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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Trimming, Binding and All.

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You know that feeling you get when things work out JUST as planned?

Okay, so there were a few “Oh, no!” moments along the way – like the moment I found that “shift happened” and a seam allowance was a hair too shy (more like non-existent) and I had to do a seam repair by hand while the quilt was in the machine half-way quilted.

Someone made a comment on my Facebook recently in regards to something I was sharing that went something like “I could never live with a mistake like that, I’d have to take it out and fix it!”

I have never made a quilt – or anything else for that matter – that was free from mistakes.  It’s the thing I love about our craft.  We are human beings.  We are human MAKINGS. We are not machines or computers.

We have GOT to move past this need for perfection.  We can’t let others’ need for perfection (so they can feel better about themselves?) make us feel bad, or less than, because they point out our mistakes.

The fact that they do that shows more about their own discomfort from within their own skin, than it does about you, me or us.

At the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter.

Some of my mistakes are more glaring than others.  Front and center, seams way off, lines of stitching wobbly, crooked –quilted in for all the world to see.  Some of them, I’ve been able to mask pretty well and no one would know unless I pointed them out.

But at that end of the day – when I step back, how do I feel about what I’ve accomplished?  My own heart should care more about what *I* feel, than what someone else might say regarding what I’ve done.

I hope you can take encouragement from this.  Those who point out YOUR mistakes when you are not asking for feedback are not your friends. No matter what they say, or how they try to say it.

In this top photo I’m trimming up the edge of the quilt, leaving 1/4’’ beyond the blue squares as seam allowance so I won’t nip off the tips of the squares when I apply my binding.

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Scrappy neutrals going on!

I love a 1/4’’ finished binding so I start with 2’’ strips.  These are random lengths of 2’’ neutrals joined end to end on the diagonal.  I am using a walking foot on my vintage Best Built to do the job.

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Last night’s binding flipping!

And no matter how hard you try – sometimes those points are going to go missing anyway!  But right above it –totally randomly placed are the words I choose to live by.  My modus operandi – LIVE LIFE WITH PASSION.

Notice it doesn’t say “Live life with PERFECTION.”  There are more than 100 squares on point in this border.  99% of them have points perfectly visible –I am not picking this one out.  This is me.  Passionately imperfect.

And I just have to make a statement here because I know that someone will come up with the Amish thing, “They always PUT IN a mistake because only God is perfect.”  A purposeful mistake is not a mistake. It’s a mockery.  I have a heart-feeling that as mistakes genuinely happen, they were left in for that reason, but no one NEEDS to do it purposely, because….they happen on their own! 

For ALL. OF. US.

I did this binding stitching while watching “Our Souls at Night” on Netflix starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. Totally cute movie!  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it.

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THIS happened yesterday!

When I received my latest goodies from TJ Lane they came in “never before used and had never contained any, and date expired” Skoal containers.  BRILLIANT!  These little containers kept the thimbles safe during shipping.  How she found a supplier to repurpose these I’ll never know –but they are crush proof in a mailer and I still had mine hanging around.

I put my gold crown in the bag the thimble was in and carried it in my purse to the dentist, afraid to lose it.

It got a big laugh when I pulled it out.

It was an easy fix – just scraped off the old adhesive from around my tooth and cemented this beauty back in place.  I am good for now, but it may need to be replaced in a couple of years.  Evidently I grind in my sleep.  I’m now the proud owner of a sexy mouth guard.  I had strange remembrances of being 14 and sleeping with head gear and retainers in while going through braces.

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So TONIGHT!!  Who is ready for some QUILT-CAM!?

I’ll be stitching it up over on Facebook Live at 8pm Eastern tonight. With CROWN in PLACE!  LOL!

If you miss it, it will be found in tomorrow’s blog post right here.

Sugar Bowl Blocks are calling – and so are a dozen other want-to-do’s but one thing at a time!

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Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Sawtooth star quilt found in North Carolina.

In this garden of life, tend the flowers - pull the weeds!

Have a great Thursday, everyone!

64 comments:

  1. I made a King Size Log Cabin for my son and his wife. Sent it off to Tiffanee my long-armer. When I got it back she said one of my seams had come open (didn't sew it even) - she merrily just fixed it and quilted on. We still laugh about it. I almost didn't get that quilt back, her husband said it was one of the few that he had seen her quilt that he really wanted to keep. LOL What is really funny is when she quilts my quilts he will look at them and say I know who did that one. Thank you Lee.

