October 14, 2017

FMQ Doesn't Have to Be Perfect

A couple of days ago, I shared a picture of my current (secret for now) quilting project with a friend. She took one look at all of those straight lines and said, "I'd never be able to do that, unless I used a ruler."
Square meander free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #freemotionquilting #fmq #quilting
We tend to think our quilting has to be perfect in order to look good, but it doesn't! There are a bazillion lines in this quilt and when you stand back they all look perfect, but I can guarantee you that they're not 😊

I am aiming for the lines to be horizontal or vertical, but there are plenty of slightly diagonal lines that have crept in. And even though I know there are a lot of them, I really had to search to find some for this picture.
Square meander free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #freemotionquilting #fmq #quilting
Generally, quilting lines should be a consistent distance apart, but these ones definitely aren't! Every now and then as I'm quilting, I remind myself that I'm trying to quilt farther apart, so I make a conscious effort to space them out more. It doesn't take long, though, for my 'tiny quilting' habit to take over and the lines grow closer and closer together.
Square meander free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #freemotionquilting #fmq #quilting
The great thing is, no one will ever know! There's enough consistency in the variations that it all looks like I meant for it to happen. And as a bonus, it is creating absolutely wonderful texture 😊

When we're quilting, we have our noses so close to the work that we see every little imperfection as if it were lit with neon lights. No one else will ever look that closely! Even other quilters who might know what to look for are never that critical of anyone else's work.

Don't let the fear of the imperfect hold you back from trying a new design, or from trying free motion quilting altogether. Even Angela Walters, one of the free motion quilting queens, says that "Finished is better than perfect" and "Close enough is good enough"!

Do you embrace the imperfect in your quilting?

8 comments:

  1. Those variations end up giving so much texture that they ARE hard to find again later when you go back looking for it specifically. Great advice, Leanne. :)

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  2. Perfection in free motion quilting was the first thing I learned to let go. Is also a good thought for other things in life--"Finished (or even just starting) is better than perfect.

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  3. Agreed!! We are our own worst critics. But no one ever sees the "mistakes" that we do. I go in knowing that my FMQ will not be perfect.

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  4. Yes, I have to embrace the imperfect else I'd never quilt anything! LOL You are so right, once we take a step back it's difficult to find what might be considered an 'imperfection'. It's a lesson I always try to remember when stitching.

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  5. I love making things consistently inconsistent, but will admit that I haven't don't much with straight lines like this because I think the inconsistencies would bother me on my own quilt. I think we all just need to know our limits. I definitely agree that we need to step back and enjoy the overall texture.

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  6. Free motion quilting on a domestic is for sure a humbling thing . and we just have to let go of that quest for perfection which is a good thing.

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  7. I think your quilting looks wonderful Leanne, perfection is over-rated in my humble opinion, it is the quirks that add character :)

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Thanks for taking the time to leave me a message. I love hearing from you.

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