Dear Daughter: About being perfect

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project

Dear Daughter

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.tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project mistake

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.

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project corrected

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.

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project rearranged

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.

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project warp

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.

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project mosaic

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.

As always

your loving mother

tumbling leaves Dear Daughter quilt project realFor more letters and quilt blocks in this series, go and take a look at the Dear Daughter page.

Hello to #WoTW fellow linkers. Joining in, I think for the first time. My word would have to be Perfect. Or maybe imperfect would be closer.

14 thoughts on “Dear Daughter: About being perfect

  • Friday 22 May, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    It looks lovely, so talented of you. And what a lovely project and lessons to be passing on, too. You’re right on the subject of perfection, of course. I don’t like to think my kids will constantly strive for perfection in life, so difficult, maybe impossible, to achieve. I myself am no perfectionist, and I can see it as being quite a barrier to getting things done. Thanks for sharing and joining in with #WotW x

    • Friday 22 May, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      I don’t really think of myself as perfectionist. Get on and do, mostly. I do tend towards perfectionism when using a needle and fabric. It’s the impression I give my children that concerns me. Perfection isn’t everything and shouldn’t stop you trying.

  • Friday 22 May, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I wouldn’t have noticed until you pointed it out. I am also a perfectionist in my sewing and have been known to throw it up the wall in a temper when it hasn’t gone as I had hoped. You response is much more reasonable and mature!

    • Friday 22 May, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      No one spots it. But I do. You have made me smile at the idea of you throwing it against the wall. I’d worry about the pins.

  • Friday 22 May, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. Sometimes I think what keep things most perfect is when we see things no-one else done, and a memory is evoked which we can hold dear. I think the message, that not being perfect (all of the time) but being happy is one of the best ways to bring up children. #WotW

    • Friday 22 May, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      Oh so true. Couldn’t agree more. Being happy and being happy with who you are, is something I hold very dear, as well as learning to enjoy the now. Thank you for your thoughful comment.

  • Saturday 23 May, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I love the idea of creating a quilt, and being a perfectionist I’d have been just as annoyed about getting it wrong. However it’s ‘only’ something you’d notice and the quilt still looks amazing. I’m glad you left it, it’s good to have a little quirk in things sometimes., #countrykids

    • Thursday 28 May, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      I’m glad I left it too.

  • Sunday 24 May, 2015 at 9:38 am

    This imperfection is already amazing as it has an amazing story behind it. I think that the reason for it being not so right more interesting than the quilt being perfect =)

    I hope I am making sense. #wotw

    • Thursday 28 May, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      You are kind. I’m glad I left it for a good reason rather than being lazy. Makes a better story for the quilt.

  • Sunday 24 May, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Hi Cheryl, I love it that you are happy leaving your quilt as it is. It gives it a story and a meaning. We often make work for ourselves striving for perfection, even when sometimes it really doesn’t matter, not really. I’d be chuffed to be able to create a quilt in the first place, with or without flaws!


    • Thursday 28 May, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Too true. Perfection does make work for us. 🙂

  • Thursday 28 May, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    i love this letter and also your block!
    the fabrics you chose are fabulous!
    i go back and forth about fixing mistakes in my projects, sometimes i simply *must* do it or it will drive me crazy, others i’m perfectly fine with just leaving… depends on my mood and probably what the mistake is. 😉

    • Friday 29 May, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Some you have to fix. Others are just part of the story. 🙂

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