Friday, September 19, 2014

Sometimes We Are Our Own Worst Critic

In January I pulled this stack of fabric for a quilt.  It was totally "me" in terms of scale (small) and print (tone on tone and dots) but it was more monochromatic than I usually go.  But my friend assured me that it looked good and really, how can you go wrong any fabric pull that includes Flea Market Fancy?

I sent fabric packets off to more friends to test block patterns for me.  I got their amazing blocks back, made a few more blocks and started to lay them out.  I want to make it very clear at this point that my friends' blocks were perfect and wonderful and that I would never, ever, ever have gotten this quilt made without their help and that the feelings expressed in the next paragraph are me being crazy not a critique of their blocks.   So....

I got to this point in the layout and started to freak.  Why had I chosen those colors!?!  Those blocks* stayed on the living room floor for a week (much to the dismay of my husband) and I would move a block here or there each time I would walk by.  I finally sucked it up and decided it was what it was and started sewing it together.

And it wasn't as bad as I thought.  Then I added the borders and it looked better.

Then I quilted it.  And it looked good.  (I really like that section of quilting!)  It wasn't my favorite quilt, but I knew wasn't embarrassingly ugly either.  So I turned in my quilt to AQS and went on with life.

And then I saw this.  I realize that the American Quilter's Society Quilt Week header shows just the edge of what could be any quilt but it is the quilt that I stood in the living room and cried over because it was so. embarrassingly. ugly.  AQS has no shortage of quilt edges to photograph and they. chose. mine.  To say I was excited is a huge understatement.

Then this flier for QuiltWeek came in the mail.  I think I am going to have to laminate it.  Not just because they say my quilt is beautiful ;) but because it's message is one I think we should all remember - especially when we are being hard on ourselves.

Your quilt is beautiful.
Really, it is.  
You've poured your heart and creativity into your quilt.
Now it is time to let it shine! 

I think we are our own worst critics.  And to paraphrase a Jillian Micheal's exercise video, "This isn't about being perfect.  Perfect is boring.  Perfect sucks!  This is about pushing yourself and discovering what you can do.  When you push yourself that is when change happens." 

I know I'm not going to stop being a neurotic perfectionist overnight, but I am going to try to keep things in better perspective from now on.  So, love your quilts, love yourselves, be happy with your quilting and have the best weekend ever!

* I don't know if you noticed, but some of those blocks are from the Skill Builder Sampler!  More info on that next week!


  1. That's so awesome Leila! Great post πŸ˜„

  2. Really awesome! and yes, a good reminder for all of us!

  3. I can completely understand where you were coming from, every step of the way! It is a great quilt, and perhaps even better for the heart searching? But you pulled all together and it IS amazing and beautiful!
    And I love the lesson you have pulled out of it for us all!

  4. This is a great post. I feel that way about one I finished this week. I adore this quilt by the way and was so excited then I got the mailer and saw it there! Seeing some of my work in print was awesome and I can't imagine how much more awesome it is for you. That quilting is great too! I love the texture.

  5. That is SO cool! Good for you!!! And for the record, I like your quilt!!

  6. What a great post! Its something we all can understand...except the part of having a picture of our quilts put into print. That is so neat. You must be just so excited

  7. Wow! Congratulations!

    I can totally relate to being to critical on myself and my quilts. I tend to go through a love hate relationship with a quilt as I'm working on it. Most of the time I end up loving them. Sometimes not so much, but other people do and that's okay with me. 😊

  8. What a wonderful way to learn a good lesson!

  9. Congrats and I really do love your quilt!

  10. What a wonderful message! I can certainly relate to being uber crtitcal on myself. I think I'll have to find that ad and hang it up by my machine. Congratulations! That's great.

  11. oh my goodness what a great story! I have done that too. been too hard on myself, but look at that quilt. sooo gorgeous!!!

  12. Your quilt is beautiful!!! I love the colors and quilting!! It's awesome and so are you!! Be positive!!