Planning. It is essential to plan as it is a way of formalising our intentions. However, more often than not, our plans get derailed and we have to become flexible to accommodate the unexpected in a graceful and creative manner. If we don’t, then frustration ensues taking with it in its stride any hope for a harmonious pursuit.
I planned a giant log cabin pattern for this quilt. Mind you, it is the first quilt that I design from scratch and for which I have had to make calculations. Needless to say, my quilt maths is in dire need of help and as I started piecing the patchwork for this quilt, I quickly realised that I had made a blunder. One of my measures had been halved across the board. And so, I had to improvise with all the pieces I had so carefully cut and prepared and labelled, and ordered... I had to toss the original idea. forget about what the quilt was meant to look like and shift to the reality of what was laying on my table. Passed the disappointment of my mistake, I decided I would be curious about the outcome and see what comes out.
Did I achieve my goal? Yes i did. I did piece the quilt with the colours I intended. I did quilt it with orange thread as I had set out to do. I did bind it with orange fabric as I had planned. The only part that was left to chance in the end was the piecing of the patchwork itself. Bottom line, this little episode confirms what I have known all along: Planning is important and it is only as relevant as you can be flexible to accommodate for the unexpected. Planning sets a direction and gives a solid ground to any future improvisation. I try to use planning as a framework really, more than as a strict guideline.
In general planning is something very challenging for me. My perfectionist, anxious, neurotic nurture - yes, that’s right, not nature - means I have quite the distorted sense of what is really important. At least that’s how it used to be prior to my burnout. I used to have everything set as a priority in my life and I would frantically try to maintain very high standards in all aspects of my life. And I did that, for a while; successfully. Until I broke down completely; because the reality of life is that there is in effect a hierarchy to what matters. In order to find out what matters to me, in order to figure out what my nature truly is, I had to dismantle the structure of my beliefs and values and look at each one of them closely. I had to find out how the sensations in my body actually were the purest form of expression of my own truth. I am still figuring a lot of that stuff out. I still struggle to clarify the priorities in my life, which makes setting goals difficult, and achieving them even harder. For now, I will more than gladly use my quilting practice as a training ground to hone down my planning and goal setting skills.
With love and candle light,