Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What quilters can learn from ice skaters

There are many lessons that ice skaters have for quilters...
While on vacation in Lake Placid, yep that Lake Placid, I visited the Olympic skating rinks daily to watch future Olympians and regular folk move around the ice with ease.
Olympian, Paul Wylie teaching people my age
Lesson one: it's not too late to learn a skill you always wanted to learn. These people are vintage. Learn from the masters... these skaters come to LP to study with master coaches.
 Quilters who know everything they need to know, can still learn new techniques that might come in handy. You never know....
Blade guards
2.When you buy tools, buy the prettiest  most colorful useful items you can find. Then use them every day.
Color is good, and a well placed crystal is a good thing.

3. Skating is solitary for the most part, but keep supporters around to help in the down times. Coaches (quilting experts) point out areas that need work, families tell you you are fabulous, friends pick you up when you fall.
Skaters put in the time practicing though. Quilters take note. Some things take practice. And don't be afraid to put in the time, and expect to fall now and then.Skaters don't expect to achieve a move right away.

4. If you have practiced and find yourself in a "death spiral" either work though it or admit that technique is not for you and move on. There comes a moment in most quilter's lives when they have ripped a seam out too many times, or a technique moves from challenging to irritating, to cursing and they are allowed to say they choose not to use that technique or pattern ever again.
Row of pretty water bottoles waiting for their owners
5. Stay hydrated. Skaters have a lot of breaks built into their workouts. They try a move, either succeed or fall, skate over to the wall, sip water, adjust their ponytail, take off a layer, check their phones, whine, then do it again. We need to take breaks while sewing. Stand up, move around, drink water, adjust our spanx.
6. Be careful... wear protective gear. This woman's hat of fur is not just decorative. It's a helmet protecting her head from the hard ice. We need to close the rotary cutters, be careful not to sew over fingers, respect irons when putting on said crystals, do our craft with a nod to ergonomics.
Yep, he's thrown her in the air, she's using her core to stay there
7. Work hard to master a move. Do what is seemingly impossible to do. Work hard to achieve.
Quilters, there is no reason to always take the easy way out. We don't get to Heaven faster if we make more simple quilts. Some quilts take a while to finish and that's okay. Keep working at it.
6 yr old who can do a double axel with ease
Pets are on this journey with you, they are there to celebrate the wins and help lick away the losses


  1. Excellent advice. There's also the building on what you've learned. After the axel comes the double axel, then you start working on the triple. After squares come half square triangles, then hourglasses. You can keep learning forever.

  2. Wow .... Some great advice!!! I'm the worst ice skater ever.... Seems like the ice skates are just in the wrong all the time... It's like they need to make a deep path in the ice and not glide on top ... I just don't get it!

  3. And then there's landing the Triple Salchow in writing by drawing out a perfect humorous analogy of two very disparate subjects! Hahaha! This is great! Kudos LeeAnna!

  4. Great post--great advice! Thanks!

  5. you're right! and when we fail we can start again... and quilters get no blue marks efurrywhere when they fail :o)

  6. Many good points! I never would have thought of ice-skating and quilting together...until now! Love the humor of this post! Time to tighten up my ponytail and get to work!

  7. The very best post I've read in ages! But if you think I wear spanx to quilt in you are crazy! Lololololololol. Too funny and very true on many points!

  8. What great advice! And what fantastic lessons to learn from such a storied place. :)

  9. If you fall down, get back up! Thought-provoking post, Leeanna!

    1. that's right Mari... the skaters fall and pop back up so fast you almost didn't see them down. They skate away from the scene, and try it again. Some of them wear hip pads when learning a jump, knowing good and well they will fall. They don't refuse to learn because they know they will fall learning, they go through it anyway. Love your comment. LeeAnna

  10. Great post! So many fun and true comparisons. I especially love the reminder to take the time to practice.

  11. Thanks for sharing this great advice with us. I will see things differently from now on in a good way. There is so much greatness out there if only if open our eyes and truly take the time to look. I don't think I will be taken up ice skating any time soon but I'm sure there will be a new quilting challenge around the corner.

  12. Excellent advice for anybody! Thanks for sharing. :)