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Thread: Critical of own work?

  1. #1
    Junior Member quilterken's Avatar
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    I'm sure this has been the topic of many discussions, but it always comes up in my quilting world.

    Why are we so critical of our own work. I know that we are not all that way, but some of us bash our work at every chance. You know the type. You say "nice quilt" . They say " Oh it is Ok, but don't look at the poor points" or "It is not that nice, my quilting is just terrible".
    We would never say to another quilter, "you did a crappy job on that one, what were you thinking?"

    We should all take an oath... I will not talk poorly of my own work. I will love everything I do....

    My mother always said if you don't have anything nice to say....

  2. #2
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I am my own worst critic. I joined a table runner swap (my first swap) and made THREE table runners before I decided which one to send LOL! And then I was still nervous about whether my swap partner would like it. I don't post a lot of pics of my work on here but when I do, I sit and stare at the "submit" button for ages before I hit it. Do ya think I'm insecure???

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I agree and will take the oath

    I will accept compliments from everyone on my project.
    I will graciously listen to opinions during the quilting process and make my own decisions on changes, if any :).
    I will not point out any flaws to anyone once the project is completed.
    I will tell people "I planned it that way" if they find any flaws. :) :) :)

  4. #4
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    Good Morning...
    I had a friend who had a small store where she sold her art work. Everytime someone came and complimented her she did the same thing. Brought up everything that was wrong with it and why she would do it differently next time. Sales were not going well.. She then hired her mother who banished her to the back office. Sales went through the roof, because our mothers think our work is always amazing! She was her best sales person! When ever I need a boost, I just show it to my mom.....

  5. #5
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Ken, this is such a great thread! Somewhere in my pea brain I think that my quilts must look like the photos in whatever I get my inspiration from!! Now tell me- what book, pattern etc do you find a non-perfect looking quilt !??? It would be like a cook book with unappealing pics of great recipes !! Well, sort of, you get my point!
    Thanks for the great advice- I'll take it!!! :D

  6. #6
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Deep down inside we are insecure and need the praise of others. I am critical of my work, but am also realistic, that life is not perfect and we wouldn't be happy if it was. So why should our work be perfect? It wouldn't look handmade if it was perfect. My mother used to tell me when I was little and she had made me a dress. You'll never see it on a trottin' horse. She made me hem all my dresses she made, and naturally they weren't perfect.

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    I totally agree. It home with me when someone asked my husband if it was relaxing to watch me sew. He said no because she stresses over everything she does.(He was in the hospital at the time due to heart pains and I was hand sewing.) That made me right there and then to stop complaining or stressing over all my mistakes and just enjoy the process. I didn't even point out the huge mistake I made on the one for my bed I just pieced together. ( It is true nobody can tell unless you tell them )

    will take the oath.

  8. #8
    Lady Shivesa's Avatar
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    I think I tend to do this with anything and everything - from how I look to what I write, to what I sew. It's really a habit for me now.

    But as insecure as I can be about my work (quilts, stories, etc), there's always that part of me that loves it anyway. Like it's my kid. Yeah, I know it's got flaws and it's certainly not perfect. But the quirks make it lovable.

    Maybe that's why I find it painful (but good!) when people critique my writing. I'm like "ouch, don't make fun of my baby!"

  9. #9
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    We made an Elvis quilt for a 13 year old girl. She was over the moon because she just loves Elvis. Next thing you know, she wants us to teach her how to make a quilt. She wants to make a baby quilt for her soon to arrive niece.

    Once her quilt was pieced, DH was teaching her how to quilt it on the LA. She was about to cry, saying it wasn't going to look right, that he should quilt it for her.

    We asked did she think her Elvis quilt was perfect and she said "Oh YES!" I then told her about a couple of "issues" with it. Told her see, she didn't notice the issues on the Elvis quilt. Nobody would notice her issues with the baby quilt either. She finished, and she was THRILLED with it.

    I think all of you do beautiful work, and even if there is a flaw somewhere, hey, you STILL did beautiful work. Think how many people see your work and wish THEY could do something "that beautiful"!

  10. #10
    Junior Member quilterken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I agree and will take the oath

    I will accept compliments from everyone on my project.
    I will graciously listen to opinions during the quilting process and make my own decisions on changes, if any :).
    I will not point out any flaws to anyone once the project is completed.
    I will tell people "I planned it that way" if they find any flaws. :) :) :)
    I love this!

  11. #11
    Member jackiesmith's Avatar
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    My husband is constantly telling me that I am way to critical and am trying to be a perfectionist (note - I said "trying"). So, I am trying hard to relax. I especially like the "I planned it that way" response.:)

  12. #12
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    My sister told me she is going to smack me if I don't stop criticizing everything I make. I just can't seem to help it. It pops out of my mouth before I can stop myself. Oh well, I will keep trying and trying and trying.

