Monday, January 5, 2015

Triangles Are Not My Friends

It was the home stretch of 2014. I had a few weeks before my Curves class (not the gym—the Rachel Hauser class), and I was going to get things done. My Q4 goals would quiver at the sight of me and my rotary blade! First, I dug up a Christmas table topper that has been neglected for months. (I originally wrote about it here and then set it as a Q4 goal here.)

There was one small problem with this project: triangles. Olive green triangles, chartreuse triangles, red triangles, triangles within triangles.

Holy Moses. What was I thinking when I started this bugger? I know: I thought it would be a great way to use up some Christmas fabrics I had on hand. I started this project back in spring 2014, and as someone who had been quilting for less than a year back then, I didn’t have a good grasp on the limitations of my skills or, more important, the degree of precision I liked in my piecing projects.

I suspect I began to understand the challenges with this project when I set it aside in June. There was no way that I could maintain the integrity of those triangles. There were too many points to account for! I have two options right now, though: (1) Do the best I can to finish this mini despite its (surely many) imperfections or (2) Ball it up and shove it under my guest bed.

There are pitfalls about letting a project go months without attention. Although I wasn’t working on this quilt, I worked on many others. I’ve honed my skills and better understand the projects I like to take on. If presented this project for the first time right now, I’d hope that I’d pass. And if I had taken it on, I’d hope the piecing would be more precise, in part because I’d at least finish the top before moving on to something else.

Also, months down the road from the onset of a project, it’s hard to stay connected to the resources  spent in the early stages. I didn’t spend much, if any, money on this mini. But I had done a lot of cutting and piecing already.

So I am a perfectionist—with reality skills. I’m going to finish this. The points are looking rather horrid, but I’ll finish it. And next Christmas, I’ll put in on display. (I may hide it under the guest bed if another quilter comes to visit, though!)

I’ve realized that it’s rare for me to completely abandon a project. I started a scarf a few months ago even though I didn’t have the yardage required by the pattern I was using. I thought I could make it work but ended up bailing. And I have a partially completed embroidery project. This is no UFO waiting to make it to the top of my priority list—this is abandoned, never to be picked up again. It happens.

Where do you draw the line? How much do you have to spend—in your time or money—before you commit to something 100%? Does your graveyard of abandoned projects have a plot or two, or is it so big that it creeps into the next county?

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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  1. I have a plastic shoebox full of churn dash blocks that I may never use. Well, I might make some of them work as placemats or maybe a mini, but they will definitely not make it into a quilt top together! Good luck on finishing your table topper; have fun with all those triangles! :)

  2. I don't think I have ever completely given up on a project, as a whole anyway. There is one project on my WIP list that I'm pretty sure next time I pull it out, I'll scrap most of the already cut pieces (1 5/8" squares cut with scissors....shudder). But the project hasn't been completely disowned. :) I just 'lose' them indefinitely instead. :D Someday I might have to confront them though....

    I think you're points look pretty damned good. And now I'm going to come visit and hunt and dig until I find it. :D So there!

  3. I'm a new quilter. I have a project that I started and just wasn't aware of the skill level that was needed. I found out really quickly that it was above my level. Lol. For now. I will probably go back to it once I get better. I hope anyway. I keep telling myself that I must because I spent so much on fabric. It is to soon for me to tell but I'm kinda glad to hear that other quilters do abandon projects. And that's it is okay to take time off from one.

  4. If a project isn't meant to be, I usually don't get too far (luckily). I don't have too many WIPs ATM (surprisingly). I agree with Sarah - your points look fine from here! I have trouble with points sometimes, too. Keep trudging along, friend - maybe on a different project, if this one just doesn't suit you!

  5. If I don't like something I just chop it up and use the bits in another way! But your triangles (which would give me nightmares) look ok to me.

  6. Well, a.) I agree with everyone else, your triangles truthfully do not look bad. And b.) those triangles look like nightmares!! Haha, to do!
    I would never be so impolite as to look carefully at the points of anyone's triangles, and would expect the same consideration in return 😊 But I tell you, I would be so impressed by someone who did such a complicated triangular nightmare! And, really, your project looks good. Don't be so hard on your earlier self. I hope you finish it. It would always be an interesting piece for you that shows the progression in your skills. Anyway, have fun! I think it looks good! Magistra13 at yahoo dot com

  7. Those triangles look CRAZY. That being said, I think you should finish it because it looks awesome, and you can totally do this!

    I've abandoned two projects: 1) a DP9 mini that I made early on and when I didn't understand scale or fabric composition, and it's a nightmare. 2) a mystery QAL quilt that I made with a friend that turned out to be something I really didn't like. I made all of the blocks, but I never did anything with them. I pull them out from time to time to see if I can think of anything to make, but nope. They just aren't my style and I don't know what to do with them! I still have both projects...maybe one day I'll figure out a use?

    Have fun in your curves class!

  8. I think it looks great, all things considered (holy triangles!). I would keep going with it. It will be fun to see how your next half of the project compares with the first! I had a lot of hate for the two unfinished quilts I made this - er, last - year (the picnic blanket and the manly quilt), but now that they are quilted and bound, and I just consider them part of the learning process. I admit, the hardest part was finishing them when I knew that my 2015 self would have done a much better job than my 2013 self. But it looks great. Don't be too hard on yourself! You'll like it when it's done!

  9. The fun contrasting fabrics keep your eyes occupied so you don't notice the triangles. I think your blocks look great!! I've scrapped a couple of half made quilts, or stopped after a few blocks, I think you just know something's not working the way you want it to.

  10. I rarely abandon a project. And this beautiful little piece looks worthy of a finish to me! Those points won't bother you down the road. I think we tend to be too critical of ourselves during the process. And then, after the finish when we get a chance to step back and put it all into perspective, we let those things go.

  11. Stick with it! I think it looks awesome! Once you finish the whole thing and it's quilted, those small things that may bug you now won't even be noticeable :)

  12. You have much more stamina than I do, so congrats there. You are right about all those triangles .... what where you thinking?!?


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