We took a quick trip this weekend to Knott’s Berry Farm so the kids could ride some roller coasters and we could have a fun little getaway.
During the drive, and most of the time Jason and I were in line, we spent a lot of time talking business. We discussed our plans for the future, goals for our store, and most of all, what styles of quilting and fabrics I want to pursue.
I’ve been trying to find style or my “voice” for quite a while now. I’ve been quilting for nearly 19 years and started off very traditional. The first quilt I ever made was a flannel 9 patch and the second quilt I made was a scrappy log cabin.
Over the years I have tried nearly every technique or style to see what I like.
I have tried hand applique (too much work), hand quilting (not fast enough), paper piecing in the early 90’s (too messy), paper piecing in the new millenium (much more fun with better tools), art quilts (too abstract), contemporary styles (better), machine applique (now we are onto something here), machine quilting (in love with it) and finally modern quilting (by George, I think we’ve go it!).
My current focus is definitely on modern quilting, yet even within that style I don’t love absolutely everything. I’m not into hexagons, pixelated quilts, or too much improvisation. I really lean toward the “modern traditionalism” side of modern quilting. It’s everything I love about quilting: simple, clean lines, bright clear colors, with lots of negative space to show off gorgeous machine quilting. This style is “safe” enough to satisfy my need for order, yet versatile enough to let my inner artist come out.
Now, how does this translate into what we will carry in our store? I recently read an industry magazine article for quilt shop owners reminding us not to try to be all things to all people. Going after too many “styles,” a shop owner can end up pleasing no one. That’s great advice which I’m taking to heart!
After much talking and soul searching, Jason and I just may have come up with a plan. (By the way, the kids were very well behaved and quiet during the drive – thank goodness for portable electronics!)
We summed up who
we are I am in 3 words: Fresh, Modern, Eclectic. It may take a while for this to be apparent in the store, but it’s already showing up in my latest quilts. I feel much happier now that I have a focus, and I love what I do!