Over the weekend my eldest daughter and I were fortunate enough to host a baby shower for my younger daughter, whose baby is due within the next month. A little Virgo just like Ouma is on his way...and his Mommy is privileged to have no less than 3 Virgo's in her life! Yeah, she married well, a Virgo too. Having to live with a Virgo means you'll be well trained in their finicky, critical, overkill on detail, high standard way of looking at the world, but you can also always count on them to clean after you, being there for you, allowing you to use them...because their's is the path of service to the world.
There is a lot to say about Excellence and it's little brother, Perfectionism, especially in quilting. Let's just agree that, when you go to extra lengths to make something with your hands and spend a lot of money in the process, you might as well do it to the best of your abilities. Some fairy Godmother set a whole lot of rules long ago as far as quilting, sewing, doing woodwork or whatever other craft you do are concerned. True, if you follow those rules, it makes your job so much easier and the end result is almost always better. I always enjoyed it endlessly to work on a customer's neatly pieced, perfectly ironed, straight and flat quilt; could normally not wait to put my teeth in there and always tried to quilt it as neatly and perfectly.
That being said, one needs to be able to draw a line somewhere and decide that enough is just enough! Yeah Virgo - you too! At some point you need to put your unpick down, take a good look at the work done and if you can honestly say that you have done everything within your powers with the tools available and the knowledge you have, you then have to let it go! Seriously, fabric is a fragile thing; you don't want to produce a quilt that is oh, so perfectly sewn, but looks as if it was handed down to you by your grandmother...so frail of all the unpicking and washing you have done in your process to meet Perfection at the finish line. The Virgo in me is seldom satisfied with the quality of work and often left me unpicking whole quilts, letting many valuable hours to drain away in my painful strife for perfectionism. The old adage of learning through your mistakes is so true. Besides, anything you do has it's own learning curve and hand work is after all...hand work! It is not supposed to be perfect, you do not work with cement and you are not a machine. Your "mistakes" (often hidden to other people's awareness levels) make your work unique. You have put your stamp on the end product and that is good. You have to find joy in the making of it, not resentment that leaves your quilt to become an UFO. Learn from your mistakes - they add their own value to your growing process.
A Virgo's home will always be as clean as a new pin, her things will always be organised to a scary moment in time, but I often look at other people who do not put as much emphasis on doing everything so correctly and painfully perfect...and I envy them for the joy they find in their lives. So, I made a new rule for my own work: I am only allowed to unpick anything 3 times (yeah...3!), but thereafter it must be considered a done job! I'll keep a little black book and record the things that I have done "wrong" - so next time I encounter the same problem, I can reflect back on those experiences. Not?
If you experience similar Virgo traits, I feel for you...Let's unite in our war against the thief of our time and put some real joy in our work! Goodbye Mr Perfect, you can take leave now!
Yours in quilting
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!