We're a society of more. More space, more money, more cars, more stuff, more happiness, more, more, more. Sometimes, more is too much. One of my favorite movies, Sabrina, says, "More isn't always better, sometimes it's just more." It's easy to get pressured into perfection, even as quilters. You need more fabric. More notions. More shortcuts. More.
One of the things I like about English Paper Piecing is that it's a break from "more". You absolutely can buy all the bells and whistles and gadgets to help you, (no judgement here). But all you need- REALLY need is a few things. Thread, fabric, scissors, needles, paper pieces. That's it. That's all you have to have.
If you're a beginner, start at the beginning. Feel out the process and see where you find your shortcomings. If you love precise cutting, try a template set. If you're content instead to only get a ruler- get the Magic Seam Ruler. Maybe your space doesn't allow for a rainbow collection of threads, but you can prethread needles and keep them safe with the Clover Needle Dome.
There's something soulful about sitting and stitching simply. I like to imagine sitting next to my grandmother while we stitch, watching the kids play in the floor. She chose simple patterns and almost always used scrap fabric, but she did it flawlessly. She never would have picked a La Pass or a Millefiori, but she took pride in her work and it showed. When I go to quilt stores, I think about the look on my grandmother's face when she sees the modern-day notion wall.
As we make our New Year resolutions- let's keep them simple. Remember that simplicity is not mediocrity. Instead, we're choosing to do things we can do well. I find simple project are the best to hone your skills. Projects with repeated shapes and patterns are soothing to the soul- think Levens Garden! Then, when you get more comfortable, you can try that La Pas, and it'll be perfect.