Sunshine Quilts

Monday, October 03, 2005

Questioning the Direction of my Quilting

Last week I was had a personal crisis in my quilting life. It would not be a crisis to those who have had a real crisis but for me, whose life is a bed of roses, it was a crisis. Here's how it began: I'm pretty bogged down with making quilts for my book. It's hard to make 20 quilts that will appeal to the book buying quilters. I want to make what *I* like and . . that's probably NOT what 99% of other quilters would look at and say "I have to make THAT quilt!" So, it's hard for me to choose colors that I'm thinking will please others. Then it's harder to make those quilts. I am sure I have ADD and sticking with a project til it's finished is just torture. But here's what really started my crisis: On several of the quilt lists I am on, seems like everyone was posting that they had been notified that their quilts had won awards at Houston. I began to feel sorry for myself. I want to win something! Heck, I'd be happy to have something to enter and I don't see that happening at all next year. About Friday, I was really second guessing the direction of my quilting. Do I want to continue longarming for others? Do I want to make art quilts? Do I want to make show quilts? Do I want to make scrap quilts? Do I want to write and publish patterns? Do I want to just work on whatever strikes me when I get up each morning and not have to stay focused on whatever might be expected of me (customer quilts, book deadlines)? I committed to thinking this through over the weekend to get myself back on track and that's exactly what I did. My conclusion is that what I *really* want to do is make charity/donation/gift quilts. Some people spend a whole year making a quilt for their "show" quilt. I don't have time to make just one quilt. I have Quilt of Valor quilts to make, teacher gifts to make, comfort quilts for people who have touched my heart in various ways. In conclusion, I would rather make 10 comfort quilts than one show quilt but if something has potential to be a show quilt, I will enter it, but I will not fret over making a quilt to enter in a show. I will finish the book. I will continue to quilt for others but the heart of my quilting will be making quilts for others, hopefully to show them that they are appreciated and the best way I can show my appreciation, mostly to people I don't really know, is with a quilt! Whew . . glad that's settled! Speaking of comfort quilts . . I posted last week about the lady who had several real crises during the approach and hit by Hurricate Rita to Lake Charles. I was able to find out her favorite color . . olive green. I think that's kinda weird - not sure I ever knew someone whose favorite color was olive green. But it turns out that I had a quilt that was made and quilted, just needed binding and it is olive green with peachy pinks. It's really pretty and was going to be a quilt for me but it worked out that it will go to Jenny. I'll get the binding done soon, get the baby quilt made and send those off to her. Then there's another quilt I want to make for someone special (I'll talk more about that one later). I've come to know her husband through his blog and I contacted him and told him I wanted to make his wife a quilt and asked about her favorite color. It's sage green! Isn't it weird that two people in a row like almost the same shade of green? JL


  • Congratulations and HIGH FIVES for making a decision about a very difficult issue. I know many have struggled with it. I say "hurray for YOU". You may never know the depth to which your gift will change someones life, or what it means to them that someone cared.
    It's nice to have the praise and attention that show quilts get, but it's such a brief glow, not necessarily warming the heart. In the world today, it seems that show quilts are just rungs on a ladder. Only have the top one til something else comes along. With charity, love and comfort quilts..there's no ladder at all. I admire your decision...hugs, Finn

    By Blogger Finn, at 10/03/2005 12:23:00 PM  

  • Judy,

    I love show quilts just as much as the next person. I admire anyone who can dedicate so many hours to seeing one through to its many stages.... But, Finn took the words right out of my mouth!

    You are touching so many souls with your generosity and your love...your love for both humanity and for the art of quilting.

    I admire you so!!!


    By Blogger Darcie, at 10/03/2005 01:49:00 PM  

  • Judy, I've been having the same conversations with myself. Since we're supposed to be moving, I haven't taken in any customer quilts lately. (I have about 15 to quilt in house right now.) Although I need to continue quilting financially, I'd also like to take my quilting in other directions...designing, making quilts to be sold, yet I can't seem to find enough hours in the day to do all that I want, in addition to my part time job as a teacher's aide and my family commitments. I'll be making some decisions also over the next few months, I'm very impressed that you were able to do it over a weekend! Congratulations on being able to isolate your needs and desires and making the decision that is right for you!

    By Blogger Carolyn, at 10/04/2005 05:58:00 AM  

  • Thanks everyone for your comments. I knew what I really wanted to be doing all along but I really do want to do it ALL and there just isn't enough time. I will eventually make an art quilt and I will eventually make another show quilt but for now, I know the main quilty road on which I am traveling will be making comfort quilts.


    By Blogger JudyL, at 10/04/2005 06:10:00 AM  

  • I entered the Hoffman Challenge this year and was not accepted. At first I was disappointed but then I realized that almost 2500 people have viewed my entry on-line. That is an amazing amount of people & what's more--I have the piece hanging in my home and can enjoy it everyday without worrying about it out in the world getting ruined.

    I'm not sure show/contest quilts are for me. I like the freedom to do what I want with my ideas. I was very frustrated while working on the Hoffman piece & eventually just sabotaged my chances of getting in by doing what I wanted to do. I love my piece but it didn't fit the criteria.

    I didn't really enjoy having to fit the mold Hoffman people wanted.

    By Blogger Debra Spincic, at 10/05/2005 11:07:00 AM  

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