Thursday, December 6, 2018

~ Fudging It ~

Earlier in the week a fellow blogger/quilter and I had a lengthy email conversation about Bonnie Hunter quilts and accuracy.  In our conversation she stated that accuracy was a challenge and she felt until she were better at it she couldn't make a Bonnie quilt.  This really bothered me.  Why?  Because I know the truth about quilting and what quilt makers and designers do to make you think everything went perfectly.  Lets say that again in bold print so it sinks in.....TO MAKE YOU THINK EVERYTHING WENT PERFECTLY.  Oh yes my friends, most designers won't admit it and you will rarely find a blog post or YouTube video about it but the truth is WE FUDGE IT!  It's one of things you need to learn as a quilter or you'll never finish a quilt.  To be honest I can't think of one quilt in my 30 yrs of quilting that has been 100% perfect.  This used to bother me until I went to Lancaster Pennsylvania.  I was expecting the most perfect and beautiful quilts from those Amish gals, who I thought were the best quilters in the country.  Wrong!  Every quilt I looked at had mistakes.  Then I remembered the humility block must be the reason.  Wrong again.  The humility block is one of those lies in the quilting community.  The mistakes you see in Amish quilts is just a quilter who didn't care that she made an error.  We are imperfect humans.   Then I thought a big quilt show would have nothing but perfect quilts....wrong again!

So what's going on?  Fudging and an attitude adjustment.  These errors in quilting that are visible when close up are not so visible from afar.  The quilt is beautiful.  Since I'm writing this post for a blogger who would love to make a  Bonnie quilt but is fearing her quilt won't be worthy let me share this with you.  This week I purchased my first, well all of Bonnie's books, Merry Christmas to me.


As I looked through the books last night I started paying attention to the pictures in the books.  Bonnie if you're reading this, forgive me.  I'm not picking on you, I think you and your quilts are amazing.  And the most amazing thing about Bonnie is she's REAL.  Not afraid to show up close the reality of quilting.  Look at this amazing quilt!  There's so much movement and at the same time a place for your eye to land.  Some would say it's busy.  But you know what, that busy hides a lot.


Now let's get real.  In this close up shot I see several mistakes but have only pointed out one.  The center of this block isn't perfect.....And she gave it a close up shot in the book!  It doesn't get more real than that.  This is a form of fudging it.  Who cares if it's not perfect it still looks great.


So it wouldn't be fair to just pick on Bonnie.  Most of my quilts are stored away right now due to the construction we've had going on in the past year.  But I did have my one and only Bonnie quilt on display in my studio because I love it so much, even with all its errors.  Here's a picture I took when finishing it earlier in the year.  Quite stunning, huh! 


 Lets get in there a little closer.  Still looks pretty darn good.


Now lets get real.  I had a terrible time getting things perfect, cut off points....


....Seams that didn't line up.  But she is still one of the most amazing quilts I've ever made.  Thank you Bonnie for all you do for the quilting community by keeping it real.


So remember I said no one wants to talk about fudging it.  Well I did a google search, several in fact.   Trying to find blog post about leaving mistakes in quilts, hiding mistakes and fudging in quilts.   Most of what I found was bloggers and shop owners telling you how to fix your errors, or how not to make the mistake in the first place. I found ONE quilter who was willing to be real.  The quilt she's working on isn't her quilt but she does talk about how she too fudges.  Hop over to   Jo at Jo's Country Junction for a  great blog post about what sometimes is on the inside of the quilt that we will never see.  Thank you Jo for your honesty. 

When I searched Fudging in quilts this is what came up.  Only 2 pages of quilters talking about fudging.  I search every term I could think of to find quilters talking about hiding error, making it work and this was the best results.   I found it very interesting that most of these are lines out of quilt books.  The first gal is still in denial...LOL!



And guess who was in the line up of real quilters?  It was a line right out of one of her books.  Yes ma'am!  Bonnie!  So I had to see it for myself, page 24 of String Fling.  It's there in black and white....FUDGING!

So my point is, never be afraid to try something new.  Never be afraid of it not being perfect.  Always know that online quilters are very selective about what they show you.  I know it's hard to believe that the internet would lie to you.  It's not that we are lying, it's the Don't Ask, Don't Tell motto. Maybe a full sized Bonnie Mystery quilt isn't for you.  Doing half would be a great way to start.  I totally understand loving Bonnie's quilts but being afraid to jump in with both feet.  I did it too.  But now I look at differently. It's fun, it's a break from my everyday quilting routine, and lets face it.....IT'S JUST FABRIC, most of us have more than we could ever use in our lifetime. 

So I like to put out a challenge to all you bloggers, instagrammers, facebookers.  Lets start a new hashtag  #quiltfudging  Can you keep it real?  Anyone up for a Fudging it linky party?  If you are let me know and I'll be more than happy to set up a linking party.  




#quiltfudging #podunkpretties #quilting 
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29 comments:

  1. This post is fantastic! I know I am so hard on myself when I make a mistake but when it all comes together, it is wonderful. I'll do a post on #quiltfudging in the the New Year.

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  2. Great post - and so very true. I enjoy quilting so much better since learning that perfect isn't a requirement. I have a friend who was in total dismay about a wall hanging she was making as a gift because she "fudged" some seams and "what if they take it apart and see the seams aren't all 1/4 inch?". It took some effort to convince her the wall hanging was beautiful and no one would ever take it apart. The recipients love it.

