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No 46 Embrace the happy accident

Well its been an interesting day today. I had the plumber arrive to put in  my new bathroom vanity as the old one had some damage in the earthquakes. I was looking forward to this as all the other EQ related work had been completed and I really like the new vanity we are putting in. So Steve the plumber arrives and takes out the old vanity. Next minute Steve calls me into the bathroom and under the vanity is a dirty big crack in the concrete floor! How far does this crack go? So we call our project manager, Mark, who sends Fletchers around  to have a look. Sure enough we lift carpet in the wardrobe of the spare room behind the bathroom and then in a bedroom across the hallway and it shows the crack goes right across the house including under the shower!

So work is on hold until EQC approve a variation to the work, then the cracks are epoxy filled and carpet put back down. With any luck this won’t take too long.  A hassle – yes, BUT….. we will also need a new shower and new vinyl in the bathroom. So while I  could be upset about another delay and more work to be done I will treat this as a happy accident which will bring me a new shower as well.

So how does this relate to quilting? Well sometimes a corner might not meet or we accidently cut into the wrong part of the fabric or we just run out of the fabric we are using. What are we to do? Well you might applique over a bad corner and find that adding these shapes to your piece makes it just that more special or the new fabric you use looks better than the original choice. You might paint over the piece that doesn’t look right and get something that looks stunning.

Sometimes when I dye or paint fabric I get a completely different result than what I was going for – this happy accident can turn out to be the most gorgeous piece of fabric to use in a quilt.

Kit White who wrote the book of ” 101  Things to learn in Art School” suggests  embrace the accident and incorporate it into the piece we are working on. Exploit the unexpected consequences of experimentation and process.

Who has done this and what are your results?


One Responseso far.

  1. I hear ya Catherine! I have a wee collection of gifts that I keep for births, birthdays, celebrations etc and a number of the items in there are happy accidents where I have knitted in a different wool and its come out a completely different size. I then put it in the present box and take great joy in pulling it out at a later date, an instant handmade gift. I would like to be able to say, my technique and points are perfect…but that would be a lie 😉

    I have a kids quilt sample in the shop that is backed in Minky Dot. When I sewed them together (envelope style) and turned it through, I tried to pin it for quilting and it just would not lay flat, it was all huckery puckery (every quilter who has tried to quilt with Minky Dot knows this isn’t the most stable product) in the end I gave up and instead of quilting I tufted it hiding no end of sins. The result was a really soft pliable blanket quilt that dries faster as you can get the air through and is easy to roll up and stow. Perfect for strollers, carseats or snugglies. This was a happy accident indeed as the tufting became a design feature giving customers quicker options that provide a different texture to the standard!