Wednesday Words – Finding my SPARK for 2019…

I actually thought about what I would select for the word of the year much earlier than I usually do. I began scribbling ideas down in early December, and then

Something did…in a fashion. SPARK is my word, and it’s an acronym for Shift. Possible. Action. Results. Kind. This mantra is easy to remember for me, and it applies to my work life as well as my personal life. It can even (insert a big grin here!) work up as a new Facebook cover page. There’ll be a tutorial sooner rather than later on how I made that.

Shift comes into play because when you’re an entrepreneur, you need to be able to get to a place of yes (sometimes, on an hourly basis). Being able to shift, for me, usually means changing the method I use to get a certain outcome. One of my favorite sayings is that if there is a long way around the barn, I’ll take it. In 2019, I want to shift that way of operating, and move onto making life easier for me and those around me.

A note here – one huge creative shift is coming this year. I’ve often joked about being evenly left and right brained, and often being conflicted about whether I do computer work or sewing work. I felt as though I had to do the computer work first, before I earned the sewing time. I crashed headlong into that issue on more than one occasion, and more than one deadline. Now, I’m scheduling sewing time into may day – and I’m really enjoying it. A shift in action.

Possibilities often become visible once you embrace the shift method of operating. Things that weren’t visible to you can suddenly appear if you just change your perspective a bit. You do have to have faith in that, but it generally works out.

Action is perhaps the easiest of the words to understand, but it’s also in here for a reason…I hate the feeling of being ‘stuck’ in a problem. My business has changed (ok, shifted) this year, and I now have several clients whose social media platforms I manage. That can often mean one deadline, and several clients to keep on schedule. It can require some fancy footwork, and a lot of action being taken. That’s going to continue throughout the year.

Results – this speaks for itself. If you want to get ahead, you need to take action and then measure the results…and that’s true whethe you are baking a cake, quilting a quilt…or mounting an ad campaign…if you don’t take a hard look at the item, you won’t know how successful you were.

Kind – This is a personal code word for me for this year – we can always be kind. I had the opportunity to witness kindness in action this week, and it really struck me how powerful it can be. It costs nothing to be kind, and it makes you so much happy – and brings joy to those around you.

So – I’d like to know what’s your SPARK this year?

Quilting for a New Bundle of Joy

I actually do have one finish to tell you about this month, and it’s a rather important one…in my family at least. We welcomed our third grandchild, Henry, into the family earlier this month, and his quilt was finished in the days leading up to his arrival – there’s nothing I like more than a deadline. The pattern used was absolutely perfect – it’s Sew Fresh Quilt’s Fox and Friend’s Baby Quilt pattern – although I took a long way to get there.

The original fabric bundle

I bought the fabrics a long time ago – they called to me, and truly it was a case of when you find something you love, buy it. When I say long, it was well over a decade ago – and the fabric was beautifully packaged and put away in my Kids fabric bin, waiting for me to dive in to look for something. I had forgotten about it so much that I actually had something else in mind for him, until I opened the bin. Henry was born in January, and all the more reason to back this quilt in a soft baby flannel. I found this perfect piece in my Flannel Bin (don’t mock the bin system…it worked this time!).

A perfect flannel backing for this

As often happens, this quilt had a few false starts, and ideas that didn’t work it. The pieced backing, which I ultimately absolutely adored, had a few false starts. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, which is why it took me a long time to get there. I hate it when that happens.

Early one morning in the workroom…what was I thinking.
Note – idea needed for 60 degree green diamonds soon!

I had decided to work with the equilateral triangles in the backing, and I think I was going to go with fusible applique on the top. Mom and Dad had decided on a Forest Friends theme for his room, and one night, on Pinterest, I figured it out. Thank you, Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts for the inspiration as to how to turn this fabric pull (with a few minor additions) into what ultimately became H’s quilt. Your pattern was very easy to follow, and adapt for my needs. (This quilt is actually the first one I’ve ever done without a quilt border on it.).

I had 15 gray scraps with me that night – none worked! Including this.

This quilt meandered along, as we waiting anxiously for H to join us. This was an open sew at my local quilt shop, and I came determined to finish the top. Unfortunately, although this was the best of my grays, it was’t working. I love it when the people in the room look at your face, and keep saying what’s wrong? until you figure it out.

