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In the Quilting World

Fearless Quilting

It's fairly easy to find a quilt pattern and select fabrics you like, then go home, cut it all out and then spend several days or weeks piecing it together. Then once it’s pieced and pressed take it to a long-arm quilter in the area to do the quilting.† That’s the safe and easy way to make a quilt. †††But if you want to live on the wild side, be daring, or possibly venture out of your typical box, there is another way.

I know a lot of quilters and through the years I’ve often wondered why more don’t design their own quilts, pick their own colors and then attempt to quilt it themselves.† I’ve watched quilters settle.† By "settling" I mean make a quilt that's “not quite what they were looking for but it’ll do.” As a designer, editor and a former quilt-shop owner I’ve helped and guided many a quilter down the path of choices, and hopefully through the years I can be credited for encouraging a few fearless quilters.† There comes a time when settling just isn’t good enough.† Maybe it’s your time to discover what it is about quilting that keeps you quilting or why you always come back to it.† I think every quilter, at some point, has to analyze what it is they want to accomplish.

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As the quilts stack up I ask myself, "why do I quilt".

Every once in a while I contemplate the reasons Iím so obsessed with my quilting. It isnít that I need another quilt or that I have a big ego and need to see my name in print. Actually, Iím one of those behind-the-scenes kind of people. I really am uncomfortable in front of a crowd. But what I am is an obsessively creative person. I love fabric, color and the whole creative process. I love to tweak and change things to fit my personality. When I look at a pattern or project I see my colors or what I would change. I look at patterns as a source of inspiration. I can express myself with my piecing and quilting, and I find that the more I quilt the less I want to hand off my projects to someone else to finish. I want and need to be a part of each project, making the choices and doing all the work. How about you? Do you want to make all the creative decisions?

Each and every quilter should enjoy their quilts from start to finish at some point. It took me a while to figure out that it wasnít about cranking quilts out one right after another. When you own a quilt shop and have to supply sample quilts you tend to make your quilt samples in order to sell fabric and books. So that meant I selected fabrics to sell and patterns that would appeal to my customer base. Unfortunately it also meant I wasnít being creative. As a designer I try to create patterns that were trendy that appeal to others. But as an editor, I select patterns I hope appeal to all quilters and all skill levels. But for a while now I've been working on projects in my spare time that are just for me. Since this dawned on me, I discovered I want it all. And most of all I want to free-motion quilt the quilts I make. Since Iím a bit of a perfectionist this is a bit crazy for me. I had to live through the awkward stage every new quilter goes through. I took a class from one of my teachers at my shop years ago so I had the basic skills needed and I began to practice, and practice, and practice. I kept telling myself anything worth having is worth working for. That was my mantra. That was probably six to eight years ago and I now quilt everything I piece, including quilts I enter into competition. With practice Iíve managed to learn it quite well if I say so myself.

Have you tried to quilt your own quilt? Do you want to? What is it you enjoy about quilting? Are you finding the patterns you want? Are you satisfied with your end results? Now if the answer is you also want to take charge of your creativity and your quilted projects from start to finish, well then thereís no time like the present. Start small and work your way up. Our latest special interest publication, Springtime Quilting, has a great assortment of projects in all sizes and all skill levels that would be perfect to start your creative journey. Itís the perfect time of the year to tackle a new skill, and small easy projects are great for testing the waters.

You can find this Special Interest Publication at www.AnniesCraftStore.com† or on your local newsstands.

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Springtime Quilting is full of great projects that are perfect for discovering what it is you like most about quilting.

If you haven’t attempted to quilt one of your projects, well, let this be the year you try.† How about selecting your own colors and your own choices of fabrics? Well, there’s no time like the present.† Make a commitment to take your quilting one step further. Start with small manageable projects and work your way up.† Be creative.

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Here are three of the many beautiful projects in Springtime Quilting.

So today I’m with you.† I’m going to take an easy project I’ve pieced together and do something new and exciting I’ve not done before.† No matter how accomplished you get there is always more to learn.† †††

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Project at my machine and ready to explore a new motif.

Wish me luck.

If you choose to play along with me in these updates I'd love to see your projects. Send a photo of your project to me at Editor@QuiltersWorld.com and you may see your project and story on Facebook or in one of the upcoming updates. I welcome your insight and your suggestions.

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