Unfinished Quilt: How Praise Froze My Project

We need to be careful who sees our work when it’s still in process. I’ve learned this from writing and from quilting. My quilting experience is particularly surprising, because I discovered that early praise can be as harmful as early scorn.

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How My Poodle Proved That We Can Change

Recently, I started listening to The Happiness Lab. In the first episode of this podcast, Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale University, explains that while it will take work, we can make changes that will help us to live happier lives. I believe her statement because I’ve helped our dog become more friendly.

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Quilt Show Lesson: Every Work of Art Has Its Fans

In the world of the internet, it can be hard to understand the value of making things yourself. There is so much competition out there, so many people better at what you are doing than you are. A meme or video goes viral, and suddenly everyone you know is talking about baby Yoda. In such a world, it’s easy to feel very small and that your efforts aren’t worth much. Those focused on fame tell us that if you don’t have at least 100,000 followers, you’re wasting your time.

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Waiting for Inspiration? Spend the Time Practicing

There’s a belief that all the great artists are inspired, that what makes their work wonderful is a brilliant idea or new insight. But this is just a myth. A single moment of brilliance can be blinding to the rest of us, but there’s more to it than that. You can’t make use of inspiration if you don’t know how to use your medium. Great art comes from lots of work, which can be summed up in one word: practice.

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