Saturday, February 8, 2014

Perfection vs. Jack the Ripper

How do you go about producing a perfect quilt?  Now that is a very heavy question to be pondering on a cold winter's eve, but I believe I have come up with an equally heavy answer.  You do not produce them, you create them!  Oh you can go out and purchase the fanciest sewing machine, the best of fabrics, a well-written and well-designed pattern, and locate the most skilled quilter in the business in an attempt to produce the most perfect quilt anyone has ever made.  I am pretty certain that all of that might make a very beautiful quilt--one any quilter could be proud to display and share with the world.  However, I believe that the most perfect quilts are those that are created with love, passion, determination, and a very handy seam ripper.

Great machines are a luxury that most people who sew aspire to owning.  We can include me on that list.  I also admit to being a huge fabric snob.  I love the good stuff.  I own a terrific collection of pattern books, magazines, and individual patterns, and I have located an extremely skilled long arm quilter.  In addition to all of that I have developed some skill in the area of hand quilting and enjoy that feat immensely. However, I find that some of my favorite creations are those that I have created on my 10-year-old Singer, from patterns I have tweaked or ignored, out of great fabrics, and have figured out how to quilt myself one way or another.  This brings me to my seam ripper.

I do not believe that  I have made a single quilt that did not require me to rip out a stitch, or a seam, or a row--well I think you can tell where this is headed.  Anyway, over the years that I have been working on great pointy points, perfectly nestled seams, and the best combination of fabrics, I have come to realize that the process of the creation, the love for the recipient, the passion for the craft, the determination to finish, and the help of a handy seam ripper are what really makes me a happy quilter who loves her finished products.

Perfection is a goal I always set out to achieve, and I admit to being fussy about my work. But at this point in my process I am finally learning to let go of my little bobbles, enjoy what I have done, and appreciate my work--not to mention my handy little seam ripper.

Some of my favorite creations!
 A modern Sunbonnet Sue. Hand appliqued and hand quilted.

 Just plain fun!
I began with a zipper pouch pattern from Skip to My Lou. 
Peasant dress pattern from Sew Much Ado.

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