I've come a long way since I began quilting. I used to love only the piecing and the shopping -- not necessarily in that order. Then I learned to love the appliqué and the embellishment. Somewhere during all of this, I discovered I loved design. It took a long time before I was comfortable with the quilting part.
I was always afraid I was wrecking my beautiful quilt by quilting it. So I did just the minimum amount possible to hold the layers together. Then I learned that I could quilt the devil out of a small quilt. In fact, it was not only fun, it was easy!
And from there I went to bigger and bigger quilts. It's still physically hard to quilt really big quilts -- I have found that I need special "quilt muscles" to move all that fabric and batting through my little machine. But I can do it.
That first quilt stitch on a layered "real" sandwich is still the most difficult. So sometimes, I just go around the elements. Just to get the needle in there. And some thread. Then I can move on to the more creative parts. Just after I get that first stitch in...
There is nothing on my design wall today because it's all under the needle. The top photo is my current project. I've finished the first stitches outlining some of the elements -- so it's on to the rest. The part I love. Check out Judy's blog (here) for some real design walls.