When it comes to your quilting style – are you a leader, a follower, or an independent? Please let me encourage you to be an independent quilter. It is fun and satisfying.
Leader or Follower:
What do I mean by a “leader” quilter? This is a quilter who is influential enough in the quilting community to set the style of quilts. A trend setter. Someone who starts a popular style of quilting. This could be colors, a certain style (ex: modern), a technique, or a pattern.
Suddenly this person has promoted a style that many quilters decide to make a quilt just like that. It is popular for a year, or two, or ten, and then poof the trend is gone.
I understand that many of these “leaders” make their living from being “quilt leaders”. And there is nothing wrong with that. They are super creative and are willing to share their ideas.
Then there are the “followers”. These are the people who appear to want others to think for them when it comes to quilt making. You know – kind of a nice, neat package that gives fabric choices, pattern, directions, etc. Some doubt their skill level. Or they think they are not creative enough. Maybe they are lazy.
Quilt followers go from trend to trend. They go along without thinking that they could make a quilt they really like with a little effort of their own.
Most quilt followers I know have few finished quilts. Why? Because they are too busy watching the leaders to actually complete their own projects. They get depressed and discouraged that their quilt does not look exactly like the trending quilt.
I see it as setting yourself up for failure.
Be an independent quilter:
First, being an independent quilter does not mean:
- You refuse to follow direction or patterns.
- You make fun of, or bully, quilters who are not as skilled as you.
- You bad mouth quilt teachers, or cause problems in quilt classes you may take.
Second, being an independent quilter does mean:
- Think for yourself.
- Willing to try new techniques, patterns, color combos, etc.
- You are willing to help and/or mentor other quilters – especially those less skilled than yourself.
- Admit to mistakes made in your quilting.
- Laugh at yourself and those mistakes.
Here’s an example:
It is no secret that I have been making the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt 2022. So, I worked on each section (or tried to) as the directions became available.
I ironed, cut, and sewed. The completed parts are organized in bags with the directions for each part.
The time has come to utilize the hourglass pieces from Part 4. On paper it is a simple block and sets off the other set of blocks. I made one block and said “yuck”.
Um…there is no way I am going to make those blocks. Now what? I could throw up my hands and quit. Nope, this mystery quilt will get done, but I will find a different way to use the pieces.
I pulled out some of the blues. Yes, I like that look. My hourglasses are 2.25″ (remember that my seams are a bit larger than .25″). The pretty blocks are 10″ square. I cut 10″ x 2.25″ blue strips to use as sashing between the blocks.
The blue really makes the pretty blocks “pop”. Yes, I like that.
There are 30 blocks. I will make 6 rows of 5 blocks each.
Adding the sashing went quick. I needed six pieces of sashing for each row. Iron.
Next, I sewed five sashing pieces with an hourglass block at one end. Add one hourglass block to the end without one. Iron.
Match up the seams and pin good. I had 6 rows of pretty blocks – each with a row of sashing and posts sewed to it (see photo to right). Make a seventh sashing row to add to bottom of sixth row.
Be an independent quilter:
- Have fun quilting.
- Pick parts from one or more patterns, instead of doing the whole pattern.
- Resize parts or blocks to suit your wants or needs.
- Choose colors that appeal to you.
- Enjoy the process.
- Do not get stuck in one style of quilts – let yourself have the freedom to pick whatever quilt style appeals.
- Share information and techniques you learn along the quilt journey.
- Mostly, enjoy life and let your quilting show that off.
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.