Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some Thoughts on Perfection

I've always been one of those up-tight, gotta be perfect people.....sort of the exact opposite of Cassie here who doesn't worry too much about anything. Someone who thinks if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. The problem is, I'm finding that sometimes "just doing" may be better than doing nothing at all.

Apparently, those poor souls who show up on episodes of Hoarders are perfectionists. Who knew? They get into trouble because they can't clean and organize perfectly (due to time constraints or whatever) so they do nothing at all. I learned this on Oprah, I think. So, it's got to be true, right? :)  The Fly Lady on the other hand gives everyone permission to do a half-fast job (as my sister-in-law would say). What a concept.

A few years ago, I had the marvelous opportunity to learn from some of the best quilters around....The Kingston Heirloom Quilters of Kingston, Ontario. Have a look at some of their quilts. Those ladies are as generous as they are talented. I was fortunate to be there when they set up a new group quilt for quilting and they showed me how they do it. Precision. Patience. Talent. And a beautiful result.

I did notice that the group was kind of split when it came time to set up the quilt. A very serious bunch get it ready while another group waits to just start quilting. One of those ladies-in-waiting told me quietly that the serious ones "suck the fun right out of it."  To each her own, right?

They stretch the quilt taut and hand quilt it. Beautifully and perfectly. I tried to do that at home but it's hard to do all by yourself. The frame occupies a big chunk of real estate and it takes forever to quilt!! As well, I'm really more about the design process. So, I needed a short cut. Grandma Coco is all about the shortcut and she gives you permission to look for the shortcut, too.

If you want to hand it in small sections quilt-as-you-go-style and to get that perfect smooth-as-glass look, run to your closest art supply store and pick up some canvas stretcher bars. They come in all sorts of lengths. You buy 2 pairs and assemble them. They slide into each other. Couldn't be easier. Now you can thumb tack your block to the frame and hand quilt it easily. Just remember to leave some extra fabric on the edges (for tacking).

Of course, if I'm really going to jump on this imperfect band wagon, I'm going to have to get more comfortable with my sewing machine.

I'm working on that. :)

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