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Thread: Overcoming Fear

  1. #1

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    Thanks for all that all of you have taught me as a quilt newcomer. One thing I guess I am ashamed to admit but I need help with is overcoming fear. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous but my husband offers to hold my hand as I start quilting. I do not know if I am afraid of failing, but I have difficultly getting in my room to start really quilting process. I have read books, have great stuff to quilt with, and read your helping topics but overcoming getting started is huge. HELP!

  2. #2
    mrsdralshhadeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janet bales
    Thanks for all that all of you have taught me as a quilt newcomer. One thing I guess I am ashamed to admit but I need help with is overcoming fear. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous but my husband offers to hold my hand as I start quilting. I do not know if I am afraid of failing, but I have difficultly getting in my room to start really quilting process. I have read books, have great stuff to quilt with, and read your helping topics but overcoming getting started is huge. HELP!
    I understand how you feel,, however,, if you do not just jump in,, you will never know. I know easier said than done. But with everyone ehre,, they help, and advice on anything you ask! They are very supportive here,,,
    My friend, there is no failing in quilting, it is a learning process. Ladies have been quitling for a long long time ehre,,and some still ask about things. Just take your "fear", and turn it into energy,, I knwo you can do it!!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by janet bales
    Thanks for all that all of you have taught me as a quilt newcomer. One thing I guess I am ashamed to admit but I need help with is overcoming fear. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous but my husband offers to hold my hand as I start quilting. I do not know if I am afraid of failing, but I have difficultly getting in my room to start really quilting process. I have read books, have great stuff to quilt with, and read your helping topics but overcoming getting started is huge. HELP!
    I have trouble going into my sewing studio when it is not organized and clean, I also have trouble making that first cut into the fabric to start a new project.
    I try to keep from getting cluttered too bad, take a deep breath before cutting and just go for it. Once the first cut is done I'm o.k.

    Good luck.
    Coffee and chocolate also help!

  4. #4

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    What's the worst thing that could happen?? I've had a needle break off in my finger, sliced the tip off another finger, become so frustrated with a project that I rolled it into a ball and took it out to the trash can. I'm still a quilter.

    Are you afraid the end product won't look good? Consider it a learning experience, keep it on a high shelf and move on to the next project, which will undoubtedly be better. (If anyone finds it, tell them that's what it's supposed to look like.)

    An excellent way to learn is by making small projects. Consider making some children's quilts and giving them to charity. They are a superb way of learning new techniques and the recipients will be delighted with them. If you don't think you're up to making children's quilts, make some really small ones and take them to your nearest shelter. The recipients will think you are the most skilled quilter ever.

    In any event, just do it. Before you know it, people will be calling you a quilter.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    God Bless You! Everyone is so supportive on this board! You couldn't pick a better place to be to get the help you need any time of day or not, we're all here for each other!! Have fun & enjoy this wonderful art of quilting!! Please keep us posted as to how you're doing!

  6. #6
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    you are like me, just dive in and start having fun

    Happy Quilting!

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I agree that Quilting Is Practice!!!

    Almost ever step is a learning experience that needs to be dealt with before moving on to the next step.

    I think in about 20 years I'll be able to say "I'm a Quilter" - right now I just sew! LOL

    Come on JANET - Practice with US!!! Check in daily and let us know what you've been working on. Pictures are optional but we love 'em.

  8. #8
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    One of the joys of quilting is that quilting a top often makes the little errors disappear. We are all our own worst critics. I think that everyone here will hold your hand and be supportive. The range of skill here is amazing to me, from museum quality to wonky beginner, to those like me- not a beginner, but also not a perfectionist. Post your pics and ask for feedback. Folks here are honest, but not hurtful, and maybe we can help you find your rythm. Just play with the fabric and your machine. Someone recently said here- it's only fabric- nobody dies.

