Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Joy of Comparison

Several months ago I saw a pin on Pinterest that said, Comparison is the Thief of Joy. Feeling somewhat defeated by my inner voice that day, I liked and repinned the sentiment.

Then I got thinking: for the most part, comparison has played a positive role in my life. I found it has motivated me and made me more empathetic. Yes, some days it has landed like an anvil on my head, particularly when I think about all the writers who have accomplished what I wish I had (there's still time, right?), but for the most part, I think it's an interesting concept to turn on its ear.

With that in mind, I wrote an article suggesting that teaching children the attributes of comparison can help parents raise kids who have appropriate self-esteem, aren't afraid to try something new and care about others. I sent "The Joy of Comparison" to one local and one national publication, but I haven't heard from either. Probably because they know they are much better and smarter than I am. (Hah!)

It's likely I'm not using Pinterest to its full potential -- that being massive time-suck -- but I'm inspired by the quilts I posted there. It's not always easy to feel competent when you see some of the amazing fiber art that's being generated around the world, but if I'm to live up to my article, I will take away that what's important is to get new ideas. Progress, not perfection, is the goal.

For example, the other day I repinned this image from a pinner named Nancy Arseneault, who'd spotted it on the Waiting for the Muse blog. I found out it's by Australian quilter Kathy Doughty, of Material Obsessions.

Constructed of Kaffe Fasset fabrics, it resonated with me for two reasons.

First, I have a known weakness (no more addiction talk) to stripes. Remember this quilt? It's still available at www.etsy.com/shop/quiltingmissdaisy, although someone at church mentioned she'd like to buy it.

Second, I like diamonds. This quilt is made of batiks that are joined to form stripes. It's available on my etsy, too.

If I put the two together, it's possible I'll get something like the wonderful Kathy Doughty quilt. Or at least, perhaps, a reasonable facsimile. In this case, comparison will have created a sincere form of flattery.

I've been working away on the Kona and batik commission. I have more than 60 of each of the two main blocks sewn, so the end of this portion of the quiltmaking is coming into sight. real. I've been arranging and rearranging blocks in my head (as opposed to on a design wall.) (Have you ever heard someone say she was thinking in her head? Now, I'm no neuroscience student, but even I know that's where thinking takes place. Although I do some of my best thinking in the shower. But I digress.) I am enjoying the process, but I'm really excited to get to the next step.

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