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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mistakes and what to do with them!

Do any of you ever make mistakes? Lately I seem to be making more than my share.  I almost gave up on my quilt with a sense of humor several times.  It seemed like nothing I did on that quilt turned out the way I envisioned it would.  Instead of throwing in the towel I used it as an opportunity to learn something new.  If I hadn't done that I wouldn't have discovered I like painting fabric faces.  Some mistakes though are just goofy and I don't know what you learn from them, other than to just keep trying anyway.  
My cats decided to help with my quilt and I had to wash it.  Normally I prewash everything because I just don't like the feel of new fabric and I don't want it to shrink later.  I thought this is an art quilt and will just be hanging on the wall so I won't need to wash it later.  I liked the crisp background fabric for the 'wall' in my quilt.    Well I don't know if it was the lack of pre-wash or the lack of time after applying my inktense pencils and medium or something totally different but when I washed it the intensity of the color washed out and so did my motivation.           Almost gave up again but the deadline was fast approaching and I felt I needed to honor my commitment.  So I persevered.  The back of the quilt had been pre-washed so when the front shrunk the back didn't and I ended up with a very 'textural' back on my quilt.  I thought about doing the entire section over again but I was really up against the wall with time.  So, I pressed, and pressed and steamed and steamed and let it go.  Breathe in, breathe out....
        I do like the overall effect of the quilt.  Remember it is a quilt with a sense of humor.  I needed there to be a big contrast between the two of me in the quilt.  The fabric painted me in the mirror hanging on the wall is what I expect to see when I look in the mirror.  I don't feel I've really changed until I look in the mirror.  I'm still the same age I used to be 20-25 years ago.  The me now is looking in the mirror.  Slightly exaggerated to add to the humor but that is what I think I do see when I look in the mirror. A soft, squishy, puffy version of who I really am.  The grey hair is because I stopped dyeing my hair this year.  I developed an allergy to the dye I was using and because of the reaction I had I was afraid to try another.  I've gotten used to the grey now and my hair has stopped falling out by the handful.  Making this quilt gave me a chance to laugh at myself.
     The binding on this quilt is show quality.  I am very proud of my binding.  Someday I will make a quilt that I am very proud of the whole thing but for now this is step one.  I used Sharon Schamber's binding technique which when I first learned how in a class at Bear Patch sewing I thought was way to time consuming.  It actually made it easier to apply the binding and I love how it turned out.  So, a pat on the back for me, I did something right.
     After it was all done I realized one more mistake I had made.  I wouldn't be able to roll this quilt up for easy transport from show to show.  The Minnesota Contemporary Quilter's exhibit travels to different venues for the next year.  I was afraid they wouldn't want my quilt in the show because it would be difficult to move from one show to the next.  With a little coaching from my friends I made a bag for it with handles.  I attached velcro to the back of my quilt  (soft side) and to a piece of foam core board (sticky side).  Now I could put my quilt on the board and slide it into the bag.  Hopefully this will work for the people who have to set up and take down the exhibits.
Have a creative day!


Anonymous said...

I love your perception of growing older in body and not mind....I love your quilt....what a joy you must have in perfecting the imperfect, even tho it may have given you more gray hairs....thank you for sharing with us.

Char Rathman
Northern Wisconsin

Bridget473 said...

The quilt turned out great! And the story is just as wonderful. I'm glad you stuck with it!

Eva said...

Janet, after leaving a message with learnigfa group I still had to come to your blog and read the rest of it,the facial features are great and you did a awesome job on a self portrait, be proud of the finished project.