Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We're not Building a Piano Here!

That was what my dear Dad always told me when I'd get so frustrated trying to do some perfectly. I was such a little perfectionist growing up. Things had to be perfect; otherwise, I would do them over and over and over until they were. When he'd see me just about fit to be tied, he'd mosey over and say, "Bebe, we're not building a piano here." I heard that my whole life and didn't truly understand what it meant until I started quilting!

Most of my friends already know the "why" part of why quilting was so difficult for me at first. It was so totally frustrating for me to try to do something and have it turn out so terribly wrong. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't even remotely perfect. Not even from that galloping horse. Just when I'd be at the point of chucking the whole thing in the waste can, I'd think about that gosh-darned piano.

I was reading Kristie at http://quiltharvest.blogspot.com/ tonight and I thought of Dad again. She mentioned being scared to cut into a Thimbleberries kit, and then tried to point out to us some points that she perceived as not perfect points. Well, Kristie, that quilt looks perfect to me! A perfect piano!

I told a new appliquer last Thursday night that she wasn't building a piano - and she looked at me like I was chewing bugs! I should have 'splained that one to her! LOL. I'll save that one for the next time she's frustrated!

I guess the whole point of this blog -- besides the fact that I miss my Daddy terribly, even though he's been gone 34 years -- is that I've finally given myself permission to make mistakes! I don't lay awake at night worrying about them. If it's fixable, I fix it. If not, I move on and chalk that one up to experience. I've decided that every quilt made by me and by you will end up being loved by someone, perfect or not!


~ Countdown to the long weekend!
~ Making it out of Target for only $56 last night!
~ No boxes on the doorstep tonight. That's a good thing!
~ Pianos!


mar said...

Ya know I don't loose sleep over that stuff either. Your work always looks perfect to me!

Kim said...

My countdown is done, and the looooooong weekend has arrived! Woo-hoo! I think trying to be perfect would drive me nuts. So I just try to put on a good act instead! ROFLOL! But seriously, I don't agonize over points not quite meeting, etc. I'm glad to know you've gotten to a point in life when it's okay to not do everything perfectly. All we can do is try our best!

QuiltingFitzy said...

I was SHOCKED when I first learned that sometimes in quilting, you have to stretch your fabric to make your points match. Oh, the HORROR!

I'm over it.
I lie alot too.

Darlene said...

I try not to fret if it's not perfect - just move on! :-) Your work is amazing and always looks perfect.

Yesterday I took another flimsey off the pile and made a bad quilting decision. When all was said and done I didn't like the way I quilted it. I fretted and thought about ripping it all out and then decided it would be fine. It'll never be a favorite but I've never met a quilt I didn't like so in the end I'll bind it and add it to the finished pile. They all can't be superstars - we must have a supporting cast, as well.

Anonymous said...

My dad's was "we're not building a watch here." LOL

Carol said...

Vicky I loved your post today...made me think of my Daddy...He always said
"If you learned something from a mistake, then it was worth making." I always loved that...so I always think for a minute about what I learned and then move on.
Thank you for reminding me of that!

Fabric Alchemy said...

Isn't it bittersweet how the tiny things sometimes remind us of people in our past we miss.

Well, as you know I have my own battle with perfection. And although I want very much to do a good job, I really found freedom in giving myself permission to learn and make mistakes.

I believe mistakes are sometimes like flaws in the way we look... they glare out at us and others don't even notice them until they are pointed out.

joyce said...

I always got the opposite comment-she's too careless. I have learned not to point out my mistakes and most people never notice them.

KCQuilter said...

Loved your post today!!! Such good food for the soul.

* * Kristie * * said...

Thanks, Vicky, for your kind words. I'll remember your father's piano comparison every time I get frustrated :)

Laurie Ann said...

My DH likes that saying too. He says "It ain't a piano!"

Yvonne said...

I'm learning that too....a mistake or bad decision was always enough to stop me in my tracks. Now I'm just trying to enjoy the process and not be so nitpicky.

Angie said...

ROFL, thanks so much for that analogy, Vicky!! I'll try to remember that one for all of the times I get so frustrated with my quilting. :D

atet said...

Hear hear -- and I've got a picture of my first quilt warts and all on its way to me. I'm going to post it soon -- scary thought, but you've just made me feel better about it!

Gail said...

I was always so worried about a mistake that I would delay starting. I'll have to make a sign to put into the quilting room "its not a piano" Vicky's dad

Tazzie said...

You know, that's a really great saying Vicki, we can all learn something from it.

cher said...

great sharing Vicky- I am so guilty of being a perfectionist myself, I would not cut fabric for a year! trying to find the perfect pattern LOL...I am way over all that nowadays..I feel quilting is my passion and my playtime..no stressing allowed!

loulee1 said...

I know where both you and your Dad are coming from. My Dad still reminds me sometimes that just because I aim high, that doesn't mean I'll hit the target everytime.
You're wedding rings look beautiful, and I'm sure when they are done your Dad would think they are a piano.

Nan said...

I absolutely LOVE this post! Your dad's comment about the piano totally strikes a chord (really, no pun intended!) with me. I try and forgive myself for mistakes I make and move on, but I find myself dwelling on them, long after I've either fixed the errors or haven't! It's like "How stupid can I be?" - on occasion, pretty darn stupid, it would appear! But, you're right, I learned a valuable lesson - I just wish I didn't have to keep learning valuable lessons quite so often - LOL!!
Next time I make a boo boo, I am going to tell myself that I'm "not building a piano here"! Thanks Vicky!!