Friday, August 21, 2015

The Wookie cross stitch Reloaded

When May 4th rolled around, I posted about the Wookie cross stitch. At the time, it was a work in progress, but I was so excited to share and got a bit ahead of myself by posting anyway. I am really glad that I did because I have learned a lot about my creative process and my own expectations when it comes to making things.

As I had said in the original post, I loved working with the cross stitch but then struggled with the quilting part. Quilting is challenging. Cutting is challenging. Being able to recognize that something needs to change in order for the vision in my head to become a reality is challenging. So much changed about this little quilt. Because my vision wasn't quite matching reality, my instincts were telling me to scrap the whole project. My own little Wookie kept begging me to finish so I powered through, but not without making some changes.

The "original-ish" quilt had a couple of problems: The binding was too small, which is my own fault for not paying attention to the seam allowance; the quilting was uneven which made the back bunch awkwardly; and I had sewn several "layers" of a log cabin effect using two contrasting fabrics. I didn't like the contrast at all.

So I removed the binding, ripped out the quilting, and started again. The finished product is still a bit flawed, but I, and more importantly Wookie, love it. It can be hung on the wall, but right now she has a little "Wookie corner" on the top of the dresser so it's hanging out with the rest of her ever-growing collection.

For me this project seemed to epitomize my whole experience with crafting. I'm a novice. An impatient novice at that. I see what other people can do and I expect that just by looking at an image that I can replicate what many of these women have spent many many years working toward. I need to slow down and appreciate the process of making, for the sake of making.

Each project has specific phases and each phase exhibits a variety of emotions. The exciting planning phase (I love planning and planners so for me this is the most exciting phase), the joyful stitching phase, the cathartic cutting phase, the mandatory piecing phase, the not-quite-right phase, the disheartening ripping phase, the hopeful rebuilding phase, and the hallelujah!! it's finished phase. Each phase is equally necessary to building a craft. You may not experience the same emotions for the same phase of different projects, because each project is unique. What does apply universally (at least for me) is to take the time to really focus and work out the kinks to create a treasure that you (and the recipient) love.

I'm a rush-rush-rush kind of lady, always pushing for that end result, but I'm learning to slow down and really enjoy each phase. I'm also working on recognizing that if I don't like something, it's perfectly alright to change the plan. By being open-minded and evaluating each phase, I can save myself from ripping the work apart, and ultimately come to love the finished item as well as the process of making it.

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