I am hiking a mountain trail. It is steep, I have to watch my footing with every step. The trail is unmarked and I’m using a guidance system I’m not used to. I think I am headed in the right direction but I’m very concerned I will get off course. It is cold, I’m worried that I’m not prepared enough. The way is shrouded in fog, I can’t see how far I have to go.
This is how 2017 feels to me; unsteady, off balance, indefinite, uncomfortable and hazy.
My goals are not clear, which is unusual for me. Everything feels unpredictable and that makes me indecisive.
2016 was not my favorite year. I feel nothing but relief as I watch it disappearing in my rearview mirror. Most of 2016 did not work out as planned and I am still reeling from many of those disappointments.
With all that in mind, as I take my first steps into 2017 my emotions are a mix of caution, worry and dread. I am trying to embrace the year and to think of it as experimental, with unpredictable failures and successes. As usual, I’ve made a million goals but I am definitely more wary than normal. I hate that, it feels uncommitted and wishy-washy.
The picture of Paul up there, is my inspiration for 2017. For me, like the mountain behind him, Paul is unwavering, protective and constant. More than that though, and like the mountain behind him, he inspires me to be adventurous, curious and to challenge myself. As long as he’s nearby, I can face anything.
Consider keeping a creative journal.
You could include:
- The date
- A picture of the quilt
- A description of your experience
- A note about what inspired you
- Anything you learned
- Note any variations to the pattern you are following
- The sketch of your own design
- The fabrics used
This is also a good place to critique yourself. Describe anything you don’t like or might do differently next time.
This takes a little discipline at first but, I promise you will be delighted when you have a record of your work and it is so satisfying to see your progress throughout the years.
Do you keep a journal? Would you add anything to this list?
I’ve been thinking about what I wish I had known when I started quilting and thought I might share a few tips with you here.
#1 Don’t wait to start quilting until you have all the tools, the best sewing machine or even lessons.
To begin, I would suggest you have a sewing machine that sews a straight line and the basic things in the photo above. (Photo by Amy Smart)
Having said that, when I started out I was home with small children, I didn’t have the time or money for lessons nor did I have everything included above. From that list, I had a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler but I used my kids’ safety scissors as well as fabric and thread I already had. I don’t think I even had a seem ripper. I used books and advice from friends and the internet a little.
Fifteen years ago YouTube hadn’t been invented and the abundance of resources out there, for things like quilting just didn’t exist yet.
Things are very different now, a quick internet search this morning for ‘quilting 101’ provided me with over 22,000 hits. Clearly, not every hit is going to be helpful but everything you need to make a quilt from start to finish can be found if you look around for a minute.
Amy Smart at Diary of a Quilter, has the most comprehensive beginning quilter series that I have seen out there, plus her pictures are pretty.
Tell me, do you like to learn things on your own or do you learn better with others around?
Hi, I’m Rachel. I like TV on demand, plum tarts and introducing my kids to my favorite things like the So I Married and Axe Murderer soundtrack.
I don’t like staying up late, chasing my dog around the neighborhood and taking the trash to the curb when my son forgets to do it.
The very first car I owned was a yellow ’72 VW Super Beatle and it looked very much like the one above. My dad helped me buy it for $600 and it didn’t have reverse. No lie. It wasn’t as inconvenient as you might think, I just had to be careful about where I parked. You know, the only time I ever got stuck was when someone else parked it for me.
As a young stay at home mom with two toddlers, I remember thinking of creativity as something that happened after all the work was done and at that point in time the work was never done. Consequently, I starved myself of imagination, inspiration and a whole lot of beauty. It took a sweet, more mature friend to kindly remind me that I’d be much happier if I was feeding myself creatively on a regular basis.
She was right of course, in fact I remember the first thing I made after my self-imposed artistic draught. I actually felt part of my brain working that hadn’t exercised in a long time. It was intoxicating. That was a life changing moment for me and I promised never to let that happen again.
My hope for this blog is two-fold: First I want it to be a place to journal my current projects. Second, I want this to be a place someone can come and feel encouraged to be creative. By sharing the creative the process I go though, as well as my failures and triumphs, I hope you will be motivated to act on your own creative impulses.
In the future I plan to share my patterns and produce tutorials as well.