The Biggest Mistake Quilters Make

Do you ever get in a rut and think, “I just don’t want to make a __________ quilt again. What else is there?”

If you lined up all my quilts from first to most recent, you could tell when I reached that point. First, flowery, cutesy phase that made me want to puke now. Then, bright colors on black backgrounds, muted colors throughout, rainbow quilts, bright colors on white backgrounds, geometric prints, using all the colors in one quilt, and solids (where I am right now). Then, there was the phase where I learned needle-turn appliqué and didn’t piece any quilts for almost a year.

Oh, and we can’t forget my grayscale phase. I’ll never forget the looks I got in an appliqué class when I started creating gray stems for my flowers. I’m sure one classmate asked another if I was color blind!

As creative as we quilters are, moving on from a look or technique we enjoy is sometimes hard.

And that is the biggest mistake we make!!

It’s Not Creative to Do the Same Things Over & Over Again

Like an Indiana pot roast, there’s something comforting about finding a groove in a look or technique you like and staying there for a while. But that’s not creativity. If you’re like me, you’re using your quilting talent to express yourself. Sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m doing that until I finish a project, take a step back, and think, “That’s exactly my mood/life phase/social thinking right now.

You need to work outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. You never know what kind of artist you can be until you make yourself really, really uncomfortable.

Doing New Things Makes You Grow & Growth Makes You Better

Even if I am making a quilt I’m going to give away and it’s based on the likes of whom I’m giving it to more than mine, I always try to learn something new with each and every project. Learning keeps me in the quilting game, whether it’s a new way to use color or learning a new technique to see if it’s better than how I did it in the past.

Only when I’ve been willing to admit I’m not an expert on a certain technique or color theory have I been able to push past my current boundary and really grow as a quilter. My use of color gets better, and my quilting skills have really improved.

Get Uncomfortable Today

Look at the projects you’re working on right now. If they all have something in common, promise yourself to get uncomfortable today! Surf the web for inspiration. Take a nature walk. Heck – take an urban walk! Just get out there, see what the world has to offer, and take the leap to get uncomfortable.

What’s your rut right now? How have you gotten out of ruts in the past? 

Keep learning

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