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Thread: I can't seem to get started on this quilt!!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy I can't seem to get started on this quilt!!

    I don't know what's wrong with me. I have changed patterns 20 gazillion times. Then I'll find one I like, and then convince myself I don't have enough fabric/wrong colors/wrong tools to make it. I've never had this problem before - I think I'm afraid of failing and I haven't even started!!

    I keep reminding myself that there are no rules in quilting...but I don't know how to get my feet out of the mud and get going!

    I was just wondering if anyone else ever had this problem when they first started....and how do I fix it??

    Thanks for listening

  2. #2
    Senior Member jollyquilting's Avatar
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    LOL You could be like me, I finally started two or three things and just can't get inspired so now I am embroidering tea towels. One down, six to go.
    Jo

  3. #3
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Set yourself up some project boxes. In each one, start by placing a pattern or inspiration fabric, or whatever. Then build up the boxes by adding additional items needed to complete the project ( coordinating fabrics, notions, THREAD, a journal pad to keep special notes for tension, stitch length, etc). Next, DIG IN! If you need to move from one project to another, then do so. I love having several projects going on...variety is the spice of life.

  4. #4
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard Nokie ~ Is the quilt 'for' some one special? Or is it just for fun? Are you new to quilting?

    We all have gotten stalled in doing our quilts. I myself am taking a break, just finished one for the quilter last week (because it had a deadline for a birthday in May) and I have not been in my sewing room for almost a week. Sometime we stall out because we don't know which pattern/color or for whom. So when I am struggling I usually find myself surfing the web or doing some of my hand sewing.

    Don't worry it will pass.
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

    https://picasaweb.google.com/home

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by alikat110 View Post
    Set yourself up some project boxes. In each one, start by placing a pattern or inspiration fabric, or whatever. Then build up the boxes by adding additional items needed to complete the project ( coordinating fabrics, notions, THREAD, a journal pad to keep special notes for tension, stitch length, etc). Next, DIG IN! If you need to move from one project to another, then do so. I love having several projects going on...variety is the spice of life.
    That's a wonderful idea! And - if I ever get all my stuff organized and in order...I'll have extra totes to use just for that reason - thanks!

  6. #6
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
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    I have the same problem at times. I just have to stop quilting for a while , then when I get back at it, I seem to have more inspiration.

  7. #7
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I, too, am having trouble actually starting a quilt. I LOVE the research part, acquiring the fabrics and notions parts, collecting the machines (HeHe) part and making lists of what i want to start with...then it's as if the "mood" just leaves me...then I stress over it...A HOBBY, for goodness sake!! I don't know if this is a hangup I have or a residual of when I was first married, my Ex would put me down for starting a project and not finishing it...thing is, it was just this one project that he kept bringing up....it didn't matter that I made all my clothes and even clothes for my mother...it was that darn fabric painting piece on velvet no less that I never got finished!! Even now when I think about a UFO (mostly in my embroidery pile), I get major stressed out and since the EX is totally EX'ed, I know this shouldn't bother me!!

  8. #8
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    I usualy see a pattern and can't wait to start work on it. If I have more than one, I just add the others to my massive bucket list to do later. That seems to help and I have a list to consult if I hit a dry spell.

  9. #9
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    If you have any UFO's try finishing one of those.
    Next get into your sewing area and tidy it up. Sort out your fat quarters etc. If you are still dragging your feet may be start a small project like a doll quilt. If all of this brings no inspiration, close the door of your sewing room walk away and have a break. Enjoy all the other great things in your life.
    Merivale
    Australia.

  10. #10
    QM
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    If you are new to quilting, I would suspect that in your past was someone who belittled your work, making it hard for you to be your own creative self.

    If you have been quilting, I would guess that you just have too many things on your plate right now and you need to give yourself permission to do something small simple and quick to get past this point, or maybe just put things on 'hold'. Maybe take a nap. Maybe make a pot holder. Make a quickie charity quilt.

    Generally, if I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, I do a quickie, which is probably why I usually have many projects going at a time, but they all get done, eventually.

