Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Find Your Bliss

My kids are now at an age where they are making many big life decisions. It's not easy for kids these days because of the unlimited choices with which they are faced.
It's the same in the quilting world....unlimited pattern choices, unlimited fabric availability, hundreds of quilting blogs and websites with constant inspiration.
How do you find your direction and make your choices of what quilts to make?
My answer is to find out what makes your heart sing, and go in that direction. If it gives you energy and you have so much anticipation you just can't wait to work on that project, do more of that. If it feels like trudging through mud, and you procrastinate working on it, there's a clue!
I always say to my kids, just take the next right step.
My first lesson of finding what makes my heart sing was in 1996. I was at a much needed quilt retreat after my son was born. It was my first quilting retreat and I knew we couldn't really afford for me to be spending that much money. I remember that I felt guilty about the money, and being away from my little ones, but knowing I NEEDED to be there. Lesson #1 - a weekend away from my children (to fill my own well) made me a better Mom when I came back.
In my first weekend quilt retreat I learned how to make baby (or "bonus") half square triangles from the flying geese units in this quilt that I posted yesterday.
I was immediately smitten!
After the retreat, I came home and became completely preoccupied with those HST blocks. 
I made a series of 7 mini quilts using those tiny blocks and enjoyed trying to figure out different layouts for each one. All the while, the quilt blocks from the retreat held no interest for me, and the project eventually became a UFO for 16 years! 
But the minis...I couldn't get enough of them!
Lesson #2 - I love sewing miniature blocks and quilts.

I even made a series of labels for these scrappy treasures. 
Nicest labels I've ever made to be truthful:)

Miniature quilts are still one of my greatest joys and I always have a few in production... can't wait to show you my newest one that I am working on this week.
What is your bliss? What do you want to do more of? 


Deb A said...

So true! I think that is why my tops accumulate - prepping for quilting is not my favorite part! Your little mini's are so cute and the labels are wonderful. Your star quilt is amazing - I love the colors and can't believe it was a pre cut kit! Wow.
You new header makes me smile every time I see it - your blog is at the top thumbnail of my Mac list of reads so I can see the pretty quilt and foliage!

Darlene D said...

I so agree with needing some time for yourself and filling your own well! Your little quilts are so cute! I like making them a lot too but don't have many in my own to show for it! Right now I'm really into wool on cotton appliqué and want to much more of it! I sleep, eat and breathe quilts right now!

Teresa in Music City said...

Kathy, I couldn't believe it when I started reading your blog this morning! I had just been thinking to myself that I needed to stop, take stock of my projects, and decide on my direction. I have quite a few projects in the works, but thankfully no big deadlines right now, so I can choose from what makes me happy. It's a wonderful place to be for a change =^..^=

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I hate piecing, that is why I have gravited to applique, and just recently started scrappy foundation pieced blocks. I also love the quilting part of a project so I also am doing more hand piecing. I don't quilt for anyone but me, that seems to keep me very very happy.

Diane said...

love your new header picture!
Right now since my HQ is in for maintenance, I have no customer quilting pressure (self imposed-something I continue to work on). I'm finding myself wanting to start new projects-feeling a little scattered about where my quilting/piecing is going, but it's not a bad thing. I'm trying to just go with it for a while.

Sue said...

Log cabins are my bliss....so are neutral fabrics....Love cream, beige and brown.

Candace said...

Another beautiful blog header. I don't know what my bliss is, but I have a little container of the mini hst's and I was looking at them a day or two ago and wondering what I was going to do with them.

Darlene said...

Love the quilt in your header - it's beautiful, Kathy.

I think about why I do what I do every day of my life. I find myself chastising myself for making quilt top after quilt top. I question my love of sewing and such on a very regular basis. I do enjoy sitting at my machine just piecing the day away however having handwork to do is also very blissful for me. Guess it's all just a love the needle, thread and fabric.

Very insightful post.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great post Kathy, I think many of us have lots of projects and UFO's.....I know I do. There are times when I just want to work on small things....so I do. Then I'll decide to tackle a UFO quilt. I like mini quilts just not minature.....those seem to make me irritable and stressed, I'm glad you love making them!

Janet O. said...

Good post, Kathy.I love CW repros in trditional patterns. I love batiks--especially mixed with black. And I LOVE minis!!

swooze said...

I just had this very discussion with my mom. I do love quilting but what floats my boat is repairing other peoples quilts and quilting/finishing old quilt tops.

I have a huge stash that won't get used up if I do only these things and I find that really funny. I do plan to keep making quilts though.

Browndirtcottage said...

Loved the post! Great thoughts!

Wow, your new header just knocked my socks off!

Lori said...

Great words Kathy!! I stress less about the finishes etc--and enjoy the process. I'm now less about how fast I can make a quilt--and more about if I LIKE the quilt!!

Ruth said...

My bliss is English paper piecing. Yep, I know it's fiddly, but I love the entire process, plus my points actually meet occasionally. I only wish it were faster, but then I'd have more UFO's, and I have too many of then already.

Thanks of a delightful blog; I read it all the time.

Brenda said...

I love the little mini quilts. They're beautiful and you do an excellent job!