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Perfectionist vs. Good Enoughist

Perfectionist vs. Good Enoughist

Old 06-09-2019, 06:09 AM
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I heard a phrase once that really, really made an impression on me - 'Perfectionism is the enemy of Creativity'. And, it truly is. I tell my students that they usually do not make mistakes, they add design elements! You are making the quilt, you get to add/delete things as you choose. Others will see what you make as a wonderful gift, a work of love and heart. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and get back to the joy of creating the piece. We tend to drive ourselves crazy over the little things that no one will ever see or care about.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:23 AM
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klswift above me said it well.

It isn't a mistake, it's design element.

Although I work hard at my quilts and try to get them technically correct, done is better than perfect.

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Old 06-09-2019, 06:27 AM
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I really struggled with the saying "finished is better than perfect" as I don't like doing less than a best effort. But I came to understand that for me, it means not agnoizing in the desision making area - is this the "prefect" border? is this the "perfect" block layout? - the things that can sometimes totally stall my progress. So now instead of wanting to explore every possible option, I find one that looks good and then stop looking.

I also know how to do $10 an hour work and $50 an hour work, so I decide ahead of time which one is the appropriate level. Neither are poor quality, it's just the level of perfection I strive for.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:40 AM
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The quilts in museums like Paducah, KY blow me away. So do those in every quilt show. That said, I have no intention ever to have my quilts shown in either venue. My quilts are destined for use, heavy use. I make those quilts that rest between your sheets and your comforter or spread, never seen but giving love to those who sleep beneath their warmth. My quilts go under your picnic spread. get drug around by toddlers across the lawn and in mud puddles, and find themselves under young teens at the beach. My quilts cover the laps of strangers in retirement homes, show up at fires where a child who has lost her bear is comforted because, serendipitously, the bear on her new quilt looks exactly like the special one she just lost. The quilts I make end up in dog beds and in the backs of cars. They also leave hospitals with children who had the misfortune of being there but often will only sleep with that quilt afterwards. They cover sick family who begin to feel better and enjoy doing seek and find with the fabrics used, only two of each!

Having no artistic gifts, I get by and no one seems to mind that I don't appliqué or paper piece and I use beautifully simple patterns. There's a world of need out there and I don't have time to be that particular. Yes, for me, done is better than perfect. I adore seeing those beautiful quilts in shows and museums but you won't find my quilts there. To my sisters and brothers who are the artists of the quilt world, kudos! Keep up the good work! I am taking care of the other end of the spectrum of quilters and enjoying it. The loving but utilitarian nature of quilting heritage is being taken care of by quilters like me. The quilt world is wide and all inclusive! Hooray for us all!
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:26 AM
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I have to have my house company ready or I'm not happy. It's easy for me as I have perfected how to do it the way I like using very little time to do it. I like how I function during the day when I wake up to a clean pretty house and go to bed in a clean pretty house and that is my goal for housework. The housework almost perfection does not spill over in my quilting at all. I don't care if my points are not pointy or my binding is wavy. That is not my goal. My goal is to make a quilt with fabric colors and pattern that I want to make. One quilt may look perfect and one may look like it needs help. All the same to me. I won Viewer's Choice with one quilt some of my guild members were appalled I entered. Only other quilters saw the flaws. The public loved it. LOL
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:26 AM
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I am in the "better done than perfect" camp. I have many many ufos and wanna make quilts on my list, but my cancer has come back and even with chemo have been given only about 20% chance of living more than 2 years. So it's time to prioritize what I'm finishing. First up is to finish quilting a carousel panel I'm making for my someday-to-be first great granddaughter.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:29 AM
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gramajo, I will keep you in my prayers every prayer.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:55 AM
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gtamajo - wishing your well -
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:09 AM
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I have a rule. I will redo something that's not quite right only 3 times. After that, I consider it good enough.
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:11 AM
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I'm not sure true perfectionists realize they Are perfectionists. They may not think in terms of "perfect" but in "right", as in "there's a right way and a half right way and a wrong way" and always insist on the right way. Is that perfectionism? Perhaps.....although many don't think of it that way. I think we all have a "perfect for me" which may not be the same standard as someone else's "perfect".

I just made a cushion cover for a outdoor chair -- something that didn't matter At All in that I made it only for temporary comfort. I plan to replace all the patio chairs, most of which have no cushions. I had real problems sewing the bottom "plate" on the boxed corners of the top, just couldn't make it work properly and the end result was untidy and "not right". And yet the cushion cover was sewn together and would have been serviceable. But I ripped it out and persevered until I had no folds or wrinkles in those boxed corner seams. Is that perfectionism, OCD, or just my own personal "the right way"?

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-09-2019 at 10:50 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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