Monday, April 21, 2014

Things That Go Bump....

Like most things in my life, I learn from what I experience. The trip up north had wonderful moments, especially those spent visiting with long-time friends. What a joy to be in their home, sitting on their deck that sported a lush container garden of specialty flowers and plants. Of course it would look like that...nature speaks to most of my friends and it feels most comforting to be surrounded by beauty and fresh air. These friends know how to make their life beautiful in spite of living in a second floor condo without access to the ground below.

On the downside was the hotel bed. Hard. I am pretty spoiled by my Sleep Number Bed and feather pillows. 

President Barack Obama speaks to the media on California's drought situation on February 14, 2014 in Los Banos, California.(AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Wally Skalij)
The drive through the middle farmlands was almost heartbreaking to see because of the drought Cali is in right now. Orchards and fields were dry and dying, mile after mile. Three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall have devastated the state, which produces half the produce for the entire country. Unfortunately, this also means Cali will get hit with even more wildfires. I didn't take photos. How does an ordinary tourist take photos of something like this?

It made me realize that when I become aware of quilting processes, there are tips and guides, but I didn't think there were a lot of articles on what goes wrong, or how a quilter feels frustrated and blocked. I decided to do a Google search, and there they were, numerous blogs, videos and forums discussing things that go bump on a quilt....the monsters, the zombies that won't die.

Quilters wrote about doing things correctly and still having that unpredicted event that changed their joy, changed the quilting process and brought out the big guns of frustration.

I want to believe that every quilt I make will turn out like I dream it. Like those other quilters who also find a monster growing in front of their sewing machine, I watch my 1/4" seams, baste everything correctly, and practice with smaller quilts (like mug rugs and candle mats). Things can still challenge me and require a shift in what I do to make it work.

Today, I am back at it. Already this morning, I basted the baseball log cabin quilt, printed off more instructions for the Applique Mystery Quilt, and am ready to quilt the tote, and piece a border. 

When it comes to quilting, I am my own drought relief. I am my own worst critic and best fan. If a quilt is a gift, I remember to tie a ribbon on it and cut the strings when it leaves my house. If I see monsters, then I also find my inner superpowers. 

Nature will survive in spite of what we do. What we really need to do is adapt, change our behaviors and get going on something whether it is outside or inside our spiritual core.