Patterns and kits these days can help take all the guess work out of colour choices and design for a beginner. They are a great place to start. One of my first quilts was a kit. The fabric had been chosen and the pattern was all there, ready to go. When I look back at my beginner quilts I can see the mistakes I made. I remember a baby quilt I made, and when I cut the strips, I cut them along the selvedge, instead of across. I can't remember how I worked it out that I had cut it wrong, probably mum told me, but I grew from this mistake. Other quilts had questionable fabrics and colour choices. But, I learnt and grew again.
When my daughter gets frustrated at a new skill, I remind her that she needs to practise. I tell her – remember when you couldn’t whistle? Or when you were learning to ride your bike? Now look at you, how did you get good at those things? By practising. Well, I have the same advice for you.
If you want to be good at your craft and close the gap between where you are and where you want to be, you must practise. You must also practise being patient - which we could all use a little more of in our lives. The more I sew, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more challenges I take. The more challenges I take, the more I am inspired and the more I grow.
As we create, we learn, we grow. The use of our hands is very important for us and something we miss sitting on the computer all day (ironic as I type this post). The skill of making, of doing is lost when we do not do. Creating something from scratch can be complex, meditative, difficult and enjoyable. And the best bit about creating something? You have something to show for your hard work at the end.
So, next time you think you aren't creative, or you could never make that, hear me reply, rubbish! Give it a go! Create something. Cook, plant, paint, knit, sew, draw, it really doesn’t matter what you choose. Try, practise, make mistakes and enjoy making. You never know what you will create next!