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Thread: Can't get confidence to get going

  1. #1
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    Question Can't get confidence to get going

    Hi All, I really enjoy this site and spend hours (way too many) reading and learning from all of you. I am so afraid of making mistakes and I get so frustrated when I do that I just put it away for awhile. I keep coming back to this site and finding out just how much I don't know. I plan to attend a quilting university in September at a local shop and I belong to our local quild and to a local club. I have a strong passion to be an acomplished quilter (would like to get just one under my belt) but I can't get past this fear of mine. Do any of you have any other suggestions other than the ones I have attempted to get me past this fear?
    I have limited sewing skills, I have a great machine and have continued to buy fabric for my stash. My stash is getting bigger and my fear is also. HELP?

  2. #2
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    First, work on your general sewing skills. For quilting, start off with something small, like potholders. Don't worry about making mistakes; we all do! It's part of life! Once you've made a great potholder, move on to something larger. When I first started, I just worked on quilt blocks and small craft items (tissue box covers, Christmas tree skirt, etc.). Be gentle with yourself and accept the mistakes, as part of the learning process. It's only fabric and can be replaced, if needed!

  3. #3
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    We all starting quilting as beginners. Start on some small useful projects like Nessie suggested like pot holder and graduate to tablerunner or placemats. Once you have those mastered than move on to simple quilt patterns like 9 Patch or Warm wishes. You are taking a class in September so you are on the right track. There are some amazing videos now on the net to do simple quilt tops as well. The Missouri Quilt co. has some on Youtube that are easy to follow.

  4. #4
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    Welcome from the California desert.
    Mary

  5. #5
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    A few things to remember:
    We all started somewhere
    We all have made mistakes ( we prefer to call them creative liberties with the pattern LOL)
    It is ok if it is not perfect , very few will know
    Practice- practice- practice
    and most important of all Have fun and enjoy
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  6. #6
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    Welcome from Michigan!

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Welcome from Minnesota and happy quilting
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Welcome from Illinois.

    I agree with the previous poster about starting with pot holders. That was how I learned. I gave a lot of pot holders to folks at work that Christmas

    check out www.quilterscache.com and pick some quilt blocks to make into pot holders. Each pot holder will give you the full experience of reading patterns, choosing fabric, cutting, piecing, sandwiching, quilting and binding. And in the end if you hate it - the most you've lost is a few fat quarters but you've gained far more in experience and confidence.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  9. #9
    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    welcome from se TX -- you can do it !
    diane

  10. #10
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    You have already accomplished a lot by signing up to take a class. You will learn lots there.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  11. #11
    Super Member Lakeview Quilting's Avatar
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    Hello, welcome from Oklahoma!!! I'm happy to have sewing friends if you are close to Norman, OK.
    Kathy

  12. #12
    Power Poster
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    Yes I agree that you should start out small, but I feel that new quilters don't make as many mistakes as the old quilters because they are reading the directions more often. Older quilters assume or they are thinking about something else and they forget a step. Just remember to have fun!
    SueDor

  13. #13
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    Why don't you start with large blocks. Try to do the 1/4 seems but don't don't get frustrated. My daughters first quilt was with 8in blocks that she put in rows and then since they wouldn't match up with seems we put sashing strips between the rows so you wouldn't notice as much. It turned out so nice. When she came over to my house and showed me her 2nd quilt done all on her own; still large blocks but no sashing but just about all the seams matched up I was so proud of her I could have cried and she did it all on her own. You just have to get in there and do it. If you are worried about the cost of fabric use old clothes or buy cheap fabric from Walmarts but unless you just do it you won't get better. My daughter has limited skills and my 25 yr old singer so she can't even say she has a great machine but she's determined. Even though she takes long breakes in between sewing she wants to do it. You can do it but you have to start to get better. Even the most experienced person on this board finds someone who is better and all of us makes mistakes and sometimes we make big dumb mistakes that a beginner wouldn't make because she's more careful.
    Judy

  14. #14
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    We all make mistakes!!!!!!!!! Some of mine include sewing the binding to the back of the quilt instead of the front which meant the hand sewing would have taken place on the front and at that time I was'nt that great at sewing on bindings, but with practice I am alot better and now it would'nt matter. Another was to start quilting with no backing!!!!!!!!!!!. Thankfully it was FMQ all over and had only done about 10 minutes worth, when I went to pull the backing to make sure there were no wrinkles, there was nothing to pull!!!!!!!!!!!! I kept thinking I'm getting better because I sure got this one ready to quilt in a hurry. LOLLOLOL Please dont worry about making mistakes, we all do it.
    Carol

  15. #15
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    Hi and welcome from Kentucky! Try making a 9 patch doll quilt and take it from there.
    Pam Riggs

  16. #16
    Senior Member JoyVoltenburg's Avatar
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    Welcome. All you need is passion. Everything else comes with practice.
    Joy Voltenburg
    Sullivan, IL

  17. #17
    Super Member julybaby8's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome from ONtario, Canada. Work on smaller projects first until you feel comforable. YOu`ll get over your fear.

