Friday, September 23, 2011

More Honesty

When I was at Josh and Erin's a couple months ago I was getting Brian Julian up from a nap and I was dismayed to see this quilt that I made for one of their kiddos. I'm guessing that is was Colin but I'm not sure. I was so dismayed I had to concentrate to not cry.

Anyway, it is beautiful. I used blue scraps of fabric that I had left over from past quilts and projects. I used a pattern that I had seen earlier. I liked it because it was simple and wasn't different variations of squares which gets tiresome to me. I love the stippling that I did for the quilting. It is playful and busy and offsets the sharp angles of the design.

Are you wondering why it brought me to tears? I am ashamed to say that when I thought of that quilt, I remembered it being hokey and amateurish. I remembered that I wasn't happy with my choices of blue fabric but that they were all I had. I remember that I had trouble with my machine and wasn't happy with how the quilting turned out. I remember hurriedly finishing the binding so that Josh could take it with him when he stopped at our house in Kansas on his way to New York.

When I saw it again, I was just sick. How could I have remembered it so differently? Why am I so critical of my work? Why do I always think someone somewhere is doing the same thing better than me?

I have been thinking about this for a couple of months now, I hate that I have so many memories like this one. I remember an event/project/time as unpleasant and then find out later that it was really lovely. I also have many thoughts running around my head about why but I won't bother with those.

Normally, I would stress about this until it was unhealthy but I am trying to make some changes in how I deal with this kind of thing. So this is how I am going to move forward.

*Post Edit
I have been thinking about a conversation I had with Jared about his wife Liz several years ago.

Me: Liz is amazing! I can't believe everything that she can do and does so well.

Jared: Yeah, she's great. You know what else? When she does something and it doesn't work out, she doesn't dwell on it. She just learns what she can and moves on to the next thing.

Me: You mean she doesn't fret and worry about the mistake and beat herself up for weeks?! Again, amazing!

In my next life I am determined to come back as one of my sisters-in-law. . . um . . . I mean . . . I will just make better different choices when it comes to husbands.

First, I am to keep a quilting, knitting, cake, project journal; it will include my original vision and a picture of the finished project, as well as sketches, dates and names. I went to a photography workshop recently where the teacher walked us through her creative process and it was fascinating to me. I wish I had a record of my own. I think If I do that I will be forced to remember things correctly.

Second, I am going to be positive and not so critical about what I do and what I have to offer. I will focus on the positive side of things, ie: how I adjusted and adapted to make the project work and how well it turned out, instead of what went wrong and how different it is from my original idea.

Third, I am going to trust my own judgement. In the past I have been so worried about failing that I would paralyze myself then I would run my idea through two or three people thinking that would get my courage up. Three things happened when I did that. 1) I would get talked out of it altogether. 2) I end up with a product I don't like because I changed it to please others. And 3) I didn't learn anything because I didn't work through my own process. I loved this blog post discussing how to master a skill. He says mostly, "do it, practice it, and then do it some more."

I have been doing this for a while now and I feel liberated. I will keep you posted on my progress, I know you'll be glued to your computer chairs waiting.

1 comment:

Mom in Mendon said...

You're right. It IS beautiful. :)