I finished another quilt, and put it up for sale online.This is Quilt #19 for me: I call it Black, White, Pink. The front/top is composed of strips of black-and-white fabric or white-on-white fabric, and the edge binding is fabric from the same collection. The interior batting is Warm ‘n’ Natural 87.5% cotton/12.5% polyester batting, and the backing fabric is this impressionistic pink dot pattern that I quite like.
I don’t like admitting mistakes, but I must do so in the case of this quilt. Normally I charge $100-150 for a quilt, but this one has some significant errors in it:
- Not all the ‘squares’ are the same size, or even ‘square’;
- There’s an error in the overlay of the binding;
- The lack of square blocks meant that I needed to experiment with the quilting, which I’m not happy with.
- At some points during the quilting, my sewing machine started misbehaving, and there are some weird bits of stitching.
In some ways these things are quite significant. In others, they’re not. Admission of errors is normal: It’s a handmade quilt. There are going to be errors. It’s a normal part of the process of making things. Plus, as I must admit, I’m still learning: this is quilt #19, not quilt #190 — and if I ever get up to 190 or so, maybe I’d be too embarrassed by this quilt to offer it for sale. But right now, it’s possible that there’s a child who needs a warm blanket, and this will do.
From a different perspective, this is a great piece in another way. It’s a reminder to begin with the end in mind. Errors in the width of the fabric led to errors in lining up the fabric for sewing; errors in sewing led to errors in the length of individual squares; failure to correct overly-long rectangles to squares during the assembly of the quilt-top led to complications in the quilting, which led to complications in the binding; failure to stop and fix the sewing machine early on led to weirdnesses later on. It’s a cumulative process, ultimately.
And this is kind of a metaphor for magic of any kind, really. Some clarity about what you want, even before you begin, is vital. Clarity about how mistakes creep into your work over time is even more vital. Clarity about how satisfied with your end results you’re going to be is more vital still.
Because small mistakes creep into the the work over time. And it’s probably ok for some of your work, but not all of it.