Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Call me a perfectionist ...

During my first conversation with a new acquaintance recently, my precious 12 year old daughter innocently volunteered the information that I am a perfectionist. The woman we were talking to suggested to my daughter that perhaps she didn't need to divulge her mother's bad habits so soon! Well, I have to say that I actually don't consider my perfectionist tendencies a bad habit. They make my life much more complicated than it needs to be, but it is how I have been made. As proof that I am comfortable with my perfectionist nature, I will share the following! For as long as I have been quilting, I have aspired to a perfect quarter inch seam. My seams have consistently been a smidgen too deep, which for most patterns isn't a problem. But I am really keen to master a perfect seam allowance before I attempt the scariest quilt on my 'to do' list - Miss Rosie's 'Summer Wind': As you may be able to see from the picture, the smallest seam error will simply compound as rows are added consecutively to the central block of this pattern. In my quest for accuracy, I came across this wonderful post and this one, which detail how to perfect a seam width which will give accurate block sizes every time. In summary, I build a temporary barrier from a wad of Post-it notes and tape it to my machine at a position which gives me a 'scant' 1/4 inch seam. As I sew a seam, the fabric butts up against the barrier as you can see in the photo, and prevents me from sewing too deeply. The little notch cut out of the Post-it notes accommodates the feed dogs below. If you are totally confused as to what I am on about, read the links I have listed. This technique has really worked for me. I have been teased about my perfectionism so many times, it no longer offends. So feel free to tease away! But call me 'anal' and that's quite another story!


  1. Don't change we love you as you are...what wrong with anal...I am a bit that way with my work...

  2. From one Anal/Perfectionist to another.... Don't Change a thing.
    I too have very anal tendencies and I love them.
    The neat cutlery draw, the perfectly straight papers before stapling together. The timers back to clock mode.
    The towels hung perfectly, the clothes hung in the correct order on the clothes horse.
    Do I need to go on. There is a certain person in blogland that can verify a few of these. Can't change, won't change.

  3. ps. Thanks for the links, I have been having a problem with this even though I have a 1/4" foot.
    I'll have a look at your links for help. You have chosen a tricky pattern.

  4. Perfectionism perfected just results in things turning out the way you want them! And with the time and money and spirit invested in a quilt, that's much desired!

    Please, please, please share progress with Summer Wind when you get there. I have that pattern in my stash and would love to learn from you.

  5. I just found your blog and can't resist commenting on this.

    I too am a perfectionist, but I don't consider it a bad habit....I consider it a good one. By working to do things right the first time, I don't have to rip and re-sew! I'd rather be neat than sloppy anyday. So, please feel free to call me a perfectionist. I happen to love the title.

  6. I have recently bought a quarter inch foot, and it has changed my life. Honestly I don't know how I managed B4. I would like to be one of your kind - perfectionist that is - but sadly, I'm the opposite! I will check out this method as it sounds interesting.

  7. What star sign are you, because I am sure that has alot to do with some people being perfectionists. I know a few ladies like you and I wouldn't want to change them at all so I am sure you don't need to change.

  8. This is a great idea, and don´t stop being a perfectionist.

  9. Good luck with that quilt - I get called anal all the time.

  10. I wish Bernina would modify their 1/4" foot to include a bar along the edge a la Janome.....I just KNOW i would do a more accurate seam.....LOVE the Bernina edge foot (10)...perhaps we should suggest it to Bernina......will try the stack of Post It notes idea......

  11. Thanks for sharing this lovely post, I will surely try it out!!

    But: the links you refer to are no longer active, sadly. Would have loved to read some moere about it...


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