Adding the perfect Nana touch

I love adding personalization to any quilt, and there are two things that go on every quilt I make for my grandchildren – their name and a heart. My new Cricut Maker allows me to use fabrics already in the quilt to add that punch of personality. The heart is quilted in. For quilting this, I went with an easy to follow motif – leaves! The fox and the raccoon eat leaves! Done, and done – and I think my membership in team quilt it to death is in good standing…even though I try not to over quilt a baby quilt. You lose the snuggle factor.

Not all labels go on the back!

I put the bias binding on this quilt on by machine, for strength. I hope this quilt is loved to death – so I can make him another one. I’ve had several snuggle sessions with him, and he is gorgeous. I’m not sure he’s met me yet – he’s been sound asleep every time and I don’t think he’s seen me.

Three down – and one more on the way! That baby quilt presents a unique challenge – they’re not doing a gender reveal, so I have to go neutral. That quilt is sketched out and waiting for a start – I hope they’re ok with a ‘some assembly required’ approach (until I get a name, I can’t quilt it!).

Off to retreat…more dispatches coming soon. I really enjoyed Faux Spring while it lasted.

Planning to stay Organized

Someone on social media said that the first two weeks (or so) of the year is the free trial, and I would have to say in my case that that is pretty accurate. Almost as soon as I put SPARK out there to the universe, the shifts began to show up in very big ways – I’ve been having to process some and deal with the consequences of others. It’s all good, but not everything in life happens on social media. I had planned to write this blogpost at the beginning of the year, but then…shift happened. Oh, and to those who are keeping track – one of the best gifts ever arrived in the form of Henry, who just makes me smile everytime I get a new photo. So, 2019 is definitely off on a journey very different from last year.

2019 has a lot to pick from on the buffet creative wise, and I find it impossible to do that without a good planner. This year has more moving parts to keep track of than I’ve had in the past, and that means I HAVE to have a planner AND TO USE IT. I’ve found one that I love, and after a few modifications, it’s perfect. I heart My Quilter’s Planner.

My 2019 Quilter’s Planner – after a little customization

I was fortunate enough to receive this as a gift this year, and to say I was pleased is an understatement. I love a good Orange Peel pattern, so from the beginning, I have loved it. As soon as I opened the monthly section and found that it had the show dates for some of the more prominent shows included…I was hooked. I’m sure that not everyone is in there, but that’s a biggie when you’re planning several months out with customers. This planner also comes with several projects, and a sew along…you can see in the picture on top, I’ve gotten block one done of the Sew Along.

Let’s talk customization at this point, because after several stops and starts here, I have one feature that I look at more than others…I LOVE a discbound planner, which allows me to take pieces out and put them back in without too much difficulty. The Quilter’s Planner isn’t a discbound system – or rather it wasn’t one when I received it. It was easy enough to find a video on uncoiling a planner – it turns out that it’s easier than you might think. I did mine in less than a minute – the key is keeping your pages together and in order – binder clips helped me then. After things were unspiraled, I simply punched them with a punch that is made to go with my discbound system, and I was off to the races.

My January discbound monthly set up…it works!

The QP has several extra sections to it beyond the calendar part – it also has several patterns, a really useful reference section, and a place to keep your project files together – a perfect place to tame my UFO list – because if it’s out of sight, it’s also out of mind. I may get somethings off that list this year.

I took an older Brand X calendar that I had laying around – also discbound – and used it to add sections to the back of the Quilters Planner for Goals, Blog Stats, an online course that I’m working on, and a note section for my clients. Those papers can then be transferred to their files. You will see a size difference between the QP and the Brand X one – the Quilter’s Planner is ever so slightly smaller than a standard 8 and a half by 11…so here’ what that looks like.

The page with the green stripe is from the original Quilter’s Planner

I put the original oversized planner covers onto the front and back, which offers my Quilter’s Planner additional all weather protection. Now, to see about a cover. Looking around my stash, I saw the only thing that I could possibly think about using…

This is my planner cover – Cork! I had never seen anything like this…

I couldn’t use the patterns that Quilter’s Planner gives online, because the dimensions given were too small for my ‘frankenplanner’. I used the piece of cork above, coupled with a scrap of cork from another project, a hair tye and a button to make a pattern based on the brown bag book covers of my school days to complete my planner. I found that making a planner cover is a perfect application for working with cork.

So now that I have the tools, it will be interesting to see how this plays out…stay tuned. I am packing more of the Sew Along Blocks to bring with me on retreat in the next couple of weeks.

Improving your Quilting space – 5 ideas to help

In today’s post, I’m going to give you a window into the inner workings in my space, and share with you 5 things which I use every day in the studio to make my quilting better. If you’re still looking for ideas to put on your list – these are items that make sewing more fun. 


