Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Maker's Thought

A woman walked into my dayjob office yesterday, and at once admired the quilts hanging on my walls. She mentioned that she had quilters in her family but had never quilted herself. I encouraged her to tell me more, and she shared that at age 12, she won first place in a Singer Sewing Machine Contest for a dress she had made. This was a two-week event where she'd go every day to sew for a couple of hours. I likened it to 'sewing camp' and she nodded in agreement. So I was duly impressed! And then she told me, 'After I won first place, my mother and grandmother took the dress entirely apart because it wasn't perfect, and sewed it back together again." I think my mouth was hanging open at this point. She went on to say, "I don't remember feeling particularly bad about it, but sometimes I wonder if that's why I no longer have any interest in sewing." YA THINK?

My eyes were a little misty as we parted ways, and I could not for the life of me imagine how that must have felt to have your winning project disassembled because it wasn't good enough. And it made me oh-so-thankful for a girl scout leader, a home-ec teacher, a grandma, a mom, and eventually a family, who have valued my skills (or at least my attempt at them!) at every stage. A variety of  objectives are wrapped up in my sewing and my quilts, but perfection, to be honest, is not one of them. A striving to do good work, oh yes, but the delight in the process, and the knowledge that it is good enough must have the last word.