    You say, "this quilt" . Why are you making it? Is it something you didn't really want to make in the first place? Maybe skip it entirely or postpone it for a year or 2.
    Last edited by QM; 04-08-2012 at 10:05 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    Yes I'm feeling like you right now, I know my issue though. We had a few pieces of loaner dressers from the Army here before we got our stuff and German houses do not have closets at all. Last week they recalled all the loaner furniture and one was in my sewing room holding my fabrics and I had to empty it so it is everywhere I can't sew in a mess. Went to go to IKEA Friday and this whole weekend is a German holiday including tomorrow so I'm stuck til Tuesday before I can go get my storage. Going to make a wonderful day of it though with a friend so good came out of it.
    *Rachel*

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by QM View Post
    If you are new to quilting, I would suspect that in your past was someone who belittled your work, making it hard for you to be your own creative self.

    If you have been quilting, I would guess that you just have too many things on your plate right now and you need to give yourself permission to do something small simple and quick to get past this point, or maybe just put things on 'hold'. Maybe take a nap. Maybe make a pot holder. Make a quickie charity quilt.

    Generally, if I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, I do a quickie, which is probably why I usually have many projects going at a time, but they all get done, eventually.

    You say, "this quilt" . Why are you making it? Is it something you didn't really want to make in the first place? Maybe skip it entirely or postpone it for a year or 2.
    Wow - you got me on all points!! Yes there is an ex that always was on my case for what I didn't finish, what i didn't do, what I didn't do RIGHT, etc....thankfully my wonderful husband now is helping me get over that. And yes, I'm new to quilting - this is only my second quilt. The first one is sitting here not finished. I can't seem to get it done. I noticed that I said "this quilt" too - I think I said that out of frustration. It's a scrap quilt, and I"m frustrated that I don't have enough scrap material. Which is quite silly since I've only made one other quilt!! I do that to myself though - when I find something I love to do, I'm in all the way, and think I should know how to do it all like an expert of 20 years would.

    On the bright side - I finally found a pattern I liked and am in the process of rotary cutting away. AND my sewing room is in the works - it looks maaahhhhhhhvelous in there.....and then I walk into the living room and see all the boxes and bins that I have to go through and put BACK into that maaahhhhhhhhvelous sewing room and it's not quite so maaaaahhhhhvelous anymore LOL!

  13. #13
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    I, too, am having trouble actually starting a quilt. I LOVE the research part, acquiring the fabrics and notions parts, collecting the machines (HeHe) part and making lists of what i want to start with...then it's as if the "mood" just leaves me...then I stress over it...A HOBBY, for goodness sake!! I don't know if this is a hangup I have or a residual of when I was first married, my Ex would put me down for starting a project and not finishing it...thing is, it was just this one project that he kept bringing up....it didn't matter that I made all my clothes and even clothes for my mother...it was that darn fabric painting piece on velvet no less that I never got finished!! Even now when I think about a UFO (mostly in my embroidery pile), I get major stressed out and since the EX is totally EX'ed, I know this shouldn't bother me!!
    If you continue to let this bother you, HE WINS..... there is a reason he is an EX.... this is probably a big part of it. Get rid of the "hangup" just like you got rid of him. I know this is harder to do than it was for me to say, but you can do it!!!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I am having a hard time starting another one also...I just finished my nieces two months early. I find if I have a person I am making it for and a deadline its easier to get modivated. I have a wall hanging that I basted this weekend but did not FMQ it...no modivation...

  15. #15
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alikat110 View Post
    Set yourself up some project boxes. In each one, start by placing a pattern or inspiration fabric, or whatever. Then build up the boxes by adding additional items needed to complete the project ( coordinating fabrics, notions, THREAD, a journal pad to keep special notes for tension, stitch length, etc). Next, DIG IN! If you need to move from one project to another, then do so. I love having several projects going on...variety is the spice of life.
    Now that is a great idea. I get stuck sometimes and that is very close to what I did.

  16. #16
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Sometimes when I'm stuck, or can't seem to get going I will do a small project, like a mug rug. Something that I can complete in a day.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  17. #17
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    Some great advice on here. If it's a particular quilt I don't want to work on right then, I'll start another one. I usually have several projects going at once. Try something small, like a table runner. Or make a purse. Sometimes you just have to jump in and get started. Usually once I start it, I get more into the project.
    Heather

  18. #18
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I can get way to cought up in perfection, contstantly reviewing the fabrics asking myself "are they really right?"or "is the pattern right for the fabrics". I finally learned to tame this by telling myself "this is not the only quilt I will make".. "And there will be more". Some of my favorite quilts had some interesting starts... till finally I just started cutting and letting the process reveal itself as I went along.
    Sometimes small projects can be very therapudic.... I have made more than my share of potholders and tablerunners as a method of breaking the stagnation.
    Last edited by Lori S; 04-09-2012 at 05:09 AM.

