Putting it together

DSC01358_2Have started to piece the top of The Water Is Wide. This could involve long rows of straight seams. Or – the way I do it – sort of straight seams.

I cannot sew a straight line to save my life. Can’t do it. Don’t even tell me what you’ve tried. I’ve already tried that. Twice. And it didn’t work.

I credit this inability – which also laps over into not being able to draw a straight line – to my dyslexia.

Dyslexia has been a gift for me because it has caused me to spend my life thinking of alternate ways of doing just about everything. I just can’t do most things the way most people do them.

It took 21 years for my dyslexia to be diagnosed so I spent my childhood figuring out how the heck to get the same results as everyone else, but having to use different methods.

By the time I was in a place where I could be diagnosed (graduate school in Evanston, Illinois), I was a highly functioning dyslexic. Most people refused to believe I had a “disability” or “challenge;” they mostly thought I was lazy or hasty. Because of the mistakes I made. When I actually thought I was doing something right.

After I was diagnosed, I learned a few tricks that greatly improved my accuracy in what I wrote – where my dyslexia was most evident. And then, of course, word processing came into being, and suddenly there was spell check and a whole lot of my problem just went away.

But my “condition” is always there and it surfaces a lot when I am sewing pieces together. Again let me say I’ve tried all the tricks.

When these don’t work, I decide to go with what I am able to do. When it comes to seams, that means sewing each one a few times until the aggregate adds up to a straight line. My quilt seams are the strongest of anyone – because each seam has been sewn multiple times.

The other thing is, I have developed an appreciation for mismatched corners, angled seams, squashed points on my stars. I think these make people do double and triple takes and spend more time with my quilts. So even when, through some fluke, I DO sew a straight seam or a perfectly pointed star, I then make it crooked or squashed. It has become my style.

Where was I? Ah, yes, getting back to the Water is Wide, depending how I piece this, I could have a large number of long straight seams to contend with.

So I am sewing it in chunks. A time-honored method. This reduces most of the seams to more manageable lengths. Although all the seams will need to be sewn a few times to get them to lie the way I want.

Still the top should lie flat if I assemble my chunks carefully. And then I will worry about the border. I think the quilt will be too small without one. And probably I’ll wind up doing piano keys – my go-to border. Although I just don’t know. Will that detract too much from the center?

Gotta think about that.