  18. #18
    Junior Member NorthernDeb's Avatar
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    Welcome from Michigans' "tip of the mit". I teach quilting at a local quilt shop and have had many newbies. They're all afraid to cut the fabric and goof up. If you start with some solids (which are much less expensive that prints) and get a very basic pattern or book from a recommended teacher (I think Eleanor Burns is a great one), you shouldn't have any problem diving in and making that first quilt.
    Start with a very basic pattern but make sure it's one that is pretty to you. It's fun to stitch something pretty... I've had times where I had to sew up a quilt with fabric picked out by someone else and I didn't enjoy it at all.
    Buy a little extra fabric ... a little more than the pattern calls for. You might feel better knowing that if you make a mistake, you'll have that extra.
    Don't make too large of a quilt for the first one. Maybe a lap quilt. It should be a quilt for YOU so that if you make a mistake or have points chopped off or if your corners don't match completely, you won't have to worry about what someone else thinks of your sewing.
    Check out the many tutorials on the web that show tips. There are great tips for getting an accurate 1/4" seam to what needle size to use... what thread to use...etc. Also check out the local library. I found a great book on how to machine quilt (Harriet Hargrave) and lots of books of patterns. These won't cost you anything but can really be helpful.
    And last of all HAVE FUN... it's a hobby not a job... it should be enjoyable. Don't take it too seriously. If you check out quilts in antique shops you'll see that quilters haven't always worried so much about perfection. I have AT LEAST one mistake in every quilt I've ever made and I think I've bled on each one too.... always sticking myself with a pin!
    WELCOME!
    www.northerndeb.blogspot.com

  19. #19
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    Youtube has many videos on quilting, some are beginner's classes. It also helps if you know someone who does quilting in your family or neighborhood. One on one help where they can start you out and you can see and follow what they do, as well as ask questions as they arise. It will help you to take a class, you can learn with others and you will be able to ask the instructor questions too. It does seem overwhelming at first, but once you get started you can go at your own pace. It seems you are headed in the right direction to begin. There will be others in the class that will be starting new too. If you have a great machine, that is half the battle! Try reading your manual and take some scrap fabric and get used to how your machine operates, correctly threading your machine, trying to sew long strips of scrap fabric, practice sewing a 1/4" seam. If your machine doesn't have lines etched into the throat place, you can measure 1/4" from the needle, outward and put a piece of masking tape down with a line at 1/4" parallel to your presser foot. Then, put two strips of fabric, right sides together, pin with straight pins or just hold them together and sew your quarter inch seam all the way down. Just practicing getting an exact 1/4" seam is a good skill to learn.
    Hope that is clearly described for you.

  20. #20
    Power Poster
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    Hello and welcome from Minnesota!
    We all make mistakes!

  21. #21
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    They aren't mistakes -- they're "design features" that show something was hand-crafted with love!

  22. #22
    Senior Member kountrykreation's Avatar
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    Enjoy the process, focus on one stitch at a time, and before you know it, your masterpiece will be created. There really are no quilt police!

  23. #23
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    Welcome from central New York. Get a few basics under your belt and start on a small project. When you think of it, a placemat or mug rug is just a very small quilt. Best advice I can give is not to be too hard on yourself, keep your sense of humor and just enjoy the process and outcome.

  24. #24
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    You need some confidence? Here - have some of mine! I've dived into the quilt pond and gone in over my head so many times I've lost count. But I learn something with every quilt I make (even if the lesson is "don't do that again"). There's mistakes in a lot of my quilts, but I love them as much as I love the quilt. Here's a lesson I learned from my Mom - "if they're looking that close, they're looking too close". Just enjoy the process. You may need to establish a close personal relationship with your seam ripper, but, so what? It's the process, the feel of the fabric, the hum of your machine, the chance to create art - that's what you will enjoy, just as long as you dive in!

  25. #25
    Super Member jojosnana's Avatar
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    Welcome from Michigan! I always think the best way to start is to take a class at your LQS.
    Jojos Nana, Carol

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