From patterns, measurements, “perfect” piecing, and most importantly, expectations…your own AND anybody else’s. One of my earliest quilts was a 9-patch crib quilt (raise your hand if that’s where you started, too!), and I chose green and white as the primary colors, then threw in a couple of “zingers” that were hot pink – along with the hot pink backing. The class was Beginning Quilting at the Little Shop in Madison, Virginia. I dutifully pre-washed all my fabric, not knowing back then that a batik might take more than one wash to release any excess dye. Looking back, anybody who has had fabric bleed into a pristine quilt will know what’s coming…pink bleed into the white. Since it was a learning experience for me, I wasn’t at all upset about it, and thought it was actually sort of cool the way the colors interacted. I even hand-quilted it, diligently, so it was done in a timely manner and I could take the final class on attaching binding! Imagine my chagrin when a woman said to me, “Oh, my goodness, all that work and it’s completely ruined!” I put the binding on, and then put it away at that point and did not get it out of the guest closet for years….all because I allowed someone else’s expectations to color my opinion.
So, if you’re new to textiles, sewing, quilting, beading, or fabric play-dates, take a deep breath and remember that you are CREATING for YOU. It honestly does not matter what other people think of your work – look at each new piece, or style, or technique, as a learning experience, learn what you can, and continue to create!
All that being said, I’m going to throw a short tutorial your way later this week. It’s the technique used on the first quilt on my contemporary page…large, calm blocks of color sewn in panels, called Moments of Clarity. I’m working on 2 panels to use as a demo, and taking lots of pictures…so if you want to sew something large on a small home machine, check back later this week. This technique has no sashing on the front of the quilt, just small sashing on the back to hide seams.
Have a great day!