I firmly believe that what works for me may not necessarily work for you.  There are some universal truths, though – so hang on and I’ll go through the list.  I’d love to hear from you what your best ideas are to make your sewing more fun…I’m ready to start on next year’s list. 

This is NOT an affiliated post in any way, so take what you want and leave the rest. 

Taming the threads…

This works so much better than my old ‘ice cube tray’ system! 

Believe it or not, thread and bobbins have been a major focus in my space this year, and these have helped me corral the spare threads that make me nuts. 

I use mostly Aurifil thread in my quilting, and this product has helped me start to tame the thread beast. They are called Bobbin box organizers by Tidy craft, and at less than $10 for the set, they make it easy to keep things organized. Yes, I do know that I have several grays at the bottom – my color of choice! 

A sharp blade is a safe blade…

This is one of my favorite tools in the sewing room. 

This was something that Santa brought me last year – a blade sharpener that I absolutely love. It does give my blades extra life, and there is nothing like a sharp(er) blade to help with your accuracy when quilting.  This was a great hit – it’s in the top drawer of my cutting table, where it’s able to be used often. 

LEDs are a gift from the Sewing Gods…

Now that the days  are getting dark sooner, I depend on the lighting in my sewing room.   Well, Move over, ottlights…you can’t take my LEDs away from me. My space is a bedroom, and there are only so many lights a girl can have…you need to make the most of them.  

Sew organized! 

Sew Emma – Vertical Storage in a tiny spot

This is a handy little organizer that’s just big enough.  It holds all my go to tools on the back of my cutting station, near the Ikea cubby. It’s got space for my collection of seam rippers, my pencils, tweezers (you’d be sutprised!) as well as a pair of Had’s scissors I keep on hand to work with.  My rotary cutters and the Good scissors are in the drawer – outside of the hands of little ones who don’t know they are little.  It’s from Sew Emma, and it’s called the Stash and Store…well named. 

Angela Walters’ Rulers

I sew on a Janome 8900, and I need my tools to be sized appropriately for my machine. That’s why I love (and am developing an obsession with) Angela Walter’s rulers for Creative Grids.  These are easily handled when working on a domestic machine, and they allow you to maintain control of your quilting. If you have an opportunity to try them, you will find them very easy to work with. 

What’s my favorite tool in the sewing rooom?

I’m participating in the #myyearinquilts hashtag over on Instagram, which was started by the Modern Quilt Studio on their IG feed.  I have been out of the practice of posting regularly to Instagram, and I do find it helpful to do with the structure of a challenge. I’m on day 6, and I’m writing this in an internet cafe (how milennial of me!) on my way to pick up my granddaughter…so here’s today’s blog.

The prompt for today is my favorite tool — and there’s only one thing it can be. My Janome 8900…but if you have ever asked me in my life how many machines I would own (currently 3!), or how many times I would have upgraded to get here…I’d have had to plead the fifth.  It’s been long strange journey to get here, and I find today that even now, in my 3rd year of ownership…I still find things to love about it.  Have I mentioned that it’s my 4th Janome?

This snapshot was taken about 5:30 this am (note the dark in the window), and the tools from my latest sewing project are strewn about the machine.  I love sitting down and working with it, and when I don’t get a chance to do that, I miss it.

My first machine, as a newly married woman, was a private label nightmare sold through JCPenney. It came with no quilting attachments, no case, a manual written mostly in what I think was Chinese, and a tension dial that was never in balance.  I think that I easily spent more than I paid for it in balancing adjustments….and to think, that’s what I learned to quilt on.  That might explain why I had several early quilts fall apart.

I finally ‘broke’ – me, not the machine – when I took a quilting class and spent more time fiddling with the tension than sewing. I came home in tears…and that’s when my husband said that I had tried my damndest – but I needed a better machine.

He always has been a right tool for the job kind of guy…

Fast forward through the selenction process of the initial machine, and several upgrades to get to this one. It purrs, it’s always in balance,  I love experimenting with the attachments and the feet, and it has a manual in excess of 40 pages written in English, and this one has a button that you press and magically does give you a 1/4″ seam allowance.  The layout is also toddler friendly, in that I can have my granddaughter stay on one side of the machine.

The stitch is beautiful….even, straight, and something that makes me happy to use it.  It’s not the highest end in the line, but it is the one I love.

You’ve bought the book…how often do you use it?

