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Thread: Workshop Jitters

  1. #1
    Member apiarist's Avatar
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    Workshop Jitters

    I have just returned from attending my fifth workshop where I was yet again unable to do anything correctly due to my nerves. Once I got home I sat down and redid the sewing perfectly. Is it just me or is this a common problem? I am scheduled to go on another retreat in September and am seriously considering cancelling it as I am unable to relax and enjoy myself. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can overcome my problem - without resorting to alcohol which would calm the nerves but play havoc with the sewing.

  2. #2
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I was talking to a friend yesterday who is an experienced quilter. Last Saturday at a class she attended she was upset because she got into such a mess went home and did it beautifully. One problem she has is wanting to visually see each section,and the chatter level. She will keep going because she enjoys the company and a change of scene. Keep going take a deep breadth and try to relax. Sit near the front if possible and always close to the teacher. Learn how to shut out other noise and watch the action. They are fun you meet many exciting people and make new friends. Many of use work in small sewing areas with no live chatter, tv or radio maybe but nothing to distract or perhaps a question to answer. I hate the chatter and switch off I have seen people plug in the earphones with a nano.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i don't sign up for classes so might not know what i'm talking about.
    i assume, though, that the primary reason a person would sign up for a workshop is to learn something.
    so, i would further assume that the person didn't know already how to do whatever was going to be taught.
    soooo ... the next stop on the logic train ride is that most participants will not be wowzer experts in that subject/technique right off the bat. mistakes are to be expected. disasters not at all out of the ordinary.

    were you comparing your own results to everybody else's and worried that yours did not measure up? pish tosh, m'dear. you are you. they are them. you wouldn't have plunked down the cash for the class if you were already an expert. don't be so hard on yourself. chillaaaaaaaaaaaaax.

    since you were able to sit down and do it to your satisfaction once you got back to the privacy and quiet of your own home i would say you accomplished the main mission, which was to learn something new.

    take practice fabrics to the next workshop so gafarbles won't matter as much.
    don't demand instant expertise and perfection of yourself.
    don't worry about how your results compare to anybody else's.
    don't be afraid to ask questions of the teacher and of other students who you think seem to have caught on more quickly than you think you have. questions are great icebreakers. you might start with a question and end with some new friends.
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

    I also have an eddres you can use if you need to contact me with questions or suggestions that relate to our community: patricej@quiltingboard.com

  4. #4
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I agree with PatriceJ (love the "pish tosh" btw ).
    The whole object is to learn something and you seem to have accomplished that.
    There is just something about being in a group of fellow quilters that makes your sewing skills go out the window - no matter how confident you are.
    As a new quilter, I try to go to a class every month or two and I never get as much done as I think I'm going to (as well as never having everything I need, despite being a very organised person). I think just by being in a learning environment we create a lot of our own pressure, invariably needlessly.
    I think if you were to talk to other students they would feel pretty much the same. Relax and try to enjoy.
    Where is your retreat btw?
    Lang may yer lum reek.

  5. #5
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apiarist View Post
    I have just returned from attending my fifth workshop where I was yet again unable to do anything correctly due to my nerves. Once I got home I sat down and redid the sewing perfectly. Is it just me or is this a common problem? I am scheduled to go on another retreat in September and am seriously considering cancelling it as I am unable to relax and enjoy myself. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can overcome my problem - without resorting to alcohol which would calm the nerves but play havoc with the sewing.
    No, alcohol is not the answer! I have a problem keeping up and doing good work at sit and sew workshops. I much prefer attending workshops that have demos and lot of handouts with instructions and ideas. I can do my sit and sew at home.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  6. #6
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    While I do enjoy the occasional glass of wine, in a new class where I'm going to learn some technique I don't already know, it can be hard. But, taking a breath, reminding yourself this is new and just giving up on the "shoulda, coulda, woulda" does help. In Ellis' words, don't "MUSTerbate." (No offense intended, it is his term for giving yourself a break).
    Laurie in NYC

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I like to do serious sewing alone and I know I cut and sew better alone with no distractions so I don't expect to get anything done in a workshop or class. I may sew just one block the whole day and I'm fine with that. When I stopped thinking I need to sew a lot to get my money's worth, I enjoy it much better and do better sewing. I have met some wonderful quilters in the workshops and some real weirdos too. LOL
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 01-18-2013 at 06:23 AM.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
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    Just an idea..sign up for a class that looks overly simple,with a technique you already know. Have a cup of herbal tea,and do it. It will likely get you over the jitters. BTW..everyone worries about their own stuff,so don't be sel conscious about your's.

  9. #9
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I know that I don't cut well in the company of others. Also I want to listen to my MP3 player at times in order to focus on other than all the chatter, even though I know the chatter is helpful.

    Perhaps having a friend who understands your work mode go with you would be a big help. She could let you know when to pay attention.

    Also, if like me you don't cut well in the company of others, ask the presenter/teacher for cutting directions before hand after explaining this to her. I always promise not to reveal to others what she tells me about the cutting. It has worked so far.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  10. #10
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    You took away knowledge. You did learn what you intended to learn in the class, that is good. It just took some processing and thinking. Each one of us learns differently. In a class environment there are alot of distractions, and for me, the fear of looking like a klutz quilter makes my comprehension go out the window. In a class I always sew pieces together wrong, and I feel intimidated by the skills of the other quilters.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

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