Is Fear Stopping You from Learning a New Skill?

by Jessie Spriggs | August 19, 2014

Summer is coming to an end, and kids are going back to school. Perhaps you're even starting to see the leaves changing color. Now is the perfect time to start on a Christmas sewing project and maybe even learn a new skill in the process!

"C is for Christmas" is Jennifer's latest quilt design and Block of the Month program. It starts in October 2014, so you can sit by the fire and work on the hand embroidery blocks throughout the holiday season! The program finishes in April, giving you plenty of time to complete the quilt before Christmas comes around again. In the three and a half minute video below, Jennifer introduces the quilt and explains the difference between traditional and laser-cut applique.


I often hear Jennifer and Lynn (she's the one who manages all the Block of the Month programs) discuss the number of people signing up for traditional versus laser-cut applique. Sometimes they get really excited about the number of people signing up for traditional and sometimes their excitement is because people are signing up for laser-cut. (Click HERE if you want to sign up.)

I asked Jennifer yesterday which one she prefers people to choose. Her response was, "I don't really care which method people choose. I just don't want them to choose one option out of fear of the other." She enjoys both methods of applique herself. Jennifer filmed an 8-part series on traditional applique so that if someone wants to learn that skill and try it for themselves, they will have the resources to do so.

She also knows that laser-cut applique is a new method for many quilters but that it is a good alternative for people who might not be able to cut out the pieces themselves anymore due to arthritis or other circumstances. Laser-cut is also a great option for someone who has never tried applique before and wants to get a feel for it without taking the time to learn the traditional method.

Whether you choose traditional or laser-cut applique for "C is for Christmas," you'll need to know how to make an hourglass block. Jennifer uses these as the sashing throughout the quilt and to frame the interior of the quilt. In the video below, she walks you through the process step-by-step.


And finally, the main feature of the quilt is the 10 redwork embroidery blocks interspersed between the appliqued letters that spell CHRISTMAS. In this video, Jennifer teaches the three stitches used in the embroidery designs. I'll be honest with you: I've never tried hand embroidery myself. But after seeing Jennifer demonstrate the back stitch, satin stitch and French knots, I am a lot less intimidated by the process and might actually give it a try!


So what do you say? I'm going to challenge you to get out there and learn a new skill! Whether it be traditional applique, laser-cut applique, hand embroidery or something entirely different--don't let fear stop you from learning and trying something new! Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised and find that it really wasn't as difficult or scary as you thought it would be!

Comment below and let us know what new skill you're going to learn! Challenge a friend to learn it with you!

Until next time,
Jessie