Seeing the forest for the trees

Last month, I finally finished the Esmeralda Quilt! Looking through the pictures on my phone, I saw that I was working on this two years ago. Two!

I loved how the pattern of the pieces implies circles and yet, there’s only straight lines involved, no actual curves. I got my layer cakes and got started. As I worked along, I started to lose motivation.

First, as I was squaring the edges, I found that the pieces making up some of the edges were not even. If it was a smidge off, that’s fine. But there were a couple of blocks where there was more than a quarter inch difference. A quarter inch being my seam allowance, that meant I either had to keep trimming all the blocks down further or I couldn’t use that block. I ended up discarding that block. Thankfully, there were only a couple of blocks I had this happen on and I had extra fabric to make additional blocks.

Second, as I started sewing the blocks together into my first row, the corners were not quite matching up. I’ve mostly worked through my perfectionist tendencies but this bothered me. Can you see where the corners don’t quite match up in the picture?

Third, I was planning on doing a piano keys border and the thought of that, well, let’s say that I wasn’t looking forward to it.

And it could have been that I had been staring at this quilt for too long. Or it could have been all of the frustrations, but while I loved the fabric collection when I saw the layer cake, I was starting to dislike the fabric choice.

And so, the blocks all ended up in a bin until this year. Quarantine happened and I was going through my fabric stash and decided that regardless of my feelings about this quilt, I would ignore the imperfections of the blocks and start putting it together. I still wasn’t looking forward to the piano keys border. As the blocks turned into rows, magic happened! The little nit picky things like corners very obviously not matching became harder to see. I also decided against the piano keys. Instead, I was just going to sew some extra strips together, end to end to do a scrappy border.

The more the quilt top came together, the more I started to love this quilt. Even the colors were coming together! The actual quilting design was a big spiral and it went pretty quickly. I barely had enough fabric for the border. Confession time, because this project had been on pause, I was pretty sure I had bought fabric for the border but I couldn’t quite remember until I found it.

I love the finished quilt. It all really came together and I think I made the perfect choice on the border color. This is definitely one where I had to stop focusing on each piece of fabric and take a step back to see the whole picture, or quilt as it is.