  9. #9
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    Well one thing you have to internalize is that quilting and learning to quilt is an ongoing process. Unless you are truly one of the gifted "artises" amongst us you will never know it all or be competition worthy! I have been sewing since I was 10 and quilting for 15 years and I am still learning new things and refining my skills and I am still just a mediocre quilter.
    If you are a perfectionist? You will have a hard time. If you're a life long learner than you've found your craft!
    And I agree with hazeljane's quote... it IS only fabric and no one will die.

  10. #10
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Start with something small, then when you see how easy it is, you will be hooked!

  11. #11
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Anything sewn can be unsewn as we all know way too well! Make a small project, sewn just a line or two. If you have scraps lying around just sew them together. Any classes available in your area? there is no need to "make" something, just play with your machine! Good luck and we'll be looking forward to hearing from you! And you're already a success - you have the desire and ability to ask for help!

    BTW I get palpitations when I start eg: to put on the binding of a large quilt. You are not alone!

  12. #12
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    My major suggestion is to start with something small. Making a potholder or table runner has all sorts of learning opportunities in it.

    It's even okay to have "practice pieces" that are kind of duds.

    Think of all the homework that we did in school - not much of mine was perfect.

    Think of the plaster/popsicle stick/whatever things we made in school as little kids - some of them - bless their little makers' hearts - did look pretty good. Some of them were precious because "mama's little one" made it.

    Is there any sport where people expect one to be "perfect" 100% of the time.

    It's okay to "learn as you go." In fact, there is no other way to learn that I know of.

  13. #13
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I know how you feel, I feel that way too when I am doing something new. But I take a deep breath and plunge in. If I make a mistake, well, I always buy extra fabric just in case. I have not tried anything hard, but after seeing some of the bargello quilts on the site, I may have to make one!

  14. #14
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    You just jump in head first! So what if it don't come out perfect the first time...or the 2nd time...or the 3rd time....How else are you gonna learn? :thumbup:
    Now get your butt in there and do it!! We'll be waiting for a picture..........tap tap tapping my foot. :lol:

  15. #15
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    I can absolutely relate to your fear. I for one have yet to make anything larger than a lap quilt or crib quilt. (I am afraid I'll get bored and never finish it.....)

    Find a piece of fabric that speaks to you (you just absolutely love it!) and make a small project: a potholder, a runner. And (this is important), pick a block that you feel confident you can be successful with.

    Do not, do not, do not something that exceeds your skill level right now. Some of the people on this board (who make the most extraordinary quilts) have been perfecting their skills for lots of years.

    Most important, enjoy the process.....

  16. #16
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    I learn from every quilt I make. There are "errors" in all of them, but sometimes I'm the only one that knows. It's so much fun making them, I don't really care...too much!

  17. #17
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Make a little wallhanging, or something for the kitty to sleep on. Then........practice on that. AND know this....no one is going to yell at you for stitches that are not perfect. When I jumped in to start hand quilting, my first stitches were nearly a quarter inch long. Also, if you feel that you just can't stand it, by gosh it's only thread and you can take them back out.

  18. #18
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    I totally understand. I was a wanna-be quilter for several decades but was afraid to plunge in and get started. This board was my inspiration to get going on it. I was reading about the doll quilt swaps and everyone was having so much fun I wanted to join in. So I finally did! It was very helpful to have a small, specific project and a deadline, and the encouragement of people who said, "Go for it! Try what you want...it doesn't have to be perfect!" That was the biggest single thing to getting me started. I've joined several swaps since and have had a great time. My husband is now asking me why I send away everything I make! So I've got to start doing something for us. I still have fear with each project, but deadlines are a GREAT motivator to get me moving.

