February 09, 2023

Take a Break [Lessons From Quilting]

I've learned a lot of things in the more than two decades I've been quilting. I've learned about ¼" seams, partial seams, Y seams and curved seams. I can do applique, embroidery and paper piecing. I can make a quilt entirely by hand. I can quilt by hand or by machine, though these days I definitely prefer quilting by machine.

Along the way, I've also learned a lot of things about life and about myself, which have inspired an occasional series I'm calling Lessons From Quilting 😊 

Lessons from quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
For this first instalment of the Lessons from Quilting series, we're going to consider what to do when things aren't going right. 

It happens to all of us at some point. Whether it's points that just *won't* match up or we've made the same mistake three times in a row, sometimes quilting is more frustrating than fun. When that happens, it's a good idea to put it down and walk away for a while. 
Lessons from quilting - Take a Break! - DevotedQuilter.com
The pictures in this post are my Pinwheel Garden quilt. The pattern is available in my shop!

When I'm repeating mistakes, I'm just getting more and more frustrated and annoyed, which makes it less likely I can think clearly. If I'm not thinking clearly, I can't see the problem properly, so I won't figure out the solution. Of course, this isn't limited to quilting! Over the years, I've had to suggest this same thing to Nathan many times when he was getting frustrated with homework or an art project. Stepping away for a while has always helped us both.
Lessons from quilting - Take a Break! - DevotedQuilter.com
Walking away from whatever we're struggling with gives us a chance to calm down and then come back to it later with more patience and problem-solving ability. It's amazing what a difference that break can make! My husband even finds this to be true with his daily crossword puzzle. After a couple of hours away from it, he's often surprised by how easily he figures out answers that had eluded him earlier.

Unfortunately, when we're stuck in the frustration it can be really hard to make ourselves walk away. We can be so determined to fix the problem that we don't want to give up, even for a little while. But when we do convince ourselves to take that break, coming back to the problem refreshed often means finding the solution faster than if we had forced ourselves to power through the frustration.
Lessons from quilting - Take a break! - DevotedQuilter.com
Does taking a break work for you, too? Do you find it hard to step away when your frustration level is rising? I'd love to know!
Lessons from quilting - Take a Break! - DevotedQuilter.com

1 comment:

  1. In my family we calling "mowing the grass," which is a saying that developed from my father's physical practice of leaving work, coming home, and mowing the grass when he was stuck or frustrated by a tough problem. There were many days I would come home from school and see the lawnmower abandoned in a weird spot in the yard, and I knew he'd have a good story about the solution he was able to come up with when he was more actively engaged in walking and pushing the lawn mower!


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