Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Challenging Myself

I am on a roll this month of challenging myself to do hard things. Last week I testified in court for my job, and although I have done it many times before, it's excruciating every time. This led me to thinking about life challenges and quilting challenges, and how I want to be a person that meets those challenges head on vs. being someone who avoids difficult/new things. 
So I wrote this on a big piece of paper and put it on my bulletin board...

How I will tackle challenges:
1. Make a plan.
2. Work up my courage by practicing, and by saying kind and encouraging things to myself.
3. Be brave and just start.

This week's challenge was to tackle a (new to me) free motion baptist fans designs on a large quilt.  If you've ever tried to do this on a domestic sewing machine, you know it is not an easy thing to accomplish. 
I worked out a plan of how best to handle the bulk of the quilt and how to get the fans going in the same direction. For the first time ever, I did not start with a stabilizing grid of "stitch in the ditch". I just started on one side and plan to quilt to the other side...yikes! 
The plan is that when I get to the middle, I will turn the quilt around and try to quilt the fan design the opposite way...in other words, I will be quilting the same design upside down for the second half of the quilt. I have been practicing drawing the design on paper starting from both directions and I think I can do it. 
So I followed my 3 steps to tackling challenges...so far, so good! I found that I like the look of 6 arc fans, but I  can only quilt 4 arcs without going all wonky and losing the smoothness of the arcs. 
I haven't had any skipped stitches or thread breakage at all...yippee! I am using my favorite Aurifil thread with beige in the bobbin and a light aqua, and a #100 topstitch needle (you can see the difference in the size of the eye of the topstitch needle on this Schmetz site).


I guess I need to add step #4: Have faith that it will go well and if it doesn't, have hope that I can figure out another plan!
Wait until you see what my next challenge is! Here's a clue...it is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid, but my family couldn't afford it. Now I can afford it, but am scared to do it!

20 comments:

MulticoloredPieces said...

Just happened upon your blog while surfing the net. Really like your scrap log cabin blocks, the alphabet quilt and especially your adventure in orange--very energetic!
best from Tunisia,
nadia

Amy said...

Kathy,
The quilting looks wonderful! You go girl!

Darlene said...

Stepping out of our comfort zones is so difficult - way to go, Kathy. I think the quilting looks wonderful.

Vicki W said...

Good for you! Your fans look great!

Cathy said...

Your fans look fabulous!! WOOHOO, you can do it.

Janet O. said...

I'm so impressed! The fans look great. You give me courage.
Now for the last item, what could it be? Taking piano lessons? : )

Jeanne said...

Sounds like a great plan. Your quilting looks wonderful and I admire your ability to tackle this challenge.

Alycia said...

Go Kathy!! You are rising to the challenge.... can't wait to see what else you are doing!

AnnieO said...

Great plan for facing challenges! The fans look wonderful contrasting with all the straight lines of the mystery quilt. Proud of you!

quiltin cntrygrl said...

Sounds like a great plan!! I have a similar plan of convincing my self to do new things... but also to complete my many sewing/ crafting projects

Ellen said...

Kathy, way to go girl!! It is soooo hard to get out there and face personal challenges. Your fans look fantastic!

scraphappy said...

Great looking fans. I am sure you will accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself. Perseverance is an amazing asset.

Jean said...

It looks great!

Judy D in WA said...

I'm following your lead! I will challenge myself in November! Love your steps. Add 1 more--I will try to have fun while I am doing this.

The quilting looks great! Way to be a brave girl. ;o)

Maya said...

Those fans look mighty good! I am tempted to try them out sometime too. I'd been looking for a template so I won't get hopelessly lost but I don't have the patience to mark a whole quilt, so I'll probably just eyeball and it give it a try! :)

Mary said...

They're looking great!

Kate said...

Very nice quilting, looks beautiful. I'd say you are doing well with your challenge.

Libby said...

Looks great! I'm here cheering you on *s*

Mary said...

Nice Fans! I'm glad you went for it! It takes a lot of nice words to yourself sometimes. Cheering you on from the Great Northwest USA! How long until you tell us about that last item??? you've got me curious now...Bungee jumping? Far away Travel?

Beth said...

found your blog... just hopping about. Can't wait to see what your next challenge is!!! The clue doesn't even help...