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  2. So glad to wake up to this this morning as I am in no way a perfectionist and will never have a quilt judged as I make them for people who love them. Thank you !

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  3. Bill Volckening posted recently about the whole myth that the Amish put mistakes into their quilts "because only god is perfect." He put the kaibosh on that notion! Here's the link. I hope it's okay to post it here.
    http://willywonkyquilts.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-stuff-of-legends-part-9-evolving.html

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  4. Passionately imperfect! I love it! And the quilt with a quote expresses it so well. Love the quilt. I can see the woman who made it very much like me, doing her best.

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  5. Thanks so much for everything you do for us, your fellow quilters, and for today's blog. I used to fret about my mistakes, but no longer. My quilt and other sewing projects are made with love, and yes oops happens. Most times, it is not noticable except for me. Happy sewing everyone!

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  6. I "evaluate" the mistake. If it will let the batting escape then I fix it. Not erase it, just fix it. If the batting isn't in danger then I just move on. :) I sew to relax, not to compete with anyone else. LOL why would anyone WANT to be perfect?

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  7. I don't read the comment about needing to fix the seam as criticism of Bonnie, rather just that the poster wouldn't be able to rest if she (he) didn't fix it. (But not having seen the original Facebook post, I could be wrong.) Anyhow, if something is going bug me, I'll fix it. But if I can live with it, I leave it. And sometimes what I can live with is a really big mistake: like the quilt I quilted with one giant spiral that had a fleece backing. It doesn't lay flat, but it is a really cozy quilt and my daughter loves it. When it is covering her, you can't tell it ripples.

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  8. I love this post! I am the queen of fudge and I don't mean chocolate! Enjoy the imperfect day and thanks for spreading the joy of life.

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  9. I totally agree about giving up the need ro be perfect. I'd never get any quilts finished otherwise! A friend mistakenly cut ahme triangles too close, so the oiunts were chopped off when she sewed her rows together. She calls it her pointless quilt! Life is too short to stress over these things. I live this blue and cheddar quilt. What will you name it?

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  10. I wear a mouth guard now and sleep wonderfully with it. It's ok.

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  11. It does happen... Sew on..

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  12. "tend the flowers and pull the weeds" - Love that and the older I get, the easier it is to do the weeding! Serendipity is what happened with that binding!

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  13. Great news that your tooth is near perfect nd back doing the job. Keep doing what your doing love all you do!

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  14. I've been quilting for over 30 years and I doubt I've ever made a perfect quilt although I tried my best. I usually find my mistakes once the quilt is quilted, bound, washed, and hanging for a photograph, too late to correct the mistake(s). I've learned to accept that I'm human, not perfect. The first scrap quilt I made was your Orange Crush mystery pattern. I didn't see my mistakes until I took a picture of it at a quilt show. In spite of you warning to be careful not to rotate a unit when assembling the blocks, I did...19 times! I renamed my quilt "Humility x 19". I'm the kind of quilter who can't resist pointing out my mistakes to others: part of me wants to encourage others it's OK to make mistakes; we learn from them. Another part of me wants to head off the perfection critics and let them know I'm aware I goofed; they don't need to point it out to me.

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  15. I have always made mistakes in my quilts but I actually finish quilts and then I don't worry about them being used and loved
    I have been fighting stage 4 esophagus cancer for 19 months now
    The 20 rounds of chemotherapy and now the immunotherapy have really affected my accuracy in quilting
    But I'm quilting more than ever and enjoying myself
    My quilt recipients are not judging the mistakes
    And I'm just laughing and having fun in spite of it all
    Thank you for this post Bonnie

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  16. Love your posts Bonnie. I have struggled with perfectionism myself but as I've aged I have learned that "done is better than perfect" is as much less stressful way to live. So now I embrace those "mistakes" and keep on going.

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  17. Hoping you'll see this question. When you are quilting on the longarm is the pattern computerized or are you guiding the stitching? Thanks.

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  18. Thanks, Bonnie. I needed this reminder. I focus on the wrong things.
    As for viewing on Netflix, might I suggest a "clean" comedian from my adopted hometown in Idaho? The show is called Happy Face with Ryan Hamilton. I think you will enjoy it with your Idaho background.

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  19. I struggle with leaving things but have come to understand most of the time it's only me who would notice or care! And I sigh and pat myself on the back every time I can leave them and keep moving. Thanks for the reminder that finished is way better than perfect. Have a great day Bonnie.

