Three Simple Rules for Creating Needle Arts 

All of us are insecure in our abilities to do things. I have learned over the years that no matter how good you are at something, there is always somebody better, or quicker, or cleverer. And you really become intimidated when dealing with creative ideas. We all know talent when we see it, and more often than not, we always see more in somebody else than ourselves.


So what are we to do when we sit down to do our quilting, or sewing, or make a craft item? I have come to the conclusion that while it is always a good thing to look at people who are more talented than ourselves, we should learn how to measure our own work by the degree of satisfaction it gives to us individually.


I remember when I was in high school, my English teacher taught us to write about what we know. The same thing can go for needle arts. Do what you know, both creatively and technically. Here are two things you have to do whenever you strive to be creative:


1) Work on Technique. I took piano lessons when I was younger. Any of you who took piano lessons did your Schirmer excercises. They made your fingers go up and down the keyboard. You curved your fingers, and if your piano teacher was worth her salt, she had a little ruler she would tap your knuckles with if you didn’t hold your wrists up the proper way. That is learning technique. The same goes for needle arts. Take classes. Read about different techniques. Practice on samples. All of this will come out when you sit down to be creative.

2) Look for Small Successes. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are needle arts skills. If you learn to do something that proves a little difficult, celebrate it. Share it with your friends. All of us have been there as we move towards perfection. No success or skill is to small to tell your friends, look what I learned how to do. 


3) Make What You know. Whenever you sit down to create something, you have to put something of yourself into what you are creating. If you garden, do flowers. If you love animals, make a squirrel. If your life centers around your family, bring that into your creation. That extra something that is part of you will show up in your work. If it isn’t perfect, who cares? That is you, too. None of us is perfect, and nothing we create will be perfect either.


These three rules for creative needle arts apply not only to those of us who enjoy quilting or sewing, but to all other areas of life that represent self expression. Whether it is music, or art, or sports, or writing or quilting; technique, celebrating small successes, and creating what you know might not make you a Michaelangelo, but will give you personal satisfaction that will be visible to anyone who looks at your creation.