“I’d love to make this project, but I don’t know how to sew.”
The finality of this comment was striking. The implication, to me, was: “and I’ll never learn.”
I confess, it made me feel angry at first. Like, why would you give up like that? What is it in your DNA that makes you not do something simply because you have yet to acquire a skill that would allow you to do what you claim to want? There are 8 million tutorials online that would teach you this very thing! What is the matter with you!?!
Now, when I get like this, I know there’s something up. We despise in others what we despise in ourselves, right? So, I took a step back and looked again, and what I came up with was this…
There’s something that has made this person afraid to ask for things. Shyness, bad experiences, whatever. It’s real and it’s there. Those of us who have been building our skill sets for some time forget what a beginner’s fear level can be like. When I taught dance, it was easy to gauge because I could see their faces. I had a physical reminder to go slow, be kind, give loving corrections, and nurture their sparks of interest. Online, it’s harder to remember to do that stuff. People get left behind. People are afraid to ask. People end up saying things like: “I’d love to make this, but…”
The craft community, as a whole, is pretty good at sharing information, skills, etc., but as long as there are people who are afraid to ask us things due to our perceived "status" in the craft world, we've got a problem. I'm shooting for 100% in this area. I'd like to see exactly nobody slip through the cracks. If someone is curious about how to do something, I want to be there to offer help or a decent referral.
So, I just wanted to publicly say: If there’s something you want to ask me, if there’s a skill I can help you with, if there’s a problem we can work together on, if there’s something I have that you need, if you want to make something that I know how to make…ask. Do not worry for one second that you are bothering me…just ask. I may not always have time to help in the most complete manner, but I’ll do my best. Life is far too short to sit around wishing that you knew how to do something as simple as sewing, or anything else for that matter.