Quilt With Us

I just want to hear what other quilters are doing. I have not gotten involved with any quilting groups locally because a) We travel a lot and I can not be a reliable member of a group and b) I am very self-conscious of my work and would be intimidated by all the more experience and much more talented quilters out there! Sorry, but that is how I feel about it! Everything I know about quilting I learned on my own.
I have read some of the long arm blogs and I am offended when I hear them bad mouthing some of the quilts they have quilted for other people. I could be that person they are bad mouthing or even someone I know. It doesn't matter if I know them or not--I know that I would be mortified if I knew someone was blasting my quilt. Whether it's perfect or not, I put a lot of heart and soul into whatever I make and my heart would be broken to hear it criticised in cyberspace. I guess that's why I do my work in relative obscurity. I admire people who put themselves "out there" for public scrutiny! No one has to see my work except the recipient of one of my quilts and hopefully they are not going to be too critical!

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH...you'd think someone who wants to earn money quilting for others would learn to keep their mouths shut in public! I haven't read any long arm blogs, but if I did and they were being nasty about someone's work, I'd be sure never to give them my business-and I might even give them a piece of my mind, that is if it wasn't so small already that giving bits of it away might put me in a coma....

I don't like every quilt I see and I surely don't expect everyone to love everything I do either, I just am so thankful for the ideas and examples that I've gotten from others that I feel like I should share just in case someone might get an inspiration from something I've done. I'm completely self taught too (unless reading a LOT of quilt books and magazines counts as being "taught" by someone else) and I get a kick out of the creation process.

I've never joined a local group or guild etc, but I'd like to someday. Maybe 2010 is my year? For me, I quilt in solitude because it's the only way I get anything done! Other people distract me! I cherish my alone time with my fabric!
Gina, well said. I don't know what I could add to her comments, Angela. I know that my quilts are so far from perfect.........I have been given two thoughts on "perfection".
1. If you can't see the imperfection from the backend of a galloping horse - don't worry about it. 2. Someone told me once that the Amish never make perfect quilts are they believe only God is perfect.
Those two thoughts help me while I'm working but I must admit that I at times, feel the same as you. I do my projects for people I love and hesitate to show them to others as I don't handle criticism well/"feelings get hurt", etc but I have shown some as I'm getting "braver".
I haven't read the longarm'ers blog lately but hopefully they aren't as critical as they seem, I did learn suggestions from them to prepare my quilt top/backing for the LAers.....things I'd never been told in the one beginning class I had.
I think you will find most folks on this site are very helpful and most supportive of work done - perfect or not..... j
"If you can't see the imperfection from the backend of a galloping horse..." HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I love it!
Several years ago a newlywed friend invited me over to see her queen sized bed quilt she had just finished. It was her very first quilt done in Southwest prints. It reminded me of my first quilt when I didn't yet comprehend the importance of a 1/4" seem allowance. Very few corners met and her binding was lumpy and wavy and crooked. I looked at her happy smile and I realized that was the most beautiful and precious quilt I have ever seen. I'm sure she and her husband enjoyed many warm nights under that quilt! I do think of that quilt often when I get a little hard on myself about trying to make the perfect quilt.
I read somewhere that some of the steps to making a quilt can be tedious, like cutting out the peices, binding, basting, etc. (everyone has their favorite, I'm sure!) but to get past it, try to enjoy every aspect of the process because each step is important to getting to the completed product. So I try to do that. When I'm ironing all those yards of fabric after washing them, I think to myself, "Boy this is fun!" as i get every little wrinkle out!
It really works for me almost as well as completing a project makes me want to start another one!
Thanks ladies for responding to my thoughts. I was amazed to find I have kindred spirits out there!
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww what a good friend you are!!

The only thing I find really tedious is picking out the &^%$## stitches when I sew something together wrong! (happens more than I like) If I'm ironing "all those yards of fabric" that means I've got lots of fun stuff to play with! It makes me happy. (Ironing my sons' clothes?...not so much) And I'm one of those "weird" quilters that absolutely LOVES to bind. Seriously. It's one of my favorite steps. I'm sure there's a 12 step program for it somewhere....
I thought I was the only one that liked sewing the binding On. That is my favorite part also! I like to see my pile of binding clips grow as I remove them from sewn edge!
Don't remind me of picking out stitches! I wear a lot of fleece here in Colorado and the little thread bits like to cling all over me.
I went to parochial school and I had to wear a uniform with pleats that had to be ironed after each washing. Hence my aversion to ironing clothes, but I don't really mind ironing beautiful fabric for the very reason you mentioned!
Teach your son to iron--his future wife will thank you! :)
Angela, I love the story about your friend's quilt - yep, love is what it's all about! Beautiful story!1
I actually belong to a guild and I have found that the people have been very supportive and friendly. I think most folks worth knowing understand that everyone is at a differnt point in their quilting journey and I haven't seen the critical side of it so far. I've been quilting for about 20 years, but I just joined the guild about a year ago. The guild I belong to is fairly large (300+ quilters) so if I don't have something for "show and tell" no one knows or cares. I do have my close friends though and we show each other our work in progress and discuss techniques etc. I would have never met them without the guild.

