Monday, July 29, 2013

a matter of Trying

I've been thinking a lot lately about taking risks, about how important it has been in my life to think I can do what it is I want to achieve and to have the gumption to try.

Try.

I had some nice long conversations recently with other moms of young kids about what we imagine for our kids' futures.  Our plans to prepare them for life are so colored by our own experiences.  I realized that what I am teaching my children about education and lifestyle are quite linked to the expectation that they will be risk-takers, problem-solvers, even entrepreneurs.  So since then I've been kind of holding that idea and turning it this way and that to see if it's really practical, and if it fits with their personalities.  Something to keep pondering, surely.

celebrating progress

I guess that's why when I think about this bit of quilting I did yesterday, I mostly marvel that I've come to a place where I can create a free motion quilting design all my own, implement it and actually enjoy the process.  How can that be when just 7 months ago my only free motion quilting option was stressed-out loops?  When I showed this work to Brandon, even he remembered how tentative and intimidated I was by that dogwood quilting on the Vintage Tangerine quilt earlier this year. 

minky soft on the back

Today I'm celebrating my progress.  There is still plenty of room for growth in my free motion quilting - plenty!  But, I kind of know now that it's just a matter of trying.  Not a matter of time... a matter of trying

How many more things could we accomplish, could we enjoy, if only we tried?  How many areas of life do we spent pent up in a box created by avoidance of risk?  And what do I want to try next?  What do you?  I love that question!

So many possibilities for me and for you.

38 comments:

  1. That is such a pretty design. Good for you!

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  2. That is a gorgeous FMQ design. Gorgeous!

    One of the shows I let my 2-year-old watch is the Mr. Rogers remake that's on PBS now, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. There's a little song they sing that goes, "Keep trying, you'll get better! if you try try try." My kid sings it to herself as she builds puzzles and stacks blocks. Maybe I need to sing it to myself, too!

    I am thinking about trying a lot of things lately. This is good food for thought right now.

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    1. oh, can imagine that adorable little scene. You really have to try to get that stuff on tape. The cuteness is prolific at that age, but soon they aren't so unfettered by an audience...

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  3. Wow, did that hit home! I love your free motion design & I am scared to death of FMQ. You're right, it's a matter of trying. I am expanding my life in other areas & it involved a lot of risk taking so I'm pretty happy about that. Yep, outside of my box & loving it. FMQ next!

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  4. That is beautiful quilting.

    And this post gives me hope. I have three quilts (soon to be four) ready for quilting, but I'm intimidated. Especially since one design seems pretty ambitious to me. But I've downloaded some podcasts to listen to while I work and I plan on tackling the first one this week.

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    1. Go for it, Erin! It is intimidating, but the payoff is worth it!

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  5. oh wow. so nice to see that. First, you introduced me to Anna Maria Horner's line of fabrics and I cannot thank you enough. If I could only get up enough nerve to FMQ. thank you for the inspiration!!!!! Beautiful!!!

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  6. love this FMQ -- I have been thinking about a similar design for a quilt I am working on that resembles lotus flowers

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  7. The quilting is fun. So glad you tried that.

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  8. --gasp-- I LOVE that design. It is beautiful and perfect for your quilt pattern.

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    1. Thank-you, Jenny! I'm really happy with how it turned out... and a bit surprised at myself =)

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  9. Congrats on continuing to push the boundries of what you are comfortable doing. Your FMQ-ing looks great!!

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  10. Love that design. It turned out really great.

    I always get a mini panic attack when I start trying a new FMQ design. Mostly because I just hate ripping out stitching, and I never do a test square because I'm too impatient.

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  11. I feel almost silly saying this "aloud" but I really want to brave the world of less social media. I feel so tied to knowing what everyone is doing via Facebook or instagram. People that I really wouldn't have kept up with anyway if it hadn't been for social media. And while sometimes it's nice to be able to catch up with someone at the click of a button I think it's ultimately sucking up so much of my time that could spend creating. I also have a fear of offending someone inadvertently be trimming down my friend list on Facebook. Ugh. I need to face my fears.

