Thursday, February 9, 2012

Perfection?

I have been thinking about this lately.  Perfection.  Perfectionists.  Perfectionism.  You get the idea.

I love it when my corners on my blocks are 'perfect'.  Nothing gives me quite the same thrill as when it all lines up, I sew those opposite facing seams and viola!  Perfect corners.  Sometimes to get those perfect corners I have to 'ease' my fabric, or sometimes I even have to take a little tuck somewhere in the square.  Luckily "quilting hides a multitude of sins", as my Gramma used to say.

The Amish have a saying "Only God is perfect." and so they always make sure there is some small error in their quilts.  I'm not sure where I heard or read this, but I did.  I might have to look into it and make sure I actually know what I'm talking about.

My husband has said a few times over the years, "I am going to make a quilt!"  I think he is kidding when he says this, he already has so many hobbies and interests that he really doesn't need another one, plus I'd be fighting him for sewing machine time if that day ever came.  I always say "You are such a perfectionist that you would be better at it than me, then I'd never make another quilt again!" 

I don't knit because he is faster and it is effortless for him to knit, while I struggle and fight with the needles the whole time, so I don't knit.  Why should I struggle with it when I could have him knit what I want for me?  I'm not sure if I would give up quilting if he turned out to be better at it than I am, or if it would call into the light my inner competitor and then I'd have to try and be better at it than him.  Really though, if quilting becomes a contest then I really don't think it would be fun anymore.

I've always told my kids in their creative endeavors, when they begin to stress over the tiny imperfections that they see (that I can't usually see even if they point them out) in their work "Perfection is neither possible, nor desired."  To me, those little things that we perceive as mistakes in our own work are the very things that make them unique.  Besides, knowing what we did "wrong" this time will teach us what to do to make it "right" next time.  But with art, whether in fabric, on paper, in music, etc.., I really do not think there is a right or a wrong, or a perfect.

So do you drive yourself around the bend trying to sew things perfectly all the time or do you cut yourself some slack and love things even if they have slight mistakes?

On another note.. Sunni and I had a very nice lunch.  She is as smart, funny, charming and creative in person as she is on her blog.  She made me a lovely block for my Pineapple quilt!

2 comments:

Pen Pen said...

Good post!! As much as I would love to make a perfect quilt....I'm far from it. LOL

kelli said...

I too love perfection... perfectly perfect in every way. After many years of trying to accept it, I finally give in to it. Otherwise, I'm really not happy with the corners that aren't matching, or the tips that are cut off! They call my name in the middle of the night. I have a great relationship with all four of my seam rippers -- definitely my most used tool. Go with it sister!