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New Math [Jan. 16th, 2008|12:05 pm]

This started out as a rant. A rant about math. See, there’s this quilt I’ve been working on for.. *counts on fingers* four years now. A double wedding ring. King sized, for my sister. And I’ve been hand quilting it. For a year (off and on, more off than on last year with all the stuff that’s been going on.) And this week I finished the innermost ring of blocks. Since I am working from the inside out, first the four blocks in the center got done, then the innermost ring. It looks like a lot. How much is it? When you calculate it out, 64 blocks, 4 plus 12 done, it’s only 25% of the total. I was so discouraged. All this work, over a year quilting, and all I have done is one fourth of the quilt?!?

I was in despair, and ready to give up. But then I thought about a few things. I thought about how much I love this quilt; it will be beautiful when it’s done. It’s beautiful now, sitting in the frame. I thought about all the work I don’t count in that 25% total; there’s a lot of stitching in the ditch completed in the outer two rings. There’s stars quilted in the outer rings. There’s arcs completed in those rings. All those parts that need to be done to take the stitches in the center blocks to finish a section. I thought about what I’ve heard said about big projects like this, something like, it will take years to finish. But if you don’t start, those years will still pass, and you’ll have nothing when they are gone.

And I realized that I needed some new math. A year from now, this quilt may not be done (though I am working hard to finish in that time) but if I put down my needle in despair, it won’t matter how many years pass, it will never be finished, and all the effort to this point will be wasted. And that, I think, would truly be a sin. Rather than look at how much done, I need to focus on what is getting done. I am handquilting to get the perfect look. It is turning out just exactly as I’d envisioned it. That beauty as each rose and leaf and cable is complete, that’s worth celebrating, worth celebrating as it happens. Not 25% is done, but this one is done, one is done. One is done. And eventually, all are done and it is done.