Tuesday, February 19, 2008


You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.


Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is.


Many years ago, I did a lot of sewing, crafts, and even dabbled in quilting. Then a new baby, a new business, and eventually a move really slowed me down. My sewing machine went into storage. The responsibilities of mommy-hood, wife-hood, business owner-hood, church lady-hood and eventually homeschooling mommy-hood overwhelmed me. Can you say DUH? LOL

That baby is seventeen now, the business is long gone, and I have time on my hands. Well, not really, but I'm willing to shove some stuff and *make* time. I've set up an area, got my machine serviced, bought a few small pieces of fabric.

And couldn't decide what to do first.

Not only couldn't I not decide, I was deep down scared to cut or stitch anything. (What if I do something wrong? What if I can't create something pretty? What if this just reveals how incompentent I am?) Fear, creative fear, was a hard ball in my stomach.

Finally, last Friday, I started. Without much of a plan except to use some of my stashed purples and sunflower yellows.

As I doodled around with the fabric, and wavered, I decided to make a lap quilt just for me...meaning that no one else has to like it.

I cut a bunch of 3 inch squares...because I COULD mostly. The fear of doing something stupid or wrong was almost enough to send me downstairs to a book. I chained a few of those squares together, but quit when I grew frustrated with that pesky seventeen year old.

Saturday morning I woke up with a plan to do a simple nine patch with my purple and gold fabrics and relearn how to sew. All afternoon, with old Kathryn Hepburn movies on the TV and rain on the roof, I cut and stitched.

It was wonderful! I have a bit more cutting and stitching to do before I lay out the top, but I'm DOING it.

I feel like Rocky when he went the distance with Apollo. I've gone the distance with my stupid internal critic and shut her up...cue the music! Do the happy creative dance with me?????

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau

What creative thing are you afraid to do? Take advice from Nike and JUST DO IT. Don't worry about being perfect or sale-able or critically accepted. Give yourself permission to do it badly, then do it. Skill and perfecting your craft can come later. Much later. You'll be delighted with the sense of joy you'll discover.

4 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Rose said...

Deb, I am so darn proud of you. And you are so right that it doesn't matter how it turns out....practice makes perfect!

Secretly, I am afraid to try my new machine and quilting frame. I keep putting it off by starting more projects. I still feel that I need to read more about it. It's probably not as hard as I'm imagining but still.......

SusanC said...

I fight the internal editor every day. Sometimes I win! Good for you on getting started, Deb.

MichelleSG said...

Go Deb! I started quilting when I was 20 and still have time for it on and off. I like the book "It's OK if you sit on my quilt" because my first fear was that you put all this effort into de-constructing a perfectly fine piece of material just to put it all back together again in different order. But it's all this effort! That was hard for me to get over, Now I abuse the heck out of our quilts. Poor things have dogs sleeping on them half the time anyway. Have you looked into local quilters get togethers? I find that they are more for the socialization that learning but it's usually a really nice gathering.

Anonymous said...

Well - you would probably be proud of me then! I finally finished the quilt I started two years ago that was interrupted by numerous things! Guess I need to get a copy of it and post it over on HSC like Allie asked! :) (Teri in AZ on HSC)