  19. #19
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janet bales
    Thanks for all that all of you have taught me as a quilt newcomer. One thing I guess I am ashamed to admit but I need help with is overcoming fear. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous but my husband offers to hold my hand as I start quilting. I do not know if I am afraid of failing, but I have difficultly getting in my room to start really quilting process. I have read books, have great stuff to quilt with, and read your helping topics but overcoming getting started is huge. HELP!
    Many of us were like you starting off. Decide what you want to do, ie. machine or hand piecing. You will enjoy quilting. Start small and read all the replies here. Everybody is so helpful. We are here to help one another. If your project does not turn out right, just leave it aside and try something else. You can get one of the more experienced quilters to adopt you and help you

  20. #20
    a regular here MegsAnn's Avatar
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    ((HUGS)) There are many on this board that are willing to hold your hand, too. Just look at the replies on this thread already! You have so much support.

  21. #21
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    I understand the fear factor. My husbands mother is a quilt artist and has been quilting for more than 80 years. Seeing her work is intimidating. I also know myself. I am my worst critic. So... here's my advice, from one beginning quilter to another:

    Think about some of the things I've learned recently. They really help.
    1. Take a deep breath.
    2. Take a class and drive the instructor nuts (like I do with questions, questions, questions). I really pity the poor person.
    3. You can always resew (is that a word?) a seam.
    4. You can always recut a bad piece.
    5. Your seam ripper is your friend (mine's name is Jack).

    Ready yet? Oh, yeah. Don't forget to laugh at your mistakes. Mine can be really funny.

  22. #22
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    You have the support of the members of the quiltingboard. What can go wrong.
    I was going to suggest you 'don't make anything'.
    Take your machine, thread and scizzors to the radio or tv room. Out of and away from your sewing room. Take some scraps, cut the common size squares (3 1/2?) and start seaming them into a jelly roll. You never have to do anything with the jelly roll if you don't want to but the act of sewing may get your blood flowing.
    If you do decide on a pattern maybe just take one section at a time to the radio/tv room and sew it. Ie: cut all the squares. Clean up. Seam the squares. Clean up. Press the seams. Clean up. Maybe a simple 9 patch. Make one square. Clean up and quit for the day. If you bite off small pieces and don't look at the finish line until you get there it will not be as overwhelming.
    The Barjello is the most beautiful thing (next to the Cathedral Window) ! It looks very complicated and beginners say it isn't. I am going to study that pattern and someday I am going to make one!
    WE CAN DO THIS! We have a very strong support group to help us and we don't have to do it alone!
    The best to you. You can do this! You have already reached out and many times that is the hardest part.
    We are with you.

  23. #23
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    A while back I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Mark Lipinski (formerly of Quilter's Home Magazine) who was so funny, we were rolling in the aisles. As he showed us his beautiful quilts, he just tossed them into a pile on the floor. A large gasp went up from the assembled quilters and he said
    "Ladies, relax, it's only fabric." Try to think of that when you go in your sewing room to play - it's only fabric.

  24. #24
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    My very first pieced quilt was an 81x108" quilt - 35 blocks (12"), 5 across - 7 down. I was scared, but I had so much fun. The one thing I did was I made the quilt my way - I went to quilterscache.com and dug up the Antique Tile block (12") and made a story out of each block - hence my memory quilt. I also wrote a story about each block. Oh, hey, there are mistakes galore, not a whole lot of people can see them from a racing horse, but I know they are there and they are part of me, learning, experimenting, but most of all, having an absolute ball. I made that quilt when I was 70 years old - I am 71 years old now, I probably aged about 10 years in that one year (only kidding - I have gone on to make 16 quilts! Some are really big, some are lap,, some are crib, some are NICU and one doggie blankie! Two I donated to the Breast Cancer walk, 6 are Quilts for Kids, two for NICU, and the rest for family and new babies in the neighborhood. I am so totally hooked that I have two gouges in the carpeting where the ironing board sits. I don't care. I love what I am doing. Does that help at all? Edie

  25. #25
    JJs
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    start with something small
    do NOT use $15 a yard material for your first project...
    go to walmart, get some of the quilt of the month fabric ($2+ a yard) - DON'T start with the quilt - just get some of the fabric that you like..
    make a wall hanging...

    see that was easy...

    go bigger

    LOL

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