Seven years of teaching, running my own patchwork shop and being daily surrounded by quilters of all abilities I have noticed many things about people’s attitude to sewing and one of them which is valid for most of us is our obsession with perfection! Don’t get me wrong, I understand the fact that we all strive for the best and I’m all up for improvements and getting better but at the end of the day, we all need to realize that there is no such thing as QUILTING POLICE!!!

Nobody will come and slap you on the fingers if your work is not the competition standard! Nobody will put you on the bad quilters list just because you have quilted in a ditch yet another quilt and didn’t brave up the free motion quilting. Nobody will put a big red circle on every un-matched corner you didn’t fix on your quilt.

The trouble is that we are more than happy to do all those things ourselves! We think our creations are not worthy because they don’t’ look like those in the exhibitions and magazines. We think we are bad quilters because we don’t free motion quilt or applique or (insert whichever technique you don’t’ know how to do). And we will happily point out every mistake we made to whoever starts to admire our work …

Do you recognize yourself ?? Does any of this apply to you too? And mostly what can we do about it??

Let’s start with ACCEPTANCE! We are not all Picasso or talking in our quilting terminology we’re not all Phillipa Naylor! AND IT IS OK! Maybe you are reading this and you only just picked up quilting or have been quilting/sewing only a couple of months or years. No matter how far you are on your quilting journey there will always be techniques you haven’t tried yet, techniques you just can’t get on with, there will always be seams you will need to unpick and corners that just don’t want to match no matter how many times you tried. And you know what … IT IS OK!! Wherever you are with your skills you are better than a year ago and at the same time one year from now you will be even better! So just enjoy the ride, learn from every mistake you make rather than beating yourself for them.

I give you permission to be imperfect, I give you permission to have some corners a bit crooked. After all, this is a hobby and as such, it should bring you pleasure and enjoyment, not a headache and stress! So relax, let go of your expectations and perfectionism and know there is no such thing as QUILTING POLICE to come and keep an eye on you!

The lucky loved ones receiving your creations will be overwhelmed by your effort, thought and love you put into the making. They are not going to study how it was made if it has some mistakes or how many times you had to unpick and remake some seams. And if they do so … well, in that case they don’t really deserve a handmade present from you.

Thank you for reading



  1. Deb Quilter

    The quilt police do exist, she came to our guild and told me my skills were seriously lacking for someone who had been quilting as long as i had and perhaps i should ask my husband to help more around the house and give me time to quilt more. She suggested at least 30 minutes every day and was shocked when i was not pleased with her statements. This definitely has taken some joy away from my quilting.

    1. Corinne Curtis

      NO! What a seriously awful thing for anyone to say, Deb Quilter. That might be (just about) OK in the context of learning for a formal qualification where high standards are required, but is not at all appropriate for anyone quilting for enjoyment. I’m with Vendulka all the way on this issue.

    2. Vendulka Battais Post author

      Dear @debquilter. What an awful thing to say to someone, sorry to hear about your experience! What that person should do is spent less time behind a sewing machine and more time around people practising being nice and human! I hope my article made you feel a little bit better and please take no notice of people like that, they are only projecting their own insecurities and it has nothing to do with you. If you are happy with your creations who are they to judge that! Enjoy and keep sewing!