Extremism and creating-Do you suffer from it?



Extremism. It is a word that conjures up  images of someone who does what is  considered beyond humanly possible. We may secretly admire it. The media may promote it. Those Triathalon athletes represent that to me. Marathon runners, strength athletes or  olympians. But we may also suffer from this trap of thinking in extremes. It is a way of thinking that can stop us from accomplishing what we want. Or it may stop creativity. It could even rob us of our daily joy and happiness if you think about it.

Extremism. If I can’t do it right then I won’t do it at all. Ok this is a classic statement of someone who has adapted extremism as a way of life and thinking.  This may mean a quilter won’t quilt unless they have the best of the best in fabric. Or sewing machines. Or thread. Or a best of the best studio because without those things nothing can be done. Another extremism concept— if I don’t have /do (fill in the blank) then it can’t be done or why bother because it won’t be worth it.

Really? When you were a kid did you learn how to ride a bike on Olympic quality bike? No? Maybe one like I had, that was second hand from a friend or from a garage sale. We took what we had and made the best of it. When I was a preteen I got a 10 speed. It was great. It was orange and was designed for distance bike riding. Then the mountain bikes came out and we loved off road riding in the woods on those! See , I didn’t start out with the most expensive mountain bike with the thought that I couldn’t learn to ride unless I had a bicycle equivalent to those who can bike the Tour De France. I know it is an extreme example that is how our thought process can be!

So quilty equivalent. If I don’t own a , insert coveted sewing machine brand or price here ,then I cannot become a quilter. So I won’t even try. Ummm, nope. Not true. I learned how to quilt using a second hand sewing machine that didn’t work the best. I hand quilted. I hand sewed at times. I learned! There is truth to the thought that a nice sewing maching can make it easier but it isn’t required. I still have a dream of owning a Bernina but I love my current machine. It does exactly what I want and need. After quilting seriously for a decade, my Mom bought a simple long arm machine that I use today. It makes quilting easier but it is not essential to finishing a project.

We can say the same about fabric, rulers, notions, thread or even how much time we have a day to pursue our creative passion…. but it really comes down to this…. how bad to you want it. Yes something heard in sports all the time but it is so true. Do you want to quilt? Then you will find a way to make what you have work. Have fabric to cut up? DO IT! Have a machine that sews? DO IT! Thread, notions and a pattern? DO IT! Have two hands and a willingness to try ? DO IT! Have 20 minutes to devote to quilting? DO IT!

When I get feeling a bit stuck and need a motivational speech I watch this because it is so true, funny and how I often talk to myself. It may not be your cup of tea but I laugh and get off my butt and get working.

I hope you were able to take away a few ideas on how to insert more joy in your quilt making! I am a person who feels that the entire process should be enjoyed and let go of the extreme thinking that may be robbing you of happiness  in your quilt making! Be watching for this series on Wednesdays about how to find more joy in your quilting journey. Last weeks post was tips on finishing and you can read that here.

Quilt on,




  1. Great post Vicki! I’ve never been in the corner of having to have the “best” of something or not do it at all, but I have paralyzed myself with the perfection issue. I’ll get very far into a project and then discover that I’ve made so many mistakes that it might as well be a wadder and then stuff it into a closet somewhere. Then years later I come across it, admire its beauty and wonder why I never finished it. Then I see the discrepancies but by now my skills and patience have developed to the point that I think, “Oh that’s an easy fix” and I’ve finished the project. Or, worse yet, I can’t find the discrepancies at all. That’s the worst to think that I’ve deprived myself of a beautiful creation. Lessons learned! But you are right that the journey is the best part of all regardless of the machine, fabric, tools, etc.


    • I have that perfectionist streak in me too and I have thrown a few quilt tops into a heap to do the same thing! I think that once I let go of some of those ways of thinking my hobby became my balance and very fulfilling. We all have to start somewhere and learn!

      Liked by 1 person

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