A recent experience has moved me over the hump, I think. It was not a particularly pleasant experience, but I am choosing to see it was what I needed to get back on track. For a Christmas gift to myself, I bought a jelly roll of fabric that practically jumped off the screen at me...this one right here, on sale at Craftsy:
I sewed it, turned it, smoothed it out on the floor, and did some very minimal stitching from the center out to the corners. I didn't sew near the edges because I was already getting a vibe that the top and back weren't lying perfectly together and I didn't want to create problems. Ha! When I was done, at this point, it looked good. Yes, it looked good, and I was content.
Then I washed it. And the top shrunk. And the backing didn't. And now it's a terrible, terrible mess. There are big (and I mean big) wrinkles of backing on all sides that can't be smoothed out. I did the quilting (what quilting I did) with invisible thread, so there's no way I'm going to be able to pick those stitches out. My husband kindly said it would look nice draped over a couch, and I said, yes, as long as no one ever shakes it out to use it!
I set it aside then looked at it again this morning and saw a spot where one of the seams ripped loose in the wash. OMG, what next? I would be mortified to show this quilt to any of the quilters I know; their work is precise and perfect and they would never understand how I could produce something like this. This quilt is doomed, that's all there is to it.
And you know what? I'm okay with that. I may very well chuck the whole thing in the garbage, and I will consider it a lesson learned. You see, it doesn't pay to think so hard about quilting, or creating. Sometimes you have to jump in and just do it, and keep doing it. I tried to find the perfect fabric and the perfect pattern and follow the instructions exactly, and I ended up with something useless. In contrast, there have been times when I threw scraps together and ended up with something amazing.
Now, this isn't meant to diss patterns or following instructions. Rather, it was a big lesson to me to enjoy the process, go with the flow, and be patient and accepting of how things turn out. I am less afraid to tackle the next project because it can hardly turn out worse, right? Right? And even it if does, I will keep moving forward. The alternative, after all, is to quit quilting, and I have too much fabric to do that!