Practice, Practice, Practice

I have always been of the mind that I can teach myself almost anything I really want to do. The fake it ‘til you make it motto has been at the forefront of my thought. It helps that most of the things I want to learn to do don’t involve major calculus or extra human endurance. But if I wall of a sudden had a burning desire to walk across the country I am fairly certain I could do it. But so can you.

Learning to do new things has gotten so much easier with the likes of You Tube. I bet you can’t think of one thing you would like to learn that someone has not already put on You Tube, now I would not like to have someone operate on my eyes who did their training with You Tube, but, I have not looked this up, I bet there are You Tubes about how to administer Botox.

In August I decided I wanted to learn to make quilts. I had no idea exactly how to do it, It I watched two or three videos and just started trying. My first quilt was a fairly easy pattern and it turned out great. Then I made up a simple pattern for a quilt for Carter and it turned out great. But both of those quilts involved some simple squares, nothing that tricky.

I wanted to learn to work with triangles. I made a Christmas placemat and although the finished product is cute, my first attempt at triangles was not so great. You can see from this photo how the white material with green lines does not have a pointy angle. It should meet at a point with the white material with polka dots.

Today I worked on a baby quilt made of all half square triangle and I have to say I was very happy with how my points were, especially where I had eight points meeting at the same place. I didn’t have anyone teach me how to do it, it just took practice.

Now that I have mastered half square triangles I want to learn to do curved pieces. It is all in the layering on of skills. You start with the easiest thing and once you are comfortable with it you can move on. It also helped that my first attempt at triangles was a placement. If it was really terrible I could throw it away and not feel despondent that I wasted a lot of time and materials. As imperfect as it is, I still ended up using it because the overall look is not bad. I just had not mastered that skill yet.

There is a great amount of self satisfaction you get from teaching yourself a new skill. I think it is the best way to stay young, if you are always learning new things. I can hardly wait to try out circles, the hardest thing to quilt ever.

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