  19. #19
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I am in the same boat. I bought this gorgeous white for the background and a lucious bright blue and a small piece of soft lime green. I want to do lots of quilting in the white so I need a pattern that is striking but not the focal point. I have been looking at patterns for three weeks, to no avail. I am anxious to start, but the pattern has to be right. I may have found one last night. I will try one block today. We'll see how it works out.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Decide on what you want to make. Gather all fabrics and tools you will need. Read the instructions until you are sure you understand them. Now, this is very important....TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME. ONE! My opinion is that you are being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the entire project...but you know what the Chinese say...a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. If you get yourself organized at the beginning, it is only a matter of taking one step at a time. I have a rule I follow, and that helps spur me on to finish...I do not allow myself to begin another project until I have completed the one I am working on. This works for me for several reasons. One...I do not end up with different fabrics and directions for several quilts cluttering up my sewing room, I only have out what I need for that one quilt, it eliminates confusion. Also, that one quilt is all I have to conccentrate on. I clean up, sweep and put away each day when I am finished so that when I go back in...I don't have the mess monster to greet me, which takes away some of the dread of entering the sewing room...chaos and I don't get along well. Another thing that helps me, is I will tell myself, I am going to go in and sew for one hour, unless I feel like sewing longer. Sometimes, after one hour, I am done. Sometimes I end up staying all day and having a great time. Mood has everything to do with it.
    Now, go get organized, set yourself up for success! Let us hear from you again...you are missing out on a great adventure and fantastic feelings of self accomplishment...so get on board and take this fantastic ride with us!
    Michelle Guadarrama

  21. #21
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Yes I've been there many times. Sometimes I find if I just go with my first idea of a pattern or fabric it's the right choice. I tend to over-think projects to the point that I'm paralyzed in fear of making a mistake.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

  22. #22
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    Nokie: Yes, dear I was just like you. I wanted to make something anything quilty. So I started with something very simple. I'll see if I can find a picture and post it. I have a USB/Flash Drive crammed with patterns/ideas that one day I hope to do or the great tips/tutorials I have picked up along the way. Just put two pieces of material together and make whatever your heart desires. You do not have to make a huge quilt first. Relax, this really is fun; even for a newbie like me.

  23. #23
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Make one block of each, with scraps. Then you can decide which block you most enjoyed making, for the final quilt. The other blocks ("rejects") can be used in a sampler quilt!

  24. #24
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    I cant get started: Yes you can

    Nokie:

    Hi I found the picture I was telling you about. Just a couple of small wall hangings I made from a really simple, easy pattern I found free online.

    Also I made oven mitts and potholders for my female family members for Christmas. That was a small easy way to start as well. And they all have them proudly hanging in their kitchens, I am so happy!

    Then I made a small quilt for my boyfriend's mom, she has a small antique cradle with a doll but it did not have a quilt. I've attached a picture of her with her new baby cradle quilt.

    This just gives you some ideas to start out. Doing a small project will allow you to practice and feel like you have accomplished something. Set small goals, then advance; that's what I am doing.

    Hope this helps.
    Evelyn
    Attached Images Attached Images


  25. #25
    Junior Member lynn_z's Avatar
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    There's always hope.

    This is how I do it. First box is clear salad boxes from Costco so you can view where you're at with gathering for specific projects. I have a plentiful stash but am always finding more fresh designs and colors. I make copies of patterns that I like and might work and keep those in their box until I make up my mind or have enough designated fabric to choose itself. If I am threaded up with some energy left after a sewing session I will go back to whatever box can use that color thread and stitch for a while.....even if I am just emptying bobbins. Same with cutting, etc. So, am actually working on projects little by little and sometimes I surprise myself with how much I have gotten done on them. At some point, it is necessary to move up to larger boxes. Once you reach a certain point of progress (hope of actually finishing something) the biggest boxes move over to the stack of serious contenders. Leftover fabric either goes back in the drawer of second chances or in a box to give away. If nothing else, when I die of old age, I will have at least left hope for someone else to carry on instead of leaving the disorganized mess I used to have.
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