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  3. Jo is another that tells it like it is

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  4. I am definitely learning about standing back and looking at the whole picture rather than only staring at small sections and only seeing the inconsistancies and missmatched seams and wonky 'straight' lines. I am slowly learning to do this with my quilts i just need to work out how to transpose this into the rest of my life. thanks for reminding me that other people dont get it perfect every time too

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    1. We're all learning all the time. Quilting has come a long way in the last few years. It's getting ready to make another big change. Thanks for stopping by my blog, hope to see you again. Lots of new stuff planned for the year ahead!

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  5. Thank you, LeAnn. Great column. My mom, who hated sewing,coined a family joke phrase years ago
    "STLC sewing" (slapped together like cr#p). My daughter now uses it too, it makes us giggle and remember nothing in life is perfect, least of all sewing.

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  6. LOL!...That's a new one for me! Too Funny! I'll be using it too!

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  7. Great post. I've learnt the lesson long ago. Now it doesn't bother me if there are some mistakes, as long as the overall image is ok. Thanks for writing about it.

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  8. Interesting reading! And so glad others 'fudge' things too!

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  9. I’ve been doing a lot of Star blocks and getting everything ‘perfect’ has been virtually impossible, not to mention the time, stress, and fabric wasted. So knowing even Amazing quilters fudge it is a great thing to hear. I need to remember that Quilting is supposed to be fun!

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  10. Thank you for this post, I'm all for it. I made Bonnie's En Provence, didn't know at all what I was doing, but I followed her instructions and think it is a masterpiece. I couldn't believe that it all came together and very nearly fit perfectly! I learned so much from the process and would never part with it.

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  11. I was very lucky to be taught the "galloping horse rule" during my first quilt making class. If you can't see it from a galloping horse, no one else will notice. So I rarely worry about the mis-matched seam or cut off star points. Thanks for a great post debunking the "perfect" myth.

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  12. I love those perfect points all matched up. But a little bit of truth serum here I do fudge it to get them to look okay. I think 'fudging it' should be a term in any quilters dictionary.

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  13. Lea Anne you rock. Thank you for this post. I learned long time ago perfection is over rated. lol
    Hugs
    donna

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  14. This is why I love following you and Jo!

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  15. Thank you for a very informative post - it's good to know there are lots of fudgers about haha

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  16. Thank You So Much for saying this. I also feel like if it's not perfect rip it apart until it is! My quilt teacher Karen long ago said there is no quilt police, so to step back and if you can't see it let it go! I will admit if i catch a mistake i do my best to fix it and often times i do let it go. Reading what you said today will help me get back to the many tops still waiting to be fixed and finished and i thank you for that!!! Carmen

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  17. Great post, Lea Anne! I believe more of us fudge than will admit to it! We strive for accuracy, but in all honesty, sometimes it just doesn't work out! I love that there are no quilt police!! Thanks for sharing this.

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  18. This was a wonderful post, thank you! Hugs,

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  19. Great post! Thank you. That's why I love to quilt, because fabric is "workable".

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  20. I remember piecing blocks together, in a quilt top similar to a Trip around the world, but not... and at least two blocks/squares were NOT square! Cut them at the same time! Off by about 1/2 inch. That is my biggest fudge that I recall. I eased the extra fabric in.

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  21. I heard the galloping horse rule years ago. Also the "done is better than perfect" rule. And for those who don't like the term fudging, how about the phrase from Tim Gunn on Project Runway show - "make it work!". I do my best to keep them in mind. The only time I redo is if the seam allowance such that seams pulling apart is a real danger.

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  22. Perfection is only required if you're going for the big prize at a national quilt show. Otherwise, don't stress over it! I've made quilts where the points don't match, and I keep going.

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  23. Thanks for a great post. I have no problem owning up to my mistakes, but I don’t use the term “fudging”. I call them “missssnakes” (see, even the word is mistaken!) I’ve found that practice helps reduce (but not eliminate) missing points and mismatched seams. I’m proud of my quilts, missssnakes and all!

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  24. I found your blog through the week 3 linky for the Good Fortune mystery. I stuck around to read some of your stuff. I love this! I am a non perfectionist. I have found that my love of quilting diminishes with seam ripping and agonizing over nipped of points. So I do my best to be accurate. I try to match my seams perfectly. When it happens it's a happy miracle, lol. I'm not perfect, and neither is my quilting. That being said, we're both pretty good. And that's what makes me happy!

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  25. This is great. And my husband often reminds me that unless you say something to people, the only one who sees your "mistakes" is you.

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  26. Great post! Many times I show mistakes in the quilts that I make although I never thought to call it fudging. I would rather have a finished quilt that isn't perfect instead of an unfinished perfect one. I have made 4 or 5 of Bonnie's quilts and love them. Are they perfect.....nope!

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  27. Ah yes, fudging it!! I usually do it by putting the larger piece on the bottom when sewing something that needs to match, or pinning to encourage (force!) things to match, and even with that, so much of my stuff is just a little off! :-) I think I need to use more starch to keep the darn fabric from stretching and skewing!! Hahaha!! Thanks for this post!!! Hugs, H

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