Welcome to the Utah Quilt Guild
From Our President, Krisanne Watkins
Do you have a hard time deciding when to give up?
If I could recall all of them, I doubt I would be able to count the number of times I have been reminded that “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” While this is generally good advice, there are times when I would be better off if I just gave up moved on.
I have been working on a quilt top for the past few months in my usual fashion. I start with a collection of fabrics that I think go together well, and a basic idea about what I want the finished quilt to look like. I carefully made the first block. The pieces fit together nicely, but, I just was not pleased with the way the fabrics looked when stitched into this block.
It was then that I decided to use the first block as a prototype, and replaced the offending fabric from the initial block with another. I stitched the block together, and was much happier with my fabric choices. I then made eight more blocks just the same as the first. But, when I put them together in the manner that I initially envisioned them, I was again displeased. I tried a few different settings. Being completely honest, the top seemed rather blah, no matter what adjustments were made.
Next, I decided to set aside eight of the blocks, and just use one of the blocks for the center of a medallion quilt. I set the block on point, measured the finished size, and decided on the first border design. Several blocks were put together in the chosen fashion. When I auditioned them around the quilt center, I was again displeased with how they looked. These blocks were also set aside, and I tried another block with more variety in the fabrics. When auditioned on my design wall, they finally passed muster.
Suffice it to say, I am now contemplating the addition of border number 7. The “success” ratio remains the same. No matter what I think should happen is displeasing to me once I start stitching, so I scrap it, and move on. I know that the quilt center still needs to grow larger, and so I audition the next potential border. Fortunately, the previously rejected border ideas work in later rounds, so I have not really wasted much of my precious fabric.
Should I have given up with the displeasure over the first block?
The obvious answer to me is negative. I have learned so much through this process, lessons that I would probably never learn if I had not experienced failure. My quilt making skills have grown exponentially as I have made decisions that were displeasing. I have experimented with combinations of colors and fabric designs that I would not normally employ. My piecing skills have improved as I have struggled to make all the additional borders fit properly.
Have I enjoyed the process? I do not like to fail, and I really do not like to waste my precious fabric. Enjoy may be too strong of a word. I know that I will be a better quilt maker in the future due to the myriad of lessons learned on this quilt top.
Have I succeeded in creating a pleasing quilt? I have to say that I still do not know. Perhaps I will know once I work through this labor intensive process of adding the rest of the borders. I know from past experience that I will need to walk away from this quilt for a while in order to be able to really “see” it. It will take time before I forget just how many difficulties I experienced in the creative process.
But, it needs to be noted in the win column, that I did not give up, and that counts as a success.
Krisanne Watkins, President UQG 2014
P.S. Wasn’t 2014 Quilt Fest wonderful? Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to make it go so well. Wendy Jones and her committee work long and hard hours in order to create such a great success.
Grand Canyons Quilt by Carol Johnson
Quilt Fest 2015
Sept 15 – 19, 2015
At the Davis Conference Center
2015 National Teachers: