One Word with Jean: Embrace

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Meeting Obstacles

The obstacles in the path are not obstacles; they are the path.

I need this reminder everyday. I am a planner, the minute my plan doesn’t go according to plan, I am frustrated. So to me, “embrace” means taking whatever comes and making the most of it. Obstacles are not a hinderance, but an opportunity. An opportunity to do more, try out new ideas, adjust and make something more exciting.

When it actually comes to obstacles however, I’m like a hamster on an agility course — and if you want to see the ridiculous, go to youtube and search “hamster agility”. It’ll make you cry. They putter along, wander off track, have short attention spans, and need to be bribed with food. Me too.

Embracing Obstacles

Embracing obstacles is difficult. We have to solve problems and move forward when some of the enthusiasm is gone. But it is well worth it to come out the other side with work that is unexpected, and better than we imagined.

sunporch studios

sunporch studios

Creating Obstacles

Part of the difficulty in embracing obstacles lies in the fact that we often put them in our own way. I had no ideas for a border this month. I received new material and picked three beautiful patterns from Hydrangea Dreams. Then I added a spring green check that went well with the florals and pulled color in from my other one-word squares. But no matter how long I stared at the gorgeous fabric, I could not figure out what to do with the border. So I had lunch and watched a little tv and pretty much procrastinated until the deadline made me pick up my sketch book.

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

In twenty minutes I had another set of ideas for borders and picked one to try. This particular Jean-made obstacle (I don’t have a border) became a solution for the next couple of months of one-word squares. While it was much easier to have lunch, it was much more satisfying to work out an answer to my problem, and find my way down the path.

Accepting Obstacles

A mistakes is the hardest kind of obstacle for me to embrace. I wanted to do a “crazy cabin” border by combining a crazy quilt idea with a log cabin pattern. I sewed four 10 in. x 1.5 in. rectangles, cut them into strips, then used the strips for the log cabin pattern. I wanted to alternate the blues with the green and black to set the colors off but I sewed them in the wrong order and cut them before I realized it.

Sunporch studios

Sunporch studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

My first impulse was to rip the seams which is a frustrating way to start a sewing project. I decided, since this was “embrace”, I would just embrace my mistake and see where it got me. My second mistake was to use rectangles that were not a good length for the size of the block. I did a lot of tweaking at the corners but again, accepted the outcome rather than start over. Or stop all together.

Sunporch Studios

Sunporch Studios

My personal jury is still out on this square. If I did it again I would probably try a few different things but that’s the nature of exploring creative projects. They’re never perfect, and often not what we imagined, but I think I can embrace that.

My Craft Table

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Sunporch Studios.

Here are some of the supplies I used for Embrace..