Mishaps and thoughts on mishaps

For the next segment of the project, we are tracing embroidery templates onto our white fabric strips.  Reminder below:


using Saral transfer paper.  I’ve had great success with the white Saral paper but obviously I needed to use the darker color so I could see it.  But alas, it was a DISASTER.  I either got a bum roll or this roll has a ton of residue on it but the graphite color smeared EVERYWHERE – all over white stuff that will not be embroidered, the borders, me!  What’s more, the only way to get (most of) it off was to wash the squares.  Which means the preliminary work I did using water soluble pencil got mostly washed off as well.  Another couple hours down the drain.  Literally!

I took no photos.  I was in a tizzy and also rushing to get this done.

Which leads me to thoughts on mishaps. I became super attached to this not working.  I was upset, ‘hooked’ as Pema Chodron would say.  I’m was talking to another Buddhist student last night before our class – she (professional artist) was saying to live with the mistakes and make them a part of the piece.  It was helpful to hear that.  And also we discussed how time slows down when you have a meditation practice which is a really neat side product of that.

And yet, boom, hooked once again (post class) and again this morning by the graphite smearage.  I finally sat again and got to a place with more equanimity. Thankfully. All of this is a process.  Not a process of making the quilt, even, but a process of smearing things and dealing with that, loving your work and noticing that, hating the mistakes or color choices and noticing that. And not judging any of it.  Rachel had advised watching out for your perfectionism and it’s good and well heeded advice that I will need to remind myself of many, many times.

In any event, on a more positive note, I redrew 2 of the templates today just using light and the water soluble pencil and they are good enough to work with.  The art store where I bought the funky Saral paper is 2 blocks from work so I’m going to see if they will exchange it when I pick up lunch.  Daytona Trimmings has late hours and cheaper DMC embroidery thread so I did go and pick up a bunch of colors so I’m ready to go.  I have 2 templates drawn so I can actually start this tonight of the commuter train (teen is in a play, heading to NJ to see that tonight) and get that.

But I’m recommitting to mindfulness on this project which means minding the rushing and minding the ‘goal/deadlines’ and not making them into non-Buddhist projects. If the idea behind my practice is to stay mindful in everyday life – something I’m getting good at at the office but still failing at personally LOL- this project is just another way to practice that. And for that I am begrudingly (let’s be honest) grateful.  Have a good day, folks.


2 thoughts on “Mishaps and thoughts on mishaps

  1. jodi

    I like your thought process! I, too, am taking my time with the handstitching process and trying to enjoy the moment, not hurry to keep up and making a mess in the process – it’s imperfect enough without adding to it! 🙂 Yours looks great! I love your floss colors. I need to get more.
    my flickr name is wenine9, but I haven’t posted my embroidery progress yet. Have fun!

    1. Alexandra Post author

      Nice to meet you, Jodi! I just finished the straight stitch embroidery (not the corners yet). Whew a lot of work! I hope to get more done tonight. I’ll post some photos soon. Alexandra


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