Harder Than It Looks: DIY Videos and Overconfidence

Before I fell down the bobbin lace rabbit hole, I made myself a medieval shift. Watching others sewing in videos about historical costuming made me want to sew, too. Morgan Donner’s video Making Basic Medieval Underwear inspired me to dig out some plain muslin, draft a pattern, and make a shift of my own. I had already finished it when I first heard a Hidden Brain podcast that made me laugh with understanding.

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Art: Comfort When You Can’t Leave Home

While I still insist we should be expecting less rather than more of ourselves due to the stress and strangeness of life during the pandemic, I also believe that we should keep making things.

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Good Design Takes Thought: A Quilting Story

Sometimes running with inspiration has magical results. Each step of the process is a natural extension of the last, and the vision of the end product keeps you on the right path, just doing the next thing, until suddenly, the project’s done. Sometimes doing what seems natural, however, can be a mistake, especially if that next thing is done without thought.

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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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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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