Tag Archives: Sharing

I LOVE to Talk About Quilts and Quilting!

If you love to talk and love to quilt, there are few things more fun than talking about quilting. Count me in!

GUILD PRESENTATIONS

This year I’ve had a chance to share my quilts and thoughts on quilting a number of times. Guild presentations are the best! Here are some photos from my talk with the guild in Waverly, IA. Click any photo to open the gallery and see them bigger.

I have presentations on medallion quilts, the Mill Girls, and the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. The latter two are very appropriate for historical societies or other groups, as well as quilt guilds. Besides my classes on medallion design and construction, I’m currently developing a couple more workshops. Check my page on presentations and classes, and please contact me if you’d like to know more.

PODCASTS

Besides guild presentations, I had a whole lot of fun talking with Elizabeth Townsend Gard, head of research on the Just Wanna Quilt project. I have two podcast interviews in the can and am scheduled to speak with her again soon.

I wrote about the project and linked my first podcast here. Click on this link to find the recording. It’s 52 minutes, on the long side. We talk about how and why I started quilting, what medallion quilts are, how I see green quilting and our responsibility as quilters to make the Earth a better place, and more. The second podcast is shorter and can be found here.

MY QUILT IN HOUSTON! 

The last fun thing I want to share with you is that I had a quilt at the Houston International Quilt Festival in November! Okay, full disclosure: it was in Houston at Quilt Festival, but it was in a booth, not on exhibit. The Just Wanna Quilt project had a non-profit booth, to reach more quilters and investigate the dynamics of a large quilt show. My quilt Dizzy helped decorate the booth.

Sharing about quilts and quilting, not much better than that!

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Making and Sharing

Writing, making music, painting, dancing, weaving, sculpting, quilting, creating garments, telling stories. Humans are creative beings. But even when we create “original” work, we cannot help but be inspired by others.

It is easy to note inspirations for the product of our efforts. I’m inspired by other quilters and their work, by color combinations I see in nature, by rows of brightly painted cottages along a canal, by aboriginal art.

I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired in other ways, too. I’m inspired in how to make, as well as what to make. Hearing how someone’s work habits help them produce more and better art inspires me to consider my own work habits. For example, it’s easy to get stuck in the midst of a project, ultimately putting it away and moving on to something else. (How else are UFOs created?) Elizabeth Barton suggests pecking away at it with “one a day.”  If you break your project into small parts and only commit to doing one small part a day, as long as you persist, you will finish your project.

Like the old aphorism, “writers write,” makers make. Last year I shared with you the rules for working as laid out by Corita Kent. According to Kent, the only rule is work.

Another aspect of making is sharing. Austin Kleon has written the book on sharing as a means of improving in your art. Show Your Work is based on ten principles of creating and sharing. They are

  1. You don’t have to be a genius.
  2. Think process, not product.
  3. Share something small every day.
  4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.
  5. Tell good stories.
  6. Teach what you know.
  7. Don’t turn into human spam.
  8. Learn to take a punch.
  9. Sell out.
  10. Stick around.

Five of those resonate with me in particular. Process, not product; share, tell good stories, and teach; and stick around. The one at which I do worst is sharing, especially on a regular basis. I often wait until a project is nearly done before showing it here. Why? In truth, a big reason is I’m not a photographer. I don’t enjoy it and I’m not good at it, and I don’t like interrupting my creative time to document what I’m doing. And while I usually can articulate why I’m making the decisions I make, I hesitate to spend the time to share that with you, especially while the decisions are in process. But the result is I often share product, not process. This gives the illusion that a product sprung from my brain and my sewing machine as a completed work. It didn’t…

Here is a project that has been both easy and hard. The top is complete, approximately 43″ x 48″. I need to contemplate how to quilt it. Binding likely will be in teal.

20160328_092719

This post is not the one in which to share process. However, this post is the one in which to pledge to share more process, more often.

I pledge to share my work in process,
and thoughts about that process, more often. 

Making and sharing. Both.

 

Power Builders 03.06.15

This is Week #5 of my Power Builders creative links. If you’d like to see last week’s, you can find it here.

I call this series “Power Builders” because that’s what these little items do for me. They make me more powerful in my art and in my life. I hope they do the same for you. Some of the links will be about how other creative people use their time, structure their work, find inspiration. Some may be videos, music, or podcasts to inspire you. Some of it will be directly quilt-related but much of it will not. What you see in Power Builders will depend on what I find. Feel free to link great things in comments, too.

