It doesn't take much to throw my concentration off. Sydney will tell you...and will enjoy telling you stories that prove it...that I have the memory of a goldfish. But, this isn't about memory. this is about concentration. Focus.
Last week, I put this feathered star together, lickety-split and surprised myself with my accuracy. It just came together. I was absolutely focused.
But, this weekend, this border nearly made me give up quilting. And, the only difference is...focus. I had my mind on other thoughts this weekend and should have just worked on something else...pinbasting a quilt maybe. That's pretty straighforward.
Instead, I worked on it and the more it went wrong, the more I worked, never giving it more of my concentration, just more of my time and energy and stress. I got through the 144 HTS units and laid out how to put them together. And, Saturday morning, I got them mounted to the darker green triangles. And, they were all wrong. Not just a little wrong. VERY wrong. So, I took the strips of HTS pff the darker green triangles and tried to lay them different. And, they were wrong that way, too (reference 1).
So, I took the strips apart. And, I sewed the strips back together while I was adjusting my machine Saturday afternoon and they were wrong again. Now, fortunately, this time, before I took them all apart again, I pulled out the pattern. Isn't that the last thing you check when you've made a mistake? How could I have put those together wrong again? I took one pair apart and then realized that I was trying to put them on the wrong side of the triangles; they are directionally specific. I wanted the darker half of the HTS to point the same way as the larger dark triangle it was mounted to. But, that's not how they went. And, that's all that was wrong the first time, too...see reference 1 above. I had put the HTS strips together right, but had mounted them on the darker triangles backward and just needed to redo that. LACK OF FOCUS! But, taking all that apart did give me something to do while I sat in the sunroom on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed more of the beautiful day we had.
Now, here's where Lane goes real stupid. I didn't pay attention to how the larger triangles were supposed to be cut and I cut them with the diagonal on the long side. So, I'm trying to force the strips of HTS onto the straight of grain edge of a larger triangle and I need that little bit of stretch that bias would have given me...just like Marsha McCloskey described in the book...you know, in the pattern...otherwise known as the last place I look.
That's what I had to set aside and stop working on last night because I couldn't focus and figure out what to do to make the best of my bad cutting, because I absolutely am not going to buy more fabric and start over again.
But, this morning, I struggled the two sections together that you see in the picture above and the other two sections are over half done. But, only because I got up this morning, read through the instructions, focused on what I was doing, used my easy angle ruler to trim off the tips of the triangles and really looked at what I was trying to accomplish and thought about how it could/should be done.
So, here is my White Featherweight. Her name right now is Alba. Alba Tross. (think The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). Don't know if that will stick, but for right now, I'm enjoying it.
She has been an absolute and total burden, just to get her working right. I had her operating at her prime on Saturday evening and I came out and told Rob that she was working at her optimum and so I should probably put her in her box before anything could go wrong. And, sure enough, when I went in this morning and sewed my first strip, I could hear something dragging that was putting extra burden on the motor and I'm not sure what it is. As she warmed up, it stopped. But, I'll still have to find what it is and see if anything can be done.
Because I cannot put down a good mystery. I have to solve the puzzle. There's something in me that will make me stick with this until this machine is in tip top shape. I can't be beaten by a silly old machine. I am the Jane Marple of sewing machines.
Okay, so that's what's on my mind this Monday. My crying is abated for a while and I am back to the middle part...the part that counts the most. Not a scary beginning or a sad ending. Just the middle part.