The more I blog about quilting, the more comfortable I have become in developing a sense of my own personal quilting style, and have been finding my “voice,” if you will. My philosophy can be summed up in this simple phrase, “make it yourself, make it your own.”
But what does this mean, exactly?
First of all, it’s very inclusive. Rather than applying a set of rules such as “you can’t copy me,” which I would never do, I encourage my blog followers and students to discover what they like about a certain project I design – embrace it, and go for it! Sometimes that means their project will look very similar to mine. Other times, it may be completely different.
A recent student making her version of Modern Logs. I love how she chose to make it her own through her choice of fabrics, layout and eventual quilting design.
By making a quilt your own it means you are in charge of it’s destiny from commencement to completion. You get to decide the colors, the pattern, the style, the fabrics, and the means for how to make it. You can decide how long you would like to take to complete a project. This means you get to work at your own pace, not mine. I’m there to guide and encourage, but not to dictate.
Making it your own is also very liberating. For example, I may choose to press my seams open (because I have the time and prefer a flatter look), whereas you may be in a hurry and need to quickly press your seams to one side or another and move onto the next project. Both methods are exactly right as long those utilizing them are happy about it.
One of my quilt along followers with her version of Modern Trees. I love how she embraced the improv aspect of the design and chose scrappy pinks for the background!
Making it yourself can have different meanings, too. For me, I enjoy the entire process of creating a quilt. From prewashing and starching my fabrics to machine quilting my quilts and binding them by hand, I relish every step. That is why I’m so keen to explain every part of the quilt making process in my tutorials and in my teaching. I try to make it seem as un-scary as possible to make a complete quilt. After all this is supposed to be fun!
I totally understand that finishing is not for everybody and I’m cool with that, too. Making it yourself can mean cutting, sewing or just playing with fabric for awhile. Some may enjoy designing and come up with dozens of virtual quilts that never get physically made. But does that lesson the importance of their art? Absolutely not. Remember that many times, the joy is in the journey.
QAL follower Lynn’s adorable version of Sea of Squares. She worked at her own pace and finished this on her own time schedule, over a year after the original QAL began.
I often hear from blog readers who avidly follow my quilt alongs but never make the quilts. They enjoy reading about the process and get lost in their imaginations and the inspirations of others. I do the same thing when I purchase books about quilts I’ll never make. I still enjoy reading them just as much.
So I invite you to continue along with me on this journey of self-discovery. I find that the more quilts I make, the more I love to quilt. And the more I blog about quilting, the more I love to share my processes.
You don’t even have to agree with me and that’s ok, too – you can still be my friend! Just remember to be kind and courteous in any of your responses. It goes a long way.