Having the nerve!!

I was at a quilt exhibition last year where I met lots of lovely people, some I had met previously, and others were new, we all shared this common bond of loving patchwork and quilting. As the day went on, I was shown projects that were being worked on, projects that were being planned and it is all rather exciting and inspiring. But I met one lady who said, “oh I wish I could make quilts, but I’m just not good enough”, it made me so sad, why do we feel we aren’t good enough!!

It transpired that this lady (she will know who she is when she starts reading this) can sew and has done dressmaking and made toys etc. but feels she wouldn’t be able to make a quilt. She has made hexagons but not done anything with it, so I said she should make up the hexagons into a small panel, trim it down to a square or oblong piece of fabric. Layer it up with wadding and backing fabric and just practise hand quilting on it and when done, bind it and even if it is a small quilt, it will be her first quilt and then she can go on from there. Hopefully this will give her confidence. I’m hoping she will let me know how she gets on.

I used to be scared of rotary cutting, I look back now and can’t believe it as I’m cutting fabric almost daily with a rotary cutter. It’s all about practise. Yes, when we first do something it isn’t going to be the best or perfect, but without doing it we will never get better.

A great tip for rotary cutting is to get yourself a really rubbish sheet, get that one off the bed that has a small hole in it and start practising cutting. Start by cutting 10” squares then use the 10” squares to cut smaller squares and strips. Try layering up the fabric to cut multiples, try folding the fabric and cutting strips, with a whole sheet you could have an afternoon of fun, and yes you are going to go wrong and some of your lines won’t be straight, but who cares. Some of the pieces you can keep and add into a future quilt, but if not take them to a rag recycling centre. What have you got to lose.

Have you often seen a quilt and thought “oh no that’s far too hard for me!” how do you know if you don’t try? I’m challenging everyone to have a go at something that will take you out of your comfort zone, lets push ourselves, we never know we might enjoy it. I’m going to do it as well, there has been a project I have wanted to do forever, and I keep trying to start it and then stop and don’t go back to it, do you know why? Because really, I’m a bit frightened that I will make a hash of it and it will be rubbish. But do you know what, I’m going to start it again and not stop until its finished, and you know what you might never get to see it if it’s not good enough to go to market, but at least I will have tried.

We are all good enough, we just need to practise, and not be so hard on ourselves when it goes wrong and learn to enjoy the process even if the result isn’t quite what we were expecting.


Nicola X

P.S Because it’s Easter and we all deserve a present sometimes, I’m giving you a present, a free pattern for a small egg pin cushion. It is a pattern I made years ago (from an actual egg!!) for a mini project at a quilt group I helped with, I hope that you enjoy making it.

Here's the pattern

Happy Sewing



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