The Cutting Board

Lesson Learned

Have you ever wondered why it seems so hard to get your pieces to fit, your rows to be even, and finally your quilt to be fairly square?

I used to wonder that all the time. I'd sew merrily along, trying (sort of) to keep a quarter-inch seam allowance and getting lots of blocks finished in no time at all.  Whew!  Now for the rows!

Except that for some reason many of the blocks didn't fit together very well. Forging ahead, I made rows that didn't fit together either, only worse. There was a lot of scratching my head, stomping my foot, "frogging" (unpicking seams) and the occasional moaning.  

This went on for several quilts until one day, the truth dawned!  I wasn't practicing the cardinal principles of accuracy and consistency. I needed to start at the beginning and learn how to cut consistent shapes and stitch an accurate 1/4" seam. I needed to "square up" each block.  If my pieces weren't reasonably square, or triangular, or hexagonal, etc., I'd never be able to join them with others and have a properly proportioned block. Without consistent blocks, I'd never have consistent rows which would lead to a "wonky" quilt top. Who knew?

So I started forcing myself to improve my skills.  (And it was a battle! I didn't get a "C" in Home Ick Ec. for nothing!)  Gradually things improved. The number of head-scratchings and foot stompings decreased and I found myself enjoying the thrill of a nice, square block.  Pretty soon even the backs of my quilts were a work of art (well, sort of). 

What a relief!  I'm a much better piecer than I used to be, I waste less time and fabric, and I'm happier with the results of my work.  Interesting lesson to learn. Actually, I think there's a Life Lesson here: The more careful we are, the more we discipline ourselves, the better the outcome in everything we do. Now if I can just apply this to cooking...

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