Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wanted: Other Quilters Seeking Joy



Another Scrap Box Dumped

"The End (of the Year) is coming! The End (of the Year) is coming!" If you heard this, and you only had one quilt to make before the End, what would you make?

Seriously, if you only had one more quilt to make 
EVER, what would you make?


I have been asking myself these kind of strange, but revealing questions all month long. The posts about "My 10 Best...", "My Sewing Goals for 2017", "What I Did Wrong In..." have been prolific in Blogland. I tried to write one myself more than a dozen times. It didn't work for me. It all became very personal, and my quilting/sewing/blogging goals became intertwined with "Why are you here?" and "Who are you?" This has been a frustrating month at best, but I am finding some clarity.

I Know the Answer to the $64,000 Question

The big question people ask quilting bloggers about quilting is, "Is it your hobby or your job?" Of course, the word "jobby" comes in, and if you google that one it's not always a nice thing. It's taken me a while--years, to realize that quilting is neither of those for me. It's my life. Its the reason I wake up each morning. From the moment my feet hit the floor, my brain is in quilting mode, and I feel the excitement of creativity. Creativity brings me joy!



If I Could Only Make One More Quilt...

It would be a scrap quilt. Don't ask me to explain how, but nothing makes me happier. Mismatched fabrics, improvisational piecing, and no real rules mean it's more a work of art than a quilt. Your eyes can't take it all in at once. They move across the quilt seeing separate elements each time. Quilting like this brings me such deep joy it goes beyond words. I would make a quilt from scraps.

I have more to share with you on the subject of making goals, plans, and lists, but today is not the time. I'm off to meet a quilty friend for coffee.

I have several quilts newly started this weekend, all involving scraps. The one above was made with 3.5" strips, sewn like a jelly roll, and improvisationally pieced to make the correct dimensions. I will quilt and finish it this week, and start another. My fabric stacks are out of control, and this is a good way to make charity quilts. Mennonite Central Committee collects quilts that they send to areas in need, and one of my goals for the new year is to make several. It brings me joy.


When I'm considering my goals for this next year, this is the question I will be asking of each:

Does this bring JOY?

It may be just for me, or maybe only for others, 
but it must pass this test.



"Oh, Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, 
Where have you been?"

While sewing in my kitchen, this sweet thing came to take a look at me. She just popped up while I was looking down, and then stayed several minutes to watch me. Cats have their own mind, and I love their independent spirit. If only they didn't make we sneeze and wheeze, the Doxies would be sharing their happy home with one or two.


Now let me ask you to leave a comment here for all our curious minds who wonder~

If you could only make ONE MORE QUILT, 
what would you make?

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


24 comments:

  1. You captured exactly how I think about quilting- it is no hobby for me- it is an avocation. I have a whole list of quilts I would love to make, but again, they all involve scrappy. I have a whole Evernote notebook full of what I want to make. I was sorting scraps last night that were given to me and get frustrated how to categorize them- especially before they are cut into standard sizes.

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    1. I have often thought we were birds of a feather, Linda. I also go through the same thing over scraps when sorting color. My rule of thumb these days has been I organize by background color or a bright, dominating color if there are many. Sometimes the same fabric will go into multiple piles depending on where it's cut, too. And btw, going through a scrap bag I'm given is about the most fun thing ever. I think it's like the toy in the Happy Meal!

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  2. It would be a memory quilt of my daughter.

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    1. I'm sure that would be both a difficult, but healing experience. We wrap so many memories into our work each day, but a quilt for one specific person can be truly personal. We know what they liked, our stories with them, favorite colors and patterns, and so on. I hear people say they don't want to talk about someone special after they've passed on, but I do. I think the memories we have keep them close by, and is much easier to remember the good things.

      I think a memory quilt would be lovely to wrap yourself up in when you want to feel close to her, too. What a lovely thought you've shared with us. Thank you.

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  3. My quilt life always begins with a fabulous fabric inspiration. I never know where it's gonna take me and that's the joy of working with textiles. If I could only make one more quilt, it would need to be big enough to cover the world because I could not stop!

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    1. So you know I had to read this, and go, "Awww..." Yes, I get that. Yes, it is the exploration, the inspiration, and the surprise outcome. The texture, the smell, the visual dessert of color and pattern. The process is pure delight. I also think sometimes it's why our favorite quilts never get finished. Like we piece out little bits of a book not wanting it to end either. I can't truly imagine ever being allowed to create only one more quilt in this lifetime either. Thank you so much, Kathy.

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  4. OOO a hard question before coffee. I love stars so it would have to be some form of star quilt. I've just finished one that I loved and would be quite happy to make another. I regularly have a sort out of me sewing room and I keep or throw things on exactly the same basis as you described, will it bring joy to me or someone I know. If not then it goes out. It 's scary at first bt becomes very liberating quite quickly. xxx

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    1. Gina, I've had several occasions this morning to test the "Joy Theory", and it definitely applies to more than quilting. This may be a game changer for me. I'm headed back to the studio this afternoon to go through the fabric stacks, and I'm going to put them to good use by either passing them on or converting them into charity quilts. I can easily do this with household things, but fabric seemed a little harder. No more! Our things only serve us well if we can use them. Otherwise they have become a burden. Thank you for the burst of encouragement. I'll let you know how much I get through.

      Also, I know several star quilt junkies. I didn't realize it was a thing until a friend of mine showed me her pattern collection. I had no idea there were so many published star patterns! Sparkle Punch started it all for her. She told me it was like waving chocolate in front of her face, but she just loved making them. All kinds. So, I'm happy to hear you are in excellent company.

