Monday, August 15, 2016

'It' and the Dare to Doodle

Yea, I have seen the blogs, looked over the tutorials and read the books (oh so many books) that say "Get a dry erase board and doodle. It will help you to learn good eye hand coordination and improve your quilting skills." I ignored that advice. I made excuses like "its not really like actually quilting", "I am not good at drawing things", and "it can't possibly help me, its just silly".

Until, one day during a back to school sale I picked up this 'thing'.

Scary? YES! You mean I have to use it?

When I arrived home that day I walked in the house and leaned it up against the guest room wall still wrapped in its plastic, and scurried away quickly as if it was taunting me! Telling me I was not good enough, I had no right to think I could handle the failure and disappointments I might make upon its pristine glistening white face.

Weeks went by, then months. Every time I passed the guest room I could hear it, still taunting me. One day while sitting in the living room visiting with family I was asked to draw out examples of my quilting, to which I quickly changed the subject. Later that evening and after a few glasses of wine I summoned up my courage and marched into the guest room. Before 'it' could utter a word, I tore away the plastic wrapping, wadded it up and tossed it on the floor. I sat on the guest bed and pulled the cap of the pen off and wrote this:

You Will Not Defeat Me 
I will over come this fear!

I doodled swirls and I swear I thought I heard giggling. Quiet taunting laughter as if my sad crooked jerky swirls were a joke. I used my sleeve and wiped the swirls away, it got quiet again. I drew more swirls and more and more swirls, until the evil whispering laughter ended. I put the dry erase board away in my quilting room. It's shiny white face silently glared at me.

The next time I went to use 'it' the pen was missing. A large emotional search was conducted, blankets tossed, dresser drawer contents emptied, and accusations were made. Eventually the said pen was found, under the couch broken into three pieces. The battle wounds could clearly be seen, and the guilty party identified - Ripley! My sweet little doxie girl had killed the pen. So off to the store were I purchased a multi pack of dry erase pens in many colors (ya know I love me some color in my life).

Now I doodled and practiced every free moment I had, and like training a wild mustang each time I doodled on the dry erase board we got to know each other. I knew if I didn't like what I saw, I could simply erase it and start over. 'It' learned to trust me, to understand I was honing my skills as a quilter. Together we created, practiced and experimented with new designs harmoniously.

What does this silly little story mean, you may ask? 

It was all in my head, all the evil voices and laughter were simply me and my doubt. The fear of trying and failing, that is all it was. I was intimidated by seeing my mistakes, but you have to make mistakes to learn to get better, right? What a extreme moment of insight!

If you want to quilt and want to get better at it - GET A DRY ERASE BOARD!
It doesn't matter whether you want to quilt on your domestic home sewing machine, a mid-arm or a long-arm get one ASAP!

Practice and doodle and if you don't like what you see, just wipe it away. If you like what you see, take a picture and save it. Do it over and over and over again!!

'It' is now affectionately named William, but I call him Will - yes my Will!

So, tell me what is your excuse??

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