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  20. My quilting mottoes are "Done is better than perfect" and "If it looks OK from 20' away from the back of a galloping horse it's fine". Honestly, my quilts are never mistake free and never will be. Mistakes that are found after quilting & binding stay, whether they bother me or not. I can name three quilts, two with blocks turned wrong & one that has a missing quilting motif but they are done and that is it!

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  21. I'm working on making a friend a quilt, and noticed that one of the neutrals in a HST was upside down! NO, I am NOT taking it out! You would only notice if you were LOOKING, and when this quilt is put together, there's going to be better things to look at!!! (If it were glaring at me, yes, I would take it out. But NOT a Neutral!!!

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  22. Mistakes will always be part of my quilts. Doesn't bother me enough to stress over. I've won several Viewer's Choice awards and that means more to me then a perfect quilt with a big blue ribbon.

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  23. Glad I'm not alone in imperfection. I can always find enough fault in my own quilts without pointing it out to others. I need to remember to be easier on myself. Thanks for the great advise again, Bonnie. You brighten my day whenever I read your Blog. Love the added fun in the binding. You couldn't have planned it any better.

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  24. " Finished is better than perfect"

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  25. I really enjoyed this post on our human imperfections. You've totally put a smile on my face! I'm loving this quilt, BTW. Blues, yellows and white. Perf.... Oops, I was about to say "perfection"... Seriously! LOL

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  26. My husband and I like to say we are "recovering perfectionists". Perfectionism is a trait some of us seem to be born with, and there are times and places where that level of attention to a task are important. But, we've tried to be easier on ourselves and let some things go so we can move on.

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  27. My quilts each have a flaw somewhere. After awhile these become harder and harder to find.
    Best quote ever, for me as a quilter, is: "better a finished quilt, then an unfinished perfect UFO". In my life that says it all.

    Hoping to join you to watch quilt cam tonight. The Sugar Bowl blocks have somehow( ! ) shifted themselves to the top of my to do list ..

    Hang in there,quilt in peace and the joy of seeing your quilt on a bed warming a loved one.
    Hugs
    JulieinTN




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  28. I LOVED this post, Bonnie! Thank you "sew" much for addressing this non-perfection thing.

    That's WHY I starting following you years ago because you weren't perfect...you just enjoyed what you did. I admit to being a little (?) OCD in many things, but when it comes to quilting, I've tried to not be the perfectionist and just have fun doing what I love :) Sometimes I succeed...sometimes I don't. What can I say...I'm a work in progress (at 71) and I'm not perfect.

    See you tonight :)

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  29. I ended up with a mouth guard for the same reason. After either spitting it out in my sleep or waking up with a worse morning headache then usual, I finally gave up. My front teeth are continuing to deteriorate from the grinding, so I may have to give a guard another try. I hope it works for you! It generally does work, but apparently not for me LOL.

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  30. Is this a new pattern or one on your blog? Love the blues and gold/Yellow together.

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  31. While reading this morning's blog, I had to remember that it didn't start with 'Dear Merry' since that perfection demon creeps in on occasion. After quilting since the 70's and, now being in my 70's, I hope I've come to the 'oh, well' stage to just be happy that things are finished. I surely know every recipient loves the quilt or wallhanging or table runner or whatever and has never even noticed that points are many times missing. Thank you for your always sweet, kind words. I look forward to your ending quotes and have repeated them a number of times not only to myself but to anyone who will listen. Big hugs from a fan. Merry

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  32. Excellent post, thank you. I try to explain the concept to folks, that there is such peace and pleasure in "making". It doesn't have to be perfect. We make to quiet our minds, not get bunched up and stressed. Thank you for all that you do and the joy you bring to others!

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  33. My husband wore a mouth guard for years. After the dogs chewed up the first ("professional"=expensive) one--how could they resist something that tasted of their human?--we discovered the sports section of the local all-purpose store carried the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Pop them into boiling water to soften, put it into your mouth while still soft, bite down until it cools, and you've got a mouth guard custom-made for your bite.
    I've read your entries from the first to the present, and I've never seen an explanation for your choice of binding. Why do you apply straight-of-grain binding instead of bias? Less fabric wastage? Experience that there's no difference in wear? I'd love to hear and learn from your opinion on this!
    Thanks for all you contribute to our lives.

