Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Herding Cats

Something special happened today. Still working with threads that need to be used, I did another round of piecing with the cats quilt. Once I compared this project to herding cats, it suddenly made me laugh out loud. If you have ever been around those sweet little furballs, you know they have the upper hand in every situation. The term 'cat herding' is an idiom referring to a frustrating attempt to organize or control something that is naturally uncontrollable.  

I am often challenged by my projects when I leave them for too long and have been trying desperately to leave notes on them to myself so I remember what the next steps were. That way, I still think I have control over the process.

Luckily, my paper piecing coach suggested that I could keep going by pinning and joining blocks into their rows. I needed to buy more fabric, and the store in town was going to be closed for a few days. If I stopped on this project too long, it ran the danger of becoming a UFO (unfinished object).

She was right. After the pinning was done, it took more than an hour to join blocks into rows. And I returned to making cat blocks that will edge the top and one side. Its a lot of pinning, piecing, pressing and doing it again. 

I'm not sure if reading her suggestion in an email to me was as good or better than the notes-to-self, but the project was easier to do with her encouragement and is that one step closer to being completed.

I am learning that I cannot leave my projects sit unattended for too long, even with all my notes-to-self.

All my prep work has been paying off as well. The swatch sheet really helped, and then taking the time to alpha-number all the copies REALLY made a difference. It seems like I reduce the mystery factor on a project if I know where I am going with it and what I am doing on it in the moment. I like being reminded that I am a cat person who both needs and resents being herded.