Originally the "IOP" project (as it was first named) was an opportunity for me to take on a challenging project designed by one of my favorite quilt designers (Karen Stone), to take a class with my quilting friends, and to learn more about colour theory.
|Paper Pieced Arcs|
The beginning of the project was a blast! I enjoyed organizing the fabric, and my favorite part was paper piecing the arcs. Loved it! It was all happiness and sunshine in the honeymoon phase!
And then it became hard work. Sometimes it was sheer misery. I renamed the project "Chompers". It reminded me of chomping teeth, because I had braces put on my teeth and I am not overexaggerating to say that it was agony at times.
And this quilt was painful too! It had morphed into biting teeth - it's all I could see. "Chompers" hung on my design wall for a long time untouched. It was too hard to sew the next step and I couldn't get the layout "right".
It irritated me.
It was ugly and I didn't know what to do to improve it to help me like it more.
But I knew that if I took it off the design wall, it would sink deep into the UFO closet, never to be seen again. This is the stuff that UFO closets were made for, right?!? Projects we hate?!?
I had invested a lot of time, money, and energy in the IOP project, and I didn't want it to disappear. So I left it on the wall for 3 years to taunt me every day as a symbol of my failure and misery.
Then I had an experience that improved my skills and boosted my confidence. I had an experience of success! Miraculously the blocks started to be sewn with ease. I practically squealed with delight as each curved seam was sewn - and laid completely flat.
And the points matched up!
And I loved the blocks again!
Here is my latest finished block. So pretty and colourful, and wonderfully chaotic looking, with not a single point chopped off around the curves ! I have sewn about half of the blocks in the last few weeks and can see the end in sight!
Strangely, the layout decision became a non-issue for me. I no longer cared it if "worked" or it didn't, or if the colour layout was "balanced", or if the colours and fabrics that touched each other were acceptable to colour theorists. It was all good because the energy of the project had shifted so dramatically that I just wanted to sew those curves. I leaned into those curves in a big way!
It's funny how my niece Erika could see the potential of the finished product and how her positive energy kept me connected to the possibility of continuing when I could only see the misery and the failure. Encouragement is sometimes essential!
Some may think this quilt still looks ugly. It might not be their "cup of tea" or they might feel that the design and bright colours are "too much" or the layout is all wrong.
The amazing thing about this quilt is that it is all of the above.
Most importantly for me today - this quilt has become a symbol of my persistence, patience, and hard work. What an amazing process to see the Indian Orange Peel become the IOP, which morphed into Chompers, and now that this project is close to becoming a finished quilt top, I need a new name... any ideas of what I should call it?!?!