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Thread: Too critical of your own work?

  1. #1

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    I so often read posts where people are having a hard time enjoying quilting because they are so critical of their work. I keep wanting to share something, but I fear it's a copyright infringement. I think I have figured out a way to do it without stepping on anyone's toes.

    When I learned to quilt two years ago, I took a course at our local community college. My quilting instructor did our class such a tremendous service by first reading an essay to us. It was the first thing she said or did. It's the single most important reason I have been able to be forgiving of my work and quilt for the sheer joy of it, becoming a better quilter in the process. (I still have a LOT to learn.)

    It's an essay by Teri Christopherson entitled "The Perfect Quilt," and it's published in one of her books. I don't know which one. If you would like to read it, send me a PM with your email, and I will send it to you. (I don't think I'm infringing on a copyright if I do it this way. I'm not selling it after all.)

    Until then, enjoy.

  2. #2
    mrsdralshhadeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstanbro
    I so often read posts where people are having a hard time enjoying quilting because they are so critical of their work. I keep wanting to share something, but I fear it's a copyright infringement. I think I have figured out a way to do it without stepping on anyone's toes.

    When I learned to quilt two years ago, I took a course at our local community college. My quilting instructor did our class such a tremendous service by first reading an essay to us. It was the first thing she said or did. It's the single most important reason I have been able to be forgiving of my work and quilt for the sheer joy of it, becoming a better quilter in the process. (I still have a LOT to learn.)

    It's an essay by Teri Christopherson entitled "The Perfect Quilt," and it's published in one of her books. I don't know which one. If you would like to read it, send me a PM with your email, and I will send it to you. (I don't think I'm infringing on a copyright if I do it this way. I'm not selling it after all.)

    Until then, enjoy.
    Please send it to me,, I would live to read it!!! Thanks!!!

  3. #3
    granniebj's Avatar
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    I know the essay! I'm still very critical of my work. I never think its good enough...and I hate to show it to other quilters, since I consider them so much more talented then I. Oh well...I still enjoy quilting, and I know I get better with each one. Just hope I live long enough to be as talented as some of the ladies in here! lol

  4. #4
    Super Member thequilteddove's Avatar
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    My favorite thing to say and it can be applied to anything we do in life, "It's (I'm) perfect, perfectly imperfect!"

  5. #5
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I always thing of the Amish, deliberately putting a mistake in the quilt because "Only God makes perfect." I laugh, because I NEVER have to add a mistake- there are always plenty already there.

    For me, if it can be used and loved, and it was made the best that I can make it, it's fine. Quilts are love, and they shouldn't be stuck in a closet because the quilter doesn't think they are good enough. trust me, someone else will love it to death and appreciate it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hazeljane
    I always thing of the Amish, deliberately putting a mistake in the quilt because "Only God makes perfect." I laugh, because I NEVER have to add a mistake- there are always plenty already there.

    For me, if it can be used and loved, and it was made the best that I can make it, it's fine. Quilts are love, and they shouldn't be stuck in a closet because the quilter doesn't think they are good enough. trust me, someone else will love it to death and appreciate it.
    You are so right. The Navajo intentionally weave mistakes into their beautiful rugs to let the evil spirits out. Definitely no evil spirits in my quilts.

  7. #7
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    Yes give yourself a break or you will never like to do it. I tell my students practice practice and someday it might be perfect but I haven't got there yet.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by reach for the stars 2
    Yes give yourself a break or you will never like to do it. I tell my students practice practice and someday it might be perfect but I haven't got there yet.
    Where would be the fun in that? Being perfect, I mean.

  9. #9
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    The best one can do with what one has and what one knows now -

    what more can be asked or done?

  10. #10

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    If I were perfect, how could I laugh at myself?

  11. #11
    Senior Member HeatherQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstanbro
    If I were perfect, how could I laugh at myself?
    This reminds me of a wall-hanging that I have. "Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused."
    Love it!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeatherQuilts
    Quote Originally Posted by bstanbro
    If I were perfect, how could I laugh at myself?
    This reminds me of a wall-hanging that I have. "Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused."
    Love it!
    Good one!

  13. #13
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Even though I'm now brave enough to let friends see my work, I struggle to not point out all the mistakes as they look. No evil spirits in my quilts, either :) :)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.zang
    Even though I'm now brave enough to let friends see my work, I struggle to not point out all the mistakes as they look. No evil spirits in my quilts, either :) :)
    I suppose you could tell them that you know of x number of mistakes and see how long it takes them to find them all.

    Bet it would take them a while.

  15. #15
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    We are our own worst critics. I never fail to point out the mistakes in my quilts. If I would just keep quiet, no one but me would notice.

  16. #16
    Super Member Janetlmt's Avatar
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    If your quilting is perfect then it wouldn't be yours..someone once told me that. I find myself getting less critical of my quilting. After 25 years of quilting...I am still making mistakes and I am still learning. Since I have joined this group I have learned more then ever.

  17. #17
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    I need to read this essay. I am still working on not being so hypercritical of my work. I'm PM'ing you.

  18. #18
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Quilting should be fun. In this century, we don't really need handmade quilts to keep us warm. You can poke fun at yourself if you strive for something more, but never let it stall your creativity or fun. Just create, have fun, and learn. If the end result makes you happy, yippee. If it doesn't, it will keep something beautifully warm or hang as a piece of art for someone that loves your vision. It might even serve as of reminder of where you started. If you're looking for perfection, you're going to have to make lots of quilts. Just send me your rejects!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chele
    Quilting should be fun. In this century, we don't really need handmade quilts to keep us warm. You can poke fun at yourself if you strive for something more, but never let it stall your creativity or fun. Just create, have fun, and learn. If the end result makes you happy, yippee. If it doesn't, it will keep something beautifully warm or hang as a piece of art for someone that loves your vision. It might even serve as of reminder of where you started. If you're looking for perfection, you're going to have to make lots of quilts. Just send me your rejects!
    The first quilt I finished was an applique wallhanging. The pattern was called "Girlfriends." Oh my, it had so many flaws. My satin stitch was terrible. I was afraid some of it might come undone. It was not square. The quilting was very basic. The back was kind of rumpled. I gave it to her anyway with the warning that "It has many flaws. But I took great joy in making it for you." She cherishes it completely. She hung it in her hallway where she can see it when she comes out of her bedroom in the morning. What seems to flawed to us may turn out to be someone else's treasure.

  20. #20
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see it.

  21. #21
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    A quilt with chopped off points and mismatched seams will keep you just as warm as a perfect one.

  22. #22
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    A quilt with mistakes in it will probably keep you warmer than a perfect quilt; because you'll probably use it more.

  23. #23
    Super Member Gramof6's Avatar
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    I look at quilting or piecing like I do anything else...Nobody is perfect. And who would want to be? Being perfect or reaching the perfect level to me is like reaching the end, for what else is there beyond perfection? I don't have to worry about it thank goodness because I really do have fun learning & I sure have lots of learning left to learn! LOL

  24. #24
    Super Member Maria C's Avatar
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    I would like to read that quote also. It sounds great. I don't know what PM is though so if you can tell me how to do that I will greatly receive it. Thanks

  25. #25
    Honey's Avatar
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    I was doing a block (Prarie Queen) and kept getting it wrong. Ripped 4 times. When DH asked why I was talking to myself I told him what happened. He said "it looks fine to me, you just made a new block. You can call this one Prarie King". That's when I knew I was taking it way to sereously.

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