Monday, April 09, 2012

Sometimes Finished is Enough

The back of the quilt. Yeah, I uploaded the pictures backwards. Just keeping it real!
There is so much wrong with this quilt that the light from right will take 10,000 light years to reach it. I decided a few weeks ago that finished would be good enough. I started this quilt when my now sixteen year old was five. Many of the novelty fabrics are very representative of his childhood and tv addiction and the once WWF which is now the WWE. I think it's kind of cool that mixed in with Bob the Builder(which he never watched but I was in need of a few more squares) and SpongeBob are The Rock's and Stone Cold Steve Austin's logos.
Every block in this quilt was hand traced and cut out with scissors, the top was has handpieced. Yeah, eleven years ago I was terrified of the sewing machine and to this day I have a love/hate relationship with the beast. I happen to be one of those rare people that enjoys handsewing. I like the slow pace, I'm never in too much of a rush when it comes to sewing. I think that's why the slowness of cross stitch has never bothered me too much. I know a lot of people find building a picture with X after little X torture, but I don't. I also don't find building a quilt top one block at a time frustrating. I enjoy it. Along with my loathing of the sewing machine I also dislike the rotary cutter. I bought my first one twenty five years ago and just recently started to feel a little comfortable with it. I like tracing and scissors, the magic and fastness of the rotary cutter is only just now starting to impress me.
The binding is a mess and I decided to tie it so that I could call it done even faster. I'm not sure I did any of the tying right, and I know the binding is wrong, I just wanted it DONE. FINIS! So this weekend I sat down, figured out how to wind a bobbin on my sewing machine and grabbed my packages of Wright's quilt binding and went to work. It took me two days to get the binding handsewed to the back.
My intention had been for this to be a sort of I Spy quilt and one that he could drag out in the yard to play on, build a fort with, read a book under a tree with surrounded by his favorite cartoon peeps. The backing fabric is a fishing lure print I found at JoAnn's many, many years ago and is a reminder of how much he used to love fishing at our pier with his dad. When I bought this fabric they were fishing almost every weekend, then we had Hurricane Ivan, lost our pier and only over the last couple of years has it been rebuilt and reopened and is now the longest pier in Florida if I have my facts right. Now he's too cool to fish with dad so it's kind of sad thinking about those days so many years ago when they'd spend hours waiting for a bite and now he just doesn't have the patience and has better things to do. But that's ok. His dad doesn't make it to the fishing pier too often any more either.

The binding is awful! I'm not showing this because I'm proud of it, I'm showing because sometimes finished is enough. Finished is good, and even when finished poorly, it gives us permission to move on to the next project. To take the mess from the finished project, the knowledge gathered and mistakes made, to the next project and know that we can do better. To know where we need the most patience, to slow it down and do it right or more right. While sloppiness or poor workmanship is nothing to be celebrated, finishing something is and knowing that the finished product is not perfect, but knowing that next time, and yes there will be a next time the maker will take the time she needs to do it right. Or at the very least to be aware of what she previously did so very wrong is also something to celebrate. Each finished object is an educational experience. I have determined that I love piecing but hate with a passion the quilt sandwich and binding it! But they are part of the process. I have another very ugly quilt top, I pieced it twenty one years ago, all by hand, and my stars, is it fugly, but I plan to pull it out and use it for sandwich/binding practice before attempting to sandwich and bind the top I made for my oldest son.
So celebrate with me my finish knowing that I absolutely know it sucks! But yes, sometimes finished is enough.

8 comments:

Anna van Schurman said...

My alumnae association motto is "done is good." I don't know if it's official but we all say it all the time. It's a wonderful memento!

April said...

I am with Anna! It is a great quilt that has a story to go with it. Save it. When he get older and has his children. Give it to him with the story you told us and he can tell his children.. I love a quilt that has a story.. You did finish. I wonder about quilts that are not finished.. What is their story.. lol

Margaret said...

I agree -- finished is enough. :D I love that the quilt has a story. I think that's more important than how good the binding looks or anything like that. Congrats on finishing it!

Deb said...

I think I mirror Anna in saying that "done is good". I think that it takes a long time to establish a love of sewing. And each piece that you sew you'll learn more and more. I think that your quilt is great!

Michelle said...

Congrats on the finish! I agree - done is good!! And you learned a lot along the way too.

Von said...

Hurray! "Done is Good" Love it and how you shared this project with us. :)

Katrina said...

Very funky, I really like it!!!!!

Siobhán said...

I think it looks great!! What a neat quilt--H will treasure it all the more as he grows older. What matters is that it was made with love, not the technical perfectness of it. Oh, and I am SO with you in the love-the-piecing-hate-the-rest-of-it part. I have a quilt that is over 10 years old that has only 3/4 of the binding sewn around it. LOL Ahem.