“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard
I keep running into people who won’t take on new projects because they are afraid of mistakes and failure. Letting fear hold you in captivity is only going to prevent you from becoming a better artist.
I make mistakes all the time. It’s how I learn. When I drive somewhere for the first time, I second guess myself and end up lost. I have scrapped cooking projects gone wrong, and I am stubborn enough to make them again until I get them right. I clock more hours on my seam ripper than I do on my sewing machine.
Having taught myself how to sew, I don’t always know that I have made a mistake until I share my projects with others who know more than I do. My first quilt is a perfect example. I started it in the fall of 2000 after I was in a head on collision. I had previously feared working with the sewing machine, but after smashing head on into another car and getting wedged in between a car seat and a steering wheel, my perspective on fear shifted.
I took scraps from my mom’s stash and just started cutting. I strip pieced the striped portions, and the block sizes were determined by how much fabric I had [This plan worked out well until I was short 4 inches of green fabric].
I don’t remember ironing out my blocks until the very end (apparently that is is a necessary evil). I set the blocks on point and pieced them on the diagonal [because that’s how I thought they should go). When it came time to put the spacer blocks in, I just measured the striped blocks and made something the same size(I should have thought a little about seam allowances on the edges. Will I make these mistakes again? Yes! I already have. I am piecing 2 quilts from scratch right now. This time with a little more supervision. Is my work perfect? Nope. My current project involves bow tie blocks made of real ties. They don’t’ all make perfect x’s at the center. Am I concerned? Nope.
Next time you are afraid of mistakes, ponder this, “Does a broken cookie still taste as good as one that isn’t?”
Now get back to work.