So, you've been practicing your quilting and are getting more comfortable with your machine and starting to really like what you are quilting.
Then you go to a quilt show and see this.
These are photos of quilts that I took at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in 2016. I like to collect photos of details instead of whole quilts to store up quilting motif ideas. But the risk of doing this is that you start comparing your quilting to these and think you will never be this good.
Don't compare your quilting to others. Only compare your next quilt to the last one.
Back to the car analogy, NASCAR drivers didn't become NASCAR drivers in high school. The spend hours and hours working to build their racing skills. The same applies to the award-winning quilters. We tend to forget that they have hundreds of quilts under their belts that they had to quilt to be able to do the one that won Best of Show. That quilt that you are looking at didn't just take the hours they spent on it. It also took the two hundred quilts that came before it to be able to do it and a few of those were probably simple stippled quilts.
I have a quilt planned that I want to do some complex Spirograph motifs on. The thought of jumping in on that quilt overwhelmed me.
I decided to start easy with this Quilt of Valor. (I practice a lot on charity quilts.)
I started with some very simple motifs to get some experience with different ruler sizes and controlling my movement of the ruler.
Next I did this little quilt that has a little more complex motifs. Then I'm going to do a larger mandala and THEN I'll be ready for the "real" quilt.
If you are contemplating a quilt that you are procrastinating on that means that you aren't quite ready to do it. Write down the elements that you want to put in the quilt and identify the ones you aren't yet comfortable with and then pull out some of those blankets (or charity quilts) and start building the skills.
When you are at shows take all the photos you want for ideas but don't ever compare your work to theirs until you are at a point of preparing to enter shows yourself.
8/24/2017 11:23:52 am
I guess this follows the 10,000 hours rule of Malcom Gladwell in his book "Outliers." Practice, practice, practice and practice some more.
8/24/2017 11:28:24 am
It is hard not to compare. Or have other people compare. One woman looked at my work on the long arm and said. "This is why I have computerization on my machine." Ouch. I still prefer my hand drawn not so perfect quilting, but not so eager to show it.
8/24/2017 01:47:56 pm
What a rude remark she made! Like you, I prefer hand guided quilting to computerized "perfection" - they require different skill sets but I like seeing the hand of the maker in the finished quilt.
8/24/2017 10:09:36 pm
I'm by nature a competitive person so I had to remind myself that my quilting style is just different than Debbie's. I love scrap quilts, I love making blankets as you call them, to be used. What I don't love doing is spending months on show quilts that hang on the wall. I'm finding your posts very interesting and know they'll be very helpful for new quilters and there's always something to be learned by those of us that have had our machines for a while too.
8/26/2017 10:45:50 am
Your advice is really great. I love that you take the time to do the practice pieces. Yes, each of us has to find and make our peace with our talents. Thanks for the tips.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.