Learning a new skill

One of my goals this year is learning a new skill.  I would like to be able to do a good job at free motion quilting. If you don’t know about free motion quilting it is sewing quilting lines with the feed dog dropped on the sewing machine and the sewer is responsible for guiding the quilt through the machine.  The process sort of ends up like the kids game where you try to rub your stomach and pat your head at the same time. With free motion quilting however you have to control the speed of the needle with your foot and the direction and movement of the quilt with your hands.  You need to coordinate the feet and the hands to get a smooth even stitch. This of course is much easier to talk about than actually doing. The needle has to be going faster than you think it should and your hands have to be moving more slowly and smoothly than you think they should.  One way I have decided to practice this skill is practice every time I make something I’ve cut extra squares and strips.  I’ve also made some practice squares to make sure the seams are correct when I’ve started a new project. Even though these squares have not all been accurate I decided instead of setting them aside or putting them in a pile or throwing them away, I can join them together. I can use a piece of leftover batting and some backing from “what was I thinking when I bought this” fabric and I have a piece to practice on. The results can be used for coasters, mug rugs, pot holders or ?  It gives me practice and for pot holders etc, the function is more important the looks so it’s a win-win on all accounts.