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    1. This is one of those fears that come at people from a lot of different directions. I don't really do FB or IG and I fear it is bad for my business. I kind of know it's bad. But I find it exhausting, so I'm going for sustainable by limiting myself to blogland. Hope that risk pays off!

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  12. This post hits such a nerve for me - I know that I could beat the fear of FMQing if I just tried and kept practicing. But then I put in all that hard work of finishing a complete quilt top and get afraid that a stressed out, nervous FMQ will ruin it. I need to follow your example and just TRY. Thanks for the encouragement and honesty!!

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    1. Good luck, Stephanie. You'll get it in time! It's always good to practice on a quilt sandwich first. I have one that I get out just about every time before I FMQ to give myself that mental boost.

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  13. Rachel this is absolutely lovely! Hooray for you for trying...putting yourself out there and giving it a go! Thanks for writing this insightful and inspiring post!

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  14. I don't visit your blog daily but it must have been calling me today! Because today was the first time I installed my free motion foot and USED IT! And I had plenty of awkward stressed out loops! I felt like you, that I must try something new to grow but once I was done I was thinking maybe free motion is not for me....then boom I read your blog and I now I will try again tomorrow! Thank you!

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  15. Beautiful! Both your quilting and your thoughts.

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  16. Beautiful design! I'm still working on getting past straight line quilting and stippling! Curious how much your new Juki has helped (or not) with your free-motion quilting and your confidence, and how you're liking it now that you've had it a while?

    I've got a machine with a pretty small throat space, and have been thinking that something bigger might help my free motion quilting progress...

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    1. Still loving my Juki! I need to do an update post soon =). Yes, having more throat space does really help, especially as I like bigger designs, which then require more motion.

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  17. Well done! It turned out really great!

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  18. It's such a beautiful design and it works really well with your quilt.

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  19. Wow. That looks absolutely wonderful. Congrats to you. I keep remembering when my daughter says "I be brave, Mom" when I try new things. If she can be brave then so can I.

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  20. Beautiful work, Rachel. Aside from the lovely projects you show us, your thoughts and the encouragement you share is so special. I am a fairly new reader and love your style, both at the sewing machine and in life. Thank you. Additionally, I am new to fmq and the underside looks u.g.l.y; do you have any helpful hints to share about neatness on the bobbin side? In fact, any hints about fmq are most appreciated.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words,Faith! I have FMQed on 4 different machines. The first one, a cheap Kenmore, just couldn't get the bobbin tension right no matter what I did. An experienced quilter told me that was the machine's limitation after we ruled out the basics. The problems came up specifically on curves. All 3 other machines I've used (including my Juki TL2010 that I have now and LOVE) did not ever give me tension problems that couldn't be resolved easily by little adjustments. So... in my experience some machines just don't have what it takes.

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  21. Isn't it great how steep the learning curve is when we practice free motion quilting? I was doodling your chrysanthemum FMQ the other day. It felt great!

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    1. Yes, it is great! It's just getting over that initial (BIG!) hump, because at first it seemed like it was going to take forever to get anywhere.

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  22. Love the design and that you actually quilted it! I haven't been much of a risk taker lately ~ time to start!

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  23. Thank you for such wise words this morning. For some reason this really hit me and I know that feeling of wanting to do something so much but that first step always holds me back. I have actually made four quilt tops myself (my first) and have been scared to actually quilt them in fear of messing them up...not today! I am going to just start on one and try to let myself relax and enjoy the process instead of worrying about the end result. Thank you so much for truly touching me today with your wise words.
    Jason

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  24. Wow. Proud of you. Nice job. Great thoughts.

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  25. The payoff is definitely worth the process, Rachel! It looks just gorgeous!

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  26. Beautiful, Rachel! I'm so thankful for the bigger lessons I've learned from investing in my creativity and I've often thought of the impact that will have on my kids. Even the driving internal motivation I feel to learn and conquer more skills has really impacted the way I'll school my kids. Who would have thought this thing I was always told was a waste of time and wouldn't go anywhere has been such a life and truth bringing gift. :-)

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  27. fantastic!! i love the pattern!!

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  28. Good for you on the FMQ! : ) Way to go Rachel. Haven't been around for a while, but I hope sewing and homeschooling is going well for you. : )
    Monika in Canada ; )

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