A Word About Encouragement, Perfectionism, and the Quilt Police. You’re Scaring the Newbies Away.

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Perfectionism. Quilt Police. Whatever you want to call it. This crosses my mind often when I’m quilting. What will the quilt police say if I don’t go back and redo that entire row of blocks because they aren’t perfect? What will the quilt police say if I don’t do my binding to their standards? What will the quilt police whisper about my quilt if I dare enter it into a local show?

I have a fairly thick skin, in a few circumstances, quilting is not one. 

As a relative newbie to quilting (just over three years in), the Quilt Police cross my mind much more often than I’m willing to admit. You see, the quilting community is an amazingly supportive one. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve made endless friendships, contacts, and experiences thanks to the many wonderful souls I’ve crossed this quilty path with. But, there are those who strike terror into the hearts of those of us who don’t strive for perfection, and perhaps those that do. They’re the Quilt Police.

The Quilt Police would never, ever buy their fabric at a Fabricland/Fabricville, JoAnn, Walmart etc. They shop exclusively at their LQS, who supply them with the most up to date, trendy, etc. lines. They wouldn’t dream of letting that seam go even a little crooked without redoing it to perfection. They scoff at machine quilting. They are intimidating AF to those of us who are new to this hobby. They scare hoards of us off, never to return. They may even draw a tear to our eyes when we overhear them shaming our entries that we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into at a local show. They are ruining the quilting community one harsh comment and side eye at a time. I know they don’t mean ill will (well, most of the time) but it’s very intimidating to join the quilting world.

Okay, that might be a bit drastic. But, they are scaring scores of newbies off. Some of us have very thin skin and may not try a new skill, fabric, process, etc. for fear of not pulling it off as well as an officer of the QP (Quilt Police). How many amazing pieces, patterns, quilts, runners, projects, etc. are we missing out on thanks to this?

I ask you. No, I beg you. If you think you may belong to this QP force, please, put down your weapons. Yes, those harsh comments and side eyes. How about more support, more encouragement, more love? I mean, a quilter really just wants to make something that they love, or that they hope a loved one will love. Try biting your lip at that crooked row of blocks, that machine quilted top, and that wild fabric you would never have seen because it’s only sold at JoAnn. Some of us just don’t have the funds or the availability to be boutique only shoppers. But you know what we do have? Love of the art. And that is what will keep quilting alive for generations to come. Let’s embrace the newcomers. All of them.

Little Ruby, and Courtyard Tiles

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The name Ruby is one of my favorites. But, that isn’t surprising to me because one of my favorite people ever was named Ruby. My Grandmother. So, when Bonnie & Camille released the Little Ruby collection, naturally I was drawn to it. The colors and patterns go so well together.

I held on to this fat quarter bundle for a long time, for me anyways, waiting for just the right pattern. When I saw Courtyard Tiles, I knew it was the one. This pattern cuts quickly, pieces quickly, and looks very much like curved piecing, something I haven’t attempted since the Meadow quilt.  http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.ca/2014/10/courtyard-tiles-pattern-is-finished.html

I’m pleased with how well this one has come together so far, and how the pattern leaves very usable scraps. Lots of 2.5 inch strips remain, and I will probably use those for a scrappy border. I’ve even held onto a baggie of teeny tiny triangle scraps thinking I may attempt my first mini quilt. I guess I just can’t bear the thought of wasting any of Ruby. ❤

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Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Home Quilted

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Growing up, I had no idea there was such a thing as quilting by machine. My grandmothers and mother were the ones I saw quilting, and never was a machine involved. So, when I started, in my 30’s and much later than they had all started, I already had two kids and knew a machine would most definitely be involved.

I started with a simple Brother machine that I had picked up at a local London Drugs, and several months later, when both my husband and I realized I had found a solid creative outlet, he upgraded me to my Bernina. Big B came with the BSR which enabled me to easily free motion quilt at home. Super handy for a super busy now mother of four, and precious little funds to pay a long armer.

My favorite quilt I’ve done so far has got to be My ABC’s. This was made using free patterns from a Moda blog hop. With little ones at home learning the alphabet,  was a perfect opportunity. Here is the link to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival where I’m entering for this quilt.  http://www.amyscreativeside.com/2016/09/19/bqfhome-machine-quilted-quilt-category/

I picked up a beautiful rainbow coloured jelly roll, collected all my patterns, scored some super cute newsprint background fabric, and I was off. I especially loved the background newsprint because the kids can learn their letters, and then search for them in the background.  Using the free motion quilting, I was able to imitate my oldest daughter’s cursive handwriting into the solid colour of each letter. Since cursive is being eliminated from the schools, I’m teaching them at home.

This was also my first ever entry into a local festival, the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts. My 10 year old also entered her first quilt in the same, and my mother came out to visit and we surprised her with the entry. It was a great bonding experience, and my newborn’s first outing at 5 days old.

 

 

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Applique

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Instagram. Oh, how I love Instagram. The amazing, unlimited talent, inspiration, and creativity on the site is outstanding. It feels like I have found ‘my people’ there. I could browse the posts for hours, taking in the patterns, colours, and creativity in all those  beautiful quilts.

