I am the President of Arapahoe County Quilters Guild.
Below is my message from our February newsletter:
At Festival of Quilts last year, I asked Ann Petersen what she would say to discouraged quilters. As we stood in front of her group’s stunning entry, she told me how she started at ACQ, years ago. Ann was both inspired and discouraged by the talent she saw. She thought she could never do those things. With teary eyes, she said, “After all these years I feel like I am finally there, like I can do now the things I dreamed of.”
As quilters, we want to be perfect, darn it! Inspired by Amish quilts in the museum and masterpieces in the magazines, we grab our gear and race to the machine, only be devastated at the first mistake. Remember, that amazing quilt hanging in the gallery is someone’s magnum opus. It is their best work and represents years of trying, ripping out and trying again. Progress is the goal, not perfection. Every project is a learning project. Every project has something to teach you.
Not one quilter is perfect. I bet even the very best quilters we have here at ACQ – and we have several amazingly talented quilters –can point out their mistakes or where they had to fix a problem. The skills truly come when you learn to fix those mistakes and try again. Almost everything in quilting is fixable.
What if I make a mistake cutting the fabric? Been there, cut that. I have cut fabric for Fons and Porter featured quilts and videos. Talk about worry! I was so nervous I felt like I might barf! But the more I did it, the more confidence I gained. Calm down, don’t rush yourself and read carefully.
Keep in mind; we are not in a fabric famine. With the resources online and in town, if you need to find more of the same fabric or very similar, the odds are ever in your favor. Or, to put it another way, “Measure once. Go buy more fabric.”
What if I can’t piece it right? Don’t fear the ripper. Rip it out, try again. Ask some quilters, watch some videos, and try again. Consider how else you can use it, like potholders or charity quilts. Or invent a new block!
What if I can’t quilt it perfectly? Repetitio, repetitio, repetitio. That is Latin for “Do it again.” That is the only way to improve – practice, take classes, ask questions and do it again.
This is one of the things I LOVE about quilting. Make friends with your seam ripper. Go easy on yourself. It might not look like you originally planned but it can still be beautiful. Almost everything in quilting is fixable.
What are your thoughts?
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