The Positives of Undoing Episode #72

Welcome back!
We’re glad to have you all here and listening to our most recent podcast episode.

This episode is dedicated to those crafters that have had to make the hard decision to undo part or all of their project. To those brave souls who take the longer road to start over rather than leave things as they are.

My post about undoing some quilting really hit home for so many quilters. Make sure you scroll down and check out all the great comments and positive encouragement we shared in this episode.

I’m working daily to remove the quilting and I hope to get it done soon so I can get this project back on my machine!

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Let The Unquilting Begin!

About two years ago, my parents bought me a great batik kit of fabrics and a pattern called The Friendship Quilt. The stack was large and the colors were very rustic and beautiful.

By November of 2015, I had finished the top and promised it to my husband. He was thrilled to have a quilt of his own.

After getting everything put together, I started quilting a wood grain pattern. But this proved to be a problem for a few reasons.

First, I’m still new at quilting. And a wood grain pattern is not necessarily easy. I definitely bit off a little more than I could chew. Without enough practice before starting, I found myself frustrated each time I sat down to work on the quilt. Instead of enjoying quilting, I was dreading it. So this quilt has been sitting for sometime.

But I have to say, even for a beginner, I feel like my wood grain quilting isn’t half bad.

Secondly, I didn’t plan it out very well. I know, I know. If you’ve read our posts or listened to our podcast long enough, this doesn’t surprise anyone. I’m not a pattern follower and I’m not a big planner. When I started this quilt, I was quilting to the edge of the top. But my plan was to roll the backing to the front to create binding instead of attaching the binding separately. With the quilting running right to the edge, I’ve now complicated the binding more than was really necessary.

And lastly, this is a HUGE quilt. A full queen sized quilt. So the wood grain pattern is a bit much and on top of that, quilting it is taking such a long time due to its size. So not only am I annoyed with the process of laying down my stitches but I’m also tired of feeling like I’m not getting anywhere no matter how much I sew.

Over the weekend while we were living it up on Lake Mead, I had a moment of clarity about this quilt. While I could continue with the wood grain pattern and fight through the frustration, I could **GASP** start over.

Yes, it hit me that I could simply rip out the quilting and start over with a simpler pattern. The idea of undoing all that I have already done is heartbreaking but once I really let it settle in, I started to feel a sudden sense of relief. Now I’ll be able to plan out my quilting a little better so that when it comes time to bind, I’ll have more success and less frustration.

So hobbyists, today begins the undoing of the Friendship quilt. While it’s an sad end, it’s also a huge beginning. The beginning of something simpler yet more manageable. And I’m looking forward to it!

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Forgiving Tool

Life isn’t perfect. We humans like to make plans and try to figure out the best way to accomplish both what we want and what we need to do. What we forget is that there are larger forces at work constantly. When The Universe exacts it’s plan, undermining what we have already thought out, it can be infuriating.

Especially when it gets in the way of work already done and necessitates some backwards steps.

When it comes to accepting that I can’t control or even navigate my future with perfect clarity all the time, I get frustrated. So you can imagine how angry I was when I finished adding the borders to my son’s quilt only to find that it wasn’t in the stars for those borders to go straight and this quilt to be closer to finishing.

I am only a beginner and I have lessons still to learn.

My plan had been to finish the borders and layer the quilt this past weekend. But in my haste, the borders were sewn on not quite straight, leaving the edges to buckle.

Having left no room in my mind or plans for mistakes, I was angry that my only option was to rip the work out and start over on the borders. And this time to make some changes so that the same thing wouldn’t happen again.

The acceptance that I had made a mistake, wasted so much time and energy only to have to start over, was not happening. I set the quilt down, too peeved to pick it up and get to work.

Finally, after stewing over my inability to move forward without having to do what I least wanted to do, I came to the understanding that I wasn’t ripping out hard work, I was erasing what was done wrong and giving myself a fresh start.

Each stitch removed was a little bit of forgiveness. This stitch for my impetuousness. That long row of stitches for my lack of care. This one for my forgetting to measure twice, cut once.

As I moved smoothly through the light thread, cutting away the imperfection, I forgave myself a stitch at a time. I forgave myself for being so critical of my abilities. I forgave myself for my lack of compassion. Forgave myself for my lack of acceptance for who I am and how I feel.

Slowly, each inch, each stitch, I let go and accepted my own apologies. In forgiving and accepting, I felt my spirit release the pain of my mistakes. Suddenly, there were no more crooked borders but a fresh start.

Forgiving a stitch at at time.

The hours and the efforts were no longer a waste but a test run that gave me a better perspective on the project at hand and new skills to use.

I could no longer see myself as a failure but as a a strong, capable quilter with  a more loving and compassion self.