (over there). I too have been inspired to quilt lately. Maybe someday soon I'll have a go at it.


Beck's Bulletin said...

You amaze me Claire!!! I would agree with your Mother, it is an absolutely gorgeous masterpiece!! Wowsers!