Good Enough


It all started… I’ll be honest. It’s been so long since it started, I’m not sure when or where. A grandchild was on the way, I bought fleece for a bunting, and actually had it done when the big day arrived. A major miracle in my life! I also had enough fabric left over that my eye wandered to the blanket pattern included with the bunting. Once I’d decided to go for it, I figured out that the blanket was two-sided, not one, and headed back to the store. I found a coordinating fleece: more monkeys, same brown, one side green, the other blue. Cut them out, stitched around the edge, and basted the binding in place. So far, so good. The baby’s here, but he’s got plenty of blankets. No, they don’t need more but this will be adorable; keep going. I began stitching the binding in place, but soon realized it was bunching and uneven. I ripped out the stitches, adjusted the machine and tried again, more carefully this time. Same result. Did I try a third time before concluding that it was simply too thick for the pressure foot? Either way, as the baby grew, I determined I’d need to rip out the stitches – again! – and attach the binding by hand.

As is typical in my life, time has a way of getting away from me. Days became months. Books were read, chores done, vacations taken, a few stitches pulled. The baby is a toddler just past his first birthday, and I’ve decided it’s now or never. This will not be one more project for the pile of things never to be completed! The sewing machine mistakes are gone and I’m working steadily to attach the binding. Maybe half way around, sections hemmed both blue side and green, I begin to calculate when I’ll be ready to actually send it his way… when I reluctantly admit the binding is twisted. Not everywhere but in more than a spot or two. Twisted, puckered, not lying flat. Call it what you will, it’s wrong. Done badly. Sloppy work by someone who knows better.

So now what? I can follow my inclination, set it aside in frustration and pretend I’ll get back to it someday; knowing it’s more likely to find its way into a box of projects past. I can keep going, see if I can get the rest of it to lie flat and pretend no one will notice. I suppose I could try to make it all pucker and pretend it was meant to be that way, but I don’t think I’m that good, and it may already be too late (I really do believe a little is behaving). And yes, sigh, groan, wince, I suppose I could rip it out, try again and work at it until I get it right. Like I was taught. Anything worth doing is worth doing right, right? Ugh.

What do I want to teach Garth? That Grandma Alice loves him so much that she is determined to get this homemade present to him, regardless the condition – or that he’s special enough that she’s willing to do her very best for him?  I have a hunch that that observant, ever watchful little brain of his has already figured out I won’t always be on time; but I want him to know that I’ll come through. But with what? Quality and care? Sloppy and marginal? Perfectionism and compulsiveness? It’s a continuum, and both of us will have to find the balancing point, something like doing our best and tending to detail, while knowing when its good enough and letting it go.

As for the blanket, I can do better; hopefully I can also get it done.

16 February 2013


    • kim on January 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Its perfectly stitched with love! He loves it and until reading this none of us has noticed its imperfections. And the lesson, if they’re noticed at all, I’d that we’re all human, not perfect, and sometimes our best is late and full of character!

  1. I’ll sew for you – and him – anytime! Thanks.

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