Beginning is underrated*

*That is a recent post from Seth Godin, a popular writer and thinker on innovation and excellence. A lot of his posts are not much longer than that, a few words of inspiration, motivation, or encouragement to make, do, serve, share. And here the message is to do. Just begin.

There are different ways to say this. Nike’s famous “Just Do It.” Or the basic lottery pitch of “ya gotta play to win!” Something I’ve often said is, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.” (Now, sometimes that might have been said with a whiny tone of voice, implying that other people who could or should take responsibility would not, and therefore it was left to me. But most of the time, it’s simply my own recognition that I have a task to work on that won’t do itself.)

Are there things you’ve been intending to accomplish, but which you haven’t started yet? Are there quilt shows you want to enter but haven’t yet filled out the form? Are there techniques you want to try but for some reason haven’t? You can fill in those blanks for yourself better than I can. And I have a list of them, too!

Today is a good day to begin, so let’s get started!

What’s on your list of things to begin? 

 

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31 thoughts on “Beginning is underrated*

  1. snarkyquilter

    Ha, ha. Yesterday I quilted a pineapple paper pieced block I made, oh, about 10 years ago. I finally realized I wasn’t going to make any more, and the one block would make a lovely pillow for my husband. So, for me, my quilting problem isn’t beginning something, but finishing it. Other areas of my life could use a lot more beginning. Speaking of beginnings, I’m off for a walk on this sunny day.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Enjoy the day! It was beautiful here yesterday and then moved on, so you’re welcome! 🙂 I’m pretty good at finishing generally, but I know there are a few things that lurk…

      Reply
  2. KerryCan

    I don’t seem to have any trouble beginning all the artsy-craftsy projects at home . . . they proliferate. What I need to begin is getting out the door and traveling to some of the places I say I want to go!

    Reply
  3. knitnkwilt

    I can put off starting while I think and sketch. Well, maybe that is starting, after a fashion. I do find that if something is out and halfway sewn, it is easier to sit and sew. Especially if I leave it on the machine.

    Reply
  4. katechiconi

    This year, for myself, I’d like to do more appliqué, specifically, I’d like to have a go at broderie perse. I have a team quilt to make for my SIL which will involve a lot of complicated and large scale appliqué but she’ll really adore it. And last but not least, I want to get back onto my long-neglected Cosmatesque project: lots and lots and lots of English Paper Piecing, but I’ll have such a sense of achievement when it’s done! I’m quite good at starting things, what I need to work on is my finishes!

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Seems to me you finish most things, those your priorities shift at times — perfectly normal and a good way to move through multiple projects! Your list seems very ambitious but I’d make a bet you’ll get it done!

      Reply
  5. BJ

    This comes at such a perfect time. I’ve finished the list of quilts for this year’s gifting and I’m trying to fit in time for learning quilting on my home machine because of issues with my long arm. I’ve made several smallish sandwiches but they just sit in a pile waiting for me to prioritize that first step at my machine. There are so many good instructors out there, so it’s not a resource issue – it’s my fear of starting, or maybe of failing. Thanks for the push. I may just hang it at my sewing station!

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Well, it is true that using your domestic machine poses difficulties we don’t have with a longarm. BUT the reverse is true, too. So there are always trade-offs. Pick the least difficult, by whatever criteria you choose, and start with that one. It won’t be as good as you want, but the next one will be better than that. Good luck!

      Reply
  6. Mary.

    Melanie, I started teaching myself quilt making a couple of years ago.
    My thinking was “the only way to guarantee failure is by not trying”
    A lady I know wants to make a quilt and I’m trying very hard to encourage her.
    She has a habit of saying !’m stupid and I can’t do that. I want to shake her out
    of her apathy and get her started. Wish me luck.
    Yes, Melanie beginnings are underrated because beginnings are the
    start of adventures and discoveries
    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Oh yes, I know what you mean! I know people who choose not to … whatever, because they expect failure. In truth I expect failure in some realms, too, so I get that. But in others, hey, what’s the worst that would happen? Yes, good luck to you!

      Reply
  7. louisedduffy

    I like the law of physics that an onject in motions tends to stay in motion! So, I just get moving in a generally creative direction like coloring in a cute rose stamp, organizing my recent scraps into size categories, or playing with cardstock and my thin dies to make fun quilty blocks. Eventually, a path begins to take shape and I keep following it until I can clearly see the next project. This process may take an hour ot two before it gathers steam, but I keep the podcasts going and the coffee brewing!

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I think that’s true, and is the value in beginning. Once you begin, you can start to see the path, or even that you’re on the wrong one. That’s valuable knowledge! Keep at it and you make your way. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  8. jmn111

    My list: Finish Ruth’s crazy quilt for her (not a lot to do – less than a week’s work), then send it back to her to use; whip up a quick quilt for Janice using the “charms” she gave my to use the other day; get going on 6 or so small textile art pieces (July will be here before I know it); 2 more lap quilts by end of May; lots to work on – ONE project at a time. If I multitask projects don’t get completed….

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Oh, I’m like you for multitasking on quilts. Some people switch back and forth easily, but I really don’t. Non-quilt projects are easier for me to do that, though. Good luck — it sounds like you have quite the list!

      Reply
  9. Paula Hedges

    Okay, true confessions – I must do the business taxes today! Been saying that one since the 1st of January. Plus, I have a quilt to finish. Long story I won’t bore anyone with, but to say it has been a challenge! I cannot put it off any longer. I will “Just Do It” this weekend.

    Reply
  10. Chela's Colchas y Mas

    Thanks for this post. “…the humility of someone who’s not sure, and the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible.” Great advice.
    My list starts with trying my hand at making a fabric bowl. I was beginning to put this on the back burner once again, but your post came at the right time.
    I also want to make a contemporary textile art quilt.
    And, I want to do something with thread sketching.
    There are many more things I want to try, but I am focusing on these three.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I have so many things I want to try! But yes, we always have to choose. Three is a good number. Good luck. I know Tierney will help you on that bowl if you need advice.

      Reply

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