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Thread: It's hard to take that first step....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Red face It's hard to take that first step....

    I'm a newbie to quilting but not to sewing. I took a beginner quilting course and made a wall hanging. Now I have two quilt kits just waiting for me to start cutting........but I can't get myself to the point to know where to start, which one to do first....where to start, etc. I don't have a dedicated place to set up my sewing....kitchen table is it. Also, my g/kids would want to 'help' and I get easily distracted and afraid to make the wrong cuts. One quilt is Terry Atkinson - Yellow Brick Road' and the other is 'Footsteps in the Sand'....both are beginner's quilts. Don't know which one to start on first. I enjoyed so much the interaction with others at the class but now I'm on my own with nobody to bounce my questions off of right there at the moment. I feel frozen......but excited....to get started. But why can't I get moving .....???

  2. #2
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Like anything new to us, it's hard to jump right in... still, you know you're going to have fun so close your eyes, pick one and get started. You can do it! There will always be something to get in the way, just ignore that.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    When I get in this mind set....I tell myself "This is not brain surgery. It is just fabric!" It wont' get done unless you begin. There is no perfect time so just do it. You will be happy when you get past that first cut Be sure to show us your finished project. You can do it!! Happy Stitches

  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Start with the yellow brick road, it sounds and looks easy. Just put on your big girl panties and just get going.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    The Yellow Brick Road is a fun quilt. You can't mess it up. I have made two of them and really enjoyed the process. They turned out good too. You will do great. Pick some colors you like and go for it!

  6. #6
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    You can do it! Hand your wallhanging where you can see it for encouragment. It is difficult if you don't have a dedicated area to sew in. It doesn't have to be large, I have a sewing nook but it's all mine. Use the table at night when the kids are sleeping or not there for cutting. That way you will make fewer mistakes and it is safer for everyone. Once you have all the pieces cut you can snatch little times to sit and sew. A laundry basket flipped upside down over your machine or stuff can help keep fingers off temporarily.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Thanks all for those encouraging words and tips to get started. I have so many interests that's there's just not enough hours in the day when working full time with a one hour commute each way. I have no plans tomorrow other than to groom my mini-schnauzer, Stitchie. After that I am free to do what I want. No babysitting plans or anywhere to go. I will let everyone know that I'm going to take over the kitchen and that's my space for the weekend! Tawannnnda!!!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    I love your avatar! Looks like one of those grandkids with a new "toy"! LOL!

  9. #9
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    Depending on the grand kids ages, I would give them some spools and fabric scraps to play with, maybe a needle and thread to start stitching with or for the older ones, have them learn along with you and have them help you figure it out, or make one of their own, while you are working on yours. Often, the best way to learn how to do something is to teach it to someone else. Or do you have a girlfriend that wants to learn quilting also? If you do it together with a friend, you can bounce ideas off each other and talk out the questions you have.

    Have fun with the process!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    I remember being hesitant before making my first pieced block. I had prelaundered all of my fabric leftover (like you) from the babydoll-clothes-making days, it was all organized, sorted by color, and nicely folded. I had printed from the internet dozens of block patterns, quilt patterns, hints and tips, and I remember sitting on the couch looking at my sewing area and basically having to kick my rear end in gear to GET UP and GET ON WITH IT ALREADY! I reminded myself that I didn't do all this stuff just to collect quilting stuff, I wanted to do it, so just do it. I made a 6" pieced heart block and practiced some FMQ on it at a later date - this is now my coaster for my sewing room. After I finished that first block, I thought "See, THIS is what you were afraid of?" It was no big deal. Read your directions in your pattern (toss a coin to choose which one to do first), then read them again. Post questions on this board whenever you feel the need for guidance - everyone here is very helpful and encouraging.

    Most of all, enjoy the experience! And I love the name of your dog!

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    YBR was my first quilt too, and I can guarantee there's no way to really mess it up, or I would have found it. If it's hard to sew at home because of distractions and space, you might be able to do your sewing at the quilt shop. Many shops let quilters come in and use their facilities. Often there's a small charge, but then you also get expert advice from the quilt shop owner. Another possibility is to sew with a guild or other sewing group. If you have a definite time and place it may be easier to get motivated. Be sure to post a picture when you're finished!

