Back to School for QuiltersAugust 15, 2012
During the next two weeks 3-year-olds will march into preschools...some will bound into the classroom full of energy and excitement, while others will cling to a parent's leg with teary eyes, afraid of the unknown beyond the doorway.
As quilters, we aren't that much different from those toddlers who start on a new journey each Fall. Quilt shops have been gearing up all summer for "the return of the quilters” - that special time when piecers and quilters finally put the gardening tools aside, shake the sand from their flip-flops, and start to think about what projects they can tackle in the long winter months ahead.
Shop newsletters will be full of classes for new quilters, as well as exciting and challenging classes for the experienced crowd. Some quilters will scurry to sign up, just like the Energizer Bunny preschoolers who are excited by the possibilities inside that classroom. But other quilters will still be clinging to the "familiar and comfortable", afraid to try new methods or experiment with new or different fabrics and products.
Both types of quilters can learn something from each other. If you are one who tries every new technique or product that debuts each season, it's a safe bet that you have quite a pile of UFOs around that embody every class you have ever taken. Your pleasure comes from experimenting with the "new and different" and you don't worry about whether you actually finish a project...the process is most important.
But if your quilting personality leans toward the "familiar and comfortable" then your UFO pile is bound to be small. That's because you like the feeling of accomplishment when you see a project through from start to finish. The same methodical, rhythmic process of repetition that gives you pleasure would drive the Energizer Bunny quilter crazy!
This fall, why not see how the other half lives? If you are bouncing from project to project with jackrabbit speed, make a personal commitment to complete two projects before the year ends. Dig through that pile of UFOs and choose two of your favorite techniques to revisit. If you are the methodical, "predictable" quilter, challenge yourself to get out of your zone and try something foreign to you. Never machine appliqued? Sign up for class. Don't have more than a yard of yellow fabric in your stash? Force yourself to buy 8 fat quarters and design a sunshine-filled wall hanging that will brighten your days in the winter months ahead.
The world is your classroom. Stop clinging to someone's leg, afraid to take risks. The minute you stop learning and growing (not only as a quilter but in every aspect of your life--personally, spiritually, professionally, emotionally) is when you're "on the wrong side of the grass!" Make every moment count.
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