Thursday, October 20, 2016

Quilting Nerves

Despite machine quilting being my favorite part of making a quilt, I always feel nervous when I sit down at my machine, and the nervousness factor is multiplied 10 times when I'm starting the quilting process for a new project. What if the quilting design I picked is terrible? What if the machine decides today is the day to act up? What if the bobbin tension becomes irrevocably messed up? What if my thread choice is awful?

Most of the anxiety goes away once I get into the "groove" of quilting, and that's the place I like to be, but starting a new project can be nerve-wracking. Unless all the stars line up, there's always that one part where I can't decide whether to keep going or to rip it all out. Yet, the longer I decide to keep going, the more time it takes to rip it out. A few minutes of quilting can equal a few hours of ripping. This is compounded by the fact that under the bright LED light of the machine, every mistake is glaringly obvious, and I feel tremendous amounts of self-doubt about everything.

I have learned from experience not to be too hard on myself, because for some reason, after the quilt is finished and bound and placed in its natural setting instead of under the bright LED light, it *always* looks 100% better. A day away from it and it looks even better. Perhaps distance makes the heart grow fonder.

I thought this nervousness would go away with practice, but I was watching Christina Cameli, an accomplished machine quilter (and teacher) recently, and she commented that she too feels nervous when sitting down to quilt on a new project. So I guess it never completely goes away!

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