Image via Camille Roskelley at Thimble Blossoms
In 2013, I had fallen in love with the above quilt on Pinterest by Camille Roskelley (I'm sure many of you can relate to this!), and the quilting world was just opening up to me. I fell so hard, I wanted beautiful quilts and I wanted them bad. I had no idea where to begin! I barely knew how to sew. Everything seemed so overwhelming, not to mention expensive. My best friend, a seamstress extraordinaire, tried to explain strip piecing to me and it was like she was speaking a different language.
I wanted to write a post for anyone who may be feeling this way. I don't have any magical answers or resources for you, just some advice and encouragement.
President Heber J. Grant often quoted the following statement, which is sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do—not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased.”
This has been my mantra. Three years ago, piecing my first simple patchwork square quilt top felt so overwhelming and difficult. And frankly, it was not a very attractive quilt. I didn't know that you could buy fabric anywhere else besides the big chain craft store. The fabric I used looked and felt cheap. The seams didn't line up, and the binding looked terrible. There were puckers in the quilting and the lines were anything but straight.
Fast forward three years, and I could make a simple square patchwork quilt in a half day (if I didn't have little ones to take care of), it would be much more attractive, and it really wouldn't stress me out at all. I would love it! This is only because of practice. Practice, practice, practice! It doesn't have to be perfect to be loved. I gave many imperfect quilts as gifts that I'm sure serve their purpose just fine.
- If there's a term you're not sure about, look it up! Google and YouTube are your best friends. Ask me! I certainly don't know it all, but I know some things and I love to talk about quilts! Ask someone on Instagram. I have found that the quilting community on IG is full of kind, helpful, talented and inspirational quilters who are more than willing to answer questions. I have learned so much from them. Also, never underestimate the power of library books. I think I checked out every book in the whole city that was even remotely related to quilting and pored over them. Give it a try, you'll learn a lot!
- If you are just starting out, quilting tools can be very overwhelming. There are so, so many gadgets. Really, all you need to start out is a rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, and sewing machine. Quilting is not a cheap hobby as I'm sure you've already discovered. But those 4 things are a necessity. Scissors won't cut it! Ha :)
- Don't stress about the "right way". I learned through trial and error, and have found that there are many different ways to accomplish the same task with quilting. Each to his own. Find out what works for you and don't feel bad about it.
Are you a new quilter? What questions do you have?
Have you been quilting for a while? How and when did you learn to quilt? I would love to hear about it.