Sometimes the hardest barrier to move around is our own self. We all want to strive for perfection. And often times, that is what prevents us from even getting started. Take quilting for example, I started longarm quilting in 2016. Prior to that, I had a longarm quilter working out of my store. I relied on her for all of the quilting work that came through the stores door. When she moved on to new ventures I had two options; allow myself to get hung up on not being perfect from the get go, or being okay with progress and get started anyway. Obviously, if you know me, you know I chose the later. My first custom quilt that I did, I felt so sick to my stomach. I wasn't sure how I could ever trust myself with someone's beautiful work of art, and heaven forbid I RUIN it! What helped me get over that hump was that someone trusted ME to quilt their work of art in the first place. They knew that I was a work in progress and were willing to allow me to grow my skills by working on their beautiful work of art.
Let me tell you, the difference that over two years makes in custom quilting is incredible! This is the first custom quilt that I did in July 2017:
After I got through with this quilt, I committed to myself to always continue to progressively work towards the best that I can be. I have taken free motion classes, ruler classes, and piecing classes. I have watched countless quilting videos on YouTube and bought books from fellow longarm quilters. I have done everything within my power to continue to progress.
If I was waiting on being perfect first, I would have never been able to get to where I am now (which is still no where close to being perfect). I have spent countless hours on scrap fabric practicing different techniques and finding my quilting style. I have doodle in more journals than I care to admit I have. What I can tell you is that all of these hours of practice have allowed me to continue to get better, and yet, there is still so far to go. This is why, it is always so important to not let perfection get in your way of making progress. No matter how amazing you are at whatever skills you have, you can always continue to work towards perfection.
I share my longarming experience because this is the most recent example I can give where I felt underqualified for the task at hand. This concept of not waiting on perfection also translates to all aspects of quilting. Some of us are really strong at cutting the perfect square, some are not. Some can sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance perfectly every single time, on the other hand some of us have wiggly seams that could use some work. Some of us can hand bind incredibly, and then there is those of us who would rather machine bind in order to just get it done and on the bed!
The point I am making is we all have our strengths, and we all have our weaknesses. However, don't let these differences stop you from beginning in the first place. And if you ever have questions on something you're weaker at, I am here to help. Not that I am perfect in that area either, but I will sure try. Here's to quilting perfectly, imperfect quilts everytime! Happy Sewing!
This is a custom quilt I did in October 2020. So beautiful and yet I still have so far to go! Can't wait to see where I am in another 3 years! Keep working hard ladies and gentleman!
- Head Dragon, Lynn.