A dear sweet friend sent me an e-mail last week that contained the link to a blog post that made me think our telephone convesations had been bugged. It was the sort of thing that friends talk about... as in, I'm pretty sure you've probably talked about some of the same things with your "besties". It was one of those posts where you laughed, nodded your head, said, "... exactly!" a few times and then laughed some more.
Because I'm a girl who likes the occasional picture - even bad pictures - I'm going to include a few random pictures. Just because.
So here are a few of my "secrets"....
I am not a perfect piecer. I never have been and with the way my eyesight is going, I'm not sure I'll ever get there now. Some days are better than others but the truth is that I have "issues" with that perfect exact scant 1/4". I'm usually just a thin thread's-width off. And you know what? Whatever. I don't really care. I'm not building a rocket that needs to land on Mars with pinpoint accuracy... okay, bad example... but you get the point.
Perfect piecing takes time and practice - lots of it. It is a skill that takes time and work to perfect and I applaud those people who have achieved that kind of quality workmanship. I used to be better but the realities of life, work and such now means that there are weeks that pass without my getting to sew a single stitch. Yes. Weeks.
So while there are things I will rip out and re-do, there are others that are "good enough" for me. Are you shocked?
That sort of addresses that scant 1/4" seam thing too. It's important. I can give you a jillion reasons why... not the least of which is that it does make piecing easier. We - meaning you - should strive to achieve perfection... but seriously, I'm not going to fault you if it isn't perfectomundo.
And while we're on the subject, if your piecing is perfect, don't go beating up other quilters because you're perfect and they're not. If you've entered your quilt in a show, then your being a little closer to perfect is commendable. But in a class or at a guild meeting... seriously, what purpose does it serve to make others feel badly about their work?
I am not nearly as organized as I would like folks to think I am. Exhibit A.
I never should have read that Albert Einstein had a really messy desk because in my mind, that means I naturally, logically equate clutter with genius. Yes, I know where everything is. And yes, I finally got some of the scrap/odd-sized piece drawers sorted by color but that's as good as it is ever going to get because... the rest of that doesn't really matter to me. (I sort of wish it did but it doesn't.) My sock drawer is about the same way - the socks are in there. We're good.
This might also be a good time to mention that I am a terrible "stylist". I don't "prop" well and I'm not good at "accessorizing vignettes". Where do people go to learn how to position the scissors "just so"? How many buttons do you need for it to be just the right amount of random? Is there a class for that?
Yeah, yeah... naked envy is running amok.
While I don't pre-wash anymore - it takes too long and it really is a chore - I am a bit obsessive about "prepping" my fabrics by starching and pressing them. The only reason I do that is because I'm too attached to my steam iron. I will not - repeat, will not EVER - give up using steam to press my pieced units and blocks. I know... the purists out there are mortified that I use steam to press my seams. They can get over it - now. I've said - written - it before and I'll say/write it again - I can make any block flat and square with enough heat and steam. Period. But because fabric does shrink when moisture and heat are applied, I take the precaution of prepping them so that happens before and not after. It's a case of picking my battles - I know which ones I'm going to lose.
Just so you know, I do make it a point to recycle the plastic bottles from the starch.
While I happily give quilts to friends and family, I'm tired of random non-quilting folks asking if I sell my quilts. Or worse, if I'll make them a quilt... you know, one that matches the couch in their living room. Just kill me now. I made "custom" quilts specifically for people or situations a few times in my life and each experience was worse than the one before. I won't horrify you with the details... actually, extensive therapy has helped me purge them from my memory. I'm sure you've had similar experiences.
And will those same people also stop telling me that their "grandmother was a quilter." And "you must be very patient". (Yeah, right.) I sometimes think the only thing most people know about quilters is what they remember from the movie "Witness".
I also have more fabric than I will ever need or use. And so what? I might joke about my "historical collection", that I'm preserving fabric for future historians but the truth is that I do sometimes feel a bit guilty about it. I do use it and I do regularly go through it and donate it to charity groups, guilds and Goodwill, but I still have a lot. And having too much doesn't keep me from adding to the stash. But I also know that the choices I make are mine - nobody else is paying my bills.
I am also keeping it for my mother. If something "unexpected" should happen to yours truly, all that fabric is guaranteed to mean my Mom will have lots of company, well-wishers and "assistance" in the days - hours? - after my untimely demise. Though I don't know where "my friends" are going to park all those U-Hauls... but I also know that won't be my problem.
And like Tanesha, I don't always enjoy the online quilting community as much as I wish I did. While the overwhelming majority of it is inspiring, creative and energizing, there are aspects of it that are frustrating. From Pinterest - oy vey, that's a topic on it's own - to blogs, I think I'm finding it all a bit less enjoyable because so much of it has become a business, or all about business. I will happily admit to sometimes thinking "a pox on BlogHer!" While I completely understand that blogging can be a lucrative business - Pioneer Woman? - so much of it now is about advertising. Yes, I am as guilty of doing that as anybody else on occasion but are you starting to feel like the only buzz that is being created by all the blog-hops and social-media-cross-pollination is one big Zzzzzzz? Do you simply download the free pattern, leave a comment to enter the drawing for (fill in the blank) and ignore the rest?
With blogs, I'm also betwixt and between about responding to comments. I feel horribly - terribly! - guilty when I don't answer each and every comment with an e-mail but since I can't bring myself to send just a quick "thank you for commenting" - I think we all know I'm a bit chattier than that - do I answer just some? And if I don't get to it right away, is it awful to respond a week or ten days later? That might be worse than not answering it at all. So I stick my head in the sand and hope the e-mails answer themselves. (Yeah, right.)
Whew. I think I feel a little bit better getting that off my chest... so to speak.
I'm going to go get a glass of wine and sew a bit before I go to bed.
Huh? Yes, I occasionally enjoy a glass of wine when I sew.
That sort of explains the imperfect piecing, doesn't it?