Sunday, February 1, 2009

Life Lessons from a Quilt Block....

It began simply enough.  It was the New Year...a time for beginnings.  I like to begin the year by de-cluttering and a good place to begin is my sewing space.  Oh my, could I ever begin to get thru the enormous amount of stash that I had stuffed into one closet.  My first lesson of the year was to buy less and use more.  Now to pick out my first project.
     In a search of my favorite blogs, I came across the most delightful and FREE BOM shared by a designer whose work I admire and gush about often.  Anne Sutton of Bunnyhill announced a year long project.  I was onboard.
     Her first introductory sentence began "do you like a good mystery".  Well, the answer is closer to NO.  I love to know a beginning and the end.  Lesson I needed to learn.....develop your faith.
     I wasn't going to let this stop me,  and as I stared at our first block ( a friendly smiling snowman surrounded by stars) I could hardly wait to jump in my newly organized stash.  I KNEW I had fabric that would work for my basket block, but in which organized tub did I put it?  Another lesson to be learned.....organizing includes depleting stash, a lesson I will need to learn over and over again.
      With fabrics at hand and a determined spirit I was ready to go.  Hmmm...which method of applique.  I am comfortable with turning pieces with interfacing, but many of these pieces were to small.  I am a novice at freezer paper applique, but this would be a good stretch for me and a chance to work on a new skill.  My sewing table held my starch, my paintbrush, I unrolled my freezer paper and with a hopeful heart I began.  I tried three times to turn this cute design into a viable quilt block.  I threw them all away.  I questioned my worth as a quilter and more so as a quilt teacher.  If I could not learn this skill, do I dare share with my students my lack of accomplishment.  I learned the lesson of humility.
     I put the block away until I felt confident to try again.  This time I was going the easy route.  Paper backed fusible and a simple blanket stitch.  It was my student Laurie who impressed me with her skill and it built my confidence that I could do this.  Lesson learned.....teachers can learn much from their students.
     My block was fused down, my blanket stitch matched my expectations and now I needed to finish the embroidery.  This would be a cinch....I have done handwork since I was a child.  I frenchknotted some eyes and a smile, some simple cross stitch to accent the chest, I finished the vine and the arms and now I was left with the nose.  I stitched quickly, wanting to bask in the glow of the completed block.  Then I looked at my sweet snowman and all of the insecurities of my high school years came back to me.  His nose looked crooked and to large....didn't I think the same thing about my own face back in those horrific teen years?  Lesson to be learned was acceptance.  My snowman might not be the Brad Pitt of the Winter Wonderland, but he bravely smiled thru his insecurities.
     So the best news is that my block is completed and I feel like I have learned so much.  The bad news....well it is February 1st which means a new block will appear on my computer.  I can only hope that as the months go by, I develop life skills to match my quilting skills.  I never knew that a simple quilt block could be so life challenging!!!!


Pam said...

What a sweet block!! I have been playing around with this too and so far nothing has worked for me. I love the idea of a mystery quilt ...

Meghan Hein said...

Funny that you should say that... because I actually think he looks exactly like Brad Pitt. :)
I love the pink polka dotted fabric! I need a new project to get started on. I miss it already.

Love you Momma!

Jacqueline Korteland Boller said...

Very cute!! But I'll stick with my cross stitching and knitting for now!!

Cheryl said...

Your block is wonderful and I really like the fabrics you used. I am laughing because I am struggling with the same feelings as you....guess that's why I haven't started my block yet. I'm proud of you, you did great!!!