I started this mystery quilt for my daughter a year and a half ago and completed it in a nick of time. She has always told me I work better on deadlines. Guess she is right!
Monday afternoon we drove her to college; the Sunday evening before found me sitting at the sewing machine like a wild woman. Now that it is quilted I’m not sure why I put it off so long. Intimidation I suppose. I’ve made several small quilts since my sister-in-law introduced me to the art of quilting two years ago, but this was the first “properly made” full size quilt I’ve ever attempted. The piecing was a joy – I’m a detail person so I love the challenge of lining up the shapes and seams just so, but once I got the top finished I stalled.
I began quilting it last year, but when I hit my first pucker I tuckered out. Puckers don’t sit well with perfectionist personality types like myself; yep one of the many things God’s been working on in my life. I’ve come a long way, but still – mistakes get to me – but that’s a post for another day.
Words of wisdom are ringing in my ears, “Get over it, once you wash it you’ll never know.” I had to think on that a bit because I’d know, even if no one else noticed the flaws – but as my daughter’s departure day loomed I knew it had to get done. She wanted her quilt and I wanted her to have it. I wanted her to be able to wrap up in it and feel our love and know how special she is, know that she is never alone on her new journey – that we are praying – that He is with her. That would be the quilt’s purpose, not to look perfect.
So there I sat on Sunday evening, even when my back ached and my eyes blurred. I ended up machine stitching the binding on just so I could get it finished in time; another concession to my perfectionism.
Monday morning as I pulled it out of the dryer and felt its crinkly warmth, the flaws and imperfections quickly faded from my mind and I was filled with a mixture of joy and sorrow as I realized what the moment represented. Our youngest was leaving to begin her journey. A perfect quilt was never her expectation, she just wanted to wrap up in our love.
We put too much on ourselves in our daily tasks and in our parenting. Our kids don’t expect us to be perfect, God does not expect us to be perfect. It is our love that counts. Love overcomes every flaw and mishap.
Perfectionism allowed this quilt to sit on a shelf, love got the job done – the quilt was finished, just in a nick of time as a new chapter begins in our lives.