1) I’ve seen this announced in multiple places. John James Audubon’s Birds of America displays the beauty and artistry of these Audubon prints. They are also available to download for free in high resolution. Here is my lovely catbird:

2) Here’s an interesting post from Hyperallergic. It discusses research into the colors that are shared most in Pinterest photos. Admittedly Pinterest may have a unique demographic. However it’s worth considering what impact colors will have on your audience.

3) And in a related note, take a look at this link to see how many different colors you can identify. It may be an indicator of your sensitivity to color, including how many receptors you have.

4) Austin Kleon again, this time with a post on how to draw, even if you don’t know how to draw! Looks like fun to do with kids, and even grown-ups should try it! (Scroll back to the top of the page, if it doesn’t load that way for you.)

What has inspired you this week? Let us know in comments.

Power Builders 02.27.15

This is Week #4 of my Power Builders creative links. If you’d like to see last week’s, you can find it here.

I call this series “Power Builders” because that’s what these little items do for me. They make me more powerful in my art and in my life. I hope they do the same for you. Some of the links will be about how other creative people use their time, structure their work, find inspiration. Some may be videos, music, or podcasts to inspire you. Some of it will be directly quilt-related but much of it will not. What you see in Power Builders will depend on what I find. Feel free to link great things in comments, too.

1) This story tells of one woman who developed her power through an outreach program at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Yes, women’s prison. The women had the opportunity to create quilts, expressing themselves in ways they’d never before experienced. Here is one woman’s story. Seven more interviews are available here.

2) A few of Austin Kleon’s comments about sharing your work, your time, your inspiration with others. My take: sharing is part of what makes you powerful.

3) Want to boost your creativity? Take a walk! Here’s a link to the research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. For a quick summary, read the news report from The Stanford Daily.

4) If you are a quilt artist, you may be familiar with Elizabeth Barton. She’s written two terrific books on quilt art design. I own them both and think they apply well to any two-dimensional design. This blog post of hers on dissonance discusses something many of us avoid: conflict. Yes, I avoid conflict in my personal life, but tension is essential in good design. Take a look.

5) My post from this week on trusting my own creative process.

6) And the quilt top that results from that process so far:

DSCN2966

It will get another border before it is finished. Current size is 44″ x 50″. The center panel was designed by Julie Paschkis for In the Beginning fabrics.

 

Get inspired by the world around you! What has inspired you this week?

2014 2Q Review

Wow, what a quarter! I had several quilt finishes and a couple of “almosts.” And besides all that, I’ve had opportunities for some other great quilty stuff! First up, the quilts:

My Harlequin Medallion

My Harlequin Medallion. 55″ x 50″. Finished April 2014.

Genes and A Cute Top

Genes and A Cute Top. 45″ x 60″. Finished May 2014.

Back of quilt. Label is tipped green square in lower left.

Triangles Table Runner

Triangles Table Runner. 32″ x 14″. Finished May 2014.

XOXO

XOXO. 48″ square. Finished June 2014.

Bright Idea

Bright Idea. 60″ square. Finished June 2014.

Bird On Point

Bird On Point. 63″ square. Finished June 2014.

Round Robin Mini Medallion

Round Robin Mini-Medallion. 14″ square. Needs binding and label.

Mini Medallion Take 2

Mini Medallion with changed corners. 15.5″ square. Needs quilting finished, binding, label.

And what else have I been up to? Well, I added the page tab for free designs. If you look there, you can find designs for 3 quilts, and design ideas for 17 different ways to set economy blocks. Keep checking back as I’ll add more over time.

In early April I gave a presentation on the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. And in late April I began teaching a five-week class called Medallion Improv! I can’t tell you how much fun that was, helping five experienced quilters discover strategies to design their own medallions, as unique as they are.

Besides joining BlogLovin’, I added a Facebook page, to make it easier for you to find me and to comment. Like the page in Facebook to join the fun.

If I think about what was the best part of the quarter, I can’t name one. Instead, my favorite aspect has been trying new things. My “word for the year” is EXPERIMENT. In trying to fulfill the promise of that, I keep pushing a little farther, not striving, but exploring. What would happen if… ? I love finding out. Thanks for joining me on this journey of discovery. ❤

What have you been up to?