Lesson Two - Pat N.

This has been a rough week for me but I am about caught up. Yay!

After the first reading of Lesson 2, I wrote in my notebook, I would try to get more organized to better utilize my time. That means cleaning out my studio, I have figuratively let it become a mess.  At one time, I did listen to the “Quilt Police” (when I first learned to piece and hand quilt). I quickly learned with  experience that I had a better way to do certain things. I questioned myself but soon decided if it worked for me it would work for others. My daughter made a “mistake in her eyes” but to me it was a rule broken. (She wanted to duplicate the twin needle stitching I had done earlier. She threaded my machine with 2 threads, only I had changed the needle to a topstitching needle, and proceeded to sew. She wasn’t happy with the result but I was. It opened my mind to using more than one thread in the needle and since the tension was off, I realized I had a new decorative thread technique. Another example of breaking the rules was due to ignorance as my daughter’s was. I was creating pieces for Coats & Clark and used embroidery floss in the bobbin for bobbin drawing. I got a call from them asking what I had used in the bobbin for that project and they then told me you “can’t” do that because it would get caught in the sewing machine shuttle. They couldn’t believe how pretty it was!  “Ignorance is Bliss” in some circumstances!

 I am becoming more open to changes, the older I get. There is always more than one way to do things. I truly believe in the “what if” approach to everything.

  After the second reading, I made an expanded square. I pondered over how to start, what to make, actually started to draw designs on scrap paper, but I got nowhere! I was frustrated and ended up cutting some 5” squares out of the black paper and then drawing 6” squares on the white paper. By actually taking some action, I was able to start the project. I started cutting and one step led to another. That was a mind opener for me!  It was such a relief to just do it but it did take time to get up my courage. I think I was afraid of failure.  I plan to make more expanded squares and try all the versions suggested. I can see how the exercise would help me create and I like all the “what ifs”. I will do them!!  My new mantra will be, “Don’t Overthink, Just Do It”.  An example of overthinking was in a class I took from Rosalie Dace a few years ago. We were to create an Art Quilt using circles. One of the things we had to bring was photos using circles as the theme. I had found a picture of a radish salad on a blue and white plate. I was not able to make an original quilt until I made a mini quilt of the radish picture. I think again I needed a catalyst to get started. I ended up making a really great quilt using many of my thread techniques which I am known for around here.

With my medical training (R.N.), I have difficulty letting go of structure. It is great to be precise when actually making a quilt but I need to learn to get to the right side of my brain when developing a design/quilt. I think warm up exercises would help me get my mind going in the right direction. Gathering all the supplies I want to use around me if I don’t have a specific idea might also help. I realize now that I overthink a project and get stuck and give up. Am learning how to fix it!