The Quilt I Threw Away

Free Motion Red and White quilt

When I finished quilting this stripy quilt, I was so frustrated and disappointed that I wadded it up and threw it away.

Free Motion Red/White Quilt

It was so far from what I had in my “mind’s eye” that I couldn’t bear to look at it.  It represented incompetence and failure.  I was defeated…

Free Motion Red/White Quilt

One of my daughters retrieved it from the trash and much later asked me to bind it for her.  I did so reluctantly, but enough time had passed that I could see that there were areas of quilting that I liked.

Free Motion Red/White Quilt

I have since come to understand that the gulf between that which we imagine and that which we have the skills to achieve…  is the creative process.

Free Motion Red/White Quilt

That is what gets us out of bed every morning and back at the sewing machine, the easel, or the gym for that matter.

Free Motion Red/White Quilt

So now I have a kindler, gentler view of this quilt and of how I approach other frustrations as well…

Free Motion Red/White Quilt

We’re all a work in progress!

You might also like to see:  Olivia’s Quilt and Faye’s Quilt

23 thoughts on “The Quilt I Threw Away

      • Lori, you are looking at it the wrong way! For some reason I saved some of my beginning trials at free motion quilting after wrestling with the idea of throwing them away. What did I need them for? But now I look at them and see just how far I have come. I read on someone’s blog, maybe yours, that no one is a pro in the beginning. We are all beginners at some point!! My guild has asked me to lead a workshop on FMQ as it seems I am the only one in it that is doing FMQ. LOL. And I plan to use them as a teaching tool. We CAN learn from the not so good as well as our triumphs!

  1. If it’s messed up, that is one stinkin’ pretty learning piece! 🙂 Good thing your daughter retrieved it. Sooo many times, I’ve been disappointed with something, and usually it looks a lot better to me after a bunch of time has passed. Isn’t that funny?

    • If I do a bit of “artful folding” the most objectionable parts are hidden…

      I think that when you look at the quilt immediately–the frustration is too fresh in our memories–later, we forget about the sheer amount of time spent.

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  4. Lori, I love what you wrote: “I have since come to understand that the gulf between that which we imagine and that which we have the skills to achieve… is the creative process.”
    PS – your “trash” would be our treasure!

  5. I have since come to understand that the gulf between that which we imagine and that which we have the skills to achieve… is the creative process.”
    What an awesome comment this is! You should keep it as your mantra for your blog! Thanks for sharing. And don’t throw them away, there are charitable places that would cherish any quilt we don’t love.

  6. Are you kidding me? Wow! I would be thrilled to make “trash” quilt like that. That quilt is more like what I inspire to make one day! You have a natural artistic talent.

    I was going to write that I strive for perfection, but am okay when I mess it up. But, that’s not true. I get disappointed at first, maybe even upset or sad. I dwell. Then I try to solve it (seam ripper). Then I dwell over it some more if I can’t fix it (or rejoice in my brilliance if I can). And then eventually I move on, but that mess-up is always there. It’s like a scab that will eventually scar but won’t be as bad as it was when it was initially cut. Ewww…gross…LOL!

    I guess you are similar, just on an entirely different level. 😉

    And I wrote this with one particular stitch in my mind that I recently could not solve.

  7. I don’t very often respond to posts, although I am an active “stalker” of this blog 🙂

    This one resonated with me enough to reply. Lori — Thank you for your kind, thoughtful, creative posts which show us “muggles” how to improve and how to meet some tough goals.

    I am a high school teacher and, as the year is winding down, I find myself repeating to my students that you only truly learn when you make mistakes and deal with them. If you were always perfect, you would not be learning and improving. This summer my goal is to try my hand at some FMQ that is out of my skill set so I can remind myself that getting good at something is a process. (That, along with some major walking or gym time every other day!).

    Thanks again for all your posts. You are truly an inspiration.

    • First, thank you for your note! It means a lot to me when people take the time to write. Second, thank you for being a teacher–it is an important job and a difficult one as the school year ends! I’m so excited that you’ve decided to use summer to learn FMQ! It’s so much fun! Let me know if there’s any way we can help!

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