Getting comfortable with mistakes

Do you ever have days at work where you come in with all sorts of plans for what you want to get done, only to have them thwarted by the unexpected? I guess everybody does, and that has definitely been my day today.

All week, I had looked forward to hours of uninterrupted time so I could finally start — and finish — the circus quilt I’m making for my friend’s baby, a girl he and his wife plan to name Audrey. The due date is May 15, but her father is convinced she’s going to show her face around the end of this month.

After way too much over-thinking about how I’d quilt the layers together, I finally decided on straight lines. It’s a contemporary look, which I thought would go perfectly with the modern pattern I chose. Take a look at the front:

The stitches are a bit wonky, but that's not what bothers me here.
The stitches are a bit wonky, but that’s not what bothers me here.

After doing several rows, I was pretty pleased with my plan, but after I got several more lines done (which took a lot longer than I expected), filling in the row of blocks, I took it off the machine to see how it looked. That’s when I turned it over and saw this:

That flap where a clean seam should be? Not so good.
That flap where a clean seam line should be? Not so good.

And this:

The gap here isn't good either.
The gap here isn’t so great either.

Ripping all this out didn’t exactly thrill me. I told myself I could live with the uneven spacing between the lines of stitching. I even gave myself a reassuring pep talk, saying my friend wouldn’t be that picky.

But, the more I looked at both the front and the back, the more I realized I didn’t like the stitching on front, either. I chose this pattern for it’s simplicity and because it would show off the not-so-inexpensive circus fabric. Why then, was I covering it up with dense quilting? It might have looked better using Aurifil thread, which tends to sink down into the fabric more, but ultimately, I knew I had to go back to the beginning

I spent the next few hours getting about half of the mistake part out and I hope to get the rest out tomorrow as I try to come up with Plan B. Here’s a view of the back:

My idea here with the placement was to mimic a top and skirt, with a really cool belt cinching the waist.
My idea here with the placement was to mimic a top and skirt, with a really cool belt cinching the waist.

As annoying as they are at the time, mistakes are usually a way of getting me to slow down and not be in a rush. If I’m lucky, I’ll come up with something better than my original idea, though at the very least I hope I learn something from them.

My mother used to say to me, when faced with a similar situation while teaching me to knit, “How long will it take to rip it out, an evening? That’s nothing compared to how long you’ll have the finished product.”

Mama was right. A couple of months from now, as I proudly and lovingly give the parents-to-be this quilt, the last thing I’ll think about is the two afternoons I spent fixing my mistake. I’ll be far too busy cuddling their adorable new baby.

XOXO,
Sandra

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