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  34. Thank you Bonnie. I am not a perfectionist in my quilting, however my dear hubby is, BIG TIME! He will find the tiniest mismatched seam or point missing and "strongly suggest" I fix it before going any further. I am to the place I don't share what I'm working on until it's finished. Still he finds what's wrong and never what's right. I will be reading todays post to him as he really likes your quilts and point of view. So I say a big THANK YOU for today's subject. Hopefully he will listen to your words on the subject.

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  35. My book club read the book and enjoyed it and are planning on getting together to see the movie. Good to hear you enjoyed it.

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  36. For many years I was a perfectionist, but I wasn't having any fun! Now that I am relaxed about the mistakes I make I am enjoying myself more, and if anyone is looking at my mistakes that's their problem.

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  37. Now that your crown is safely in.... I will tell you that when visiting Alaska, I couldn't resist a certain piece of candy.....yes my crown came off. After trying to find a professional to fi it, we finally went to the ranger station....yes, ranger station....he told me that his doctor told him when he had lost his crown, to chew a little sugar free gum, take a bit of it, after it was soft, apply it to the crown and reseat it. I did that. it worked. My friendly dentist had a hard time getting it off againl.....and he had to scrape out the gum.....but it worked. Just FYI.....you never know what will happen.\

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  38. I have to agree--perfection is not all what it's cooked up to be--I cannot recall ever, ever: quilting, sewing,knitting, embroidery, making books, scrapbooking etc etc (well, phew) you get the idea..without making some kind of mistake...Life is waaaay too short--I don't un-do unless I've sewn the right to the wrong side of something --hahaha-- which has happened to me when i feel I'm on top of every single thing and on a roll..whoops!!--And back down to earth I go..., nice post...hugs, Julierose

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  39. I love where the "Live Life with Passion" ended up SO YOU CAN READ IT. That wouldn't happen for me even if I tried. I don't mind a few mistakes in my work so the quilting Police can go AWAY. Through our mistakes we learn or grow which ever the case may be.

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  40. Love this post just proving we are all human, I make lots of mistakes in my quilts corners chopped of pieces cut in the incorrect angle then piece together to make the correct one just to name a couple lol. But I’m having fun! Anne I love following your daily quilting blog thank you so much for sharing you fun life with us I may not stay awake for quiltcam as I live in the uk but will definitely be watching tomorrow.
    Love and quilts hugs
    Anne Hayward
    Guernsey C I

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  41. Thank you for your words on perfection...I'm right there with you. It's actually really heartening for me to read someone who's a big name in quilting talking about having seams that don't align perfectly or missing points. I'm not a super experienced quilter (I learned young but haven't gotten really serious until the past few years) so sometimes I have to purposely trim a finished quilt sandwich enough for binding that I know I might lose an entire row of points. But standing back and looking at the quilt itself, it's still beautiful and the recipient loved it. I make handmade things, not perfect things, because I'M still a work in progress.

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  42. I am working really hard to erase the word "mistake" from my vocabulary and the urge to point any out, whether it is in my own work or somebody elses. I rather try to point out things I am especially happy about... And who defines what is a mistake anyway? It is only a mistake if I choose it to be...and I am the one whose choice it is to get offended or not when somebody else are making remarks (negative) about my work. However, this works well in theory, it is a lot harder in "real" life...

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  43. I think we all have those perfectionists friends. When they say something to me like that I remind them of my blog name. Pointless Quilter. And that is for a reason. I can live with a couple of pointless blocks. Keep up the great work Bonnie. You are an inspiration to many.

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  44. Phillips nanny - you just described me! LOL! Sometimes it is still a little difficult but I am learning to ease off the OCD - especially as I've only just started to quilt on my own sewing machine - ugh! It may be that someone has just started to learn - negative comments might make them stop - or perhaps someone has poor eyesight - who are we to judge them when they have made a work of art against adversity!

    With my quilt group that has just accepted me, they have been so encouraging and I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed! So happy quilting/piecing to you all and try to relax and just enjoy your wonderful craft.

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  45. Oh Bonnie you have this so right. I grew up with 2 perfectionist parents. Mom is 85 I still don’t like showing her my finishes because 9 times out of 10 she finds something to tell me is wrong. Love mom but it is hard to grow up this way.

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  46. Don't mind the mouth guard. I am a terrible snorer. So for the past 12 months I have been wearing a jaw splint. I holds the jaw forward to keep the airway open. Without it I sound like like a swamp creature or with it I look like I am about to play some sort of contract sports. I remember myself this is for the better sleep of both myself and my husband. Thanks for all the quilty goodness.

