We’ve all heard of the proverbial “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, this week life has been handing me limes, and I’ve had to sweeten the moments and make limeade.
Hence why I’m now calling this quilt “Limeade Pinwheels.”
It all started simply enough. I had an inspired idea to make some baby quilts for my Etsy shop (coming soon! We’ve been signing the legal paperwork this week with our county and town). So I sat down, designed a pattern that I love, calculated the yardage (and let me tell you, if you haven’t tried your hand at designing a quilt, it takes a LOT of math! Such fun!), and bought my fabric.
And then last night happened.
In my mind, it would work perfectly for me to cut the fabric to easy sizes. Of course the overall quilt would be a bit smaller. -1/4″ for every seam. But I had taken that into consideration and was ready to go!
Everything was going along beautifully, until I finished a row. The problem isn’t actually obvious until you see it in context:
My wonderfully mathematical quilt that I had invested time and energy into was going to be…small. Too small. “Too big for a doll but too small for a baby” small.
This was my lime. An unpleasant situation that couldn’t be undone. Of course I could fix this one up and make some changes. But I still had to re-do ALL of my math for future pinwheel quilts.
It made my head spin last night. And I was more than a little upset at myself for making such a novice mistake. Never mind that this is only the second pattern I’ve designed!
To which my loving husband reminded me, “You always say that ‘You know you’re doing it right when you’ve had to rip part of a project out.'”
This is true. I say it every time I make something.
But mistakes aren’t always easy to fix, are they? Sometimes I’d rather life just sail by smoothly and not get all jumbled up with mistakes that I have to fix or situations I’d rather not be in. It would be lovely if every project worked out just perfectly, and we never got caught up in trying to unravel the chaos that we accidentally created.
Then again, maybe not. Perhaps it is the mistakes rather than the perfections that help us to grow as artists and gain a deeper understanding of our craft. Perhaps facing our mistakes and picking ourselves up from the disappointment of a project gone awry helps us to build a better character and gain appreciation for the moments that do go well.
So next time you find yourself in a bind, trying to reverse, alter, or make do with a situation that you didn’t originally intend, remember that good can come from this, too.