I’m new to learning how to sew on the machine, and I’ve been working on different small projects this summer because as the adage goes “practice makes perfect.” And so I have been tormenting myself with a baby quilt for the last couple of months. It’s a beautiful and simple design by one of my favourite crafters, Brett Bara. (I really can’t say enough nice things about her.) However, I just can’t seem to get the quilt sewn without varying stitching lengths and puckering. With trial and error, the former issue has been resolved with both adjusting the tension and a new needle. The latter is still causing me a headache.
I read a beautiful book called the Little Bits Quilting Bee by Kathreen Ricketson that I checked out from the library which posited a radical thought. The author said (and I’m paraphrasing since I’ve already returned the book) to not practice too much because perfection is not possible. Her point was that if all we ever did was practice, then nothing would be accomplished.
Good point, right? (Ok, keep that in mind.)
So I went to the county fair this summer and was so impressed by all of the sewing (and knitting) entries. Even though I am a novice, I looked at a lot of the traditional quilts and realized that I could probably make them. I realized that I could actually enter a competition someday, and even though I may not win a ribbon, it would be a fun adventure. (Can you feel the excitement?)
Then recently, I had the pleasure of viewing old quilts that were being sold in an antique shop for a pretty penny. It was there that I realized that Ricketson was only partly right as I spotted flaw after flaw in these old quilts. I knew that if I were to make a quilt, that I would want it to be of heirloom quality, and that it needed to be good enough that a novice wouldn’t be able to identify errors. A quilter needs to do good work. (And back to reality I go.)
With that, I’m going to go back to that baby quilt I’ve been working on and rip it out again. Unless Wren wakes up from her nap first.