Ok… so… we need to talk. I’m about to tell you why it is time to step out of your comfort zone in quilting. (Yes, I’m talking to you.) Why you should challenge your quilting skills is exactly this…

That simple design that you have tried on your first several quilts? They were good and you gained some decent skills. You may have branched out a bit with a half square triangle even (woah now!). I’m sure you chose it because you were pretty sure that you couldn’t mess it up too bad. Am I right?

Are you up for a challenge?

I will not go all ‘mom’ on you and tell you to reach for the stars and challenge your dreams. I’m not going to feed you a bunch of junky pep talk stuff either.

What it does come down to though, is this: If you refuse to take on more challenging quilts and keep raising the bar…. you’ll never be better than you are right now. Maybe a little harsh tough love, I know, but you’re the one who has to decide if where you are right now is enough for you.

“How do I know if I’m ready for a challenge?”

Let me tell you: If you’re asking that questions with uncertainty… you’re ready. Take this as a sign that you should break free. If you feel like you’ve semi-mastered (hint: did you catch the ‘semi’? You don’t have to be a pro) the basics, it is time to step it up a little.

If you know without a doubt you’re not comfortable with your skills yet… hang back and work some more but don’t let your insecurities keep you from moving forward. You can do this.

If you’ve mastered some basic quilting stitches and have an idea (even a rough one) of what you’re doing… you can creep up to slightly more challenging ideas. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Because I say you should be ready doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to just take off and fly straight out the nest into the clouds just because. Let me tell you… it is always challenging to learn a new skill. Whatever it may be. But what seems easy to you now once was really difficult. You learn. Then, you get better. You learn some more. Repeat.

Here are a few ways you can step up the quilting skill ladder.

  1. Purchase a new pattern – Decide on it. Do it. Get to work. Choose something you’re semi-comfortable with.  Something that scares you just a little bit but still feels doable? If you can find this, you’re RIGHT on target. Don’t go super pro level yet or you’ll end up frustrated and in over your head.
  2. Take a class – Check out your local quilt shop or look online for anyone offering classes. Most of the quilt shop classes will have several to choose from… everything from a make and take projects to a course that takes several weeks to complete. You can even take some classes online at your own pace!  Check out Craftsy for online courses.
  3. Start small – Look for a “Block of the Month Club” to join. It is exactly what it sounds like. Every single month you get one block to create at your own pace and eventually, you can sew each block together to create a larger piece. When broken up into multiple small projects, these quilts seem like a breeze and always have a triumphant ending!

The most important part of growing is…

Never let yourself stay still or become bored. Keep going. Keep trying new things and think of yourself as a rock star, always. New to quilting? – Yeah, ready for your first big number one hit! Been quilting a while? – ready for this next album to be your best yet!

You can do anything you put your mind to, honey. – (That’s exactly what my grandma would tell me… maybe I will leave a little ‘mom’ advice with you today?)

Happy quilting!

PS – We’re all looking to learn new things. Let me know in the comments what it is that you’re dying to try yet but maybe aren’t sure if you’re ready just yet! What is going to be your next #1 hit?!

If you’re still not comfortable with the basics, don’t worry! visit my Start here – Quilting 101 page and get the tutorials and info you need to really own your skills. You totally can do this! 🙂

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