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  47. As a recovering perfectionist (hard on myself, not others!), I have worked hard to embrace the “finished is better than perfect” philosophy. It’s a practice, I’m getting better, and it’s quite freeing!

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  48. I was so glad to see you trimming your quilt before sewing on the binding. That's the way I've always done it! And thanks for the reminder on the mistakes. I make lots of quilts and I'm not striving to be perfect, but to make something to love and cuddle! Sorry I missed Quilt-Cam, I had another evening meeting...I'll look you up tomorrow!

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  49. Also...I've slept with a mouth guard since my teens (about 30 years). I love it! And wouldn't go anywhere without it!

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  50. Hi, my first time reading your blog, am lookig forward to doing your mystery block soon!! I am new at quilting but love it!! I have been sewing all my life, but mostly making clothes for my boys and friends. So trying a new craft is fun. I agree, there has to be a slight mistake in everything I make, it may not be prfect because I am not and dont expect to ever be. Good fun trying to find the mistakes though! :)

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  51. I loved your post! I never judge others for their mistakes, as a matter of fact I never even notice if someone has made one! I am most critical of myself and my own flaws. Learning to let go of the small stuff and move forward. My husband is my best supporter always reminding me not to show him my mistakes I've made because he never notices them and how no one will ever look that closely at every stitch. They will just love them!

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  52. I have to totally agree with everything you stated, I made a mistake on a quilt that I pointed out to my daughter , she said mom ,nothing is perfect and that is what makes this quilt special, I lived by,"be a perfectionist", I no longer live by this, everything I make comes from my heart as it should when your a quilter.Not every point will be spot on.I enjoy making , creating for others and that is what counts in my eyes.

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  53. If only pulling weeds in the garden of Life were that easy!!!Do what makes you happy as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else!My motto for life along with Imagine, dream and believe!!

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  54. Perfectionism is in my genes; it was passed down from my Dad. Then I started quilting, and perfectionism changed to the famous "finished is better than perfect!" A perfect quarter inch seam is beyond my capabilities! I'm teaching my niece to quilt and taught her that she might have to "fake" it when putting the blocks together!

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  55. I sew and make quilts because I have so much fun. I have told the people I give my quilts to,"I you see a mistake or imperfection you know it's homemade and think of me"
    I enjoy fabric and the process of creating.
    Thanks for you great blog and look into your daily life.
    Tracine

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  56. There are so many thousands of pieces of fabric sewn into that quilt that to have aimed for total perfection would have sucked ALL the joy out of the process. Total perfection would = total stress, at least for me.

    Maybe some quilters find that goal - that pursuit of perfection - satisfying in its own right, and good for them! That's how we all get to enjoy admiring the truly magnificent 'best of show' masterpiece quilts. There's a place for that, sure.

    But for most of us, we just want to make something pretty and creative and unique, something that looks handmade and not mass-produced, and the tiny 'imperfections' are what give our quilts a human touch. They're made to be cuddled and wrapped up in and washed and cuddled again and USED, not displayed on a museum wall. And good for us, too!

    We just have to be kind and remember that there's room in the huge world of quilting for all of our different levels of perfection.

    Meanwhile, Bonnie, that quilt is stunning. The blues and neutrals are so restful, and then the cheddar gives it just a bit of PUNCH! It's been fun watching something so lovely evolve from mystery orphan blocks. Seeing the process with the clever new corner rulers has been interesting, too. Does it have a name yet?

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  58. It is nice to hear you speak to perfection/imperfection!! I, myself, am working on the philosophy of “finished is better than perfect” !

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  59. I had a similar experience on Thursday.....a "friend" interrupted a conversation to point out my stitching mistake....I instinctively said to her that it was rude to point out another's mistake in a good humoured way...BUT I did think, you ain't no friend . LOL . Thanks for that affirmation, Bonnie! I am going to be more careful when I speak..and to be kind. :)

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  60. Imperfections are what make us unique! I'm with you Bonnie. Let's celebrate our uniqueness. Life would be such a bore if everything and everyone were perfect.

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  61. I made a quilt for my mother-in-law, one of the first big bed-size quilts I made. It was a sampler with several different blocks, and it was only after it was made, quilted, and bound that I noticed - two of the blocks had been put together completely incorrectly. HSTs rotated in the wrong direction so the blocks were absolutely incorrect. What could I do? I left it. And you know what? Not a single person has commented on those incorrect blocks. The quilt is still loved and cherished.

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