Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Advice from a Teabag

I don't drink tea, I am strictly a coffee kind of gal. I do, however, make vast quantities of iced tea for my family. One of their favorite kinds of iced tea is made like this, four black tea tea bags, four Good Earth original tea bags, one gallon of water, and one cup of sugar. I usually put the eight teabags in a big pyrex measuring cup with seven cups of water, heat in the microwave for 7 minutes, 30 seconds, steep for 5 - 10 minutes, pour into a gallon container, removing teabags at the same time, add sugar and fill the rest of the container with water. I love smelling Good Earth tea, it has a great spicy smell. I also like reading the quotes on the paper tags. One of the quotes I find especially relevant to quilting.

'Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.'
Eugene Delacroix (1798 - 1863)

I have people ask me all the time how I get so much done. One of my "secrets" is that I have a pretty low perfection quotient. Now don't get me wrong, I strive for accuracy, and most of the time I am pretty accurate, most of my points match, but I do have mistakes that cause me to use my seam ripper. Here is the thing though, I don't stress if some of my points don't match. I don't toss the project if my border ripples a bit, or get upset if I have to do a little easing when assembling my blocks. I have learned that most of the "mistakes" that are so obvious to me, will never be noticed by anyone else, so really there is no reason to stress about it.

I know for some people, this type of attitude is completely foreign. They think everything must be completely perfect, every seam lining up perfectly, using only the perfect fabrics for that project, never making a substitution or change to the pattern. If you work that way, and it works for you, great! If, however, you are completely overwhelmed by ufo's because things weren't perfect, perhaps you might benefit from trying a new attitude. Grab one of those not perfect, far from perfect, or abysmal failures, and finish it. Don't completely redo it, just finish it. I have had quilts that I didn't like during the process, but when they were finished, they were pretty nice. It's always a bit of a surprise, and I always think, when did that start turning out OK? I've had fabric do weird things while I was assembling, and had weird waves in it, but it quilted out and you couldn't notice it. I have had small puckers while quilting that just light up like a neon sign while I am working on it, but when it's finished, even I can't find it.

Quilting is my hobby. It is my "me" time, my stress relief, my sanity saver. If quilting became a major stress in my life, it would not be fulfilling the need I have for it to fill. I enjoy quilting, but if I took it too seriously, I wouldn't. I am a firm believer in "Finished is better than Perfect". No unfinished quilt is helping anyone out. There are no warm hugs in an unfinished quilt, no snuggling in an unfinished quilt, no comfort for anyone, maker or recipient.

Maybe someone out there will be inspired to go finish something now. I hope so. Right now, I need to finish getting my sewing room together so I can finish a few projects of my own ;-)

Here are a couple pics of the twins from our trip to brighten your day.

The little engineers at Fritz's Union Station in Kansas City, Kansas. This was DS the Younger's favorite restaurant as a young child, your food is brought to you by train, and he loved trains.

Miss S thought that the cherry limeade was pretty sour!

The first wedding we went to was an outdoor wedding, and they had these bubble wands that looked like light sabers for the kids. It looks like a battle between a good twin and an evil twin, but in reality they are both great twins!

Mr. L all spiffied up for the second wedding.

Miss S on her aunt's lap (DD#2)

1 comment:

lynne said...

good advice melodie! i am using that strategy with my quilting--especially with my new long arm. i have only gotten to do 2 small baby quilts and a whole cloth fall panel so far, but have really learned a lot so far along the way.....not going for perfection, but rather the process and the learning curve along the adventure route ;o) getting lots ready now to get loaded now that life is settling down a bit....also my little addition to the teabag advice is that there are a few steps in the making of takes a bit of time. small bits of time eventually make the gallon of tea. it is the same with quilting for me....i don't have to do the whole she-bang in one bit. a few minutes here, a few minutes there adds up to getting things done. if we put off til we have time to do it all, we will never have that large enough of a chunk of time to get most things done....