First off, I owe you a winner - the winner of a copy of Quilt Improv is... Susan M, lucky number #131. Congratulations, Susan! I'll be emailing you shortly!

I've been doing a lot of teaching the last few weeks, and I have to say there's one word that I keep hearing over and over again from seems, and the more I teach, the more I seem to hear this word from quilters.

I'm intimidated by {insert scary but gorgeous technique}.

I'm too intimidated to try [insert beautiful quilt pattern].

That machine intimidates me.

As a teacher, a big part of my job is to help quilters move past that intimidation to try new things, and to find a confidence they didn't know they had, and I love that part of my job. I really do. I love when students walk out of my classes feeling like they've really learned something, it's such a wonderful feeling. But, in teaching and interacting with more and more quilters over the last year of teaching, I feel like I'm hearing this word more and more from quilters, so I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about intimidation here.

Now, I'm human, so I'll admit it - I have definitely felt my fair share of intimidation over the quilting, in personal situations, and so forth, but with my quilting, I try my best to set aside that feeling because 99% of the time, it's thoroughly unfounded. Feeling intimidated isn't a bad thing - but the important thing is to move past that feeling and not to let that feeling paralyze you. You can't let intimidation keep you from trying something you're interested in.

Does foundation paper piecing intimidate you? You're not alone. It used to intimidate me, too, immensely. I had so much negative talk in my head about how it was a technique that surely was beyond my skill set that by the time I sat down to paper piece for the first time a few years ago, there was no way I could have had a good experience. I quite literally threw my block in progress across the room several times. And cursed like a sailor. Then, I'd start the block all over again, only to have the same exact hissy fit twenty minutes later when it didn't go quite right. I had to set it aside, and come back to it because I was driving myself crazy with the level of frustration I was feeling. I felt like I was clearly right when I thought that paper piecing was something I just couldn't do, that it was too advanced for me. I came back to the block a few days later, after calming down and trying to chill out. When I was able to stop flying off the handle and stop rushing, I was able to get through the block just fine, and that was the start of my obsession with foundation paper piecing.

All of this rambling really leads me to say one important thing: don't talk yourself out of trying something new because you feel intimidated. Try to set that feeling aside and try new things, whether it's in your quilting or in the kitchen or in whatever part of your life you've got that feeling. Because you might just find that the thing that once intimidated you might turn into something you absolutely love.

The Shazam Star - February 2014 Lucky Stars Block of the Month Club
The February 2014 Lucky Star Block of the Month: The Shazam Star
heading to subscribers' inboxes first thing Saturday, 2/1/2014

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!