I had been sewing since I was 12, and had tried many different crafts, but needed something new. Recently I had found several unfinished quilts in my Grandmother's attic. This quilting seemed complicated and detailed... and so I started.
I went to the library (you know, before the internet), found a book of quilt blocks & picked one that looked easy--easy enough that I could sew it by hand. Because if I was going to learn patience, a sewing machine would make it too easy! I went to my local fabric store to buy 4 fabrics. I had thread. And needles. So I made some templates and started tracing and cutting out pieces. Hundreds of pieces. And got to work on my queen-size quilt.
Nearly every night for several months I sat in front of the TV or listened to music, sewing blocks together. Finally I finished the top. I had not bought enough backing fabric, so I had to design a backing out of what I had left of several fabrics: a field, a border with corner squares, another border and it was a reversible quilt. In a couple more months of hand quilting and binding, and I had finished my first quilt!
I was so proud of that quilt--and still am. In quick succession to it, I made a baby quilt for a college friend, a wedding quilt for my sister and suggested/started/managed a group quilt (in the Art Department I worked in) for our fellow artist that was expecting.
Did I learn patience? Yes, but it's an ongoing process. An life's like that too, like any quilt I make: I'm anxious to get started, and anxious to see it completed. And somewhere in the middle when I'm sewing the 8,347th seam and I still have thousands to go I find myself thinking, 'Augh! What did I get myself into?' But I slog on and soon I'm enjoying the next step. And if it's not quite what I expected, I try again. Because there's always another quilt idea to try!