  12. #12
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    We all had our first quilt and felt the pressure of jumping in. As others have said just pick one up and get started. I never had a set place to sew until we moved here. I always had to stay out of the kids way or things got moved and lost. I just told them I am using this space now and hands off. Once you start cutting and working on it you will start having fun and get addicted to it like the rest of us. Good luck with it.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I tell myself over and over, "done is better than perfect"! Also, I take a kitchen timer and set it for 10 minutes with the promise that all I have to do is work on the quilt until the timer goes off; invariably I am very surprised by how much I got done in that 10 minutes and want to continue on. If I'm still anxious, I just reset the timer for another 10 minutes. It's a way of getting over the "hump" of getting started.

    Regarding which project to start with, I would recommend Yellow Brick Road just because there really is no right-or-wrong to that pattern, even if you cut some of the blocks incorrectly. Like Tim Gunn, you can just "make it work" no matter what mistakes you have made along the way with cutting or sewing. Easy peasy.

  14. #14
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    There are really not many unfixable mistakes in quilting. You may not always end up with the exact quilt you planned to make, but you always end up with a quilt. And besides, half the fun of the board is listening to each other's crazy mess up stories.

    Take a deep breath and do it. If you mess up, come to the board, tell your story and someone will have a new plan. Remember even if you know about the mess ups after the quilt is finished no one else will ever know.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    You all are awesome!!

  16. #16
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I know that I can't cut when others are near. I am too easily distracted. I can Best Press and iron my material and then later sew with others. Cutting ... is a meditative place without any distractions.

    Though, a friend doesn't have my problem, she does cut only a few blocks at a time. Me, I will usually do all the cutting and then sew.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  17. #17
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    Take a deep breath and go for it!!! Your about to start on a journey you will never regret, this is just the beginning, and it only gets easier and better. ENJOY!!

  18. #18
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Some days, there just isn't the time or energy left to quilt; but when it's the right day, you'll know it. Be sure to tell us your progress and keep trying!
    Mavis

  19. #19
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    There is a time for everything....A full time job, a long commute, grandkids to care for.....sounds like you are a busy gal. You might like to try something like a "sew-in" once a week at your local quilt shop. Most places have them in the evening and during the day time also. You bring your own project to work on, you will make new friends and there is a teacher there to help you if you need it. Your new friends will help inspire you. It is also a few hours for one night that you are away from family and the routine. If you don't have a shop near by that offers this, you might consider setting up a sewing time once a week or once a month with a friend. Sewing with a friend really helps. You can take turns being at each others house. Kits are wonderful but some times they do not inspire us because they are pre-planned. Look in quilt books and pick out some thing small that is exciting to you....maybe a table runner for Christmas time....for your own tabe of course...something that will not pressure you. I was in the same boat you are once and now I am doing quilts on my own. Love to sew and quilt! Good luck Quilt Sister! Love you!

  20. #20
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    I was almost paralyzed with the same fears with my first quilt. Just jump in! Remember you really can replace any material if you do make mistakes. Happy quilting!
    Bobbi
    Quilting happily in Tennessee!


  21. #21
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    I felt the same way. I am a newbie also. Started my first quil in April for my mother inlaw I had the material for about two years it frightened the heck out of me and it was only half square triangles. I just decided one day to cut all the squares and I was on my way. You can do it just take the first step I know it's hard but soon you'll be on your way. Good luck
    from one newbie to the another.

  22. #22
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    Did you take your class at a LQS? If so, I bet you could take the kit you decide on and begin your work on it there. Most LQS have "sewing bees" when customers can bring in projects and work while they visit. That way you would have experienced helpers on hand to ask for advice if you need it...and have some fun making friends at the same time.

  23. #23
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    As you have taken a quilting class, what was the first thing you learned? Start there and I also vote for Yellow Brick Road. As in woodworking, measure twice, cut once!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  24. #24
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Jump in and start it. I agree that the YBR would be a good beginning. If you run into any problems or have questions, ask us. We all willing to help.
    Sweet Caroline

  25. #25
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    Unless your GK live with you, pick a time when they are not around. Or, get up early and cut while they are zonked. I'd try the yellow brick road first, also. Remember, you are the adult in charge and they may love you and want to help, but you have to set the limits. Have fun and just cut into that fabric and run with it.

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