A quilting lesson in semantics

Posted On September 24, 2009

Filed under Quilts

Comments Dropped 6 responses

I learned a valuable lesson today and it all comes down to semantics.

I have long believed that sewing boils down to not skill but whether or not you are a perfectionist. I was raised on the quote “The difference between a good seamstress and a bad seamstress is 1/16th of an inch”. If you care about things like 1/16th inches, your projects will turn out well.

Today I learned something that should have been obvious long ago in my quilting career. Lesson: Straighten a border before adding the next border. Duh.
Since I am a perfectionist I figured I cut straight and sew straight. It should follow that my finished lines will be straight. Right? Somehow no.

Two sides of my quilt are a tad wavy because I attached a straight border to a not straight edge. As I cut the other two sides straight I pondered my trouble and discovered it was a problem of semantics (not of faulty sewing of course). I thought a perfectionist did everything perfectly.
No, a perfectionist redoes things until they ARE perfect. A perfectionist notices things like uneven borders and fixes them before sewing on the next border.

Aha! Lesson learned.
Does this mean I pulled out my well used seam ripper?
Of course it does. Not. This perfectionist is also a homeschooling pregnant mom of 3 with 8 quilts in various stages of incompletion and about 100 projects on her someday list.

Thankfully I was also raised on a second quote: “No one will ever notice on a galloping horse.”
A flag quilt SHOULD be wavy right? (just nod and say yes).

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6 Responses to “A quilting lesson in semantics”

  1. emma jo

    I just finished my very first quilt a couple of weeks ago. I naively assumed that if I cut all the squares straight and the same size that they would all magically line up perfectly. As a fellow perfectionist, I can admit that I now know, quilting may NOT be my thing.
    Your quilt looks great, and I'm not even on a galloping horse.

  2. Sally

    I'm laughing. That was a fun post. I loved the second quote and I'm going to start using it. Cute, cute quilt – I just thought you hadn't laid it out straight to take the picture.
    By the way, I'm a bad seamstress.

  3. Vee

    I definitely agree a flag quilt should be wavy. Otherwise it would be the perfect flag quilt.

  4. Care Bear

    Most certainly!! 🙂

  5. Mutti

    Let's hear it for the herd of galloping horses! Yeehaw! …as your Uncle Dave would say!

  6. Kimmie

    What a pretty quilt! Such a nice mix of colors too!

    Kimmie
    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted