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quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/13/12 9:38 AM

At what level of quilting are you willing to say that this is fine I don't need to go up any more levels I'm fine settling for making things here. I ask this cos I just saw some quilts Leah Day did and even though she doesn't focus on the piecing, just the machine quilting. That woman does some amazing pieces. And I could quilt from now until I well, you know, and I will never produce that kind of work. What started me thinking about this as I'm planning a fabric shopping spree this weekend and was thinking what colors to get. I tend to be drawn to blues, greens, lavenders,purples. There are just my favorite colors. And I rarely move away from that color pallet. It that limiting me as a quilter, probably. I guess a better way to put it is it okay to be satisfied with the medium hill and do your best there, or should want to and strive to ski down the advance olympic hill? Or as Clint Eastwood said it "A man has to know his limitations". I've always thought of myself as a more mechanical sewer by that I mean I like the construction not so much the designing of clothing or quilts. I like putting blocks together with embroidery but that is about as far as it goes. I'm not an artist I can't draw or paint. I guess the point is why follow someone's blog of work that I could never hope to achieve? and just walk away and be satisfied in what I can do? I have always been programmed to do bigger and better but at some point can't you just relax and be satisfied and enjoy the journey? Just when I think I've achieved this the bigger better comes back to haunt me. Just thoughts and musings this morning.

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Mufffet
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Date: 11/13/12 9:56 AM

Leah's stuff - more art really and heavily quilted usually. I don't love it all, but some is really appealing. I love her free motion tutorials, and so on. She is extremely talented in the artistic areas. As to where I am happy - well, I am a very low level quilter. Just too old to have the dexterity that I had when younger - I was concentrating on other things over the years, and now I like to quilt, but not so much to even look at patterns for same unless it is to admire them. I will always be a utility quilter, and that's O.K...you know, in a hobby, if you aren't gonna give yourself a break, it's not a hobby, it's one more pain the the you-know-where. If you want to perfect the art, then it's a vocation.

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quiltingwolf
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In reply to Mufffet <<


Date: 11/13/12 9:58 AM

Gosh Muffet that was so well put. You are so wise. I went through this when I was much younger when I used to ride horses. I decided that if I couldn't be an olympic rider I wasn't going to do it at all. Forgetting my actual love of horses. I decided that I really couldn't afford it, which was true. As I had a horse for a while. Got too expensive. Went back to taking lessons and saw that at the income level and skill level I was at this was a pretty impossible sport for me to do mostly the income. Excuse, probably. One thing I have regretted to this day. I almost did that with sewing. But then I had a baby and that changed everything.
-- Edited on 11/13/12 10:06 AM --

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Mufffet
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Date: 11/13/12 11:28 AM

:) As in your horses experience, I took two lengthy art courses on the G.I. Bill years ago. But I never knew what to draw or paint. A true artist wakes up in the morning with not enough time to get it all painted or drawn. My DD is an artist, and she says it's all there in her head and lots of it and all she needs is all the time! So I stopped painting. I still do some art, but it's what I like - decorative drawing for the most part - quite a lot like the FMQ patterns...:) HHmm...babies - they do change everything, don't they. And they are still doing that even after they are all past 30! ;)

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

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DolphinDancer30

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Date: 11/13/12 12:01 PM

I think it's a personal decision.

At my first machine quilting class, there were all levels of ability. Some women were ripping out quilting that looked absolutely perfect to my eye. Other women were delighted with their work, yet it was full of thread nests, tucks, puckers, and wrinkles.

After teaching music lessons for many, many years--some kids were aiming at Carnagie Hall, others just wanted to learn their 2nd sax part so they could enjoy high school band. While I wanted to inspire all the students to greatness, I finally realized that helping each student reach his/her goal was a teaching job well done.

I love going to quilt shows and find them inspiring. Will I ever win a ribbon? Probably not. And that's OK with me.

bessiemae
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Date: 11/13/12 12:23 PM

For what it's worth, I think that EVERY quilt is a Big Deal!

I'm a huge fan of Gee's Bend quilts. Self taught, their fame is bold graphic design. intuitive color theory employing " found" fabrics in improvisational piecing. They do what they do extraordinarily well and they seem to enjoy it! However, kinda doubt they would win any Blue Ribbons for craftsmanship or machine quilting. Yet, that in NO WAY diminishes the value of their work or contribution to quilting!

When I see the Ribbon Winners and Competition Quilts, I am awed at the quality of the stitching, quilting, etc.: sooo precise and intricate. It can make me feel inadequate re: my own efforts.

However, I quilt like I sing: LOUD and with great enthusiasm!

If you enjoy quilting, continue! If a purple palette is your signature, claim it! Machine/FM quilting is not a requirement. Heck, tied and bold hand utility stitching is in vogue! Cozy Utility is (literally) heart warming. Make what you enjoy and the happy will "show".When you're ready, the Next Step will present.

We can't all paint Rembrandt or quilt Blue Ribbons, but that should not diminish the value or enjoyment of what we accomplish. Would you tell your child to stop playing a sport or instrument just because they probably won't ever make Pro?

Be Kind to Yourself. And Your Quilts, too.

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quiltingwolf
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Date: 11/13/12 12:23 PM

One point I want to stress is this post wasn't meant to be about perfection. You can have perfection on what ever level you quilt. But about the level you aspire to. And to not get disappointed when you look at these expert pieces and since you can't quilt like that, then are never really satisfied with your own work cos you feel it doesn't measure up. And by quilting level it's not just about skill, it's about patience, economics, time and sometimes age, for example if I had more time I might be more inclined to attempt more new things but since my time is limited I don't.

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quiltingwolf
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Date: 11/13/12 12:30 PM

I am a huge fan of the Geebend quilts also. I got to see them when they were on display at the Walter's art gallery in Baltimore, they blew me away. And it made me feel different about my quilting. I know in my heart it's about the journey not always the finished product. And most of the time I can ignore that little voice in my head. But recently I was working on a quilt for my friend and starting doing it one way and realize the results weren't meeting my approval so completely re-designed it. But to me in the back of my mind was failure. And should think well it just wasn't a good technique to use live and learn.

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TessKwiltz
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Date: 11/13/12 1:01 PM

Quote: quiltingwolf
I know in my heart it's about the journey not always the finished product.

I like to hike on trails that don't go anywhere. There doesn't need to be a waterfall or scenic view. I just like to "be" in the woods or in the mountains (or both).

What I'm getting at is for me, it's not even about the journey, which implies a destination. I'm not really going anywhere particular. And I'm okay with meandering through my artistic life, stopping and exploring things that interest me.

I explore techniques mostly to teach myself whether I enjoy the technique. Sometimes (and FMQ is a good example) I can see where being more skilled at it would improve my enjoyment of it and I am willing to suck at it and keep working. Some things I just hate from the start and never try again.

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On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

bessiemae
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Date: 11/13/12 1:51 PM

DolphinDancer can better address Playing Through, as a music teacher.

While the initial quilt for your friend did not meet your expectations, you reworked it. Consider the first effort a rehearsal. A dress rehearsal. Or a muslin for a dress.

Made a wearable "muslin" fleece hat, this week. Superb Craftsmanship+ Miserable Big 4 Pattern= Crappy Hat. Elmer Fudd goes Gangsta. Fail. It's a Conversation Piece. Shared the misery w/ friends .....looks great..until they tried it on. Skull crushing with ridiculous outsized vision obscuring bill. Much silliness ensued. Took the sting outta the Fail.

Drafting my own pattern. Less Elmer.

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