One of the huge benefits of being in a guild is the speakers and workshops. The speakers at some guilds are nationally known experts and typically they teach classes for the guild at a fraction of the cost of classes at a show. It's great to be able to add different techniques to your tool box. I've been able to take classes from Sharon Schamber, Sue Cleveland, and we have Bonnie Hunter coming up in the spring!

One last benefit I see in joining a guild is the opportunity for charity work that I just wasn't looped into before I joined. Since I have joined I have made pillows for women recovering for mastectomies, blankets for kids going into foster care, quilts for hospice patients, and bibs for babies of under-privledged mothers. My friends and I are also talking about making a quilt for the Quilts of Valor charity for our vets at our guilds winter picnic! I would have never done this kind of collaborative work without the guild.

So I guess my suggestion is that you might want to give a guild a try if there are any in your area. There are lots of opportunites to build friendships, expand your skills, and do some great charity work to boot!
Thank-you, Jennifer. I guess I just need to pull my head out from the sand and get involved! I have been yearning for some quilting friends. Most of my friends are nurses and they just are not interested in quilting (hard to believe, huh!). I have always wanted someone to share ideas with and just spend some time quilting together. I would love to do charity projects. I guess one of the things that stops me is that I travel a lot and I could not be a very consistent member. I am gone for months at a time and I couldn't be counted on to contribute on a reliable basis. If they would be OK with that then I guess I could feel better about joining. I know there is a guild here so I'll check it out.
Thanks again. You sound like you are quite comfortable with yours.
I just bought a Sharon Schamber DVD on quilting feathers. It was very good!
I'll keep you posted on my progress with the guild!
Hello everyone,
I have been quilting on and off for over 30 years, learned how to from quilts made by my DH grandmother. When I was first learning, I went to a quilt store in a somewhat 'prestigious' town, I brought the pattern and fabric with me, hoping an 'expert' would show me how to work on this block. First thing the 'expert' asked me was where I got such shabby fabrics (they were remnants I got from a dress shop) and why would I want to do such a fancy block with these fabrics (the pattern was 'Card Trick'). She went on to show me the fabrics she carried and told me that if I wanted to take her class I have to buy the fabrics from her. Well - you can guess the outcome of the story - I never went back to a quilt store nor I ever asked an 'expert' ever again. I did make the 'Card Trick' quilt by reading Beth Gutcheon's book and following her instructions.

Fast forward to the year 1990. I finally had enough money to go and buy some fabrics at the fabric store, and got myself a good sewing machine. In the meantime, I had been subscribing to the 'Quilter's Newsletter' and other quilting magazines that have started to come out. I learned a lot more by reading the monthly magazines and going through quilting catalogs, and I have made a few quilts for my family and friends. Strangely enough, most of the quilts I have made using the remnants from the manufacturer are still around, a little bit faded but still serve their purpose as picnic blankets, make-believe tents, dog blankets.

I have had invitations to join quilt groups, but I have declined. I work my best when I'm alone; besides, quilting is my way of relieving the daily stress from my job. The last thing I really want to do after work is to meet more people and talk.

I'm still learning, particularly how to do free-motion quilting with my regular machine, and I find it fun. And now, when I want a totally-coordinated look, I buy the quilt kit.

Of course, I'm aware that quilting has come a long way, lots of people have made successful career and business with it. And most of the quilters I now meet are very helpful and supportive.
I might join a quilt group someday, when I no longer have to work full time.
Aida, I understand how you felt regarding the fabric. My grandmother made quilts from peices she got from the shirt factory and let me tell you they were all beautiful. After all quilts originally came from scraps left over from making clothes or clothes that could not be remade for someone to wear. I have found that there are quite a few fabric snobs (as I call them) in the quilting world today. Where it has to be all new fabric and bought only from specific suppliers. I also know people who know the names to fabric lines. I tend not to care what line a fabric comes from or wheather it is 100% cotton, if I like it I use it.
I can understand to about you not wanting to people to sew. sometimes it can be quite distracting. I am lucky enough to belong to a group who is not a guild. A guild to me is too regimented and I don't follow rules well any more (had to do it to much in the military I guess)! Anyway not one of us who is part of this group can wait for our quilting day. We have a lot of fun, share a lot of ideas and give each other sometimes much needed support. We are all friends who mostly only spend our quilting day together and create on our own the rest of the time.
I like it quiet when I work at home with no one around me. My kids like to come and talk to me while I work, and DH picks these times as well in his quest for attention. These interuptions drive me crazy, so it is early morning or late night sewing for me!
What ever way you work, it is what works for you that counts.
Hi Angela, Everyone has the right idea here, do what you do because you love it. Quilting is so many different things to many different people. It is my sanity in this life, I totally forget everything and really relax when I am doing any aspect of quilting - and I love binding! I've been quilting a long time, self-taught, and I couldn't live without it. NO QUILT POLICE here.....................

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