Here’s the link to follow along.   http://www.amyscreativeside.com/2016/09/19/bqfapplique-quilt-cateogory/

I’m sharing my Mandala quilt for this . It’s made from a Violet Craft pattern, and I found it striking to the eye, and thankfully, fairly forgiving to make. This is really important to a newbie like me. What I lack in talent and skill, I like to think I make up for in enthusiasm.

Amy’s Creative Side is a blog I’ve read for a long time, and a constant source of information and inspiration. Love that this has been organised and am so excited to see all the posts. It will be great fun to follow along.

Tula Pink Cloudy Days – Part 1

If you’re familiar with Tula Pink fabric, you know how gorgeous it is. If you’re not familiar with it, you should take a look. Her prints are rich, bright, and bold. My first dive into her lines was the result of a great deal from a member of my guild, and that left me  hooked. Her fabrics are so beautiful, and were so far out of my comfort zone, but now, I find myself pulled to each line she releases.

I also picked up a copy of one of her books (Quilts From the House of Tula Pinkhttp://www.tulapink.com/quilts-from-the-house-of-tula-pink/ )  , and tried one of the patterns in it – Cloudy Days. I buy my fabric mostly in fat quarters, and while I loved this quilt, the large size rain drops were not fat quarter friendly. I had a bit of yardage from one of the prints in her line, Chipper, and did manage to squeeze out one large, but the remainder were a mix of medium and small drops. I still love it. Not sure how I’m going to quilt this one, but I think I’ll give free motion quilting another shot on it.

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Heart Quilt

I recently discovered a stash of Scrumptious in a local quilt shop. I’m talking a serious stash. Layer cake, jelly roll, and several charm packs. I picked up the layer cake, not quite sure if I would use it, or even keep it. But, it didn’t take long to see why the attraction to this Bonnie and Camille collection is so wide spread. It’s gorgeous.

The heart pattern is one widely available for free, and I used the one provided by Cluck-Cluck-Sew. It’s a fast and easy pattern, great for beginners, and my two oldest kids loved making their own. Not sure what they’re going to turn their hearts into, maybe pillows or pot holders, but I turned mine into this.

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Sparkle Quilt 2, and an Instagram repost from MSQC! :)

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My ego may never need stroking again. To top this amazing week off, Missouri Star Quilt Company reposted my photo of my finished Sparkle quilt. If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ll quickly see how often I use their patterns. The tutorials that Jenny puts out have been so inspirational for me. I find them so well done and reachable for a newbie like myself. I am literally fan girling here over her (or their Instagram person ) reposting my photo. *sigh* Amazing.

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We’re in a Magazine!?

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When you first start out quilting, there’s a plethora of resources to gain skills and inspiration from. Some of my favorites are magazines. One of my favorites of those, is American Quilter. Imagine my excitement to open up the latest issue today and see my daughter and her quilt, as well as my quilt, featured in an article in that very publication.

It.Was.Amazing. I have been sharing the news everywhere, so my apologies. The entire thing began with a writer spotting my alphabet quilt at the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts this past May and contacting me. Such a sweet lady, and she asked further questions about Little’s quilt and the children’s display. Fast forward to today, and she has photographed and featured my quilts on her blog, and now written this article where several quilts from Calgary and the Festival are being showcased for the entire reading community for AQ. So thrilling. Here’s a link to Kim’s blog.  http://www.kimhansonquilts.com/quilts-in-the-summer-chief-mountain-and-beautiful-waterton-lakes-national-park/

 

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Sparkle Quilt

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So, by now it’s pretty clear that as a beginner quilter, one of my favorite resources are Misourri Star Quilt Company tutorials. Well, here’s another example of why.

One of MSQC’s recent tutorials on YouTube was for the Sparkle Quilt ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHaT-ZXDm-c )  . It immediately caught my eye, and I had just the fabrics in my stash to use for it. But, I’m reversing the prints. I had a big roll of mostly low volume prints from Out of Hand (best modern fabric shop in Calgary), and knew I had to use it. I paired it with some teal polka dot fabric, and actually managed to get a start on it.

Here’s what I have so far. It won’t be done for a while, thanks to some amazing weather and fun beach days with the kids. We are so loving being in Nova Scotia for the Summer.


  

Mandala Quilt. Man, I like this one.

I think I have now got more projects on the go than I can reasonably finish. At least this Summer. However, this one came together so quickly and easily that I had to see it to the finish line asap.

If you haven’t seen any of the Violet Craft patterns before, take a look. http://www.violetcraft.com/  They’re beautiful and really well written. I have bought a few more of her paper piecing patterns and am really looking forward to getting started on them. This one is the Violet Craft Mandala Quilt. http://www.violetcraft.com/pdf/the-mandala-quilt-pdf-pattern photo 1man2photo 1 (2)man3photo 3thumbnail_photo%205[1]thumbnail_photo%203[1]thumbnail_photo%204[1]thumbnail_photo%201[2]

The Mandala is a great way to use up some stash or favorite fabrics. I’ve already started a second one, again, using all different colourways etc. I’ve searched #mandalaquilt on Instagram, and founds lots of examples, and the ones with matchy fabrics are just as stunning.

I think this one, with all it’s flaws (operator errors), will be hung on the wall. This new house is huge and we have empty walls just crying for some love.

For now, it’s back to the pool. Enough typing on my phone. Back to Summer with the kids. ❤