 Like many of you, I’ve been quilting for quite a while – long before we had access to the world of online tutorials, videos, livestreams, and what seems to be my default source of inspiration, Pinterest.  My bookcase is filled with books of various genres, some tutorials, some techniques, something about them drew them to me and my bookcase. While I do see a destash of some sort happening in the next year or so, there are some true friends who have stood the test of time.  Eleanor Burns “Quilt in A Day – Christmas” is one of those old friends I turn to again and again.

It makes sense…you have a new quilter, Christmas and the Quilt in a Day brand – it’s the perfect formula for a book which when I took it out of the case, is well worn and used – like a favorite recipe which comes out at the holidays. I know that December doesn’t start until Saturday, but with the extra week after Black Friday (ugh) and Cyber Monday (yay!) to work with, I’ve started thinking about Christmas.

This book does have a general holiday feel, and it’s got a smattering of recipes as well as projects to work with.  I haven’t made any of the recipes – although my mouth does water whenever I look through it!  I have made several of the projects (some multiple times), and the patterns are always well written and illustrated.  Here are some of my favorites:

This stuffed angel pattern always makes me smile. My older son, Chris (who isn’t big into crafts!) had started a collection of angels for me when he was a teenager. Each of them is different and unique, but this one always makes me smile when it comes out of the box. This project comes from his days as a poor college student, when Mom was adamant that he not spend his money on an angel.  When he came home from college, we spent an afternoon with my fabric box, some bits and bobs, lave, a fabric pen, some straw hair, and a glue gun. She’s the ugly duckling of the crew, and a little older in the tooth, but she’s my favorite one of the group. Chris cringes when he spots it every year, but I’m hoping he someday ‘gets it’.

Another favorite pattern of mine from the book is her stocking pattern. Although I know that my sons have homes and families of their own, I have handmade stockings for everyone here when we gather on Christmas Eve.  The bad news on that score is that I made the original set of 4 stockings (me, Mike, Chris and Andy) before I began quilting – and before I bought the book.  Let’s just say that ‘stocking overflow’ isn’t unusual for the 4 of us. I have used this pattern to make 4 stockings so far, and look forward to making 2 more in the new year using the same ones.  There’s usual good natured groaning that my daughters in law and the grands get the bigger stockings.  This pattern is also easy to follow – and it’s lined! – so it’s a matter of how nuts you want to go with the embellishments.  Three guesses on that one!

This pattern is the one I’ve made the most – largely because it’s made via strip piecing (hello, it’s an Eleanor Burns publication!) and you make 12 at a time. Honestly, I’ve made at least 3 strip sets of these – they are great teacher gifts, package toppers, secret santa presents…this is my potato chip pattern – you can’t make just one!  It’s also not breakable (something with toddlers around, I’m begining to appreciate more today).  And it had a bell on the end – something else useful.

This went onto the tree the other night when we decorated it. I need to move it to a more kid friendly zone!

I’d like to know – what’s your most well loved book on your shelf?

This isn’t a promoted post – but if you’d like more information about the book, it is available on the Quilt in a Day website here.

 

Until next time…

 

Wednesday Words – More options

While my turkey is defrosting in the kitchen, I’ll update you on something that occurred to me as I was posting last week about binding options…you can read that post here.  And why, you may be wondering, am I spending so much time with bindings.

My first question has to do with the size of the project being quilted. All of the quilts shown in last week’s post are decent size…you can get a decent length tail on any of those shown, and regardless of which binding you make, the construction techniques of all of them are the same in that you join them together with a mitred joint.  But what happens if your project is smaller…much smaller?

                                                                                                                                                                      Like a mug rug?  My guild is doing a mug rug style swap next month, and as I pondered the possibilites as I dug through my Christmas scrap bin looking for what would work together – I know you have the same bin!  I wound up with a 4 patch of coordinated fabrics that when sewn together, make a quilt that’s about 7 and a half inches wide. A quick search of binding methods on Pinterest yielded me the perfect solution. In this case, I used the backing of the quilted rug as the binding, simply by cutting it.  This isn’t something I had ever done, but with a small project, I thought this was the perfect application to try it.

It’s pretty straight forward…you layer your top, batting and backing together and quilt it, as you wish – in any way that you would like.  This becomes interesting when you trim the piece – you’re going to trim each of the 4 sides twice. In the first round, after you fold the backing back as far on itself as you can, you’re going to trim the top and the batting flush with one another. Once all four sides are done, you unfold the back, and then trim that, leaving a 1″ margin on each of the four sides.

