Have you ever sung the mid-quilt blues? I am not singing them right now, but I have sung them many times. I have been thinking about it as we are in the middle of this quilt along. I have been having too much fun seeing what the designers have come up with every two weeks and seeing all the great color combinations of the blocks on flickr to be singing the blues.
BUT maybe you are. Maybe you have. Maybe you will.
What are the mid-quilt blues? It’s when you are sewing along, sewing along, sewing along, and then for no good reason, you hate your quilt. You want it to disapper and pretend it never existed. You think it is going to be the most horrid creation on earth and don’t want to finish. Ever felt that way?
I often feel that way. I have come to accept it as part of the process. Usually it is when I am smack dab in the middle of chain piecing a gazillion units that all of a sudden don’t match. It’s like when a word you have spelled since kindergarten like “who” all of a sudden looks like it is spelled wrong. Everything’s just out of whack.
I had one quilt I made (Simply Twisted, in my first book Simply Charming now in the Simply Charming Collection) that I wasn’t sure I would like it even before I started. I told myself that I couldn’t judge it until it was washed. Sure enough, as I was piecing a gazillion half square triangles, I hated the quilt. I just knew it wouldn’t look good. I knew that I this time my feelings of the quilt looking horrid would be vindicated and the quilt actually would be horrid. You guessed it . . . . I love the quilt. Love it! Still one of my favorites.
Of course, that doesn’t always happen. I don’t love every quilt I have made. But more often than not, I love my quilts, even after singing the blues.
It was after my experience with Simply Twisted that I realized that for me the mid-quilt blues, for lack of a better name (If you have a better name, I would love to hear it.), is often part of the quilting process. Understanding that allows me to sew on. Sometimes it feels like trudging on, but sometimes I can help make it feel like drugery. Aren’t those great words – trudging and drugery? They just make you feel their meaning. , , ,
So what do I do?
~ Sometimes I take the blocks or units that I have done and play with them. Flip through them, pet them, lay them out, . . . .
~ Sometimes I distract myself. Turn up the radio and sing along, or pay attention to what is being discussed, or just zone out to the hum of the sewing machine . . . .
~ Sometimes I take a break. Put it away for the day, a few hours, or even a few minutes. Often walking upstairs to grab something to eat is enough time to break the mood. . . .
~Sometimes I think about taking it to show and tell at guild. Having a mini show and tell in my head works wonders. . . .
~Sometimes I look through quilt magazines or quilt blogs or flickr, and they inspire me to sew. And so I sew. . . .
What do you do to help yourself just keep sewing?
P.S. Sorry, can’t help myself . . . . yes, I know there are times that it’s alright for projects to be put away. I have UFOs. In fact, I just sent an old UFO to my sister’s sister in law. It was so liberating. I had been feeling guilty for not finishing it for years. I guess that’s a discussion for another day.
So with a current project that threatens to become a UFO, what do you do? How do you save it and let it fulfill its destiny to be finished and loved?