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Saturday, April 24, 2010

To Post or Not to Post

About a week and half ago I realized that the best way to apply a heavy perle cotton to an appliqued piece was to couch it and I spent a thoroughly pleasant hour couching veins on a leaf by hand--my first experience with the technique.

I had such a good time I decided to do a blog post about it, but life kept me from getting to it for a couple of days. And then I spent a frustrating time last Monday trying to get a good picture of the leaf.  Couldn't get the lighting right and so the color is still not even close to accurate.  But it gives you an idea of the couching, which involves laying a heavy thread or ribbon or whatever on top of the fabric and attaching it by stitching a thinner weight thread across the top of the heavier.   I love the texture the couching creates, which could be emphasized even more for another situation by a thread that adds another accent color.

And I have the courage to post this even after the meeting of our quilt guild  (did I really almost type guilt guild?  Freudian slip territory there), where the program dealt with what judges look for at quilt shows..  The very knowledgeable and informative speaker was able to come up with all sorts of areas where a quilter could go wrong, guaranteed to give all us obsessive perfectionists nightmares--or maybe just jaw pain.  Now the quilt that this leaf is part of is purposely loose:  the straight line of the center vein is one of the few straight lines on the quilt, and that was by accident.  I didn't want the veins to perfectly match and so I drew them by eye.

But the next day when I was looking at the pictures I had some moments of hesitation.  The old refrain of "maybe it's not good enough"  began to play in my head.  But this time I realized that that refrain is asking the wrong question.  I should be asking myself if the work is good:  does it do what I want it to do.  Do all the elements come together to create a whole that is pleasing to my standards, not to my imagined idea of what someone else might want.  I also realized that the inverse of "it's not good enough" is "it's good enough."  Nobody wants their work to be good enough; they want their work to be good or maybe meaningful or maybe even spectacular, but "good enough" does not provide much inspiration.

So that's my couching story.  You can congratulate me on my first attempt or quietly find something wrong with it or, if you are an old pro at couching, wonder what all the fuss is about over one little leaf, but if you're still with me, thanks for the company.

1 comment:

  1. Trying again.... (grrrrrr.... google!)

    I loved this post! Witty, informative (I learned something new!) and all about The Process. I'm enjoying reading blogs about the process, and making a conscious effort to provide that on mine.

    ~ Ronda

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