Monday, July 23, 2012

Long Post About Quilt Show Thoughts

Here are some of the quilt show pictures from last Saturday. Unfortunately, not all the quilts photographed well so I won't be posting those pictures.  As I looked at the pictures and thought about what I have accomplished, I considered too, where I want to go with my quilting.  I believe that I am a much better quilter than I was when I started (duh!) but that I don't want to stop here and just coast along.  If (you know, THE BIG IF) I could just figure out how to express my personal spirit and energy through my quilts, I would start to feel very accomplished.*wink
Spumoni (blended Bunny Hill Design & Blackbird Designs patterns)
One of the things I did when I first started quilting was to make a long list of every single thing that attracted me to any particular quilt.  I flipped through tons of books and magazines and noted down the elements that I zeroed in on, such as log cabin quilts.  It didn't matter if a log cabin quilt was purple (my least favorite color), I stopped and took a long look.  Bingo.  Log cabin patterns went on the list, not purple.  It helped me to work through the learning stages of quilting.  It also greatly helped in keeping my focus on making the kind of quilt that spoke to ME on many levels.
Mellow Log Cabin (from a picture in a Weeks & Ringles book)
Incidentally, this has a lot of purple in it!
The interesting thing is, as I keep quilting through the years, I notice that I hit 'dry spells' in creating quilts that I'm truly happy with.  Surprisingly, the quilts I'm often most pleased with are a result of a challenge of some type or another.  They are usually immensely frustrating to me at some point (or maybe all the way through) and cause me to constantly question what I'm doing.  Properly implementing my ideas from start to finish is something that I'm still working on all of the time.  I don't always get it right either.
Be Thankful on left (Pat Sloan pattern, changed the colors)
Crazy Sunflowers on right (tried to reproduce a quilt I saw in a quilt shop in my own colors)
I have thoroughly enjoyed my constant contact; ie: inspiration with the on-line quilt blogging world.  When bloggers post pictures from quilt show that I'm never going to be able to attend, I am immensely thankful to them for taking the time to share.  I especially love pictures of antique quilts as that is my greatest love and where I feel that I draw the most inspiration even when I don't fully understand the why's of it.

I read something today over at Material Obsession that really caught me attention with all that's been on my mind.   'Participants wallow in the slow processes of applique and hexagons full of the elements of design necessary to make original, heartfelt quilts that resonate with personality.  They produce the kind of quilts we all swoon over because they are full of the discovery of self expression that comes from making a multitude of choices regarding fabric, shape, pattern and form and from taking the time to do it properly.'  

Prairie Vine (Quilt Sampler pattern with some added Blackbird Designs & Sue Spargo elements)
Ta-da!  She was talking about a favorite class that involves hexagon work along with other applique, but I think it's time to make me another list.  It wouldn't hurt to readjust the direction in which I'm headed instead of blithely jumping from project to project.
Sawtooth Stars of Friendship (basic antique quilt design with friendship blocks)
I can definitely see that I have to keep challenging myself.  For instance, there's this picture of a quilt that's been on my wall for over a year now.  Instead of playing it safe and buying that gorgeous and incredible pattern over at Collector With a Needle (like I really, really want to do), I think I would be better off pushing myself to reproduce the original quilt in my own way, with my own fabric choices, with the changes I make for all the reasons I personally make changes.
Our House (Indygo Junction pattern with change-ups)
Like I said, not all of my ideas come out the way I envision them in my head.  And just for your information, 'Our House' looks way better in person.  (I think it's the hand quilting that adds so much, and which you can't see very well in the picture!)
For The Birds (Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. pattern with Whimsicals & Gwen Marston elements)
I know these are little changes and little differences from the original creation, but it feels good to make a quilt 'your own'.  Now I need to to do more of it and learn to do it better.....


  1. Okay, trying again because I have NO IDEA where that first comment I left went...

    WOW, WOW, WOW...
    Each of these quilts is special and amazing but I am in love with Prairie Vine and Our House, and the log cabin quilt has been on my "one day" list for years! You are so talented and I think your style really shines through in your quilts. Your comments about the process of quiltng really hit home with me, as I feel much the same way, just not able to articulate as well as you have. Thank you so much for sharing your quilts and your thoughts, very special indeed!

  2. I too love challenges because it really pushes me beyond the "comfort zone". Especially with the art quilts. However I don't want to give up traditional quilts because I love them too. And I have so many on my to do list.

  3. A very interesting post. I am reminded that I still haven't made that one great quilt and I am not sure what it is. I like how you blend designs together and come up with some very interesting quilts. I am sure that the viewers of your quilts at the show were inspired by what they saw.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts on quiltmaking. Love your quilts, especially the log cabin.

  5. Love all the quilts...and really love what you had to say about making a quilt "your own"!....that is the art of it...which you do so well


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