View Full Version : "It's Not Going to Paducah: the Celebration of Everyday Quilts"

November 15th, 2017, 08:04 PM
Our speaker at guild last night was one of our own members, Sandra Henderson, who spoke on the topic of everyday quilts. These are the quilts that see regular use on beds, draped over the couch or chairs, or dragged around the house by children. They have a job to do! These quilts range from complex patterns to simple panels. Quilts which are destined to be used for warmth and comfort -- every day.

A few of her comments might resonate with you. Eliminate "Justa" -- oh it's justa (whatever). Don't worry about perfection. (Like our Jenny says, "Finished is better than perfect.") Perfection is the enemy of very good. Mistakes are bound to happen -- but don't point them out to people. If someone compliments you on your quilt, just say thank you. Be kind to yourself and to others. Take pride in your work. Celebrate being a quilter -- every day!

Sandra shared quilts (from her own collection as well as others') that are used every day. One had been used by a family member who was in hospice & had died. Some were lap quilts that are snuggled under on a daily basis. Some were crib quilts. All were quilts that were well-loved and well-used.

Jenny's philosophy is that quilts should be used. For picnics, at the beach, in the back yard, wherever. I'm still trying to embrace this idea. When I spend so many hours & money on making a beautiful quilt, it's hard for me to envision having it dragged around outside. I recently "let go" of some of the finished quilts in my stash to donate for the hurricane victims. Our LQS has been coordinating with M* for this project.

I think the one phrase of Sandra's that stood out to me was her comment: "Perfection is the enemy of the very good." I know I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I'm going to try to be content with "very good." Let's all enjoy the quilting journey & don't be so hard on ourselves when we make mistakes. Happy Quilting!

November 15th, 2017, 08:34 PM
One day I will no longer be on this earth. I cannot take any money or quilts with me. Every masterpiece or not is used daily no matter the degree of difficulty or cost in my house. I cannot see spending money on a hobbie I enjoy and not getting good use for my dollar.
Because I give them all away, only keeping a few, I am leaving my legacy all over the place sometimes multiple times in a house hold. The warmth I am creating will hug those after my passing.

November 15th, 2017, 08:38 PM
Sounds like you really enjoyed your guild Joy. A dear friend of mine took me with her to a guild meeting a few years back.(This was pre-MSQC ...pre-Jenny's tutorials).
My DH Terry's grandma believed that the handmade things she lovingly made for her family should be used and enjoyed. I have pillowcases, dresser scarves, etc that grandma made and put her tatted lace on. Each time ( couple times per week) I dust the furniture, especially the bedroom dressers, I stop and take a couple of minutes to look at Grandma's beautiful tatting. Several years back, I had my MIL teach me how to remove the tatted lace from the dresser scarves so that the scarves could be replaced, and although I know how to take the lace off now, I still worry I might "damage" it somehow.
When I get my new BLOCK magazines, I cringe when looking at the happy photos of Jenny's family using their quilts as table cloths, etc. I have really started to use grandma's quilts more these past few years....but I am still not one to put certain quilts on the ground or to use as a tablecloth on a picnic ( I put plastic on top of the quilt I place on picnic tables )
I really enjoy those heirloom quilts, and not only that, I have to say I can always hear grandma when someone compliments my quilting, "Now, Sugar,remember, those mistakes you have made in those quilts you've made are love pats.....it's awesome to see a quilt being used in the way it was intended! "

Grandma, God Bless her.....was right.....! ( not only that, but she truly enjoyed the fact that I did as she asked, I "used" those gifts she gave to her beloved grandson ( DH Terry ) and I, and I am still using them today.)


November 15th, 2017, 09:00 PM
Joy what a nice post and a pure pleasure to read. When I first started quilting by hand I was never satisfied with my stitches, I can't tell you how many I ripped out and did over in an attempt to make the stitches as tiny as possible. Then one day I got to thinking how many thousands of stitches are in a quilt. Epiphany! Now I never rip quilting stitches out. They will never be all the same size, and so what? And do you know why? Because I am not a machine! And frm that day forward I just do the best job I can and have learned to be satisfied and embrace the term "it's good enough." Every quilt I make is my favorite one. This Forum really helps us appreciate each other and ourselves, yes, and all of our wonderful talents.

November 15th, 2017, 09:39 PM
Glad you received a ribbon. You're quilts are always beautiful. Glad you reiterated some of speaker's comments. Helps me for one,keep on when I've made a real dud of a quilt. Thanks Kathy

November 15th, 2017, 09:43 PM
What a wonderful post. Thank you.

November 15th, 2017, 09:56 PM
It sounds like your meeting was inspiring. I think we all need those messages from time to time. Case in point, I was working on the grandkids flannel quilts today. I was getting ready to stop and rip some of the quilting and stopped myself. Who knows where these preschoolers are going to use these quilts. They aren't going to notice the straight line stitching isn't straight and I just kept going. Sometimes, it is about getting it done and being satisfied with the work you've done.

