Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dealing with Denial

The last day or so I've been doing a lot of ripping. Ripping out seams in a project from long ago. It began when I was thinking about starting a new project. I thought I might want to recycle or reuse something as a base to start it. I remembered this quilt top I had finished several years ago that didn't turn out right. That out of frustration I'd thrown into a bag with other tops to be quilted "when I had extra time".

It's a complicated pattern. Lots of paper piecing and curved seams. Beautiful colors. When I first put it together all was well until I got to the corners, that's where denial set in. I was on fire with this project. Everything was going well, I could visualize the finished piece with quilting and all. I'd already bought the thread and had the quilting pattern worked out in my mind. But I wasn't present, my mind running on ahead and it blinded me to the fact that on that first corner things were not working. But I pushed on, confident that I could 'fix' it if things got out of hand. And boy, they did. Once the finished top was laid out it was so distorted that I later nicknamed it 'The Parachute'. I realized that I couldn't fix it and I moved on to something else. I chalked it up as a learning experience.

So yesterday I pulled this top out of the bag and laid it out and ironed it. I thought "I can fix it...put a few pleats in here, cut some fabric out there". But I realized that once again...I was in denial. I had to buckle down to the hard work of ripping apart what had taken days to sew and to reconstruct each corner. As I spent time with my seam ripper, I thought about how denial keeps us from seeing things clearly. In quilting and in life. It makes us do things we wouldn't ordinarily do if we were thinking straight. It keeps us avoiding the hard work. Looks like I have some hard work ahead, but enjoyable now. I feel like I'm putting things right. I wish most situations in life were just a matter of ripping out a few threads and straightening a seam.

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