Christa’s Soapbox – 300 Words About Quilting Published

I am very excited that I am actually working through my list of quilting goals that I listed at the beginning of the month. I will post updates every month or more often if applicable.

One of the goals I stated was #2. Get Published in a Quilting Magazine. 

Although this goal has not been achieved exactly as planned QNM Dec 2012yet, I am getting closer! An essay that I wrote about Dreams and Goals for my quilting was accepted by Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine as part of their Web Extras for their December/January 2013 issue. While there wasn’t enough room for my essay in the magazine, they published it on their website along with a few others. What a thrill!

What I learned from this is by setting goals, I may actually take steps to accomplish them! Here is my essay below. You can read other essays here, with rules on how to enter.

SECRET DESIRE by CHRISTA WATSON

Whenever I see a beautifully quilted masterpiece at a show, my heart skips a beat. I can feel the pounding in my chest and I have almost a shortness of breath. The painstaking application of precision piecework or applique, combined with the most intricate of quilting designs literally takes my breath away. While others around me exclaim, “I could never do that!” I secretly whisper to myself, “I can’t wait to do that.”

To say quilting makes me happy is an understatement. I never feel such peace and serenity as when I’m stitching alone with needle and cloth. I do have other habits that are supposed to help me stay balanced – I keep fit and healthy, spend quality time with my family and read a lot of good books. But is it too selfish to say that sometimes I just want to toss all my cares aside and make my masterpiece quilt? My magnum opus?

My award-winning masterpiece of a quilt is somewhere inside me, just waiting to escape.

So why haven’t I made it yet? In a word, FEAR! Fear of failure. Oh sure, I’ve entered quilts into my local guild’s show and have accumulated my fair share of colorful ribbons to show for it. But I’ve never entered a quilt into one of those big-time, knock-your-socks-off, national or international shows.

This is my secret desire—to enter and win a prestigious award at a major judged and juried show for the entire world to see. Do I dare say that out loud? What if my dream never comes true? I guess I’ll never know until I try.

Christa’s Soapbox – My 2013 Quilting Goals

I decided not to wait until the new year to make a list of quilt goals! Instead, I decided to write it down for all the world (or maybe just the blogosphere) to see.

This list will mostly be for me to keep track of what I want to accomplish, how I’m going to do it,  and to take note of both successes and failures. Everyone brags about their success, but who actually publicly takes note of their failures?? I will – so I can learn from both!

It’s a pretty ambitious list but here’s a saying I heard once, “It’s better to shoot for the stars and hit the rooftop, than to shoot for the roof and end up in the garbage can.”

Christa’s Quilting Goals

1.  Get a Quilt Accepted Into a Major Show (Updated 12/28 – Done!)

  • What I’ve done about it: I took the plunge and registered 3 quilts into QuiltCon on November 30th. It’s a juried show which means a panel will review pictures of the quilts  I submitted and decide whether or not they will hang for judging at the show in February.
  • What happens next: I will find out by the end of December whether or not any of them are accepted into the show. This is the very first time I have ever tried to enter a juried show so I have no big expectations about getting in, but it sure would be cool.

Here are small pictures of the 3 quilts I entered. You can read more about them here.

Charming ChevronsBusy HandsBaby Bricks


2. Get Published in a Quilting Magazine (Updated) and (Done 10/15)

  • What I’ve done about it: Back in the summer I submitted  a little essay for a major quilting magazine that jump-started me to thinking about what I really wanted to do with my quilting, and how to set goals to get there.
  • What happens next: they liked it enough to consider it for possible publication – in other words, they didn’t reject it outright, so that is really saying something! I have to wait at least another month to see if it gets published. Of course I won’t mention which magazine until I hear back either way.

3. Become a Moda Bakeshop Designer (Didn’t happen – but I’ve moved on.)

  • What I’ve done about it: Several months ago I submitted two original quilt tutorial ideas to Moda Bakeshop, but never heard back. I am assuming they didn’t accept either one.
  • What happens next: Continue to come up with original ideas of quilts made from charm packs, layer cakes, and jelly rolls and try again.
  • What I learned: Whether or not I eventually get a project accepted, the idea of designing quilt tutorials helped me launch my own series of Quilt-Alongs. So I consider that a definite success!

4. Publish My Own Original Quilt Patterns (Tabling this idea for now).

  • What I’ve done about it: Along with the success of my weekly quilt-alongs, I have put together original quilt kits for sale in my shop. Both the tutorials and the kits are helping me narrow down my design choices and come up with “rough drafts” of my patterns.
  • What happens next: Jason is the real technical brains behind our business. I am learning more about designing quilt patterns in EQ7 and he is developing his graphic design and layout skills so we can transform my drafts into professionally published patterns. We hope to launch them sometime next year.

Here are two of the finished tutorials I’ve written so far on my blog, with more to come!

Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt

Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt

Boy Baby Bricks

Boy Baby Bricks


5. Write a Quilt Book (Finally Started – Moved to 2014 Goal)

  • What I’ve done about it: I’ve contacted a major publisher to find out what is involved in getting started writing a book. They gave me their book proposal form which is a pretty intensely detailed plan outlining what quilts I would want to make and how I would pull it all together. I have several ideas already (which of course I can’t mention yet)!
  • What happens next: I need to make at least two unpublished sample quilts (which means I can’t blog about them) to submit with the book proposal. Then write the proposal.

6. Win an Award in a Major Quilt Show (Updated 6/2/13) and (Done 10/11/13)

  • What I’ve done about it: Over the years I have entered numerous quilts in my guild’s quilt show and have won my fair share of ribbons. I’ve learned from the judges’ comments on how to improve my techniques. I’ve also taken a number of classes from professional quilt teachers so I can learn all of their award-winning tricks, too.
  • What happens next: focus on a single quilt or two to enter into next year’s show.  I need to quilt every day now so that I do not procrastinate and finish them last minute like I have done in previous years. 🙂 Make my absolute best quilt(s) and enjoy all of the other beautiful quilts in the show!

7. Keep the Blog a Fun and Friendly Place and Attract New Followers
 (Updated 4/8/13) and (Done!)

  • What I’ve done about it: starting this blog has helped me set deadlines for myself and learn how to stay focused on a particular topic. It has also taught me how to express myself in print and to write down as many ideas as I can before they slip away.
  • What happens next: continue following as many blogs as I have time for, participate in as many swaps, hops, linkups and “tutes” as I can, and keep enjoying the ride! I will start attending blogger-friendly Conferences (like QuiltCon, Sewing Summit, etc.) so I can meet up with fellow bloggers for fun, friendship, and inspiration!

8. Quilt Every Day – This really should be at the top of the list!! (Updated 1/11/13)

  • What I’ve done about it: I’m great about getting a project finished when I have a deadline. But what this means is that my sewing machine can sit idle for weeks and then at the last minute, I rush to get the next one done “just in time”.
  • What happens next: I’ve set a goal for myself of sewing, or designing, or writing about quilting for just 1/2 hour a day (more if I have time). I’ve learned that if I quilt for an hour a day for 10 days, that’s much less stressful than trying to do 10 hours of quilting all in one day!

Whew! It was  pretty intense coming up with that list. I’ve got my work cut out for me, so now I’d better get started!