Seek the society of; make friends with
to improve by labor, care or study.
Most words have more than one meaning, or connotation and often it takes a little time to define, understand in context, and grow in the use and definition of that word. Often this is an incorporating of the definitions and nuances into our being in such a way as to understand it as one meaning rather than several. And in this instance allowing the word to define me. It is a process of bringing in and nurturing and of weeding out. It is an active word. Much like quilt. More on that after a word from, not our sponsor
This made me giggle because it’s a palindrome. Sixty-five weeks and Fifty-six days reading. There’ve been days when I thought I opened the kindle to read when clearly I missed, so in those sixty-five weeks it’s a day missed here and there. Just like developing quilting skills developing reading skills and habits takes, wait for it, cultivating.
When machine quilting picked me back in the late 1990’s there were a lot of bang head here moments. I needed to cultivate a couple of things and neither is easy. Practice, developing a habit of practice coupled with looking at the work to see what I can improve was hard. Notice that I said, “what can I improve” rather than “what’s terrible here.” This notices what’s not quite what I’d like without making the judgement that “I’m terrible!” which often happens with quilters. And that dives right into the other thing I *HAD* to do, stop judging myself in relation to the ever developing skill as a free-motion machine quilter.
This stopping judging myself in relation to the ever morphing skill as a machine quilter was, shall we say, harder than actually learning how to quilt. When the ever running thoughts in my head shifted from “this is terrible” to “this is terrible therefore I’m terrible” it was either time to stop or time to queue to the music to distract and disrupt the thought process. When I talk about my quilts with guilds or students or anyone I can in a NY second start pointing out the flaws in anyone of my quilts and I frequently do with good reason. However when someone is telling me that my work is beautiful I’ve learned to say thank you.
Over the years as a quilter I’ve cultivated a habit of practice that I’ve paired with a vivid imagination. It’s kind of fun and freeing. I’ve cultivated out some things I don’t particularly care for in my own quilting and I’ve cultivated in some things that make my quilting better. I’ve cultivated a habit of trying new things more than once to get a feel for them before ruling them out.
How do you cultivate your quilting skills?
Do you see each quilt you make as cultivating skills and techniques and getting to know your tools better?
Do you try new to you things?
Let me know.