Once that’s done, you fold the once inch sides on itself, then folding it again onto the top of the piece. This is a great job for wonderclips. You’re going to continue doing all four sides at once, making a mitre on each edge, until you have them perfectly placed. Take the piece to the sewing machine, and then sew around the binding edge once, removing the clips as you go.

 

An hour (start to finish) later, you have one…and then another. I made the second one to test out whether doubling the batting had had an effect on the result…it did (that was option #1). Option #2 has a single batt, and a much cleaner finish.

The red and blue option (Christmas? same scrap pile!) has the single batt, and the cleaner finish.

 

Now, onto the second question – why so much work around binding? I’ve been working on a class in bindings, and I’ll be teaching it at Dragonfly’s Quilt Shop in Bellingham Mass on December 8th.  It’s an all day class, and it’s called The Devil is in the Details.  The fee is $50, and it’s going to cover a variety of the techniques covered in these two blog posts, plus a lot of other techniques for binding your quilts.

If you’ve have a pile of quilts you need to bind and are dreading it, come and spend the day with me and get a new perspective on options you have. Let’s get those UFOs out the door.

Gotta run, the turkey is calling me. Have a wonderful turkey day!

By machine – how easy is this!

More Wednesday Words – Binding options for your quilt…

When I began quilting, ultimately, eventually I encountered the most dreaded words in the English Language – Quilt as Desired.  You could spend weeks – or months – working on a top, only to encounter those 3 words at the end of many patterns, articles and books. I’d even run into that in classes. You barely ever got to binding.

In the beginning, I learned one method, and for over 20 years, I used it faithfully. It involved handstitching, and it was tedious. There was the upside – bringing a binding bag on a vacation was much less cumbersome than bringing a whole sewing machine – but I found myself wondering whether there wasn’t some other way.

There was, and in the past several years, I’ve explored a lot of options out there. Some of them you’ve seen in pieces along the way, and some you haven’t. This will look at several of the techniques from just one point of view.

This quilt is left over from my Island Batik Ambassador days, and it was a paper pieced mini challenge. I wound up using a free pattern from Ellison Lane to work with their softer color palette – and this is truly one of the favorite quilts  I have  ever made.  This one goes up in my workspace on the first day of spring each year. The blog posts from both Ellison Lane and Cotton & Steel have been removed, this is a paper piece kaleidoscope block – same block, just different colorations throughout the pattern. There is a similar block here.

In this, I used a ‘flange’ or ‘magic binding’ technique – all done by machine – to insert a bit of the color into the binding.  I learned that technique that year, and used it  a LOT – it’s completely machine applied on both sides, and it can bring a sense of fun to a quilt.

I always hang my table runners in an orchard, don’t you? Seriously, this was the sample I did for Beth Helfter’s 2018 book, Oompah. I pulled the fabrics together as I was leaving to head out to a retreat – and black goes with anything, right?  I pulled the black colors as an accent, and used it in the machine applied binding as well. This binding technique, involves stitching the binding strips to the front, and wrapping them to the back, basting them with glue, and then stitching in the ditch on the front. It’s clean, it’s easy, it’s done.  Have I mentioned that when I get to the binding on a piece, there’s usually a deadline involved.  And, yes, if you’re wondering…it can also be a bedrunner as well as a tablerunner.

This is Prism, one of my first (2014, I believe) forays into modern design…and it’s a scrap quilt. I wanted to play with this particular layout of flying geese, and straightline quilting. I  wish I could say I thought the binding out as part of the design – I didn’t.

I had gotten as far as putting a plain black binding on it – stitched one side to it, and went blech.  It might have been very loud, and very late at night when I said that – but it didn’t work on any level. I then looked at it, and the piles of scraps on my floor  – and had my answer. This was accomplised by sewing strips together (in the same order as the quilt!), cutting each strip set into 2 1/4″ segments, and sewing them together before applying them by machine to front and back. It brings the quilt to life, and it definitely made me happy once it was completed.

Sometimes, it’s good to step back and take a look at how far you’ve come, doesn’t it?

I have one more to share…this is a very recent finish from earlier. Garden Party was my entry into the Vermont Quilt Festival, and I knew that I wanted to do a color change binding on this one. This is a collage style quilt, designed usign two different colorways of Kaffe Fasset’s Brassica fabric – quite possibly one of my all time fabrics e

ver for quilting in the yellow. Literally, I order more every time I use the last yard of it – and I was delighted to find out it came in more colorways.  Onto my next addiction, I guess.

