Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Putting in the Time: Part 1

It is often very difficult for us to admit to ourselves when we have gone wrong. Sometimes, it takes a long time to admit it, change our course and start moving in the right direction. I'm no different than anyone else in this respect.

I went to school for graphic design in 2001. I had been in school for less than two weeks when 9/11 occurred. It was disastrous to the advertising industry. From my prospective the nation went paranoid, and hasn't returned as of yet to a state of normalcy. Of course, at the time I was much younger (I need a moment to digest that I now consider 25 to be young) and didn't realize what was going on while I was in school.

It was a bit of a shock to me when I graduated with a 4.0, to see that I was competing against people with ten times or more the experience I had (zero), and who were willing to work for far less than they deserved in an entry level position, just because they needed any job they could find. It was also a shock when I realized that even though I am generally a competitive person by nature - this was more than I could handle. The advertising world is cut throat, and I'm just not cold blooded enough apparently.

I never did get a job in the advertising business.

Throughout all of this, I was making quilts - traditional quilts! I remember, not long after I realized that I had wasted disgusting amounts of money on a career degree that wasn't for me, I needed to create. I didn't have a studio. I didn't have a decent sewing machine. I didn't know fusibles existed. But, I had an idea, and needed to get it out in fabric.

It's called "Tree Guardian", and while I am still proud of my first fiber art piece - it's embarrassingly technically flawed! To my credit, all of the pieces are hand appliqued, and not horribly either. (I didn't know about fusible yet, remember?)

I didn't know it at the time, but the machine I had, I would come to find out would NEVER work for quilting. It was a $60 machine, and the tension to this day is still awful even on a straight stitch. This caused me so much frustration at the time that I often wanted to quit - but I kept plugging away. It wasn't until I bought my used Bernina 1260 several years later, that I realized I wasn't as bad of a quilter as the backs of my pieces would have you believe! (Relief!)

Looking as this quilt now I know that I have grown and learned many things. I know now that quilting must be evenly spaced, and no large gaps left to sag. I'm better with tension (mostly due to decent machines most likely, but still!)

Sometimes it is good to look at older pieces, to see how far we have come. It's also good, to remind us that we probably still have a ways to go, and may have become complacent.......
I've learned that you should not have this much open space in a quilt or it sags.
I have learned that you can work with the fabric for quilt design.

Again, you can't have huge open spaces!
This is the tension that the $60 machine nearly ALWAYS had. So frustrating, and I am very thankful that I now have a Bernina 1260 and a Bernina 820 to quilt on!

....stop back in tomorrow for part two of Putting In The Time...

1 comment:

Laurie Brainerd said...

Can't wait to read the rest! Loved what you shared in this one. And you have to start somewhere. It is great to see your growth and for you to see it.