Monday, February 15, 2021

Learn by making MISTAKES


Have you ever taken a class and felt that it wasn't enough? You didn't get the confidence to do what you want to do, so you take another on the same subject? Yes, we all say (and it's often true) that we learn one more tidbit in that second class. But at what point is it enough and time to actually do something? 

I find the most often repeated class is free motion quilting. It amazes me how many people sign up for this class at their local store and then perhaps with another store or a well-known quilter at a quilt show. Why? They are going to teach you the EXACT same thing that you already know. 

We need to have HANDS-ON classes where you are "forced" to quilt your own quilt. The problem is that people keep taking these classes to learn more information and techniques, but what they really need is a confidence-building class. 

Trust me, I've taught free motion quilting for years, and I see this over and over again! It's amazing how much one can learn by playing around and experimenting yourself. I'm not saying to NOT take classes in the future, but we MUST do! 

Most of us learn better (and more) by making mistakes and falling on our faces. Yep - been there, done that many times. And even today, after everything that I've played with, I'm still learning and have so much to learn. I love writing all over my samples, acquiring samples of products and playing with them, and well, learning by making mistakes. 

So imagine what is happening to our society when parents try to take that element of learning by making mistakes away from their children? The children NEVER learn to make mistakes, and they expect things to be perfect every time, or they get frustrated. It's not a good scenario. Let your kids, colleagues, friends, family MAKE mistakes. It's for their benefit and helps to improve their problem-solving skills. 

Now, if you're taking a project class, while not everyone has time to get all the homework done on time, it's a good idea to experiment with the techniques so that you can ask questions and learn what you don't know. If you just monitor the class, you will learn NOTHING because you won't retain it!!! 

I think that's why I consider myself a bad student. Well, not bad in a wrong way, but I know quite a bit (self-promoting!), and I'm very opinionated about how things get done (I can't stand silly or irrational ways of doing something), and I tend to not follow up with the class after the fact. However, give me an afternoon and a sewing machine and some products, and well - I can learn a ton!

And I'm super guilty of this, but I buy a LOT of books, and well, I guess I expect that since I bought the book, I'll gain the knowledge from that book, by looking at it on the shelf! Oh - what a silly concept that is! However, I've started reading software manuals to gain knowledge and making notes, and now I need to sit down in front of the computer and go over my notes. And you know what? I've already learned so much!!! That's my lunchtime entertainment!!

I find I'm spending less and less time on Social Media. I do go on very quickly (less than 10 minutes most days) to see if anything earth-shattering has happened, but I have so much stuff at my own house to entertain me that I don't need more. And click-bait? Tick-tock? Pinterest? I don't even go near them. 

I had a great day yesterday. I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. You know how it is - everything takes way longer than you think it will. And I've got deadlines coming up this week and weekend, so I must get myself together and start focusing. I had a few things to tidy up, though, so I did get some of that done. 

The cutting table needs attention

A few things were piled on the cutting table, and well, I needed to cut. So the quilts from Diane got put away. That took mere seconds to put the pieces in the correct places. That feels amazing, and the room looks super tidy!!

I put the black Minky away after I took the batting off. And I got the backing cut for the blue string quilt. So the backing is done, as well as the scrappy binding. 

Moved to the "to be quilted" pile

I reviewed my list of quilts to quilt, and I'm on track. When has that happened? I may not be as fast as others, but I'm way ahead of where I used to be. So I should finish all those scheduled for February, and the queue for March is almost full. I might take one more, then, whatever comes in will go to April. 

Speaking of quilting, here's a customer quilt that I finished yesterday. This quilt is GORGEOUS. The picture doesn't do justice to the coloring. 

Customer quilt - DONE

It's trimmed and ready for pickup, but I have one more to trim later today for the same customer. 

And at last, I got the binding on M's quilt. I now have a long list of things to add to her care package and hope to get that out of the house on Tuesday. I have to make a couple of masks today. Hey -- I think that's my first finish for February. I'm not getting much finished, but I'm getting lots done! I'm good with that. 

Binding on M's quilt

I hope that everyone got out yesterday for a walk. It was an amazing day in my neighborhood, and I didn't even wear a hat! What a difference a few hours can make. 

Today we're expecting more snow. A lot of snow, or so they say. Well, we have no worries about that for our Monday sewing since we're sewing from home. It's sure going to be interesting to see how events happen in the future. Having some sort of hybrid event will reach further without people having to travel; those that can't drive can still participate, and well - it's just a good thing. 

I've been thinking about what to make you clean today. I think we need to get back to that bedroom. And well - here's a good one. What about the underwear drawer? Oh yes -- this is a good day to do it. Dump the contents out and start sorting. Ripped and torn? Gone! Never wear any longer for whatever reason? Gone! Take stock of what's left. Do you need to buy some new pairs or are you OK? I did this years ago, and well, I'm good! But you don't need to see my underwear drawer, but trust me  - it's in good shape. 

I finished two books yesterday - one audiobook and one physical book. That's good because I have a few physical books that will need to go back soon, so I must get to read them! 

We had two GREAT classes yesterday!! I want to thank everyone who signed up - well, one was a class, and the other is a club on machine embroidery. Yes - I give assignments to them, and I expect that they will get them done! I don't care how they do the homework or how much, but I want them to play and experiment because that's how they will learn. And they'll get a lovely quilt at the end of the year. Or they will have learned a lot about machine embroidery. 

Do you want an update on the mess I left at Diane's house? She sorted through ALL the flannel and is cutting and making kits. Yeah, Diane!!!  She's my hero as she's helping to clear up the stuff that's been hanging around for a long time. Thanks again!!!

Well, it's going to be a busy day, and there's loads of stuff to prep for the coming week. 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I have roughly a dozen finished quilts to my name, all but the first one were gifts. I have never sent a quilt to a long-armer (cheap Scottish blood). Every one was machine quilted. It doesn't matter that it's not quilted perfect or the stitching looks like a toddler scribble. Most people just see the piecing, not the quilting design. The only time accuracy really matters is of you're submitting it in competition. Otherwise - just try it on all the things you do! :)

    1. You are so RIGHT!!!! People look at the piecing, more than the quilting! It's all about having fun!!! Enjoy the quilting process!!