I've been thinking about what to tell my demo attendees tomorrow. (If you haven't heard I am doing a demo at Happiness is...Quilting tomorrow between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm...the topic is Perfect Piecing)
I compiled a short list of tips that, time permitting, I will print out on index cards to give my "fans". However, I am not so sure that is the best thing I could share with them, there is something more tugging on my heart, something more important.
One of my all time favorite books is Euclid's "Elements". It is my standard for directions. Euclid lays out his definitions at the beginning of each section, declares his intentions at the beginning of each law, and then succinctly proves it to be so. Q.E.D. He never leaves his audience confused or unclear as to the veracity of his goals. "Elements" is one of the books that would bring me comfort on a desert island.
In keeping with Euclid, I offer you a definition....a place to start.
"Perfection" is the complete and utter attainment of a goal. It is something free from blemish or error.
If you plan to loose 30 pounds in two months and you do it you have in a sense attained perfection. You can pick and choose goals; accomplish each without error; and live a perfect life. It sounds so easy...and we all know that it isn't exactly the case. Our hearts tell us it is something more.
If you can pick and choose what areas to seek perfection in...then what keeps us all from declaring ourselves perfect. Why don't we stick to our own goals and call it good? Why do we strive after something that someone else declares the goal and curse ourselves when we can't do it? I don't get it. "Perfection" shouldn't be so arbitrary.
And in walks Jesus! (Thank you God!)
I believe in the Bible. You don't have to, it is up to you. I do. It tells me that God is perfect. He is without blemish. He is unchanging, complete, and true. In Him there is no lie. In Him and through Him all things that are, are. He made the world and everything in it perfectly in the garden of Eden.
Unfortunately that perfection that was Eden didn't last. Not God's fault. I don't claim to understand it, but I know that it was no surprise to Him. He knows the end from the beginning and chose to do things this way. The perfection that was Eden is a shadow of a memory to us.There is something of it that still exists...in our hearts...that tells us there is indeed such a thing as perfection. That is what keeps us striving for it. That is also why we never attain it.
Knowing all of this from before the beginning God planned a way to fix it. He sent his perfect and only son, Jesus. Again, I don't understand all of the whys - the cost of the ticket back to Eden is a perfect (there is that word again) blood sacrifice. God chose Jesus as the subject of that sacrifice. Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for all of us to attain the perfection that was Eden, the perfection of being face to face with God.
And what does all of this have to do with piecing a quilt?
As long as there are people there are going to be different ideas about what perfect is. Quilts win ribbons because they appeal to someone's idea of perfection, and that someone is always changing. I can loose a lot of sleep worrying about whether or not my work is up to that constantly moving standard, or I can rest and rely on God's. I need to relax and enjoy the ride.
Quilters need to do that too. The goal of "perfect piecing" is not perfection. The goal is piecing a quilt better than I did before...and enjoying the process.