If you look closely, you’ll see that I used Brassica in both colorways in this machine applied binding – changing colors in two of the corners.  It was actually very easy to do – and again by machine.

There are still techniques I want to try out – I haven’t exhausted my ideas by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, in next week’s blog post, I’ll be back to give you a way to bind mini mini quilts – things that are so small they can be hard to tackle.

Do you have a binding question – please leave me a comment below.  It’s good to be back!

Linda

Textile Tuesday expanded….

Sharpie-palooza

This post could also  be titled “My Problem and How I solved it”, but I’m going to pull the title from a series I started over on Facebook recently. There are a series  of posts with the #TextileTuesday, and I am using it as an opportunity to talk about my stash – why I fell in love with it, when I bought it, that kind of thing.  The fabrics highlighted (so far) are the ones which I haven’t cut into yet,  I just take them out randomly, and feel the cotton.

inspiration – just needs Tequila

This blog is about taking scraps and actually using them. One of the first posts in the series talked about this piece, which was the Hoffman challenge from several years back, and I cut into it when working on a project at a retreat a while back. The project yielded me some beautiful scraps – some larger than others – and I was amazed how good it felt to actually work with something I loved so much.

What made me buy this color?

This fabric just needs a margarita and a summer beach to go with it…and the world’s brightest limey green zipper helped me take it to the next level.

What else could you possibly use this color zipper with?

So, onto the pile of things that I’d love to work on when I get the time…enter the bag of sharpies at the top of the post. Those are the colors I use when I am doodling my free motion quilting designs in my papers. I found them on a closeout deal at the art store, and I find it does sometimes help me to use multiple colors when drawing. Or sometimes I’m just in a red or a blue mood.

No scrap left behind

So, off to the bin of scraps to see what else I could unearth…and voila…these are here, waiting to play.  Think of this project as a kind of clean out the fridge kind of idea – see what you have to work with, and then just play until you have something you like.

Now, my collection of sharpies has something which makes me smile whenever I look at it, and there are slightly less scraps left to work with (and the larger pieces of the fabric are there to be the source of yet another project.

the perfect home

This is the perfect use for this, and I will be inspired the next time I sit down to doodle.

What is your go to use for playing with leftover fabrics that you love?

Until next time!

Wednesday Words – Pushing past fear

I’m happy with the reaction that I got to the series I’m doing on bright spots in the industry, but today I want to pause that for a second.  There’s more to come (!) on the series, and I’ll come back to that next week.

This blog post is going in a completely different direction, and it circles back to an earlier post I did about Shifts happening – you can read that post here.  This week is the Vermont Quilt Festival, and it’s a show I am consistent about entering quilts in – I even have (truth be told) a spreadsheet in which I keep track of the judges scores and comments for entries over the years, and I can definitely see an upward trend in my pieces on technical skills.  I actually love reading the scores and the commentary that they give me – it’s like a report card of sorts.  I like being scored against a standard .

Meet Garden Party, my entry into this year’s show.  It’s definitely outside of my normal type of quilt…it’s collage-y in nature, and the inspiration came strictly from the fabric, Kaffe Fassett’s Brassica.  I’ve had this fabric – and loved it – for several years.  I’ve even got it in two colorways, as the picture at the left will show.  I just always thought that the fabric would lend itself to this kind of application, and I do love it.

This quilt, however, languished for a long time on the design wall. It’s one time I broke my own (very good rule) to never enter something that isn’t finished into a show.  Every time I break the rule, I remember why I made it in the first place.

The reason it languished was the quilting…and that’s a wildcard here. I even brought it on retreat with me, where I ‘danced around the issue’ but never got around to quilting it. I had a very specific idea in what I wanted to do with it, and I was terrified that I would ruin it.

That fear cost me several weeks – I just worked around it, rather than through it. It got so big that I even thought of withdrawing it from the show – oh you would have been amazed at the mental gymnastics I went through with it.

When I was ready, I just sat down and said – well, don’t ruin it. You know what to do, now DO IT.

And I did – on a practice piece. I worked the kinks out, settled on a few floral motifs and worked them out…and then just did it.  I have to admit, Mike popped in at one point (as I was rounding a corner), and his “You did that??” told me that I was on the right track.  I have no idea what the response from the judges will be, but I made this one for me.

I think this has taught me that there is wisdom in the old adage that you should do 3 things every day that scare you.

Time to go get scared –  more from Vermont to come!