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knowing when to say when...

Breaking up is never easy to do.  But knowing when to say when to a patchwork project that’s going nowhere is a skill I’m trying to cultivate.

I’ve always felt compelled to finish no matter that I didn’t like what I was working on.  To me the very idea of abandoning good fabric is somehow—wrong.  It certainly wasn’t the fabrics’ fault that I failed to use it well.  I need to—as Tim Gunn might say—make it work.  Put it to good use.  I need to save it!

Back in February Chicago Tribune cultural critic Julia Keller wrote a column about quitting a book that just didn’t engage her—and apparently hit a nerve—because readers responded with over 150 emails describing their own sense of guilt, shame and sense of failure over quitting before getting to the end.

She wrote…”We turn off TV shows without a second thought. We walk out of movies on a whim. Concerts and plays? Sometimes, we don't even wait for intermission. But abandoning a book feels different. It feels shabby and small-minded and short-sighted. Like a character flaw.”

Wow—that hit home.  Bad movie—stop, eject and return to Netflix.  Bad TV show—like this week’s Master Chef’s conversation about sucking the flesh out of a goat—click and over to HGTV because you just never know when you’ll want to install new tile in the bathroom! 

But quitting a quilt top? 

Yikes—that’s really hard. 

Of course I could rationalize this and say—I’m just taking some time off.  I’ll come back to it when I have some perspective.  Absence may make the heart grow fonder.  It’s not the quilt—it’s me.

But who am I kidding here?  When it’s not working, it’s time to move on. 

And that’s what I just did this week with my Denyse Schmidt project.  I bit the proverbial bullet, cut new fabric from the bolt and started another top with a new pattern.  Making the decision to end it was tough—and I can’t say it takes the sting out of feeling like I failed those poor little fabrics.  But I am committed to moving on.  I’ve got the strip sets sewn and I’m planning to cut the pieces out this weekend.  Construction starts next week. 

Stay tuned…ccc

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 02:20PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

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