Overcoming Sewing Frustration

The fabric whirs through the machine as my excitement grows. I hurriedly cut my threads, grab the quilt off the machine, and then I lose all concentration. All I can see are the imperfections. The places it bunched up. The lines that are not straight. It consumes and it takes the wind right out my sails. I curse, I feel like crying. I bunch up the quilt and threaten to throw it out.

Did I drama queen it a little bit? You bet. That’s what happens when you are an impatient perfectionist trying to teach yourself a complicated skill. Luckily, my husband talked me out of throwing the quilt in the trash. Guys, I was so distraught. I had everything pieced together perfectly until I went to quilt the three layers together. Most of my seams matched up, the colors were so bright and made me happy. I felt like I ruined the whole quilt with some wonky stitching.

Today, I can at least stand to look at this quilt, but I still haven’t been able to make myself pick up the project again. Or, even start sewing again. It’s been two weeks. How do you all overcome your frustrations? How do you motivate yourself to once again picked up your old project or even a new one?

I’ve walked away, but I am not sure how I make the hike back.

4 thoughts on “Overcoming Sewing Frustration

  1. Melanie McNeil says:

    The first thing to remember is your tremendous success. REALLY. You have done an amazing thing. You’ve taken on a new skill, NAY, a huge set of new skills, and decided to learn them. You are a beginner, yes? A toddler transitioning from crawling to walking? Do babies fall down? Do they try again? Yes, they do. Be a baby. Be a big baby. Try again. Give yourself big hurrahs for how much you have learned. And then try again.

    I have some of my earliest quilts around the house. As I look at them now I can hardly believe how poor my skills were. One is on the wall in the dining room. One is a favorite quilt in the living room. One is used in the family room. They are toddler quilts compared to what I can do now. But I’m glad to have them and to look at them, as a reminder of how much I have learned, how much I CAN learn.

    Don’t worry about the wobbly stitching. It doesn’t matter. Look at all the lovely things you did well. Great colors, pretty good piecing!! YAY YOU!! And bind that quilt and USE it, enjoy it. As your skills grow, keep it out. You’re a toddler and that is PERFECT, positioned just right to learn some great stuff.

    email me if you have questions.

  2. marymaryone says:

    I have had quilts like that, including an Irish Chain quilt (now on my bed) where none of the seams match up. I just remember the words of a friend, “there are no such things as mistakes in quilting, only new designs” 🙂

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