Wednesday Words – Pushing past fear

I’m happy with the reaction that I got to the series I’m doing on bright spots in the industry, but today I want to pause that for a second.  There’s more to come (!) on the series, and I’ll come back to that next week.

This blog post is going in a completely different direction, and it circles back to an earlier post I did about Shifts happening – you can read that post here.  This week is the Vermont Quilt Festival, and it’s a show I am consistent about entering quilts in – I even have (truth be told) a spreadsheet in which I keep track of the judges scores and comments for entries over the years, and I can definitely see an upward trend in my pieces on technical skills.  I actually love reading the scores and the commentary that they give me – it’s like a report card of sorts.  I like being scored against a standard .

Meet Garden Party, my entry into this year’s show.  It’s definitely outside of my normal type of quilt…it’s collage-y in nature, and the inspiration came strictly from the fabric, Kaffe Fassett’s Brassica.  I’ve had this fabric – and loved it – for several years.  I’ve even got it in two colorways, as the picture at the left will show.  I just always thought that the fabric would lend itself to this kind of application, and I do love it.

This quilt, however, languished for a long time on the design wall. It’s one time I broke my own (very good rule) to never enter something that isn’t finished into a show.  Every time I break the rule, I remember why I made it in the first place.

The reason it languished was the quilting…and that’s a wildcard here. I even brought it on retreat with me, where I ‘danced around the issue’ but never got around to quilting it. I had a very specific idea in what I wanted to do with it, and I was terrified that I would ruin it.

That fear cost me several weeks – I just worked around it, rather than through it. It got so big that I even thought of withdrawing it from the show – oh you would have been amazed at the mental gymnastics I went through with it.

When I was ready, I just sat down and said – well, don’t ruin it. You know what to do, now DO IT.

And I did – on a practice piece. I worked the kinks out, settled on a few floral motifs and worked them out…and then just did it.  I have to admit, Mike popped in at one point (as I was rounding a corner), and his “You did that??” told me that I was on the right track.  I have no idea what the response from the judges will be, but I made this one for me.

I think this has taught me that there is wisdom in the old adage that you should do 3 things every day that scare you.

Time to go get scared –  more from Vermont to come!


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