Perfectionist? NO!

I have said many times in the past that I really don’t enjoy doing applique.   Why is that?   Too much pressure for perfection!    You might think that someone who does so much hand quilting has a lot of patience…but I don’t.    So many applique techniques that I have seen produce beautiful results and frankly I just can not imagine myself doing it.   Backbasting, freezer paper and starch with a mini iron etc, I just don’t have it in me to be that meticulous. I feel like I could have all the applique finished before I get that kind of prep done and I just get to anxious to get stitching.  I can’t follow the rules and I can’t be perfect….but it turns out that I can enjoy doing it my own way once I give myself permission to forego perfection.     That is also how I handle piecing and hand quilting….I get a lot done because I don’t put on the pressure of perfection.   That doesn’t mean that I don’t care or try to do a good job It does mean that I have made complete quilt tops without ever using a seam ripper, every point might not match but they work for me. Most of my had quilting is done by eye because I hate the tedious marking needed to be perfect.    I don’t enjoy the pressure that comes from trying to be perfect.  Quilting should be fun and for me that happens when I relax and let it happen.   (which doesn’t mean that can’t be fun for many, everyone is different and enjoys different things)

So that being said I am very happy with how my “just do it” needle turn applique is turning out.   click picture to enlarge

I posted about how I am doing it here

Happy quilting


31 thoughts on “Perfectionist? NO!

  1. Cheri says:

    I like your approach. I love doing needle turn appliqué, and I too want to avoid as much prep work as possible. I’m happy with an “organic” look. 😊 Your snow flake is gorgeous!

  2. Deb says:

    I’m perfectly fine with imperfections,I sure glad the years ago quilters didn’t give up because of imperfection. I think handmade means to be yourself , a unique person, something that is different from others. Your work is you and I enjoy it seeing it!

  3. Maureen Jackson says:

    Regional communication issue I guess but butcher paper is the same as freezer paper so why do you prefer pinning your paper cuts for tracing rather than using freezer paper for cutting and tracing? I know we get used to our own ways but I was just curious.


    • timquilts says:

      OK….I never heard it called butcher paper……..If I could find it 48 inches wide I would have used it for this but the brown paper is inexpensive and comes in a roll that wide so I can fold and cut it and make the design in one piece ….for a smaller design I use freezer paper …

  4. Linda says:

    You are doing a great job, Tim. Finding our own way is what each of us should do 🙂

  5. Martha Caterino says:

    Needed new attitude of “just do it!”
    Finished is better than perfect.
    You are my favorite quilt blog…so down to earth!

  6. Sharron K. Evans says:

    You’re moving along! This is great to watch!

  7. katlorien says:

    It looks beautiful to me Tim. I do a lot of applique with starch and mini iron and people say it’s lovely but I wouldn’t have the patience, so I think what you say is right. I will be demonstrating to my group next year and I will tell them “just enjoy it, relax, don’t be too fussy”.

  8. Pam G. says:

    I love your attitude & have learned from it. I’m getting more done by just doing it and not worrying about the ‘perfection’ part, what which a MAJOR hurdle for me. Snuggles to Teddy.

  9. Val Edwards (Wales, UK) says:

    Well done Tim – it just had to be said. Surely once a craft/skill/hobby stops being subjective the spontaneous creativity level (and joy) takes a plunge?? Guidelines and tips are very useful but shouldn’t become rules . Can’t remember where I read that perfection only exists in relative terms ! One of our girls was challenged daily by a tutor at Art college who criticized her interpretive achievements and ‘third eye’ as being less than perfect – where does that thinking come from?? I’m on your team – whatever works for you produces gorgeous results……..

  10. treadlemusic says:

    Totally agree. When it ceases to be a creative, relaxing enjoyable activity, I will move on!!!!!!! Love your applique!!!!!

  11. Linda says:

    Thanks for giving some of permission to not be perfect. LOL. I certainly am not perfect with anything I do. I just can’t be that anal/melancholy. I like to enjoy my projects (of course many people do truly enjoy doing the perfectionist thing and that is great – for them). I hate marking for quilting lines so I just do in the ditch which I only consider ok. I may try something without marking it, just once. 🙂

  12. Rhonda Casey says:

    I’m going to take this post and hang it on my wall. This is just the encouragement I need to get going on all my applique projects. Thanks!

  13. Craig says:

    Perfection is an illusion.

  14. Nancy says:

    Tim – I love applique, and have been doing it since the 80’s – even a mini Baltimore Album. My preferred way? Your way. Trace the shape on fabric with either a light or dark mechanical pencil, cut out with a little SA, and just needle turn. Anything else to me is just a waste of time. Your snowflake is MUCH bigger than it first seemed. Teddy was a good comparison!

  15. Annette Jacob says:

    Hey–you didn’t include Teddy :-(!!!!

  16. Susan says:

    I love your attitude: perfection is not only overrated, it is much less attractive than work that has the human touch. Keep up the good work and please keep on inspiring us.


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