November 15th, 2017, 10:05 PM
Well, I for one, have always embraced this theory of use. When I gifted all of the gc quilts one Christmas I said in a rather loud voice, these quilts are yours...you may do as you choose with them. They can go camping, outside, inside, on overnights, whatever you choose to do, they are yours, not your mothers and they are not for saving to remember me by. There will be plenty of things to remember me by and most of them you won't actually touch...they will be memories.

Debbie Watters
November 15th, 2017, 11:31 PM
This is good food for thought. I am not a great quilter by any means, but my children and grandchildren love what I have give them. I also think they should be used and if they enjoyed that is good enough for me. I strive to improve with each quilt ... some days it is better just to back off and do something else ... but I will continue to create quilts - good, bad or indifferent!

Thanks for the posting ...

November 16th, 2017, 12:41 AM
As a card-carrying member of the perfectionism club, this is a message I need to hear often. Have you seen this video by Angela Walters?


When considering the purpose of your quilt, Angela also offers these words of wisdom:
"Chances are, the main purpose of your quilt isn’t to give you an opportunity to berate yourself."

Oy, did that hit close to home! Last week, I finally finished applying the binding to a project that was nearly two years in the making. When I think about the purpose of the quilt, my first thought is that it is a wedding gift for my step-daughter and her fiancé. Equally important, though, is that it was a learning experience for me. I was a beginning quilter when I embarked on this project, and I got to learn and practice all sorts of new skills. Of course there are mistakes, and things I would do differently. But I can look at that quilt and see how far I have come, and how much my skills have grown. I am trying to teach myself to focus on that rather than the glaring mistakes.

November 16th, 2017, 06:17 AM
Thank you for passing on those pearls of wisdom. I class myself as an enthusiastic learner!! I have made mistakes with the things I have made but each time it is a learning curve. I will get better as I sew more but I will stop berating myself. Incidentally my DD and DGS thinks I'm brilliant and always appreciated anything I make for them!

November 16th, 2017, 08:03 AM
Thanks for this very insightful post Joy. I'm really going to try hard to eliminate the "it's just" from my vocabulary. I always tend to make excuses for my work...."it's just made from scraps" "It's just a tad too small" "don't look too close to the stitches" "I'm still learning" "I'm not too good with my points yet" and on and on and on. And you'd think I'd learn a lesson from the quilts, totes, bags, table runners, etc. that I have gifted in the past. Most of the people that I give to don't even know how to thread a needle. They take on look at the gift I've made especially for them and are amazed at my skills. I get all sorts of comments like..."wow your sewing is beautiful" "you should open a etsy store" "you really are talented" ......wouldn't you think I'd learn from that to be more proud of my works. Boy we sure are dense sometimes aren't we.

Thanks again Joy - you've given me a lot of food for thought.....and hopefully a change of attitude towards my quilting.

Star lover
November 16th, 2017, 08:58 AM
So happy for you Joy that your quilt was recognized with a ribbon! Yeah!
And yeah to you for sharing some thoughts....I too am and will always be a member of the perfectionist club. But I'm getting better at not being so perfect....it's gonna be a long process, but trying not to be perfect takes time!
I've been focusing on allllll the quilts I want to make. It they're gonna be perfect, I won't be making as many. So the best thing to do is, not be perfect! It man it's hard......so I'm a plugger....

November 16th, 2017, 01:59 PM
Joy, thanks so much for sharing some points from the guild talk, and I needed to hear that again! I think many of us were socialized to downplay any praise out of some wacky sense of modesty. Nonsense! I can remember my aunts not being able to cheerfully accept compliments on their cooking (great cooks in my family) and my maternal grandmother dismissing her outstanding needlework of all kinds. I hope the younger generations are at least softening that tendency. Love what you do and share that!

November 16th, 2017, 05:35 PM
My Husband Jeff is my biggest fan. In his eyes everything I make is perfect even if it's wonky. God Bless this man who looks with his heart as well as his eyes.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Joy!

November 17th, 2017, 12:30 PM
Well, I for one, have always embraced this theory of use. When I gifted all of the gc quilts one Christmas I said in a rather loud voice, these quilts are yours...you may do as you choose with them. They can go camping, outside, inside, on overnights, whatever you choose to do, they are yours, not your mothers and they are not for saving to remember me by. There will be plenty of things to remember me by and most of them you won't actually touch...they will be memories.

Wow! What a powerful post! I've always considered my quilts that I give to family as "something to remember me by or to wrap themselves in my love long after I'm gone. But you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence! I love these forums! It's like talking with old friends - it never gets old!