I’m all packed up to go on a road trip with my quilting friends. We are heading to a Christian Retreat Center in Ellenton, FL. for four days of quilting, chatting, eating and relaxing. I’ve got my hand quilting, my Ott light, my sewing machine and a prepped quilt I am making for my niece. I always pack way more projects than would be humanly possible to finish. If I’m lucky, I won’t pick up another new project while I’m away. That happens sometimes when I’m with my friends. Lots.
Other than stitching buddies, these are my Trues. These are the women who know me best. They have been with me through my life for about 10 years now and I have been with them. We hold each other up, make each other laugh and we are all able to just be ourselves. I am so blessed to have them and am so thankful beyond measure for their friendships.
To celebrate my friends, I painted this drawing of some birds for my art journal. The birds are like my friends, some are silly, some are shy and some are bold. They are my Peeps. I can’t wait to see what adventures we get into this time!
When I was learning to quilt, about 20 years ago, I had no idea what I didn’t know. I did not know the difference between appliqué and piecing. I didn’t know what a 1/4″ seam was or why I even needed to know how to make one. That never stopped me from making my first quilt. I sewed up scraps from a friends huge scrap pile and made a ton of flying geese as instructed. I did not use a pattern or template. Yikes. My friend, Davina, was a bold, free-style quilter. She taught me how to make those first pieces and how to put it all together. Somehow, it all worked. I didn’t know I was doing it “wrong”. I thought it was lovely.
I made this beauty because my dear husband did not like a scratchy blanket that we slept under. So, the idea of creating a beautiful quilt and putting the heavy acrylic blanket inside as batting seemed a perfect solution. Ah, the innocence of a newbie! Yes, I basted that blanket between my beautiful flying geese top and some sale fabric from Joann’s. Then, on a machine I borrowed from my cousin, I proceeded to machine quilt this full sized quilt. Her machine actually smoked as I struggled to quilt through the layers. I just let it cool off and went back to it in stages. I think I cut my binding about 5″ wide and proudly stitched it on. My husband and I slept under that very warm quilt for years.
Meanwhile, I took classes at a local quilt shop and joined a guild. I learned with every class and every project. Now, 20 years later, I know what I didn’t know. I also know that I don’t know it all. There is always something new, a new pattern, or my favorite, a new technique. Quilting has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby. It is where I have met most of my close friends. We constantly lead each other into starting new projects and always share new techniques and ideas. Quilting sparks my creative heart.
All of this I gained because I was fearless enough to make something when I didn’t know how and because someone took the time to tell me I could and helped me to start. So, if you have a creative skill, share it and inspire someone to try. You could change their life forever! This is why I share, this is why I teach. I hope to spark your creative heart.