I subscribe to four principles of doing good work, any kind of work from the most mundane to the most complicated. The four principles are: 1) Give your full attention to the work surface, 2) Work for the work’s sake, 3) Use the right tools and 4) Know when it’s time to stop. I confess that these principles will elude me at times but when all are exercised appropriately I find the time spent is satisfying and joyful.
This week I was continuing work on the “cousins” quilt. I received a digital copy of some artwork from one of the cousins and I am in the process of transferring the artwork to fabric to be incorporated into the border of the quilt. I want to embellish the piece and began with an idea that I had in mind. I started by making a prototype using scraps of fabric in order to strategize how I would do this with the final application. I was determined to complete the process without unnecessary seams that would interfere with the embellishment. I cut, sewed, cut again and sewed again, all to no avail. After several iterations, no matter the obstacles I overcame there was always another. I concluded it wasn’t going to happen and called it a day.
Knowing when to stop can be a difficult principle for me, given that I incline towards the obsessive when it comes to sewing (my husband might add others). I also labor over letting go of an idea that I am sure is just fabulous. However, knowing when to quit can be just as helpful as knowing when to start. In this case, I found it liberating, free to explore other possibilities.