instructions are not laws, right?

I've proven I don't follow instructions well.  We're all going to pretend that makes me flexible and spontaneous and artistic.  But, really, it's more like rebellious and impetuous and not quite afraid enough of making mistakes. 

But, the results are wonderful.

This was the pattern. 

I had done the center and eight of the log cabin blocks.  And, I picked out all but the dark sections of the log cabin blocks.  The yarns for the rest of it were variegated.  And, the quilter in me was not happy with that.  The colors didn't come out like the picture.  In the dark background of the center block, there were black sections and brown sections.  And in the leaves, there were rust sections and brown sections.  And my brown sections kept ending up next to brown sections with no contrast.  Similar thing with the gold yarn.  it's variegated pink and green and gold.  And, I kept ending up with big pink blots and big green blots. And, since I was starting over, why not start with something that had more contrast than those leaf blocks and maybe wasn't quite so dark.  So, I drafted a feathered star.  I do not quite know how.  It took a half dozen tries using 1/8" graph paper, but suddenly the stitch pattern was on paper and then it was just following it with a needle.   I pulled out my number 5 pearl cottons and we went to the store and bought some off whites to add to it and this is what I came up with. 

But, I'm not a needlepointer.  I don't need another hobby.

Anybody out there still buying that? 

Okay, let's give something away (how's that for a distraction?)  Many years ago, a friend and fellow blogger shared two kits with me.  She had a friend that collected kits and then lost interest and gave them all to my friend.  She shared them with her followers, including two with me. 

One was the Simply Delicious quilt.  And, yes, I'm going to show it again...every time I get a chance...

The other was Lotusland's Water lilies quilt. 

It is unstarted and came with all 10 block kits, including the fabrics for the flowers and the pattern.  Block 1 has a large piece of dark blue to cut the backgrounds from.  Block 10 is that wonderful border.  And, it has all the 50 wt silk thread needed...I'm not going to count the 100 yd spools, but let's say 35 or more spools.  We're a smoke free home, and while these have been in a plastic storage box for years, I'm not gonna swear they're dust free.

It's a beautiful quilt, and the reason I'm not making it is that most of the blocks have 75-100 tiny pieces and it doesn't look fun for me.  I have Ruby McKim's state flowers quilt patterns that I'd rather make for a flower applique project.  So, I'd like to share this kit with someone that will actually make it (and free up that bit of space in my sewing room closet).

If you're interested and you have a continental United States mailing address where you can receive packages, leave a comment by Sunday night at midnight and I'll announce the winner in Monday's blog post.  Don't leave your personal info in your comment below.  We'll exchange emails after the drawing.  I don't give much away, so I reserve the right to make up new rules as needed in case I forgot something.  That's called fine print. 

My boss gave me some feedback this week.  A lot of what I do is researching problems, crafting original solutions, and telling people how to execute those solutions successfully...without breaking the law.  I'm successful for the same reasons I stated at the top of this post...I don't follow instructions well.  I think outside the box.  He said people don't follow my instructions at work because I use too many words.  They get bored after 140 characters and stop reading. 

Holy crap!  I'm never going to fit into the modern workforce.  Look at how many words I used just to say Holy Crap!

The weird thing about the feedback is that the people younger than me, the ones that communicate in 140 characters or less, read my instructions and follow them to the letter.  They trust that I know what I'm talking about and that I'll stand behind it if it doesn't work.  It's the people older than me that aren't following the instructions.     

Somehow, I don't think it's the number of characters I'm using. 

 Everybody have a great weekend!  I'm taking a bit of time off, so trying to figure out how I want to spend some days that should be beautiful working in the yard weather.  Will I work in the yard?  Or, will I quilt?  Because it's always beautiful quilting weather (unless it's storming and the power goes out...okay, there's an exception to everything.)



Dot said...

It is a wonderfully healthy thing to not be afraid of making mistakes. I hope Sydney has picked up this mindset from you.

Your revised quilt patterned needlepoint shows your amazing capacity for detail. That's got to be one part, and only one part, of what makes your work so special - being willing to use smaller units and more colors.

The water lilies quilt is beautiful and so far beyond my quilting skills. There's no point in including me in the drawing.

Michelle W. said...

Both quilts are beautiful and your needlepoint is amazing. I would enjoy working with the water lilies quilt by Aie Rossman. It’s beautiful. She’s going to be at Appliqué Away on Galveston Bay. I consider going every now and then but life intercedes. Maybe someday. Thank you for continuing to blog.

Unknown said...

OMG that is beautiful! I'm a long time lurker/reader- love your take on life and all things stitchery. Never entered a give away but would love to win.

Sharon Cox said...

It's a beautiful quilt that I'd love to make. I've enjoyed your blog & the ups/downs of raising a teenager. Thanks

Anonymous said...

You have far exceeded my needlepoint talents. Your eye for detail is amazing.
Please DO NOT enter me in the quilt give away. I could never do anything like that. Nine patch and Grandmother's Fan are my specialties

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lane, I could relate to not being a rule follower! The older I get, the less I like being restricted by convention/rules/instructions. Though I have made a few quilts from patterns, I much prefer designing my own, figuring things out, and making a lot of mistakes. I enjoy your blog a lot, and I read every word.

Megan said...

Lane - I've had feedback time and time again in my work life that I use too many words. I'm told that the quality of my thinking is good, but that many colleagues don't wanna bother reading what they consider to be long texts/emails/plans. I used to resent that managers providing the feedback thought that this was my problem. Why weren't they counselling the other staff that they needed to grow up, focus on reading the instructions/business case etc?

However, if I accepted that it was my responsibility to communicate effectively, then I had to accept that that entailed presenting information in a way that my audience found acceptable/useful. You seem to be facing the same challenge.

Have you considered working with a graphic designer (if you don't have the skills yourself) to develop infographics that colleagues might find more appealing? Or challenging yourself to present the instructions in the form of bullet points that contain only the absolutely essential info, with additional info (for those who are interested) in smaller type below them? Or, in addition to written instructions, using your phone to create short snappy videos that can be loaded up on the company intranet, for those you are YouTube-dependent?

And please, I would love to be entered into the draw for that sensational quilt kit.


Jay said...

You have inspired me so much by your quilting adventures. I have wanted to work on an applique quilt and that is one I would love to do.

Danice G said...

More beautiful work. A very well-worded post. Sometimes it isn't the age of a person that is a major variable. I always enjoy reading your posts, regardless of the number of words. Yard work or quilting... I'd be leaning towards quilting :)