Conquering my Fear

Handquilting is something I've tried a sum total of three times. The first time was on my third quilt ever. And only because I was terrified of free-motion quilting. The second and third times were earlier this year. That makes a 10 year break between efforts.

I'm trying it again. I would be talking out of my ass if I didn't confront my own fears after that last post on Fear. In my case, I was afraid that I would mess up this project with bad stitching. And the wealth of excellent examples on-line seriously intimidated me. But I can't sit around in fear, I just can't. It isn't my nature, although it is certainly easier. But I would be a hypocrite to you, my faithful readers, if I didn't challenge myself.

I would also be a hypocrite to my kids. You see, The Monster is a very intense child. If she can't do things perfectly the very first time she does something then the world essentially ends for her. Last summer, at 3, she tried her tricycle for the first time. When she couldn't figure out the notion of pedalling in the first 30 seconds she quite promptly got off the bike, picked it up, and threw it.

She gets that from me.

So, if I am working every day with her and her sister to get them to understand the notion of practice, work, and simply trying something even if you aren't perfect at it, then I need to do that myself. Enter handquilting.

Each of the 27 circles on my low-volume circles quilt will be handquilted. This is in contrast with the straight lines I'm doing on the background. It seemed an appropriate approach since the circles were done entirely by hand shortly after I injured my knees in January.

Now, I'm only three circles in. And it certainly isn't pretty. But each one looks progressively better. Seeing improvements certainly helps the confidence level. Regardless, I'm committed to the process and the product.

Full confession though, I'm stabbing these stitches, not using the traditional rocking motion. I know that isn't the correct way, but it is working for me. I believe that counts for a lot. Besides, on my recent trip to Nova Scotia I had the opportunity to snuggle by the fire under an incredible handstitched quilt that was entirely stab stitched. That was enough to motivate me to tackle my quilt. I don't know if I'll ever be as good as the artist, but I won't know if I don't try.