Monday, October 28, 2013

Healthy Striving or Perfectionism?

I am working on my Swoon blocks this week. 

They are enormous 24" blocks and I feel like I am in a distorted "Alice in Wonderland" quilting room where I am a little mini quilter working with gigantic pieces of fabric! It is really strange.

But even more strange is the many weird and wonderful ways I am finding to incorrectly sew these blocks together! 

I have been thinking a lot about perfectionism lately and wrote about it last week (click here to read that post). Perhaps these Swoon blocks are just helping me to work on my perfectionistic tendencies and encouraging me to "put my money where my mouth is"!  Brene Brown says: "When perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun. And fear is the annoying backseat driver." 
I don't want perfectionistic thoughts to be affecting my quilting fun, but my fear right now is that I will hate this quilt! I realize that yellow is quite an overpowering colour... a little goes a long way.  I sure hope I like this imperfect quilt in the end, and will focus on enjoying the process of sewing pieces together, unsewing them, and re-sewing them again!
I  am currently taking a wonderful e-course online with Brene Brown called "The gifts of imperfection". I really liked her book and like the course even more. I have learned that I must have compassion for my mistakes, demonstrate courage by taking risks (by posting them on my blog), and establish connection with others (only those who are not perfect quilters!)
What are you sewing today? Hopefully you are making some mistakes too and enjoying your times of unsewing.
To see the perfect and not so perfect design walls of other quilters, hop over to Patchwork Times.

25 comments:

  1. I am not a perfectionist, I quilt for fun. If I quilted with only perfection in mind I wouldn't get anything finished.

    That being said....I would fix the block. :)

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  2. I am always making mistakes when I quilt! Sometimes I fix them, and sometimes I don't. I would never be able to enter any of my quilts in a quilt show! LOL

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  3. Brene also talks about the difference between perfectionism and striving for excellence. I felt like that was an important distinction.

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  4. Well, I tried for many years to be perfect. I entered quilt shows and was chagrined at the criticisms, always striving for better and greater. Then...I let go. and am having such a great time! I love my scraps, my fun quilting...just having a blast! It is a gift of getting older, I think...wait for it, LOL!!

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  5. I will be quilting the quilt that is on the frame right now. I will not be taking stitches out that are not perfect. I used to do that when I first started. It had to be perfect - every stitch. I would take out some and re-do the quilting. What a waste of time that was. I finally, FINALLY came to my senses and realized that NO ONE is going to see that one slightly bigger stitch.
    BTW, there is a smaller version of the swoon block - 18" and it's free online. Wait, there may be one that's 16" too.

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  6. Perfection only comes from making mistakes and learning from them. Even the pro quilters make mistakes, just go to any quilt show and take a close look. I'd fix block and try to find a way to not make that mistake again. Love the colors! Looking forward to the progress.

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  7. I love seeing Swoon blocks and I'm am thinking about making just one for a table topper... the thing I find most intimidating is selecting fabrics that work for an entire quilt when the blocks are so big! I love yellow so yours looks great to me color wise.

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  8. If I wanted "perfect" - some one else would have to do it!!! OOPS I don't think anyone is perfect!!! "Perfect" is what pleases me and with what I am satisfied!!

    Thanks for your wonderful thoughts!!!

    Blessings on your stitching!!

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  9. I know I have perfectionist tendencies. But it is funny to see what bothers me and what I can let go of, compared to what others find critical. Some things I just have to unpick and fix. Other things I look at and think, "I can live with that." Someone else may feel just the opposite about the same two mistakes.

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  10. What can I say, Kathy? I like the mixed up Swoon block just the way it is. If it was mine I wouldn't be "fixing" it....but that's just me. :)

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  11. The camera shows up all my Mistakes and I'm glad when I see them in time to FIX them. Even if that means "frogging". This is one that I would definitely have to un-sew. Some say Done is better than Perfect. Sometimes I go with that on the quilting part, NOT the Piecing though.

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  12. How timely. I just linked a post to Judy's Design Wall Monday with a quilt back where I completely misread (or rather, didn't read completely) the instructions. Design opportunities abound, when you let go of perfection :)

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  13. Not sewing (see my blog for today) but I so understand the imperfection thing. The Christmas quilt I have still on my wall has been a study in "how many sewing mistakes can I make in one quilt?). I had almost decided I didn't like this quilt until I read your post and did a rethink. Thanks.

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  14. Guess you had an oopsie moment! Love your banner!

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  15. oh--I remember making swoon. I frog stitched every block but one! (11 out of 12). I finally pinned a finished block in front of the sewing machine--and pinned the next set of pieces on top. I think it would be easier with colored directions. I used a colored pencil on them.

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  16. That can just be a new block...an abstract swoonie block....grin. I'm forever sewing new versions of a block....acidently of course.

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  17. LOL! At least you discovered the error before you sewed the blocks together.

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  18. I love your swoon colours--very fresh and cheerful! Thank goodness for stitch rippers-unfortunately, a quilter's best friend sometimes. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist too.

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  19. I am by no means a perfectionist! Quilting is fun for me and most things I can live with and look back on as where I was at that point in my quilting life. I have gotten better and now am trying new things.... which always have a starting point. Everyone has to start somewhere and hopefully improve on their skills with practice. I had to laugh last night as I was looking at my unmarked hand quilting on my apple quilt borders..... crooked, uneven stitches but they are all mine! =). Thanks for all the inspiration Kathy. Oh - you'll be seeing me 'steal' that header quilt idea on Saturday with my 16 patch blocks.

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  20. Perfection is overrated... I'm not making museum quality quilts... oh wait. Some of the best museum quilts are loaded with imperfections... makes me love 'em even more!!!
    PS... I like the yellow...

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  21. In most things I am not a perfectionist. But, for whatever reason, I will rip and tear out blocks to make them look the way I think they should. Unless I am so fed up with them and just want something finished!

    Love your new header.

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  22. Love your swoon block colors. I love that you posted your mistake...we all do that.

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  23. I'm a big fan of the galloping horse approach to quilting, if you wouldn't see the mistake when galloping by on a horse, don't worry about it.

    Sometimes I think there's a Murphy Law effect with trying to be perfect. It seems the harder to try not to make a mistake, the more mistakes you make. (The corollary to that is the less fabric you have, the more likely you are to make a mistake that requires you to cut more pieces).

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  24. Your swoon blocks must be related to the quilt top I just finished. That top flummoxed me. What should have been pretty easy to put together, turned into the most ripped out and restitched quilt I've ever made. Oh well. Your swoon is headed in the right direction.

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  25. I was suppose to start a bag that I am doing on a craftsy class. But I keep putting it off cause I don't want to mess it up. So I put it on my calendar for Monday morning start......no excuses! I just bought a new seam ripper, hopefully I won't need to use it too often! Love your swoon blocks.

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