There is an old anecdote about Amish quilters that asserts every quilter must deliberately leave one mistake in each quilt as a lesson in humility. Speaking for myself, I certainly don’t need to make a concerted effort to leave a mistake in my quilts as they are full of all kinds of blunders. From the block sewn in upside down to the piece where I didn’t quite have enough of that one fabric left, it all goes back to how I learned to sew in the first place. When I was a kid learning how to sew, I didn’t go out to a fabric store to buy patterns or even fabric for that matter. I sewed with whatever leftovers scraps I could find in my mother’s sewing machine cabinet, and I just made patterns up from whatever came to mind. I was in a hurry to “make-do and get done” so I could either start playing with what I had just made or move on to the next idea that had already popped into my head.
Today there is a lot more pressure on quilters to be perfect thanks to endless pin-worthy pictures online. Every quilting blog is full of magazine-quality photos coupled with a dubious humble-brag about “just learning to quilt less than a year ago”. We must not fall victim to all that marketing hype. It’s OK to make mistakes and I would even go so far as to say making mistakes results in quilts that are special and unique. In this quilter’s opinion, it’s better to get done and be different than to give up in frustration or to produce cookie cutter perfection. Anyone can make a quilt that looks just like the one on the pattern cover but only you can make one that is truly your own.