Santa's Little Sweatshop, as my husband lovingly calls it, should be in full swing right now. And it's in partial swing, it is, it's just that I took a little break, that's all.
That picture is of the best part of the quilt so far. If you don't look at that picture full-size, you might be fooled into thinking that I'm marginally competent at this. But good gravy, I suck at free motion quilting.
Skipped stitches, jerky corners, thousands of stitches and no two the same length. I mutter curses, squint, fantasize about shellacking all of my textbooks into a makeshift extension table for my machine, and free motion away. The only thing I'm good at with regard to this is managing to not burn the house down. And I'll go ahead and admit that I'm okay at not burning the house down even when I'm not free motion quilting.
Oh, and so far I haven't sewn either of my quilting gloves to the top of the quilt. Should get bonus points for that.
It does pain me a bit to suck so badly at this. I want to be good at it. I sit there and end up focusing on how badly things are going and how difficult it is.
So this is my post reminding myself and anyone else trying to expand their skills that being terrible at things at first is just part of the process. My first knitting projects were total, utter disasters. The only reason I'm now able to produce garments that I feel comfortable wearing in public is that I kept trying. I didn't let that sad clump of green chenile, full of infuriating mystery holes and literally so tightly knit that it was impossible to get a needle into the next stitch, determine my fate as a knitter. Jimi Hendrix played guitar for 17 hours a day. He had loads of natural talent too, but he worked at it until his fingers bled.
It helps that when I'm not working on this quilt, I want to be. Even though actually working on it is frustrating and disheartening, it's hard to put down.