Adventures in Quilting (and not always getting it right)

This morning I was reading a couple of blog posts that intrigued me. I love this post by Tash on being an imperfect crafter. I also enjoyed this rather bittersweet reflection on failure by Shelley.

I wonder why we do have such a hard time with getting things wrong sometimes? Mind, as I get older… and older… and older… I realise I care less about getting things wrong.* Who knew? I loved it when Craig Ferguson made a comment about being 50 and no longer caring what others think and how that is real punk (I’m paraphrasing like mad – it was a while ago and I can’t find it quoted anywhere). I think, too, that as I get older, I get less worried about making my own mark on the world and more interested in what I can try to achieve while I’m around and what I can leave for others to build upon – even what I can shake up and subvert for future generations! I stopped putting myself at the centre of it all, though. I don’t have to be the definitive anything. I can do what I enjoy, I can try things out, I can put things out in the world in the hope that others will find them helpful or inspiring or… that they’ll just make someone smile (even if it’s only me). And if I get things wrong sometimes? I can own it and be okay with that. Because I’m not worrying about being judged or that I’m being the most amazing at whatever I’m doing, I’m actually doing more and enjoying myself. Okay, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. I felt that way yesterday. I’m still human.

But essentially, it’s nice to take yourself out of the central position. It’s not about me. It’s rather freeing.

Here’s an example. I’m sewing together lots of little triangles for my first quilt. I’ve been sharing photos, because it just looks so colourful and I like it! How could I not? (Spoonflower just keeps taking my money!)

Halfway through

Halfway through

So last night I was sewing triangles and I’m about half way through the triangles now. It looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

But look closer.

Where the points meet

Where the points meet

That’s not even the worst example! When I started thinking about quilting, a friend mentioned that I’d have to watch that my points stayed, well, pointy. Ummmm… well, there are pointy points. There are also quite a few places where the triangles don’t really line up.

But remember the ‘big picture’? It still looks like triangles and its colourful and while I have been unpicking, when I can’t get the triangles to all match, I fudge the best I can. Basically because, while I could tear out my hair and unpick and recut and trim and grump, I really just want to snuggle under my quilt. So, it’s worth a few blunt points and unmatched seams to get there in a state of sanity. No one is going mind. Plus, this is my first quilt. As I’m figuring it out, I’m learning how to make the points pointier and the seams match. I’m learning that maybe cutting out triangles at midnight isn’t always smart. Everything I’m learning will go into the next quilt.

I’ve never really learned in classrooms or from books. I’ve learned from making mistakes. It’s my system. I’m okay with it. And I’m going to love my quilt and not stress about the blunt points.

And who knows how the next quilt will turn out? I’ve already snapped up a charm pack of some discontinued Tula Pink fabric (I love Tula Pink). Don’t you love the idea of sewing charms?



So I’ll see how I go on this next project. And the Star Trek quilt I also have in mind. And the Doctor Who quilt…

So many plans. I really don’t have time for perfection!


* I will note that sometimes you get things wrong and you hurt someone else. That’s not great. However, you can do your best to fix it or at least not make it worse. We all hurt each other sometimes. It happens.


One response to “Adventures in Quilting (and not always getting it right)

  1. Woefully behind on blog post reading, so coming in late, but so agree with you on getting o,dear and not worrying so much about getting things wrong – or what other people think. I mean, I don’t try to get things wrong, but I think I’ve now realised that most of the time most people are far more concerned with themselves than me.

    Loving the quilting. I am so not a perfectionist, I would never win rises for sewing or quilting. I think if it looks pretty much how you want it to look, then that’s a win!

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