I want to encourage you to draw. I don’t care if you don’t think you can draw or not. Just do it! In the beginning of my machine quilting career when instructors told me to draw I would think to myself “Yeah right. I can’t draw!” So I never took their advice and drew. I would go straight to the machine and start quilting. To say the least, most of my early efforts were not all that great.
The thing with drawing is it helps to get those designs we want to learn into our muscle memory. Remember learning to write the alphabet? Our teachers would have us write each letter over and over across a sheet of paper. I would do the same with my spelling words, writing each word 10 times or more until I could spell it! Drawing quilting designs over and over works the same way.
Some of you may know that I’m kinda known for my leaves. Hence my first self-published book “Just Leaf It”. I couldn’t quilt feathers but I could quilt leaves, so if a customer brought me a quilt that traditionally called out for feathers, I would Leaf It. I credit this to my idea that I couldn’t draw… I wouldn’t draw the designs that I really wanted learn. Those designs all involved feathers.
So one day I finally picked up pen and paper and started to draw feathers. I drew and drew. After a while I noticed my feather drawings were getting better and better, and that I actually liked them!
Now I draw almost every day!!
Some instructors are going to tell you to draw big as if you were quilting. To hold your pen straight up like a needle going through your quilt sandwich. I don’t care about that… Just draw. Small, big or somewhere in between as long as you are drawing!