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  5. I would finish my Forget Me Not quilt designed by Esther Aliu. I don't think of quilting as a hobby or a job, but as a necessary part of my life - the balance for the rest of life.

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    1. It is balance. You're right.

      I have been quilting at home during the holiday so I could spend time with family. My patience and tolerance levels have been dropping quickly these past few days, too. I finally took off to the studio to spend time there, alone, and it was an amazing, restorative afternoon. It's not just the quilting for me, but the alone time. I felt like the old me this morning.

      I'm not aware of the Forget Me Not quilt, bu Esther's designs are just stunning. I'm off to look that one up.

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  6. Julie - we get to a point in our lives where 'joy' is so important. So it's definitely worth of being there as a requirement for your new goals. Enjoy the process!

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  7. Since I have already finished and given quilts to all my children and grandchildren and even the little great-grands.....I would make another charity comforter (knotted) which would go to Kidron, Oh, and later be shipped to an area where families have had to flee their homes. So many families living in dire conditions! I can hardly stand to watch news articles or read magazines that show their faces. It makes me want to sew with speed. My output is so small - and the need so great. So, scrappy stuff is my joy and delight. I look at tubs of scraps, and see multiple comforters begging to happen!! Johnny Appleseed said he'd plant another apple seed.....future tree! I will continue to map out the next charity quilt or tied comforter. Nothing excited me more than being given a 'bag of scraps'......I have a reputation of taking ALL that people offer. lol If I don't see a way to use it up - then I pass it on. May our quilts keep rolling!

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  8. I'm with you - although I did make a list - but it is more of a framework with which to frame my year. I love your creativity, and I like it when you share - its fun to see what others brains come up with ;-)

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  9. I would finish the scrappy stripes & mini 9 patch i started this year for my sister.

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  10. If I could only do one more, it would be a rainbow quilt for my 4-yo daughter. I love sewing for her, and she loves my quilts. I am so lucky.

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  11. I agree with you, Julie. Creativity is what brings me Joy. I make improve blocks 8.5 inches. The defined size is important to me. I start with a focal point scrap and work from there, giving each piece a lot of thought. It may express an idea or feeling. The process is what engages my mind and that is the joy for me. I can't waste time copying something exactly in design and color. Thanks for asking for our thoughts, a good exercise.

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  12. We are so on the same page. Scraps are where it's at! Even if I became so poor I could never buy new fabric again there is always going to be something that can be put into a quilt. I even thought about looking for an old treadle machine just in case using electricity becomes an issue! 😆

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  13. Oh, NO ...I will not respond to this trick question..I am a quilter, therefore, I quilt and I dream and I order fabric online when I need a lift and I go to thrift shops and closets for just that bit of joy..there never will just be one more quilt..I have 10 basted now, 20 others in different stages..We have 4 sewing machines, two rooms of fabric..and quilting euphoria all around. When I joke around with my 11 year old grand...saying...How do people know that I love fabric?? He always says..Grandma, everyone knows that you have a store!!! tomorrow is my sister's birthday. Tonight I finished as a surprise for her, the vintage quilt top she bought in Mountain City, Tennessee 15 years ago..I snuck it from her house...,Just need the binding..I feel joy, because tomorrow night at our quilting group...she will be thrilled. Quilting is my life too!! It equals ...giving to others ..Each quilt has someones name on it, but we do not know who until their name is called..So much joy and fun. Now I have unfollowed you by email cuz I just found the bloglovin site...You are sooo inspiring. your scrappy friend.

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  14. Great post but I can't possibly answer this question! Too difficult!

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  15. I would probably choose to make another quilt for charity. Likely a scrappy quilt. The question seems quite simple and honest, to me. No right or wrong answer, just a heartfelt answer seems to be plenty. Thank you for the interesting post.

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  16. When trying to pick my 5 "best" posts, I finally ended up picking ones that covered the projects that brought me the most joy. You captured the feelings pretty well in your post. If there was just one more quilt it would scrappy with lots of brights set with black.

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  17. Wow...that's a tough question. This is a great post. If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it. Now off to ponder your question......

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  18. The one quilt question sets my mind in overdrive . I suppose I have already done that - i "needed" to finish my 20 yr maple leaf quilt . It felt such a leap of faith for me to spend so much money on fabric at that stage . I know that sounds weird but it seemed such a lot at one go, my previous quilts had all been quite scrappy . As to why I quilt .... defnitely a hobby but a hobby that is such a big part of my life I couldn't be without it

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  19. Julie! That question is just about impossible for me to answer! I have way too many quilts in various stages not completed, and patterns & fabrics purchased for quilts not yet started. But, now having considered your question for a while, IF I could only make one more quilt I think I'd go with a Clam Shell design b/c that just keeps popping up and also has been on my 'wish to make' list for several years, and I think it would be a joy to make. Then, I supposed it would go to charity. And hopefully some other good hearted quilters would finish my WIP and donate to charities for me.

    Happy New Year! May it be full of quilty achievements!

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Thank you for sharing your ideas and comments. It's always enlightening to hear what you think, or if you have a suggestions. Some of you really make my day with your wit! I admit I struggle to keep up with replies during busy times, but it's because I'm working on new things to share with you. Give me a shout with anything urgent at julie@pinkdoxies.com, and I'll try to get right back with you.

If you want to be certain of a personal reply, leave your email or email me privately. Many people are not even aware when they have become a no-reply blogger. Yes, I know it's frustrating for us all.

Julie