More Motivation

After reading the comments left yesterday .. I love comments by the way but don’t ever feel like you have to leave a comment.

Vicki mentioned that sometimes the fear of imperfection paralyzes us.  That’s so true.  I’m going to tell a story . . can’t be from Louisiana and not have a long story for everything!  My goals are always to have perfect points, perfect seam intersections . . it doesn’t always happen.  Sometimes I rip it out and sometimes I just leave it.  From the pictures I share on the blog, you probably don’t see any glaring errors but if you were looking nose to nose at my quilts, you’d see lots of imperfections.  Here’s the story . . In about 2002 or 2003 I was in Paducah when it wasn’t quilt show time and I went to the museum.  Perfect, award winning quilts were hanging there.  I could get up to them and look without the crowds between the quilts and me.  Don’t get me wrong . . every one of those quilts was way more perfect than anything I’ll ever make but . . I saw some imperfections!  I saw some machine quilting that had smaller stitches than some of the other stitches.  I saw a few points that weren’t totally perfect! That hit me like a ton of bricks . . my quilts do not have to be perfect! That one realization made such an impact on my quilting.

Not everyone is going to like everything we do.  I got hit really hard with that lesson yesterday!   If you’re trying to please everyone, you’re never going to please yourself.  Ask me if Vince loves his new quilt! 🙂  Don’t stress over choosing the perfect pattern, and the perfect fabric in the perfect color.  Do your best and have fun!  There’s enough stress in the world that we have to deal with (I’m working on tax stuff today!) that every aspect of quilting should be fun for us.  When I find myself stressing over quilting and not having fun, it’s no longer a hobby and I’m finding myself another hobby.  Where’s my sock yarn?  🙂

We all have choices with almost everything . . we can spend weeks or months making a perfect quilt or we can enjoy the process and make quilts to be loved by our family and whomever we choose to share our quilts with.  You have to know what’s right for you.  Some are happy to spend a year or two making one quilt for show that wins awards and ribbons.  Some are happy to make dozens of quilts to donate or share with family and friends . . some are in between the two.

Don’t ever compete or compare your work with someone else.  If making one quilt a month is good for you, that’s great.  If making one quilt a year is good for you, that’s great too.

If you’re wanting to quilt and not having the time because of work, family . . legitimate reasons, don’t worry . . there will be time when you can quilt, hopefully soon.  If you’re not quilting because . . well, you’re sitting at the computer wishing you were quilting or you just can’t get motivated and have no reasons why you can’t get motivated . . that’s not ok!  Go quilt! 🙂


  1. 1


    Well said Judy! Quilting is all about creating and expressing yourself. No person is perfect, just do the best you can and SMILE!

    • 1.1

      carol says

      Well said by the two of you. My theory is life isn’t perfect so why do my quilts have to be. To me it is the love, joy and fulfillment that I get from the hobby.

  2. 2

    Penny says

    Yes I agree, that realisation when looking at quilts at shows that yes! mine are just as good! (And I’m not talking the big award winners here) I don’t think I’ve ever managed to complete a quilt without at least a few imperfect points and my quilting usually leaves something to be desired but as you point out, so does nearly everyone else’s at one time or another and the main thing is every recipient of my work has been genuinely thrilled to receive it.
    I’m still sitting here with 3 quilt tops to complete and 2 more waiting to be sandwiched and quilted though so I need a bit of that motivation to get going. Timely words indeed Judy!

    • 2.1

      Sharie - Moss Bluff says

      If you are showing quilts, perfection is in the eye of the judge. There are judges that will give you a break and there are judges that won’t. I make show quilts and I make quilts for fun. Most of my show quilts probably all have a mistake in there somewhere. Most of the time, I don’t fret about it. If it sticks out like a sore thumb I will fix it. If it is something that may cause more harm than good to fix it I leave it alone and hope for the best. I have had quilts that won a first place in one show and not place in another. Makes you wonder, but that is the way it is. When I show a quilt, I love to win but if I don’t, I think of it as a learning experience.

  3. 3

    Jane says

    Love it Judy. All very valid and accurate points. I have spent the last two days trying to organize and purge my studio. We are planning on moving this summer and I know I will have to downsize into a spare room or something like that and not have my own separate building. But that’s okay…perfect actually. I find when I have the space I fill it! I wanted to cry when I started and discovered bins of kits that I had forgotten about. But…I’m getting off topic! I like your time comment….I asked my friend if there will ever be a time when we will have the exact perfect length of time in a day/week/month to do our work, cleaning/chores, exercise, quilting/crafts….so we don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed…..maybe someday. I know I waste alot of time…and if I used each and every moment of each and every day constructively (and that includes checking your blog!) I think it could happen….and I would really feel good about that. Perfection is never anything I strive for though… any part of my life including quilting. If I know I’ve done the best I could do at that moment then I’m good with that! I have a quilt top hanging on my design wall now with missing points and wonky borders but I love the colors and a big thing for me….it’s done! LOL

  4. 4


    oh, I just got some motivation…your book arrived in my mailbox this morning!

    I have to decide what kind of quilt I’m making before I decide how picky to be…and then I have to decide how much fussing that quilt will get. I’m currently working on one that I’m giving much more attention to detail, but it is for a challenge 🙂 and I’m working on a couple of quilts for the local crisis pregnancy center and I’m just putting them together so they look nice.

    I love the humor books by Lisa Boyer to help me remember to lighten up on my quilting pickiness 🙂

  5. 6

    Robin says

    Oh have you really hit the nail on the head for me this time- I could just cry!! You could be talking about me! Now I just have to work hard at changing my perceptions but it’s a challenge let me tell you.

  6. 9

    pdudgeon says

    LOL, i know someone who lives in my house who would absolutely ADORE Vince’s quilt.
    So you can chalk up a compliment from another man who lives with a quilter, Judy.

    we both think that’s an OK quilt!

  7. 11


    Perfectionists unite! Been there – done that and was always somewhat unhappy about the result. Now I just do what I can without worrying. I guess you never can really “turn off” your perfectionist genes, but it gets easier. And if you look real close at clothing or other stuff you are buying: it ain’t perfect either. Being perfectionistic and impatient is a lethal combo – trust me! So you got to pick. I am in for the many quilts for friends and donations and hopefully I can make a tiny difference in somebody’s life. No flowerpot to be won, but it makes me feel good and that’s important.

  8. 12


    It HAD to be serendipity that you posted this because from here I went to see the blog of my friend in Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia who has started a quilt guild and she posted “The Quilting Song” which fits RIGHT in!

    P.S. Those aren’t her guild members…

    P.P.S. Guess I need to get off the laptop and piece, eh?

  9. 14

    Kate says


    I’ve been following your blog for a bit, but have never left a comment. Really appreciated your comments about quilting today. When I took my first class the teacher told us the number one rule she applied to her quilts was the “galloping pony” rule. If you wouldn’t see the mistake when you rode by the quilt on a galloping pony, it was OK to leave it. Since that class, I don’t worry about a lot of mistakes. Yeah some I fix if it really looks bad or they really bug me, otherwise I let them go. We are always more critical of ourselves than others are. Everyone I’ve given a quilt to, loves it. They don’t see the mistakes, they see that I cared enough to spend time to make something just for them. I try to remember that when I’m sewing.

  10. 15


    I love this post. I quit trying to be perfect because I was making myself nuts. I’m having a lot more fun now with my quilting. Just need to buy a winning lottery ticket so I can quilt full time!

  11. 16

    ruth anne says

    Judy, well said and that is what I needed today! I am forever indebted to you for many things, but today’s is really good for me. Did I say I really liked that!!! 🙂