Just found a forgotten quilt top. Ok, so it wasn't forgotten, it was cast aside first and then forgotten. I had rejected it because I felt it wasn't perfect enough. I began to feel it was ugly!
When I began the quilt, I was so proud of myself just for trying. I was a new quilter and it was an ambitious project involving lots and lots of little pieces. I foolishly felt the quilt would be the making of me as a quilter.
I remember zealously beginning the project, determined to create my best and most perfect quilt ever. The initial blocks were precise and I was pleased. As the project went on, I continued to be passionate about it and worked to continue my pace and devotion.
As the project grew and grew, the tiny errors in the project grew as well. These errors were not so evident in the individual blocks, but they added up and became more apparent. It didn't take long for me to feel overwhelmed and unable to go back and correct my minor discrepancies. I just didn't love the quilt anymore.
I felt the only conclusion was to cast the quilt aside. I remember saying to myself, "I'll come back to it someday." Yet knowing, I probably wouldn't ever finish it.
Finding the unfinished top this weekend, got me to thinking. Why can't this top be finished? Why must it be perfect in order to be finished? Why can't I perfectly love the quilt and all it represents instead?
There is much to appreciate in this imperfect quilt. I began the project as a Block of the Month Program. I attended regular meetings and met some of the most wonderful quilting friends. These women touch my heart all the time. Throughout the program, my skills improved each month and my knowledge of new techniques grew as well. The fabrics were pre-selected for me and this taught me that I don't care for plug-and-play quilts. I learned that I want to decide what colors will be used. The lessons and experiences of the quilt did shape me as a quilter. I was also involved in a very scary car accident during the making of the quilt. I survived, I recovered and I've gone on to create other quilts. This makes the quilt - a lucky quilt.
I realize now - there's no use in keeping it unfinished in a closet. Finishing it, quilting it, binding it, and trying to create the best quilt I can can be a powerful experience. Yes, it's true, it undoubtedly won't make it to a show, or even to a bed for display. But it can be a excellent snuggle-up on the sofa quilt for a cold winter night. I can see myself enjoying the reminders of the experiences hidden in the stitches.
Who knows? Some day when a future grandchild is born, it may be a well-loved story quilt that we sit under to read books. My grandson or granddaughter isn't likely to grade my stitches and seams on perfection. I'm now hoping the quilt will be a reminder of cherished, heartwarming times.
And just maybe this future grandchild and I will use it build a fort, or play hide and seek. The potential for my imperfect quilt feels exciting and limitless. So Lola, what began as a quest for perfection, ends in the quest for perfect love instead. I'm suddenly loving this very ugly quilt with all my heart.
Hugs and stitches,