About a month and a half ago, when I told Mike that I wanted to make my mom a quilt for Christmas, he was a little skeptical. He had good reason to be a little wary of my high hopes: making my first quilt in less than two months! I have piles of fabric, yarn, paper, stencils, paint, stamps...pretty much anything that can be found in a JoAnn's or the craft section of a store, I've got it. I love to experiment with things, and lately my mantra has been, Oh, I can make that. Which I enjoy, and Mike fully supports. But sometimes I get a little lofty in my goals, forgetting completely about my beginner status. So when I finally dive into whatever it is I'm diving into today, I'm often discouraged by my lack of expertise.
The biggest lesson I learned through this whole process was that there are some mistakes I should make myself and learn from, and then there are mistakes that countless others have made before me, from whom I can learn. And learn I did. By some stroke of luck (or just the timing of my venture with the colder season), two of my favorite blogs posted tutorials and resources on making quilts. If you're thinking about making your first quilt, I highly recommend bookmarking Smile and Wave's Square Patchwork Quilt DIY and Enjoy It's How to Make a Triangle Quilt, if only for moral support and visuals of what you hope to achieve.
I had let the project stall for a couple weeks when Rachel posted her tutorial, and that night, after reading her post, I got up and sewed all of my little squares into strips. The next day, I sewed those strips together and had my very first quilt top! After that, the quilt was as good as done with the momentum I'd gained. And with that, the second biggest lesson I learned was to just get to work. When you have as many interests and hobbies and ideas as I do, it's so easy to get sidetracked, or worse, overwhelmed, by all of the things you
have want to do. But saying to myself, I'll sew all of these squares into strips tonight gave me a tangible and realistic goal that wouldn't leave me feeling like I'd bitten off more than I could craft. After I changed my mindset, I was on a roll. I work a 40+ hour work week that has nothing to do with quilting or crafting in any way, so all of these things must be done on my own time. I managed to take off the first three days of Thanksgiving week, which allowed me to work on the quilt for hours at a time. I was able to finish that week, and I'm very glad I took that time. But not having all the time in the world is still no excuse to not do it.
What big projects have you been staring in the face for a while?