Learn by doing

swampy waterI’m almost finished with “Knock, Knock” the swamp quilt.

The last few days I’ve been doing a lot of heavy quilting. There’s no going back now. I have a couple more hours of quilting to do on it…then it’s time for cutting it down to size and putting a facing on it (finishing the edges). Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I think I should have that completed today. I can’t believe I’m finally saying that! Yee Haw.

It’s kind of crazy working in textile arts, be it sewing, knitting, embroidery, or whatever. We have to work so close to our creations. We see things differently at the 10-12″ view of our work than when we do at the actual viewing distance (about 3-4 feet or more).

When I was quilting this piece, I decided on the thread colors of the swampy water and how close I wanted to make each quilted line. I set to work quilting the lines back and forth. I felt good about it. Midway along I put the piece on my design wall and thought “oh my.” I probably didn’t need to get the lines that close and the thread colors blend more closely to the fabric than I thought they would. Seeing it hang on the wall, I’m still very please with the results…so that’s a good thing. It just made me realize I probably put more work into it than necessary.

What I’ve “re-learned,” is that close up details (or even mistakes for that matter) frequently aren’t noticeable from a distance. We need to give ourselves a break from being critical about what we see up close, because it may not be noticeable at 3 feet away. Step away from your work every now and then. Don’t sweat the small stuff and learn by doing.


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