Hi there! Do you know what it feels like to have it all together? Like really, all together… Your life is perfect. It is amazing! You have the time to quilt and you’ve already learned all the skills to perfection. YOU are a master quilter now!
Do you know how perfect that feeling is!?
………………….. yeah, me either.
I can guess that you maybe DO know the feeling that you’re struggling and the pattern you once felt joy for suddenly now might as well be in Greek…. and if you have to pull that seam ripper out ONE MORE TIME… ARGH! (Well… let’s not go there right now)
If you are looking to gain confidence in your quilting skills…
This is the real truth is this…
You’re not alone! We all feel less than confident from from time to time. I have seen it in every single quilter that I have ever met.
In fact, I was having a conversation with a quilter friend just today. She has been quilting A LOT longer than I have and I watched her struggle with matching some of the pieces in her pattern. the planets were all out of line and for whatever reason… it just wasn’t working right.
It just was one of those days.
I thought that as much quilting as she had under her belt and as many years experience in classes etc, SURELY she must be so confident in her skills that she never ever second guessed herself! No way!… I was apparently wrong.
This really brought about a new feeling of love and appreciation for quilting for me. We’re all the same and we all struggle with confidence, no matter how long you’ve been quilting!
5 Actionable Steps to Gain Confidence in Your Quilting Skills:
1. Give up on perfection.
(Hear me out, ok? I’m not telling you to give up everything and quit.)
When you take perfection off the table as an option, things always get a little easier.
Just strive for being better than you were yesterday. I promise you will be amazed at what you can accomplish if you work in small steps!
How do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time.
As for your quilts – we all want them to be the absolute best they can be! Especially if your quilt recipient is a really cherished loved one.
Really be honest with yourself and know your limits. If you’ve only made 1 or 2 quilts so far, a king sized quilt maaaaay be a bit of a leap for you instead of the small step you should be looking for (hello, me in 2013 – I speak from experience on this one)
2. Step just slightly outside of your comfort zone
I wrote an entire blog post on this. You can read the whole thing here. I highly recommend you give it a read.
Cliff notes version is this: Stagnant water grows stinky and yucky. Its not flourishing with life and new amazing things!
If you feel like you even sort of have an idea what you’re doing, it is time move forward to kick it up a notch!
If you see a new pattern or idea that kind of scares you a little bit, but you love it… figure it out as you go. Challenge yourself and learn how to make it happen.
I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but imagine how amazing you’ll feel once you’ve finished it. It will be worth it!
3. Take a class
blow the dust off and g learn something new! Make your brain work a little bit.
This is a great way to build your confidence! The more comfortable you are with a variety of different skills, the less daunting some of the others will seem.
Me, when I figured out how to do the quilt binding and it actually looked good? – boom! I was ready to take on the world! hallelujah! note: I made a video to show step by step how I do my quilt bindings.
You can check out your local quilt shops and see if they can point you in the right direction for local classes or you can check out a few online classes. I personally really love Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy). You can search absolutely everything there.
You don’t have to teach a whole lecture in front of 100 people!
Just find the kid down the street who seemed interested in your sewing machine or invite another friend over who is curious about quilting with some of the old fabric she has laying around.
Bonus points if they already know how to sew a little bit and you can learn from each other. Work on a project together!
5. Don’t let failure scare you
This is a hard one to learn sometimes, but goes along with what I said earlier on shooting for small steps forward instead of frustrating big leaps.
If you know if your heart that you are not quite ready for a quilting skill or pattern, but still really want to try it… go for it. You may surprise yourself. -or- you may fall flat on your face in a heap of ‘well that didn’t work out‘. ouch.
Either way, don’t let it deter you from setting it aside to come back to it later and move on to trying other things!
You never know if you don’t even try, right?
In conclusion, confidence isn’t something you just inherantly have. It is something you build over time.
If you want to gain confidence in your quilting skills, you’re going to have to work at it. Give yourself win after win and really allow yourself be proud of what you accomplish!
Quilting isn’t always easy and we all have our struggle days… but the more you can move forward with these 5 steps, the more you will really let that confidence flourish inside of you.
Hey! Let me know what you do on your worst quilting days and how you give yourself a pep-talk when things aren’t going your way. I would love to hear it! 🙂