Imperfections

Amongst quilters there is a myth that the Amish deliberately incorporate a mistake into their quilts since they believe that attaining to perfection mocks God. Most quilters - myself included - know that there's no reason to deliberately include a mistake: we make enough as it is!

Points that don't quite match up, quilting stitches that are uneven when they have to go through several thickness of fabric, seams that don't lie straight are just some of the things we have to contend with. And if that's not enough, sometimes our quilts develop a personality of their own and act in ways that are less than perfect.


Take this one for example. Despite pre-washing ALL fabrics and using vinegar in the rinse water to set the dye, the dye in one fabric in this quilt decided to run after I'd quilted it. I am ready to accept blame, but nevertheless, I was not thrilled.

And then I discovered a seam allowance that had begun to fray, causing the seam to unravel and the neccesity of replacing the offending pieces - except that I didn't have enough fabric left to cover the whole piece. I had to console myself with the fact that it is a patchwork quilt after all.

I tell you it was not a good week.

I'm combining marathon quilting days with leisurely days of knitting. This quilt needs to be finished by a certain wedding in April but the lovebirds, unable to stay apart until then, keep turning up at our house and the quilt has to be hidden away. The groom-to-be has seen the quilt but not the bride-to-be and I'm hoping to keep it that way until The Day.

It strikes me that I'm a lot like that quilt. Lots of imperfections that sometimes only show up at a later time. As I've reflected on this past year and looked ahead to the new, I've wondered if I've been authentic in all areas of my life? Do I really share my weaknesses and struggles, or do I try to present a perfect image to the world?

I know I'm not perfect - and my family know just how imperfect I am - but am I willing to really open up and share just how far from perfect I really am? Am I willing to do it here? Can I do it without dwelling on the negative, the everyday frustrations, and the imperfections in others?

I wonder.

Yet there is hope. Even for one such as I ...

Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28, NKJV).

Comments

winterwren said…
Jules--

Is the quilt you wrote of the same as the quilt in the photograph? Because I do not see anything wrong with it--on the contrary, it is very beautiful. I love that blue. DId it bleed? Did another color bleed? I really cannot see it.

Funny how I always just assumed that humility block myth was true. Also funny how I spoke of being perfectionistic in my last comment and then did not edit it at all. Ah, spelling.

I wish I had your talent and patience. I love fabric and I love yarn, and I love quilts and clothing and knit goods, and I love being creative, and the process of creating, and I even love bookbinding, which involves some needlework (albeit my least favorite part), but I just do not love sewing and knitting. I want to, but I just never stick with it, partly because I always end up with tired eyes and a headache, and partly because I have no natural talent. Zero. Less than zero. I have tried and tried and prayed about it to no avail. I guess there is already never enough time in the day to do everything I want to do, nor do I take enough advantage of the time I do have, but looking at that quilt photo makes me think, *oh*, I wish I could do that! As your crafting photos often do. You are amazing!

Be well.

winterwren
Jules said…
Winterwren, I always thought the intentional mistake was true - until I started doing some research.

Yes, this is the quilt. I think this particular block is the one where I had to patch two of the fence posts. I don't think it's the one where the colour bled. It's the pink used in the buds that has bled, and on drying, it's not as noticeable as I first feared.

I love quilting and knitting and part of this is due to the fact that both force me to slow down and take my time and not expect something in a day. There are parts of both that I don't enjoy. For example, I hate sewing seams on something I've knitted, but I've got around this by pretty much knitting seamless items these days. And while I love hand stitching, I'm not fond of machine stitching, but it is quicker, which is certainly a consideration when you're making a to-the-floor-queen-sized quilt.

I wouldn't say that I had natural talent either. Just lots of years of experience and learning from my mistakes.
SchnauzerMom said…
I can relate to what you're saying. My quilts have all turned out very imperfect. I've had to quite quilting because it hurts my hands so much. But I can still enjoy looking at them and using them.
winterwren said…
Jules,

I just stared some more at that photo and I still cannot see anything wrong with it.

I like what you wrote about why you like quilting and knitting and also about the parts of both that you do not enjoy.

And yes, you *do* obviously have natural talent! If I were a young single woman, I would try to marry into your family just to get ahold of one of your quilts.

Kidding, just kidding. Sort of. ;)

In any case, you have very lucky daughters-in-law. Mainly, I am sure, because they are married to such exceptional young men. But the quilts don't hurt.

winterwren
Jules said…
Winterwren, what a lovely thing to say. I feel quite honoured.

I'm glad the imperfection doesn't jump out and grab you. I know it's there but I'd like it to be unseen. Perhaps then I've succeeded?

SchnauzerMom, as I get older I find that these pastimes are not as easy or pain-free as they once were. My wrists, elbows and shoulders can end up aching but I push through. I'm not ready to give them up yet.

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