I made a quilt. It's not perfect. But it is done. I was intending to do a lovely outdoor photo shoot and make a fancy blog post. After 10 days of busy life and of it living on my couch, it became clear that a real photo shoot wasn't happening. I took photos of the quilt in its natural habitat so I can talk to you about it. Perfect is the enemy of done.
It's the kind of quilt that probaby ought to be perfect, seeing that it's full of precision points and all. But, I was using the quilt piecing to hone my abilities at sewing a scant 1/4" seam on the bias of the fabric and to really get to know the ins and outs of my new(ish) sewing machine. So, they're not all perfect. I could have ripped them out and sewn them again, but then it would be sitting on my work table in hundreds of small pieces. Not finished on my couch.
The quilt is pieced entirely from the Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy line. Most of it is the re-released prints, but some of it is from my original hoarded fabric. I don't typically make a quilt from one line of fabric - I like the magic of finding combinations that work and the beauty of accidental pairings. However, this fabric line was the first one that I fell in love with back when I was newly sewing again and just discovering the miraculous new world of fabric. That original release was my first online fabric purchase - I was smart enough to buy a full fat quarter set that I have used in bits and pieces over the last few years. When the re-release came out, I bought yard cuts of all of my favorites, knowing that I wanted a cohesive quilt of them. I started without a plan beyond sewing half square triangles. After fiddling around with it for a while, I decided that I just wanted a simple, flying geese pattern. I probably should have spent more time laying out all of the fabric before sewing it all together, but I just made sure that no triangles from the same print/color were next to each other, and that it was pleasing to the eye. Perfect is the enemy of done.
The plan was to have this quilt cover my white couch, since Luna the dog considers that couch to be her fluffy white dog bed. Gunnar took one look at it and pronounced it "too white" for the couch. I was a little crushed, but regrouped and chose a medium grey for the back with random strips of the FMF fabric throughout. It turned into side A and side B instead of the front and the back. White is the "company" side and grey is the "pet" side. As you can see, at least one pet approves.
My original intention was to free motion quilt it (seeing that this was my put-the-machine-through-its-paces project). I even began to free motion quilt it, in a bubbles pattern. I hated it. I had chosen white thread for the top and a light grey for the back - I didn't want the threads to be too far off so that if any was visible, it wouldn't be a big deal. On the front my bubbles looked fine. On the back, with the quilting thread standing out more, it was Not Good. I had quilted over one triangle strip and had quilted it really densely. I sat down with the seam ripper and started picking out the quilting. Soon, I realized that it was going to take forever and that it would end up in a pile on my work table for weeks, just because I was frustrated. I pulled out my rotary cutter and cut off the top 5" of the quilt (much to Grace's and Laura's chagrin), knowing that it was plenty long and that I just wanted it done. Perfect is the enemy of done.
Instead, I quilted it in randomly placed zig zags (which take a LONG time, btw) that reflected the randomly sized and placed stripes of fabric from the back on the front, and brought the geometric patterning from the front to the back. I love how the quilting unites both sides, which wouldnt have happened if I had stuck with my original quilting plan.
Don't get me wrong. I love it when something comes out perfect. I strive for it. However, one thing I have learned about myself is that I can let perfection paralyze me, or more accurately, let the frustration over something being not perfect paralyze me. Sometimes I have to let go and embrace imperfection in the name of learning and growing and finishing. It's not perfect. But it's done and living on my couch. That in itself is pretty perfect, indeed.