Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is Fear Stopping You from Learning a New Skill?

Summer is coming to an end, and kids are going back to school. Perhaps you're even starting to see the leaves changing color. Now is the perfect time to start on a Christmas sewing project and maybe even learn a new skill in the process!

"C is for Christmas" is Jennifer's latest quilt design and Block of the Month program. It starts in October 2014, so you can sit by the fire and work on the hand embroidery blocks throughout the holiday season! The program finishes in April, giving you plenty of time to complete the quilt before Christmas comes around again. In the three and a half minute video below, Jennifer introduces the quilt and explains the difference between traditional and laser-cut applique.


I often hear Jennifer and Lynn (she's the one who manages all the Block of the Month programs) discuss the number of people signing up for traditional versus laser-cut applique. Sometimes they get really excited about the number of people signing up for traditional and sometimes their excitement is because people are signing up for laser-cut. (Click HERE if you want to sign up.)

I asked Jennifer yesterday which one she prefers people to choose. Her response was, "I don't really care which method people choose. I just don't want them to choose one option out of fear of the other." She enjoys both methods of applique herself. Jennifer filmed an 8-part series on traditional applique so that if someone wants to learn that skill and try it for themselves, they will have the resources to do so.

She also knows that laser-cut applique is a new method for many quilters but that it is a good alternative for people who might not be able to cut out the pieces themselves anymore due to arthritis or other circumstances. Laser-cut is also a great option for someone who has never tried applique before and wants to get a feel for it without taking the time to learn the traditional method.

Whether you choose traditional or laser-cut applique for "C is for Christmas," you'll need to know how to make an hourglass block. Jennifer uses these as the sashing throughout the quilt and to frame the interior of the quilt. In the video below, she walks you through the process step-by-step.


And finally, the main feature of the quilt is the 10 redwork embroidery blocks interspersed between the appliqued letters that spell CHRISTMAS. In this video, Jennifer teaches the three stitches used in the embroidery designs. I'll be honest with you: I've never tried hand embroidery myself. But after seeing Jennifer demonstrate the back stitch, satin stitch and French knots, I am a lot less intimidated by the process and might actually give it a try!


So what do you say? I'm going to challenge you to get out there and learn a new skill! Whether it be traditional applique, laser-cut applique, hand embroidery or something entirely different--don't let fear stop you from learning and trying something new! Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised and find that it really wasn't as difficult or scary as you thought it would be!

Comment below and let us know what new skill you're going to learn! Challenge a friend to learn it with you!

Until next time,
Jessie

11 comments:

  1. Applique! I love seeing it but don't have the foggiest idea how to start. And I'm terrified to begin!

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    1. The best place to start would be with Jennifer's 8-part YouTube tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3t_UGX73sw&list=PL-nal4iMTUJvzK9lTl7mC9_qX1yuq-Cja. It's broken down into the different steps of the process so you can replay the sections that are the most challenging for you. Her detailed instructions will take you step-by-step through the entire process. And don't be scared--just grab some scraps from your stash and practice until you feel comfortable trying an actual quilt.

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  2. Yes, it is...I would love to learn some hand sewing skills -- embroidery & quilting -- but am afraid I will not do a neat job.

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    1. I think you'll find that it's easier than you think it is. And surely you have some fabric in your stash that you don't like as much as you thought you would when you bought it--just make a quick little quilt sandwich and practice your hand quilting!

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  3. Great advice! Applique is a wonderful skill to learn, because the projects are so portable - great for car trips!

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    1. That's one of the things that Jennifer loves so much about applique!

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  4. I have made a quilt using blocks of cross stitch but not embroidery........yet. I am in LOVE w/ this quilt & am having trouble trying to decide if I will make just one or MORE!! ACK! This is the first quilt I have seen in a LONG time that makes my heart beat fast & hard!!! Using the applique, quilting & embroidery would make this a hard to put down project due to the different skills going on at once, how could one get bored?! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! TFS!

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    1. We're so glad to hear that you love it!

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  5. HI, HAND SEWING SKILLS ARE ALWAYS GOOD!
    THANKS FOR SHARING!
    THANKS FOR THE GREAT GIVEAWAY TOO!

    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you, Linda, for taking the time to leave a comment! We appreciate hearing from our customers!

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  6. Hi Jessie I am a new email subscriber I love applique and have picked up hand embroidery again after a long break. I would love to learn to free motion quilt on my domestic machine.

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