I have gotten several emails or comments lately that have stated various things or asked questions. I have also noticed some things over the past few weeks about stress, and people being rude. This is not intended as a rant or anything about any particular person. However, here are my own Monday thoughts on quilting.
Why do you quilt?
I am guessing if you are reading this blog that you are a quilter or want to be one. Why is that?
- Like to create something fun, functional, and beautiful for your life?
- Enjoy the texture of fabric, or how the quilting feels when you run your hand over the quilt?
- Want to bring order to chaos (as in the scrap bins)?
- Like to decorate your home with quilts?
- Need to snuggle under a quilt for a good night of sleep?
- Like to follow a skill from our forebears?
- Want color in your life?
- Need a way to express your creative side?
- Enjoy a hobby that makes you both think and relax?
- Or is there another reason?
Please comment and let us know why you quilt.
Why do I quilt?
“In today’s hectic, hurried, high-tech world, more and more people continue to look toward the centuries’ old craft of quilting as a way to relax while creating something wonderful to enhance their homes.” page 11 of Thimbleberries Collection of Classic Quilts by Lynette Jensen.
I think the above quote pretty well describes a big reason I quilt. Life is short and it makes me happier and calmer to have something I can do that calms my soul and mind. It is important to me to have something I can see done from start to finish. Also important is an activity that is low technology.
I am by profession a medical coder. This means I basically sit at a desk 8 hours a day on the phone and computer. I have to know anatomy and medical terms. Then there are the outpatient procedures. And a basic knowledge of medications and how they interact with other medicines. Combine that with privacy laws (HIPAA), required documentation, and medical insurance. Each day is different but the same.
Once done at work, I want to do something that does not require much computer or phone time. Mostly I want an activity that is a process to go through. I want to be outside if the weather permits – hence the flower garden in my yard. Walking in parks or cemeteries is also a way to be outside if I am not home.
I discovered that many years ago that quilting allows me to “de-stress” from my job and the world around me. Quilts and quilting feed my soul and give me a happiness that nothing else in my life fills. I love my family, but that is a different happiness than quilting.
Plus, there is the creative side of me. I like color. Working with my hands is soothing. I like the way textiles feel. The process of a quilt from start to finish allows me to go through a familiar process while enjoying music, watching old movies, or visiting with someone.
Quilting gives me joy.
What this blog is not:
- A dating site
- A place to sell me or the readers some item
- Somewhere for folks to cuss, swear, or otherwise use nasty language
- A place to argue quilting techniques
- Somewhere for a troll to rant about the stupidity of quilters
- A place for an experienced quilter to bully beginner quilters
- Somewhere for rude and/or disrespectful people to sound off
Beware Trolls – I read every comment before I accept it to show up on the blog comments. Those of you who want to use this blog for anything in the above list will have your comment deleted. If you do it repeatedly – I will remove you as a subscriber and block any comments by you.
Apparently, social media has made some people very willing to bully others. Or be ugly because you do not actually have to see the person you are doing it to. None of us need or want rude or disrespectful people here. You will not be like that here. This is my blog, and I want it to be an encouragement to other quilters. I want it to be fun and informative.
I love to see nice comments, or great suggestions. Please feel free to do those comments. We learn from each other. Sharing is part of the quilt community. We can all learn from each other.
Questions asked recently:
Do I teach personal lessons? No. Sometimes I mentor beginning quilters individually if they are in my area, and I can fit it into my schedule. I do not do lessons via zoom, or in a classroom. I have no idea how to make videos for YouTube.
Can I recommend a book publisher for a quilt book? No. I suggest you do some research by starting with who published the quilt books or magazines you have at home.
What is my favorite quilt gadget? My stove timer. See here for info.
Do I get my fabric from box stores, or quilt stores? Both. When shopping at places like Hobby Lobby, Walmart, JoAnn’s, etc. – I really pay attention to the quality. I want my fabrics to wear well through washing and using. In my opinion, generally the fabric at quilt shops is better quality and worth the extra money.
Do I sell my patterns somewhere? No. However, so many people have asked for complete patterns to some of my quilts I am thinking about it. If I do so in the future, they would be PDFs and would probably be sold through my Etsy store. This would keep it simple, and reasonably priced.
Do I have a favorite quilter who inspires me? Yes. Eleanor Burns, Ricky Timms, and my quilting buddy SB in Caribou, Maine.
What do I do with fabric I no longer want? I try to find a home for it. This may mean selling or trading it. Sometimes I will give it to a beginner quilter to get his/her stash going. All of these ideas are also what I do with ugly fabric too.
Do I have other hobbies besides quilting? Yes. Gardening, reading (mysteries and historical non-fiction), counted cross stitch, and genealogy.
Do I applique? Yes sometimes. I enjoy the process of applique except for the prep of basting all the pieces to paper. It travels easy, looks beautiful, and is very relaxing to do. I see ideas in many books for designs I would like to try. However, piecing is faster – which uses more scraps, so I do more of that.
Do I go to quilt retreats? Do I think they would be beneficial to beginner quilters? The only quilt retreat I go to anymore is on my annual vacation to Maine. We are all experienced quilters who just want to work on our own projects and visit. There is not much or any teaching.
I think a quilt retreat could be very beneficial to a beginner quilter. They were a huge encouragement and learning place for me when I really decided I wanted to do more quilts. Do some research and see what is out there, what is offered, and by who.
There are some that are 4 – 6 people getting together for a night or two at someone’s home – which is a casual non-threatening way to learn and socialize.
There are also large groups who get together at a bed & breakfast, or a “camp” to do a retreat with teachers and sometimes vendors.
And finally, have you finished your mystery quilt? Almost. I need to add the final border and it will be done. It has been a slow process for several reasons. And then I realized I absolutely hated making the white and red blocks (after making one) – so I made the executive decision to not make those blocks. Here it is as of this past week.
I eliminated the white and red blocks that alternated with the pink and yellow blocks. The blue sashing is the same width as the red/white hourglass blocks – which I used as posts.
I will add the flying geese blocks, then another narrow blue border. The final border will be more of the black print you see here. I have enough of it to also do the binding.
Monday Thoughts on Quilting –
Finally, I hope these thoughts on quilting have been an encouragement to you. We all need a place to go to for answers, help, and inspiration for our quilting projects. All of us need people in our lives who are positive and encourage us to be the best we can be at whatever we want to do.
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
FB 09-05-22/ P 09-05-22 /I 09-05-22