A Life Stirred

Embracing a New Hobby

on April 28, 2015

Last week, I decided I was going to make a quilt.  Scratch that.  I decided I was going to make two quilts.

Never mind that I have zero quilt-making experience.  And never mind that I have next-to-zero sewing experience.  Those are just details.  Minor details.

Oh, and never mind that this stage of life is probably not the ideal time to be picking up new hobbies.  Details, right?

So, there’s no going back now.  I own a sewing machine.

Would it be weird to give this beauty a name?  I feel like we’re going to be friends.

Would it be weird to give this beauty a name? I feel like we’re going to be friends.

I made bunting.  Because why not?

t’s not the best picture, I know. Trust me. It’s cute. And perfectly sewed...mostly.

t’s not the best picture, I know. Trust me. It’s cute. And perfectly sewed…mostly.

Next up, I’m going to make a baby doll quilt.  Because if I’m gonna make a real-life size quilt (or two), I should probably try a little version first.

I agonized over fabric.  And then eventually just said, “It’s for a doll!  She won’t care.”

I agonized over fabric. And then eventually just said, “It’s for a doll! She won’t care.”

But here’s what I’m finding tricky in all this.  (And no, it’s not the actual quilting part.  Though I’m sure it will be.)

There’s a part of my brain that tells me I have to be the best at something in order to count it as a hobby.  It’s yet another way my competition and comparison issues rear their ugly heads.

So, I hesitate to even talk about this new hobby of mine.  Because I’m not the best.  I’m not experienced.  Surely my excitement isn’t real or worth sharing.

Yet, that’s not true.  Well, it’s true.  But it’s not truth.  (Confused yet?)

I’m not the best.  I’m not that experienced.

BUT my excitement is real.  And it is worth sharing!

The Nester (a crafty, home-decorate-y blogger) frequently says that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”  (Also, apparently, that’s the name of her book.)  The idea is that our desire for perfection can hold us back from the joy of creating.

In my case, it’s my desire to be the best (or at least really, really good).  That desire holds me back from enjoying what I enjoy.  It holds me back from being me.  It holds me back from embracing who God made me to be.

God has given me all kinds of talents and interests and gifts.  I don’t have to be the best at those things to have value.  My identity is not found in how well I perform.  I don’t know about you, but I need that truth to seek deep into my heart.

So taking up quilting is a way to practice this truth.  I may not be the world’s best quilter.  But I can still quilt.  (Theoretically, I mean…as I haven’t actually done anything yet.)  I can still try new hobbies.  I can even be so bold as to say, “I like this!”  without any disclaimers or false humility.

Is this struggle unique to me?  Are there hobbies or interests you would pursue, if you could let go of a need to be perfect or the best?

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6 responses to “Embracing a New Hobby

  1. Welcome to the quilter’s world! I started about 1 1/2 years ago. The learning curve can be a little steep, but just have a go at it and I suspect you’ll do well!

    • Carley Morse says:

      I’m pretty excited to try this! I keep reminding myself to start simple (and lower my expectations of perfection). No need to produce a professional quilt on the first try.

      • The best advice I was given was to start slowly, sew carefully, and to measure twice and cut once! I have also learned a great deal from my mistakes, so think of them as opportunities! I also looked at a bunch of YouTube videos by Leah Day, and at Craftsy. It looks like you’re going to do great!

  2. Well done on embarking on a new hobby! You are never ‘too late’ to learn new things – I’ve taken up dressmaking and playing an instrument in the last couple of years. Quilting is a lovely hobby and I’m sure you will get a great deal out of it. Good luck! 🙂

  3. Nicole Joens says:

    YES! to all of it. 🙂

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