Good Morning, Quilters!
Are YOU discouraged with your free motion quilting progress?
If so, YOU are not alone-several quilters have mentioned their discouragement in the Quilting with LKQ Facebook group.
Today, I would like to address those of you who are feeling a bit discouraged….
And to quilters who have overcome discouragement–Please chime in with YOUR tips.
It’s Hard to Be a Beginner
No matter your age, it’s hard to be a beginner! It’s much more comfortable to be competent and skilled.
Unfortunately, there is only one way to gain that level of skill–practice.
I Feel YOUR Pain
A few years ago, I began dabbling in watercolor painting. Though I’ve been practicing fairly regularly for months, 98% of my work is awful.
As I write this, I’m not sure I have the courage to post a photo….
As a quilt instructor, learning watercolor painting has been an excellent reminder to me how discouraging the learning process can be! I often want to quit.
However, there are three things that keep me going:
- I enjoy the process.
- The challenge excites me.
- I believe the end result is worth it.
Enjoy the Process
I love the process of watercolor painting. I love the colors (though I often turn pretty, clear colors into mud–argh!)
And I love the meditative process of painting. If every one of my paintings went straight into the garbage-I would continue to paint because I enjoy the process.
A long time ago, even as a novice with wobbly quilting lines, I loved the free motion quilting process. (I still do, of course!)
I love the fabric and the thread colors and the hum of my sewing machine….
The focused time, away from the cares of the day or the news or social media, fills me with joy.
Embrace the Challenge
If everything in life was easy, we wouldn’t bother getting up in the morning.
The challenge of the day gets me moving. (Coffee helps too!)
It excites me to wonder whether I can paint a peony today, or quilt a new motif.
Sure, it’s fun to be able to think about a funny little dog and quilt it, but it’s equally fun to challenge myself to quilt a new design.
Experimentation is exciting–even if the results are sub-par.
The fun part is the challenge and progress–not the achievement.
Believe the End Result is Worthwhile
I LOVE anything handmade. I love the connection with the quilter or painter or potter…
YOUR handmade quilts will be cherished by your friends and family –because YOU made them.
Your perfectly imperfect quilting gives your quilts a hand made quality that you can’t buy!
Don’t compare yourself to other quilters who have been quilting for years!
Julia Cameron, (The Artist’s Way)-describes this as artist abuse.
And don’t compare yourself with bloggers–who show only the best part of their work–not the mistakes. (Trust me–I know a quilter who places her scissors or a spool of thread over the mistakes…)
Don’t Assume You’ll Never Get Better
Just because you are struggling now, don’t assume you’ll never learn how to free motion quilt smoothly. The learning process is not linear. Learning a skill is often characterized by steady improvement with occasional jumps in learning. I remember struggling with free motion quilting and then one day out of the blue (or so it seemed) I was swirling and twirling as if by magic. (The next day was a struggle)…but this was followed by more and more “magical” days. (I haven’t gotten very many “magical” painting days…but I keep trying LOL!
The Secret Recipe
Someone once said to me that quilters seem to think there is a secret trick to free motion quilting. But it’s really like dieting, we know how to lose weight–eat less, exercise more.
Here’s the secret potion:
2 dollops doodling
3 dashes quilting
Stir confidently for 15-30 minutes per day
Then bind it–Binding is like salt–everything tastes better with binding!
YOUR James Beard Award Winning Quilter,
PS….All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori @ Lori Kennedy Quilts.com and are intended for personal use. Feel free to reblog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com! Thank YOU!
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