December 31, 2014

FMQ Weekly: About that resolution...

Hello beloved quilters, and happy new year!


Through the wonders of my phone being connected to the internet, it comes to my attention that a few of you are making some new years resolutions about learning FMQ. Hooray!

If I was a smart business woman I would say you should get right on ordering my books and my class.

Alas...I am not a smart business woman. I mean, I'd love it if you ordered those things, and if you want to go right ahead! But I'd like to mention that you don't need to. What you need is a darning or free-motion foot and some gloves (I know there's like 0.5% of you that don't use gloves but based on what I see from my students I'd say if you're a human you should start with the gloves).

And after you have those two things... you need to jump in.

I have a kindergartener right now. And she's learning to write (in two completely different languages!). And sometimes, it's messy. Her 2s and 5s and 7s are often backwards. Same thing sometimes with her Ns. Gs are throwing her sometimes. But because she is 5 and possessed of that kind of determination and certainty that she will get it, she just shrugs it off and keeps going. And I have no doubt that her painstaking attention to each and every wobbly letter will one day give way to smooth, flowing script. Her bizarrely sized characters will normalize and her numbers will all face the right way. I know that will happen because she keeps showing up. Five days a week I drop her off at school and she does it. And you did it once upon a time and now you can write too.

So, the question for you, with your resolution, is not whether you can free-motion quilt. Of course you can. The question is whether you will show up.


Now, you don't need to practice free-motion quilting 5 times a week, that's not what I'm getting at at all. Maybe you only have 30 minutes a week. That's all I had for several years. Take it! It's golden! Those 30 minutes a week will add up to 25 hours by the end of the year.

Have you heard of this book "The 20 Hour Rule"? Probably not, unless you listen to the same podcasts I do. Anyway, the subtitle of the book is "How to learn anything: FAST". Did you hear that? This author thinks putting 20 hours into a new skill is learning it fast! So if you have a FMQ resolution for 2015 I think the first thing you should do, before shopping for books or classes or whatnot is figure out where you can get this minimum of 20 hours to put into your goal.


That's what I want you imagining right now. Where will your FMQ practice fit in? Weekly? Monthly?  Only you know what will work for your life. Pick your time. Plan for it, however you keep track of time, whether that's in your calendar or on little mental post it notes. And then, imagine yourself doing it: putting on your gloves, moving the quilt under the machine, running your hands over that lovely quilted texture.

You'll get there. That's what resolutions are about. Getting there. Show up, my friends, and you'll do just fine.





14 comments:

Karen H said...

I agree that gloves are an absolute must! They make quilting so much easier and practice....well, it makes perfect! It really is amazing how quickly one's skills and confidence increase with just a little practice. Happy New Year!

Blue.Ridge.Girl {ShadowsoftheBlueRidge} said...

Such realistic and practical advice. Thank you for getting down to the essential...commitment :)

Barb N said...

Show up. Excellent advice! Right in line with "Just Do it". Happy New Year to you!

MadHappyCrafter said...

Okay, you caught me... after several utterly DISMAL practice sessions of FMQ, I had pretty much given up and decided I was never going to get the hang of it. Your encouragement and analogies have given me the courage to tough it out through many practice sessions, if need be.This is the BEST pep talk ever. I am going to print it out and put it by my sewing machine. Happy New Year!

Kathy said...

That's my problem. I can get a lot of sewing/quilting done . . . in my head . . . I need to start showing up!!
Great post. Happy New Year.
(I was getting a little worried there that you were going to tell us your kindergartener can FMQ!!)

Elsa said...

What a great post! I do have FMQ goals for this year and I'd like to put, say, 15 minutes a day where that's what I do. We'll see how that goes.
Thank you for all your posts and encouragement this past year ~ you are one special woman! Happy New Year to you and yours!

Nadine said...

I like you. This is the sort of thing I used to tell my students back when I was teaching machine quilting, but you said it so much better than I ever did. Even after you've mastered basic machine quilting, there's always room to learn new techniques and again, showing up is the first step! It's great advice for anything really--show up, and then practice, practice, practice. Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Lauren said...

what a great post!
my kindergartner's letters/numbers are alarmingly sized too. She thinks they're great, and her spelling is fantabulous, and just. keeps. going. To the tune of a sketch pad a week, it feels like. She could probably do with a bit of focus on getting it right (before the errors irreversibly compound), and I could use a bit more of getting it done.

Pamela Arbour said...

I would like to encourage new quilters to get your book First Steps to Free Motion Quilting and your newest one Step by Step to Free Motion Quilting. I just got that on my Kindle yesterday. For some reason, I had to preorder it. Now I have both of your books and they are very well done.

I would also like to encourage your readers to take your Craftsy class. I think I have taken all of the free motion quilting classes on Craftsy, but decided to add your to my library! I am so glad that I did. I like your approach. Since I have so many FMQ classes and I have been machine quilting for several years now, I didn't know what I could learn from you, but I was amazed. You brought new excitement to FMQ with your teaching methods!

Thank you, Pam

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

Great post! I've committed to doodling every single day to practice my designs because I think that's my major hurdle is just drawing the designs before I attempt them. I'm posting them to Instagram each day. First I need to learn swirls...

susan fuller, fuller by design said...

It's as if you read my mind, Christina, because improving my free motion quilting (and increasing my confidence with it) is one of my biggest goals for 2015. So far I've found drawing and doodling to be a huge payoff, of course time at the machine is most valuable but I've been able to make good use of time away from my machine by doodling FMQ designs every chance I can get. Getting the hang of moving my hand in the right directions is really helping me move my hands in the right direction at the machine. Thanks for being a fabulous teacher and source of endless inspiration, your work is stunning!

Lara B. said...

That's so true Christina... And probably what has been my roadblock. I let life and other projects get in the way all the time. You should start a kinky party where we all can post our FMQ practice or successes for the week.

Lara B. said...

Oh for goodness sakes... Autocorrect changed "Linky" party to "Kinky" party.
PS... That is really impressive that your little girl is learning to write in two languages.

Mina said...

Yes, FMQ is a goal for me this year. I hav had no luck with it in the past and some recommended your book, so I am going to try again

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