wise words

The Three-Foot Rule

Are you a perfectionist? Does it bother you when something is not quite right in a quilt? A seam might not line up perfectly, or maybe you cut off the tip of a point?

Do you get the seam ripper out? Or can you shake it off?

I want to give you permission (if that is what you need), or just a nudge, to accept flaws in your work. We all make mistakes, and what might look perfect to you in someone else’s work may actually have small mistakes in it that you haven’t even noticed.

We are often our own worst critics, and being as close as we are to our quilts while working on them, we notice every little thing that’s not quite right. That doesn’t mean everything we notice needs to be fixed.

I tell all my students that if they want to make a list of quilting rules, this one should be at the top. 

Think you made a mistake? 

Take a step or two back, and look at your work from a small distance. Can you still see the mistake? Is it jumping out at you as a glaring fault? If the answer is yes, then, by all means, please correct it, because it’s going to bother you every time you look at the finished quilt. And it’s much easier to fix now, rather than later.

But if you hardly notice it? Or you have to actually remind yourself of where exactly it was? Just leave it. If you can’t see it from three feet away, someone who doesn’t know what to look for is never going to notice it.

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