Raise your hand if you have quilt tops you haven’t quilted because you don’t think you are good enough to quilt them? Raise your hand if you have ever pointed out quilting mistakes on your own work to someone else? Raise your hand if you have ever thrown away a quilted project because you didn’t think the quilting was good enough?
Confession…I would have to raise my hand for ALL of these things! And while it is real for me and so many others, I don’t want it to be.
I spend equal amounts of time on quilt related IG accounts as I do on design related accounts. Often in the design world you hear/see the quote, “Don’t judge your beginning by someone else’s middle,” and I just LOVE this. Easier said than done though, can I get an Amen?!?!
Often, we creatives are just “naturally good” at things. We can see something and say, “oh, I can do that.” I mean really, Pinterest was born out of that DIY mentality. We think we need to do every step of every project and do it perfectly. The devil on my shoulder says, “You can’t do it!” My angel says that is, “BS!” We do NOT have to be great or perfect at every step, and we don’t have to stop learning because we fail the first couple of times.
What we really need to do it figure out the parts of the process we LOVE doing…that we would never give away, figure out the parts we really WANT to get better at and PRACTICE, and then figure out the parts we HATE and ask for help.
For my day job I help people complete their charitable estate plans. When my donors find our I also quilt the stories begin to roll in. “When my grandmother died we found more than 50 quilt tops that were never quilted. Would you want them?”
This seriously breaks my heart.
I don’t want people to find unfinished projects in my sewing room because I was too ashamed to finish them. So, if you raised your hand at the start of this blog post, then listen up…I have a challenge for you! Chances are you started quilting to bring you joy, not to have a reason to beat yourself up. Quilt shame sneaks up on us because we are creatures of affirmation and negative comments from others can pull us into dark places.
Quilting should be bringing light into your life. Not shame.
Some of us probably even feel shame about feeling quilt shame. Hit the rest button. Take your joy back and join our challenge to give yourself a productive process for kicking quilt shame in the butt.
THE QUILT SHAME CHALLENGE: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED?
Should you decide to accept the challenge, please post pictures of each of your steps using the hashtags: #quiltshamechallenge and #jitterywings.
STEP 1: Make a list, on a piece of paper or in your journal. Make a column for the following:
- Steps I love about quilting
- Steps I want to improve about my quilting
- Steps I despise about quilting
Examples might be: picking fabrics, combining colors, cutting, piecing, basting, deciding how to quilt it, quilting using free motion, quilting using a walking foot, binding, etc.
STEP 2: Under each of the items think of one or two ways to “move the needle” for yourself or someone else based on the following prompts:
- Under “Steps I love”: How will you encourage someone who doesn’t like these steps to improve or better enjoy them?
- Under “Steps I want to improve”: What action will you take to practice, learn, grow in this area? Is it a class, 15 minutes of practice a day, try a completely new process?
- Under “Steps I despise”: How will you ask for help? Get someone else to partner with you to do those steps, pay someone to do those steps, simplify the steps so you can enjoy them more, like stop trying to use a walking foot and just make wavy lines so they don’t have to be straight?
STEP 3: Make a list of your unfinished projects.
STEP 4: Determine “why” it is unfinished. Is it related to your “want to improve” or “despise” list? Did you get bored with it. Did you get distracted by something more fun?
STEP 5: Determine a plan for the project. Are you going to finish it now? Give it away? Use it for practicing your “want to improve” category? Can it be finished as practice and used for charity? Make a plan?
STEP 6: Follow through on the plan. Post your projects, before and after. Let us see you and encourage you!
If you decide to play, would love for you to comment below that you are in…Let’s do this! Quilt Shame Challenge accepted!
Facing my own Quilt Shame Regret…
This is a picture of my very first paper piecing project. The lily of the valley block in the middle. I know, seriously had no clue what I was getting into, but because I didn’t know it was suppose to be hard, I just did it. This block is like 12″ square. I loved it. I actually started quilting because I wanted to make a lily of the valley quilt in memory of my Granny Love. I got bored and overwhelmed, so I turned these into place mats. I took one free motion quilting class on Craftsy to get started and went to town on them. Because they didn’t look like the lady’s on the video, or the image in my head, I chucked them. SHAME ON ME…right…That is what I would call real quilt shame. I thought I had ruined them. It wasn’t until I had a quilt community that I realized how long it takes to get proficient at free motion quilting and piecing and all the steps. So there…we are not alone in our quilt shame…and we can work together to overcome it.