I was recently in a quilt shop. Kelli and Georgia were with me. The gal who was working knows who we are and said something along the lines of us being quilting teachers.
Kelli and I both laughed. We aren’t really teachers when it comes to quilting. I went on to explain to the gal in the store that Kelli and I have taught some classes but admittedly, we’re not the best teachers. We just don’t know what to do with the student in the class who is overwhelmed that her block is 1/8″ off. No matter what we do, in every class we’ve ever been in, there is always one woman who is fretting over the 1/8″ that her block is off.
I’ve been in a class taught by an instructor where a woman was doing just that…worried about her 1/8″ off block. The teacher pulled her aside and asked about her cutting…asked about her seam allowance….asked about the needle she was using…asked about how she pressed it. The entire rest of the classroom was at a stand still waiting for this one woman to figure out why she had 1/8″ difference in her block.
Readers…I am 1/8″ off often when I’m sewing. VERY often. Kelli is too. The quilts we make…NOT PERFECT. Not a single one of them. EVER. The quilts we make for magazines or our book. NOT PERFECT. Oh my goodness….the truth be told, we aim for perfect blocks but it rarely happens.
I went on to tell the lady in the store that in reality…I think my entire life is 1/8″ off. I’ve simply learned to be a good fudger.
Students in a class want the instructor to give them all some magical tip that will make their seams perfect and their blocks to come out perfect. The truth of the matter is there are tips and tricks but even if you follow them, you will likely have a block or two from time to time that isn’t perfect. Some people say, “Oh my goodness, I’m an 1/8″ off. I must redo the block”. Me, I say…”Cool. I don’t have to rip that out. I’m only an 1/8″ off!!”
I’m not one that is going to throw the block out so…I learned to fudge. I learned to flip seams. I learned to care more about the enjoyment and process of sewing and less about the HIGH bar of perfection.
So…if you ever have us come and teach. We’ll tell you how to make the block. We can talk you about color. We’ll show you have to press the seam. We will tell you 100 stories about 100 different experiences we’ve had. We’ll laugh and joke between the two of us. We’ll show you how to cut, sew and do your best…but if your seam is 1/8″ off. You’re on your own as we accept that as to about as perfect as a person can get. We’re happy to show you tips on fudging things so you can get the block in your quilt and look just fine…but again…if you want us to help you fix the 1/8″ that your block is off, we’re just not your girls.
People have said that I seem like a genuine happy person. People have said that I have an upbeat attitude. I think in reality, I’ve simply been living my life 1/8″ off. Perfection isn’t my goal. Good is my goal…and even then, I often fall short. I’m okay with that most of the time. On the day I’m writing this I cleaned up puke from kids 4 times today….2 different kids. ICK. I’m okay with it. Puke is not my favorite…but I’ve gotten far enough in life that it finally doesn’t make me puke. I’ve learned to expect that each day will not be perfect. Each day will be 1/8″ off…and 1/8″ is a perfectly okay amount to be off…because I know how to fudge 1/8″ and make it all look okay.
If anyone reading this is a person concerned about that 1/8″, please note that this is written partly in jest. I do not mean to offend anyone. You do you and if that 1/8″ is important to you, go for it girl!
Are you a fudger like Kelli and I? Inquiring minds want to know.