Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Recapturing Focus

I really lost my focus last week, allowing too many distractions to get me off-track until I ended the week in a heap of "I give up." Hate it when that happens, endeavoring to do better this week. What that ultimately meant was that I did not get as much quilting done on the nephew's wedding quilt as intended. It didn't even make it into the sewing room until Friday, at which point I procrastinated with testing stitches longer than necessary. Oh, just DO it! And so I did. It wasn't long until I was reminded that there is enjoyment even in machine quilting (and since this part is being done with a programmed stitch and walking foot, I'm in more of a comfort zone than if I were free motioning). This is the final chance to go slowly over every inch of your creation, to soak in the beauty of each individual fabric and its interaction with surrounding fabrics, to following the intricacies of the pieced or appliqued design. It can become a meditative process, not just grunt work. I thought about my last post on barriers and the way the subconscious can talk us into avoiding what can be a positive experience by convincing us it will be negative. I thought about how focus can help narrow the conversation with the subconscious, telling it that all that old info isn't applicable to the current situation. Focus can help block the undermining fear or dread.

I'm worried again about running out of the Oliver Twist thread I've been using, (ok, so I can't block out all the fear) so rather than stitch those serpentine lines through all the diamonds in a star point before moving to the next star point, I'm doing a few rows in a point then moving on to the next point to quilt the matching rows. That way, if I have to finish with a slightly different thread, it will be uniformly spread, not clumped in one area, and thus, less noticeable. I started by quilting down the center row of diamonds and then down the rows on either side of each star point. You can see the squiggles in the yellow fabric, and if you click for the larger picture, you may be able to spot them in the darker diamonds. I'll methodically continue working my away around the star points until all the diamond rows have been quilted, something I should be able to accomplish by the end of the week (if I don't lose my focus).

Part of my dithering was about that dark thread in the yellow fabric, my usual timidity coming to the fore. Buoyed by the results of my bold thread decision on the January challenge piece, I threw my usual caution to the wind and let fly. The squiggles echo those not only in the yellow fabric but in some of the dark blue fabric as well. I think it helps integrate the yellow a bit more into the overall design.


Deborah said...

Your strategy sounds good. It's a beautiful quilt!

blanket said...

Nice quilting.Some times it is good to distract the mind to concentrate better after that,the abstract color scheme and the design is appealing.