“I wish I could draw!” – overheard at The Art Room Parkhurst
“I will never be able to quilt as well as you!” – compliment from a student at GRG 2023
When I sit in front of my sewing machine, I let my mind wander. I find myself thinking about things that I hear from various people that I meet at art galleries or from quilters who admire other people’s quilting. These are similar to the statements that I hear from students in my classes and from friends and family when they look at my work. I often hear people say that they cannot draw. Or they cannot quilt.
I came across a beautiful quote by Vincent van Gogh which reminded me of these sayings. ‘If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced’.
What I want to say to anyone who doubts his or her ability to create art, whether it is to paint, to quilt or to draw, is to change that quote slightly. If you are a quilter, change it to ‘If you hear a voice within you say you cannot quilt, then by all means quilt and that voice will be silenced’ Quilting is nothing else but drawing, using your machine as a drawing tool and the thread as the ink or the paint!
Photo 1: Practice where it doesn’t matter
Photo 2: Practice tiny circles
No one in this world is born with the ability to draw a perfect picture as soon as they can hold a pencil. It takes playing around with the drawing utensils and by doing this, they will have years of practice before any decent picture can be called just that! Think about the naïve drawings of children. The lines are not perfect and when they colour in, the coloured lines extend way past the drawn lines. To the adult eye, it usually looks like a real big mess. With perseverance, the same child will be able to start drawing a picture that resembles a person or the family and their home. With encouragement, that child will continue to practice which will lead to more self-confidence.
Just playing…but still practicing!
Why is there so much self-doubt? If we simply take the time, sit down with the correct tools and fabric, what stops us from playing and therefore, practicing! Another one of Vincent van Gogh’s quotes on courage, inaction and timidity is ‘What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?’ Just sit down every day and do it! The old saying of practice makes perfect is definitely something to keep in mind when one sits down the first time to practice!
I hope you feel inspired with confidence! Good luck with your projects!
Photo 4 After years of playing!