  13. #13
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I agree and will take the oath

    I will accept compliments from everyone on my project.
    I will graciously listen to opinions during the quilting process and make my own decisions on changes, if any :).
    I will not point out any flaws to anyone once the project is completed.
    I will tell people "I planned it that way" if they find any flaws. :) :) :)
    I'll try to keep the oath, but my problem is I always think people are giving me compliments so my feelings won't get hurt. I know I am getting better all the time, and sometimes I even surprise myself.

    I have one friend that always finds a flaw in my work, I know she is trying to help, but I wish she would look as close at her own work.

  14. #14
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I was pressing some blocks I finished today and with every single one I was looking at all the 1 1/4" HSTs and seeing if there were any cut off points. I just had to STOP DOING THAT!! I did my best and try to tell myself that when it's all put together it will be fine!

  15. #15
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwiltkrazy
    I'll try to keep the oath, but my problem is I always think people are giving me compliments so my feelings won't get hurt. I know I am getting better all the time, and sometimes I even surprise myself.

    I have one friend that always finds a flaw in my work, I know she is trying to help, but I wish she would look as close at her own work.
    Just accept that the compliments are sincere and don't second guess them. Easier said than done, I know.

    That's not very nice for your friend to do that. I would never, ever, point out the flaws in someone's work, would only give advice or help if it is asked for. Let her know that you would like her to not do that and hopefully she will respect that.

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I agree and will take the oath

    I will accept compliments from everyone on my project.
    I will graciously listen to opinions during the quilting process and make my own decisions on changes, if any :).
    I will not point out any flaws to anyone once the project is completed.
    I will tell people "I planned it that way" if they find any flaws. :) :) :)
    I love this oath! I will try and follow it more myself :D:D:D

  17. #17
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    Love it! I will certainly give it my all! Until tonight I was my worst critic. LOL

  18. #18
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    The quilts we make have flaws and we know it - I think we feel like we have to vocalize our mistakes. Instead I suggest writing it down in your quilt journal (if you keep one) or just stand in front of the quilt and say out loud all of the flaws that are there and then let it go! My last conversation with a quilt went something like this ---- "I sure wish I had used a stop border on you before adding the large border....if I had used the same fabric as the binding, you would have been perfect....you look a little busy and confused....but you are going to a new home where you will be loved for all your flaws and I won't forget the important lesson I learned from you." No kidding - I talk to my quilts - lol -

    I took a similar pledge a long time ago....if I don't praise my work, no one else will either.

  19. #19
    Senior Member EdieClay's Avatar
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    What a great idea ... why are we so critical of our work? I am a quilter because my great grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law were quilters and their quilts are great family treasures. As I look at their quilts today, I see that some of the colors are not what I would have chosen and a couple of points don't match, but they are still family treasures! I promise to give myself a break and do the very best I can on every quilt I make AND enjoy each one! Thanks, Ken ... visited Nova Scotia a few years ago ... absolutely beautiful area.

  20. #20
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    I am critical of my work but I think it's more to the good than to the bad. I look for flaws in my work because I want to improve and I can't do that if I don't know what it is I'm doing wrong. Quilting, for me, is an adventure but it is also always growing and changing. If I'm not growing, I'm not having fun. That's just my personality though and I know many people who are comfortable with the skill level they are at, and I'm good with that too. I enjoy the challenge of mastering a new technique or improving on an old one. It's part of what makes quilting such an amazing experience for me.

    Now I have learned not to point out the flaws in my work to others. Usually they don't notice them, but if they do then I know it is something I need to work on. And if the person looking at the quilt is not a quilter, I know they won't see any mistakes. You gotta love that! :-D

  21. #21
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    I've finally come to the conclusion that what I do is good enough. If there is an error, if I cannot see it from a galloping horse, I don't worry about it. I do agree we are all our worst critics. For years it did bother me to know when something wasn't "just right", however after years of no one else noticing the small errors, I realized life is to short to worry about it. If I like it, who cares if someone else doesn't?

  22. #22
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    as the Amish believe there is nothing perfect in this world so you quilt should not be perfect. Use the "Galloping horse" principle. Walk by your quilt very fast and you will probably not see amy mistakes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
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    Marianne Fonz said she had never made a perfect quilt, but parts of every quilt she made was perfect.

  24. #24
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    That is the best thing about quilting. Only you know where the mistakes are. Others really don't. The important part is for you to remember that you made this piece of art. Please read my phraze under my icon. That is what helped me keep from beating myselt up.

  25. #25
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    If someone is riding by on a galloping horse next to your quilt, likely they're just going to kick up and throw mud on it. You tell that rider to keep him and his horse away from your quilt!

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