How to sew a perfect corners?

I’m pretty sure this is a subject which bugs a lot of us! How to make the seams match, how to make a perfect quilt, how to avoid mistakes? The whole thing can be solved if we look at the problem from a different perspective.

If you’ve ever made a quilt * and showed it to someone else – whether fellow quilter or someone who never sewed a straight seam, you will find that most of them will never spot the “mistakes” which are SO bothering you.

(*or a cushion or a dress or baked a cake – this could relate to many subjects but I’m a quilter so I will stick with a quilt in the text)

Next time when you are looking at someone else’s work – notice – what is it you like about it, what’s attracting you, what are you most noticing about that piece? Is it the colour, the design, the quilting, the intricacy, some small interesting detail, the over all effect? Do you ever look at every single seam? Do you even pay attention to them?? Most people only look at the overall effect, they are attracted to the colours, and to the mere fact that they don’t think they would be capable of creating anything like that!

So why do we stress so much about something most people will never notice??

I have a recommendation for you …  before you unpick the seam which is probably just a fraction off, ask yourself a couple of questions?

Are you going to send the quilt to a competition?

Do you intent to sell it?

Or is it just your love, passion and hobby??

Making a quilt with the intention of competing or selling should set your standards quite high and in that case, go get the seam ripper and get the seam right! 🙂

But if you belong to the third group (and the majority of people will be) than remember that hobby is an interest that brings satisfaction and enjoyment. There shouldn’t be stress or worry or frustration – specially as nobody will probably notice the difference anyway!

I’m not saying that you should just leave every mistake you make in place and that you should not care about the finish, neither that you should just slap-dash some fabrics together because nobody will notice your efforts. What I’m trying to say is find YOUR standard. Ask yourself am I going to be happy with it? You will improve, your standard will get higher and what you’ll let pass now will not pass in a year or two. Look at your work as a hobby-ist not as a professional quilter and be kind to yourself!

I’ve been teaching now for 6 years and I have seen people who would unpick tiny discrepancy with patience and persistence because they had their standards high and they wouldn’t’ be happy with it otherwise. And the next day I would have a student whose seams were all over the place and the finished product was far away from perfect but you know what they were happy and exited, because they never achieved anything like that before! And I would never have taken their happiness by pointing at he “mistakes”.

And most of us we find ourselves somewhere in between these two examples. Of course we will try for the best! And every mistake will be opportunity to learn from! But give yourself a permission sometimes to leave the mistakes in, when you look at them in couple of years, they will remind you how far you have come because if you make enough of them, you will learn how to avoid them.

We are not perfect, world is not perfect, it’s just an illusion they want us to believe in, so that we buy the next gadget to help us get closer to perfection. And this illusion is slowly eating away the enjoyment and that’s the only thing we should strive for!!

So put down the seam ripper, give yourself the permission to make mistakes and enjoy the ride.

Thank you for reading


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