Carefully start again

Argh! Sometimes I just want to move forward. I think I have all my ducks in a row (in this case, its goldfinches). Its all about patience, paying attention and maybe taking some time to think things through before I go headlong into the execution. Sometimes, I don’t always use my own advice.

I’m trying to make 3 identical quilts. I have the bird pattern from another quilt I created a few years ago. When I started the project, I thought I found the correct pattern. Unfortunately after making the 3 larger bird appliques, I realized this pattern was too large for the design I was creating. So, I re-sized the pattern, then created 3 more birds. Ready! Well uh, … no! I fused a couple of pieces in the wrong order. No one else would see the issue, but me. And…it bothered me. So I decided to try again.

After 2 sets of mistakes, now my confidence was high! I could do this. I found the original small pattern. I was ready to try again to finish this with a positive ending. Three more birds completed and … uh oh! I realized I used the placement guide as the pattern, which means…they all face the opposite direction. Sometimes I’m the queen of making it work. I told myself, just make the entire quilt in mirror image. It will be OK. I placed the bird in its new position on the fabric. It “felt” wrong. I decided to sleep on it and move forward.

Today, my solution is … I have to make another set of birds (4th time is the charm, right?). There is something uncomfortably “wrong” with the mirrored placement of the birds. I know I could execute the design, but for me creating art is a gut feeling. Mistakes happen all the time, you have to be flexible and it can be challenging with fabrics. But whatever the solution is, I have to feel right about it.

Earlier this year, I watched a mural artist create a fabulous design on a building wall using layers and layers of spray paint. If he stepped away from the piece and noticed something he didn’t like, all he had to do is spray over the offending area and re-do it. That’s not so easy with fusible fabric applique. Removing the layers just damages the fabric and there’s the glue residue left behind. It is best to just start over. So in order to win this battle with myself, I’m starting back at the beginning. First, I’m going take a moment to focus my attention, think things through, then with patience I will carefully start again.





  1. Martha Ginn says:

    I feel your pain. It’s crazy that mirror image can seem so wrong when we like the other way. But it has to please our brain. I love your goldfinches!

    • Nanette Zeller says:

      I don’t understand why it matters…but it does. All about the composition. I’m wondering, if it has anything to do with me being right-handed. The “comfortable” composition the bird is looking to the right. IDK?

  2. Jan S says:

    LOVE these gold finches-they are such cool birds! I see them at my feeder every day now. ! I want to see the project when it is finished!! I sometimes start a project (usually crochet) over and over again until I get it just right for ME – so I know what you are saying here.

    • Nanette Zeller says:

      Thanks Jan!
      I don’t like re-starting. I usually figure out how to move forward if things don’t go as planned. I sometimes think its the universe telling me it has to be completed another way than which I intended. However, this one is insisting it has to be done they way I envision it. Hmm?

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