Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quilting Without Obligation {The Final Edition}

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What I did on the airplane this past weekend...

I wrote my original Quilting Without Obligation post as a virtual reminder to myself; to quilt more and compare myself less.  After I wrote that post I wrote another and another... and then an idea was born and that idea was to share my scraps and in that process, free myself of those last lingering obligations. 

I have enjoyed writing here and making friends who share my same passion for quilting whether they are beginners or have been quilting for years.  I have learned a lot about myself and my own process but I have also learned a great deal from other quilters and how they create.  I confess that I'm a bit strange because I worry about quilting, both design and colors.  But just when I think that all the gorgeous quilts have been made, another unique quilt surfaces and I think that might be the best part of quilting... the inspiration and the process of that individual.

I received an email last week that perfectly sums up why I wanted to write this series...

Hi Jennifer,

I just read all through your Quilting Without Obligation series and I just had to email you and say THANK YOU!  You have addressed so many burgeoning worries I had!

I am a beginner quilter (have made two quilts) and I am very much a blog reader so I have got into quilt blogs, but after having made my first two quilts ( third one starts soon, finishing university had to take priority).  To be honest, I've found reading lots of the blogs quite discouraging - I can't afford all these new fabrics all the time, I don't have a stash, I don't like the MoMo designs, and I don't own a ruler or indeed a rotary cutter(though I do want them!).  I have often felt quite "uncool" with regards to what I like and how I like my quilts because I've never done HSTs or flying geese or any of this stuff, and I've never had whole yards of whole lines of fabric to play with - or organise into piles.  And obviously being a beginner, there's no way I can crack out a "perfect" quilt in two days flat.

Reading your series has given me so much confidence back in what I like doing and how I like doing it.  I was feeling a bit silly for having made two quilts without any knowledge of patterns so they're just what I came up with with the fabric I'd bought because I loved it, and now I'm back to being delighted with myself for having two quilts that are entirely MINE, made with a mishmash of fabric lines, pieced exactly how I wanted and with almost no matching corners.

So this is a really a very waffly and stupid [no it's not!] email to say thank you for reassuring me that not all quilting is about having a quilt to compare with everyone else's.  I have just ordered myself a big ol' mess of loads of different fat quarters from different lines and I'm looking forward to getting cutting.

Thank you!


Last week I hosted a giveaway here and not just any giveaway. These winners have been hand picked and no, I'm not playing favorites but yes, I am picking entries that in some way moved me. There are plenty of random giveaways in blogland {there will be one here soon too} but in my strides to be something different to quilting, I wanted these scraps to mean something more and I hope that is exactly what they will do.

So here are the winners!

Alliekatmom wins the Heather Ross scraps

She said:  If you want to dump your scraps on me I would gladly accept them. I have a few ideas for scrap quilt I would love to make. More traditional quilts with tiny pieces but with modern fabric. Also if the scraps are big enough I would love to have them to make some charity quilts with. Quilts for kids would be loving the quilts I make :) I have two done already that I need to drop off. 

Alliekatmom was also nominated by her friend, Kelly, who had the sweetest things to say about her!!

Marianna wins the Denyse Schmidt scraps

She said:  Both the quilts I've made so far have been made during periods of my grandfather being extremely ill - he is currently very unwell again, and when I get home from (my last ever term at, sob) university next week I will be helping my mama with hospital visits and all the other madness that comes with illness. I want to start another quilt to keep me distracted in the evenings, so your scraps would be used for that! I like being able to look at both of my quilts and see something beautiful (in my opinion) that came out of a really hard time...the next quilt will be continuing that tradition. And I want to try doing some decorative hand quilting...oh, this must be the longest comment ever. Sorry!

Heidi wins the Wonky Nine patch scraps

She said: What a great idea ! I'd love the boyish scraps and would use them for a charity quilt for a foster child ( I'm not quite sure if this is the right expression, I'm talking about kids, whose parents aren't able to care for them and who then live with other families ).

Winners, please email me your contact information!!

For everyone who entered, thank you!  This will definitely not be the last scrap giveaway so look for one each time I finish a quilt.  I am also putting together a scrap exchange/donation group on Flickr so we are all able to share in the fun of Quilting Without Obligation!

And for those who have read and commented on this series of posts, thank you!  I grew a lot as I wrote here and I hope we have all been able to learn something from each other. :)


True Blue Nana said...

My mother quilted, my grandmother quilted, my aunt quilted. My mother was very traditional and did lots of nine patches and made everything match. I thought you went to the fabric store and bought what you needed and that it was your goal to end up with no scraps. I could not imagine making dozens of squares just alike. Then my aunt showed me Gwen Marston's book Liberated Quiltmaking. That was in 2006 and I have never been the same. I learned from Gwen and Freddy Moran that you did not have to know what your quilt was going to look like when you started. I am not trained in art so I feel less than confident in the design area but I have learned not to compare and that if I enjoy what I am doing that is enough. I love reading blogs, especially yours. Thanks for putting into words what a lot of us think.

