Quilting is a craft of perceived preciseness. Quilters want corners to match, points to be sharp, and seams to be even. But seldom does the finished product achieve the exactness hoped for during its execution. We are always aware of the imperfection we’ve stitched. If one is lucky, it merely means that the small mistakes are not visible at a certain distance, or that they somehow lend additional charm. If one is unlucky, it means a lot of tearing out of seams and restitching, or even of hiding the piece (perhaps unfinished) in the bottom of some basket or drawer, with hopes it will morph out of its problems before it is found again.
A particularly challenging quilt pattern I took on in 2013 is one based on the Stack-n-Whack method. I had to take a class to learn this complicated technique of measuring, measuring (and measuring some more, or so it seemed) and then folding, stacking, cutting, and maybe measuring again – or some such combination of activity! Since the class was in January of last year I’ve forgotten some of the finer points. What I’m pretty sure of is that it is unlikely I’ll take it on again, even as much I love the end result. I’ve also seen other quilts with this pattern, done by members of my quilt group. They are always rather stunning, especially knowing that the “stars” are all made from diamonds cut from the same fabric.
Learning a new technique and taking on a different kind of project keeps my craft fresh. And being more mindful of good practices like “measure twice, cut once” keeps precision closer to reality.