Mistakes Were Made

I fucked up.

 

Quilting can be a very meditative exercise.

Fucking up and ripping out stitches can be meditative as well. I know because that’s what I spent an hour doing today.  There are so many things that can and do go wrong when making my art quilts.  I can’t count the number of times I have had the thought “Oh my god.  I should have just been a painter.  Why quilting?  This is crazy!!”  And that has also affected my ability to appreciate realistic painting.  I frequently think “Yeah?  Try doing that with fabric, thread and needle buddy!  Paint is easy!”

I learned early on, though, to just keep going.  Even when every single instinct I had said that the piece I’m working on is an abomination of ugliness.  This is a lesson I learned most profoundly with one particular quilt.  This one:

Tennis Skirt, 2013
Tennis Skirt, 2013

Whenever I look at it all I remember is sitting in front of my machine LOATHING this quilt. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  The fabric bunched up, it crinkled, threads broke, needles broke–it was a mess.  And all I could think was “FUCK THIS SHIT”.  But I resolved to finish it no matter what.  And I’ll never forget stepping back from it when it was finished and thinking “Oh my god.  It’s beautiful.”  That’s when I realized that I am not as smart as I think I am.  And that sometimes when I think everything looks grim and I should pack up my stuff and quit that’s exactly the sign I should keep going.

Here’s a close up detail of “Pink Panties”:

Detail, Tennis Skirt
Detail, Tennis Skirt, 2013

 

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