Kelly said...

Hooray for Quilting Without Obligation posts! I too am new to sewing/quilting and feel very similarly to Marianna. So thank you! Also, hooray for picking Amy! I can't wait until she sees! I know she'll be thrilled!

live a colorful life said...

It has been so amazing to read this series. I have often felt the very same way you, and obviously others, have felt. Even though I have been quilting for a long time, reading about all quilts made in such a small amount of time has made me feel very inadequate at times, and kind of like a lazy slug, because it takes me a while to decide what to do, and then a long time to actually do it. Your series of posts has made me feel so much better about myself and to remind me that I don't need to compare myself to anyone else. What I do, whether a lot or a little, is okay. So thanks again!

AllieKatMom said...

Whooo hoooo! I am gonna email you my info :) Im super excited! p.s. I did just turn in two quilts for kids yesterday :)
And I have read all your quilting without obligation but my favorite one was about the fabric hoarding. I tend to do that a lot.
Thanks again both to you and my pal Kelly xoxo

Carla said...

Jennifer, may you be blessed for the blessing you are to others! Keep on keeping on!!

Ann Marie said...

Yeah, Marianna! I have made many quilts. I have a huge stash. (It wasn't always so.) I don't make a quilt in two days. Wouldn't want to. Don't have yards of all the latest designer fabrics (Did I mention I have a huge stash? Can't really justify too much new fabric.) Do what you love. Use what you want. You'll find the gamut of tastes and skills in blogland, at quilt shops, at quilt shows, at guilds. I highly recommend a ruler and rotary cutter though.

by Daisy said...

I loved this series, I loved the inspiration, I loved everything Marianna had to say. Thank you for all of the above :)

elle said...

Jennifer, I've so appreciated your series of posts. I had begun to feel slightly breathless with all the blogging and you have helped to remind me why I blog and what I needed to do to keep my focus. Thanks so very much. You are indeed a blessing!

jlk said...

Dear That Girl,

I just read your whole series. My quilting life has been changed for the better.


Jeanette said...

I really appreciate your series on Quilting Without Obligation. I would venture to say that the vast majority of quilters do it for the Love of the fabric, the Love of the process and the satisfaction of a job well done - yes, even you dear beginners. (Even a quilt that is full of mistakes can keep a person warm:-)!
Have you seen the Blogging Without Obligation post & button that Tiffini has Blogged about here? http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233
It would be So Cool if you could come up with a similar button to share that would appeal to those of us who quilt because...

Leila said...

I just found your blog yesterday and I've now finished reading through your quilting without obligation posts. They've been wonderful to read! I'm fairly new to online quilting, blogging. flickr and such. Where I was purely thrilled at my discovery of this online community at first, I'm now feeling a bit stuck, like there's this pressure to keep up with the new fabrics and be original all the time. I've been wanting to make a simple square quilt, but just couldn't get myself to start it because of this idea that I need to be more original and creative- lol! Makes me laugh now I've written that down * tears rolling down cheeks! I even bought some OOP fabrics just because I thought it would make me look cool lololol!! { I have to laught because otherwise I'd be ashamed}
Anyway, I didn't mean to write a novel here. Thank you for putting words to my thoughts and feelings!
I'm off to make the most boring quilt in the blogiverse and love every single minute of it!

x Leila

Caroline said...

I know this is many months after you wrote the series but I also echo Marianna's sentiments about how inspiring reading your series has been. I'm a beginner beginner, as in just about to make my first quilt. I have the fabric put up in one side (scattered over my ironing board trying to decide how to sort it). I was worrying so much about the design that I was feeling scared to make it at all. I don't plan on using fabric from one collection. It will be very simple, as I love the fabrics, want to show them off as they are and make this one for me. Thank you for making me realise that that is *ok*.

Caroline x

Katherine said...

Once again, I just found this blog and this series, so I am several months late in my comment, but here goes... I too am a beginner. My husband teases me that I am a "larva quilter" in my head because I just can't see that I make "butterfly quilts" yet. And (gasp) I only walked into a quilt shop for the first time last week. My first quilt was a kit-block-a-month-thingy that I fought with and cried tears of frustration over. I couldn't keep a scant 1/4" seam to save my life, appliqued pieces on upside-down, sewed over my finger, the list is long. When I finally finished the top, I thought "Boy, am I glad that is done and over with and I never have to do that again!". Then a week or two went by and I would catch myself wondering how this piece of fabric would look with that one and OH! I have that little scrap of green that would look great with that... Needless to say, I am hooked. It is in my blood. The first thing you see when you walk in my front door is a display of my grandma's and great-grandma's quilts mingled in with quilts my husband's great-grandma made. I am so happy to hear it from someone else that it doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be an expression of you. Even if you don't think you like the colors. And I happen to like the color of those wrong-side out leaves on my quilt better than the color they were supposed to be!

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