Dear Daughter: About being perfect
One more letter and another block completed for your Dear Daughter quilt. This one barely needs a letter, as the block represents the subject almost perfectly. (Oh and I may have had some fun changing the images. Ahem)
This block is called Windblown Square. It reminds me of leaves being blown around by a gust. I chose the insect fabrics, as I imagined the wind whipping the leaves off the ground and exposing the beetles and other mini-beasts hidden beneath.
What I hadn’t calculated on was how hard this block would prove to create. I started stitching it just after I came out of hospital. I could barely see the stitches in the evening light, but I was stubborn. I wanted to prove that I could still stitch.
And there lies my error. Through my stubborness, I managed to rotate one square. Does it matter, you may ask? You’re not alone. Everyone that I have bemoaned my mistake to, has said the same. I’ve had to explain the error. The point is that it mattered to me. I can see it’s wrong. It couldn’t jump out more, to me, if there were flashing neon lights surrounding it.
I was ready with my seam ripper to cut it out, when I stopped in my tracks. I remembered everyone else’s reactions. I’m not perfect and no-one expects me to be perfect all the time. Except apparently me.
I began to think that the wrong square had a kind of beauty in it. I liked that it was wrong and the message that delivered. If I unpicked it, it would be gone. Maybe nearly perfect is OK too.
You see, I don’t want to pretend to be perfect either. I don’t want to make a quilt that says that I am. This is an important message in the Dear Daughter quilt project. I don’t want you to remember me as getting everything right, all the time. I don’t. Never have done.
Don’t get me wrong. In some cases, something has to be perfect. Nearly will not work. A pilot can’t say “Oops. I nearly got it on the runway.”
As a rule of thumb, perfect is good when we’re talking boolean: true or false. A tick or a cross. No inbetween options. Like entering a password. Or taking a coat out in case it rains. It’s either right or wrong. Only one choice is perfect.
If the choices are more subjective, then perfection is subjective too. “Is my hair perfect?” “Is salted caramel the best ice cream?” “Is this quilt block right?”
My quilt block falls into this latter category. It’s up to each person, who sees it, to decide if it’s perfect. There is no right or wrong answer. It just makes an unintentional different pattern.
So there it will stay. Not as intended. Not perfect. A reminder that the crafts person who made it wasn’t perfect either.
your loving mother
For more letters and quilt blocks in this series, go and take a look at the Dear Daughter page.