Mistakes Were Made
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:
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”: