Last year, I asked the Empower Circle of do. Good stitches to make me blocks featuring rectangles and squares. We're a busy group made up of some of the sweetest women you'd ever want to meet and I figured this would be simple and creative for the girls.
I gave them this color palette and asked them to sew up whatever they wanted using straight lines--no wonkiness.
They all rolled in and I knew that once I'd gone out on a limb colorwise, I needed to go out on a limb with the construction of this quilt as well. So I decided there needed to be a lot of negative space in this quilt. I can handle asymmetry but have had trouble with negative space in the past. It feels like I just didn't finish and I need to do more. But I thought these blocks were strong and could support the negative space.
After questioning myself for some time, I ordered some purple, laid them out and went for it. Once pieced I wasn't sure how to quilt it other than I knew I wanted it done and sent off to comfort someone instead of sit at my house any longer.
So I free-motion-quilted loops all over. It's been some time since I FMQ'ed anything and I had always thought my machine really didn't like FMQ. I'm still not convinced it does, but I realized that a lot of the issues were with me and how I was moving the quilt. I still had a lot of thread breakage (and if anybody has suggestions on why my top tension gets so tight my thread breaks I'm all ears) but the "eyelashes" got better and I figured that Rome wasn't built in a day and neither would I be good at FMQ that fast.
This quilt is far from perfect. In some places on the back, the eyelashes are bad. In some places my loops are less loopy and more shaky. In some places I backed myself into corners and had to cross lines or quilt close together.
But the quilt police will not come after me and take this quilt or me to jail. Life will continue and while the quilt is not perfect--neither is the quilter. I decided it was a lesson in life. I'm sending this quilt to an organization that teaches girls and young women to be strong, to never give up on life. I'm giving this quilt to a young lady who needs to know that through obstacles and imperfections, life keeps going. That when things look tough and you want to quit, there is another imperfect young woman out there who sends her love--a whole group of us that keep trying and keep going each day.
Isn't that what do. Good stitches is about? Aren't we trying to help others as we grow as quilters and as people? I'm not excusing my mistakes and saying I don't want to get better. I'm getting better as I share, as I grow, as I work through life's imperfections. I'm saying it's okay to be less than the best, but it's not okay to give up.
I hope the recipient of this quilt feels every bit of that. I hope she knows that the hardest part of every battle is going forward when it seems too hard. I hope she knows there are those of us out there that care and that we're all going through battles, big and small. Let's fight those battles together. :)