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Thread: Every Quilt Doesn't Have to be a Masterpiece

  1. #1
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    This is the lesson I am slowly learning. I have been quilting for 6 years, and as a new quilter I surrounded myself with some of THE most knowledgeable, and intimidating quilters in the area. I was 24 years old, green and new to the quilting world when I began. As I progressed I felt like I had to do BIGGER, BETTER, and GREATER to be taken even a little bit seriously by these women who were much older than me and knew what seemed to be SO very much more than me about quilting. If I wasn't getting snubbed for my age I was getting snubbed for my skill level. I am an artist at heart, all I wanted for years when I was young was to go to art school. That unfortunately never happened for me as I started a family early, and many of you know just how hard it is to go back to school with small children. But it was a blessing, truly, because my family is my world, and making a quilt for my daughter was what brought me to find my life's passion in quilting. All of this combined with a really awful experience with a quilt shop owner who hired me to teach a class but then treated me so rudely as if I didn't know a darn thing I was talking about has left me with this need to prove myself artistically and I feel like for the past several years I've been on this personal MISSION to prove to anybody and EVERYBODY that I am capapble, I am skilled, and gosh darnit, I'm artistic!!!

    You know what? I refuse to live with that insecurity any longer, I know who I am and what I can do. Here I am. I am 30 years old, I'm a Mother first and foremost, second a wife, and third I'm a dedicated quilter. I have finally learned that FOR ME, every quilt doesn't need to be a masterpiece. Every quilt that I create does not have to knock everybody's socks off, and it doesn't have to encase all the techniques I have learned in the past 6 years to PROVE that I am a capable quilter. That is not to say I don't do the best I can with every quilt, but a corner that doesn't match perfectly doesn't always need to be ripped and resewn. Every project doesn't need to be the hardest and most complicated project I've ever done. I adore challenging projects but a simple nine patch quilt can be just as satisfying to complete as the most complicated paper pieced mariners compass.

    Thanks for the vent. Just thought I'd share that little revelation, because I know I'm not the only one who feels like they need to prove themselves to the local quilting veterans. ;)

  2. #2
    Senior Member grendelskin's Avatar
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    Ayyy-MEN! As long as you're happy sewing, and keep up learning and mastering your skills as you go, you're right on track.

    I've yet to see the recipient of a gifted quilt turn their nose up at it; even with all of their lumps and bumps, the quilts I've given are all loved and appreciated.

  3. #3
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    I agree with you. I always have an array of projects going, some simple and some more complicated. I do it more for the process than the result anyway. When it is finished it can go to a loved one, to myself, to a raffle, or to line a doggy cage at the pound. I enjoyed doing it, so so there!

  4. #4
    Senior Member mshollysd's Avatar
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    Pumpkin Patch, I have been quilting for over 35 years and I am just like you. One day I figured out that the quilting police is not coming over to arrest me because one of my corners isn't perfect. Even on my avatar, that quilt was painted with fabric paint, not embroidered. You would have thought I had committed a crime. So I salute you!!!! You figured out something that I didn't for 30 years. Go for it and I am proud of you!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member PegD's Avatar
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    I agree. I see all the wonderful longarm quilting on here, and think I should be able to do that on mine, but all I can really do is stippling. It holds the quilt together, so I guess that is the point.

  6. #6
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    I agree. I am learning as I make something also.

  7. #7
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Very well said, PPQ! I've been quilting for four years and finished a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler last year. It was a real learning process for me and I was disappointed by some of the points and seams that didn't match until I realized that the overall wowiness (yes, I just made up that word) of the quilt made up for any non-perfection.

    I too have an art background but didn't pursue it in college. The most common question about my quilts I get is how I knew to put together the colors and where I got the pattern. I don't think twice about colors and I generally design my own patterns. I need to appreciate that about myself.

    Go forward and quilt!

  8. #8
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PegD
    I agree. I see all the wonderful longarm quilting on here, and think I should be able to do that on mine, but all I can really do is stippling. It holds the quilt together, so I guess that is the point.
    I love your declaration, it is my attitude too, there is no quilt police and you have to please yourself only.

    As for longarm, I have one too and only know how to meander, I dont do it as small to call it stippling. It looks nice when done and I am happy.

    Jean

  9. #9
    Senior Member mizkyp's Avatar
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    congrats on learning who and what are important in your life.

  10. #10
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyndaOH
    Very well said, PPQ! I've been quilting for four years and finished a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler last year. It was a real learning process for me and I was disappointed by some of the points and seams that didn't match until I realized that the overall wowiness (yes, I just made up that word) of the quilt made up for any non-perfection.
    Thank you for the encouragement! I have an in progress SBS quilt - guess how long it's been in progress? Since WAYYYY back when the patterns were online and FREE! LOL* I have about 14 blocks done, but it for me too has been a huge learning experience. You make me want to get back at it. That was the quilt that motivated me to learn paper piecing, and the first mariners compass I'd ever done was the one in that quilt - and it is AWFUL. But I am not going to rip it, because in many ways it is a memory book of sorts of my progression. Now I just need to finish the other bazillion blocks in the quilt! ;)

  11. #11
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I quilt to please myself. When I don't, I no longer enjoy the process and it becomes a chore. I am glad you found your balance.

  12. #12
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    What a blessing for you to learn that at an early age! It really carries over into all areas of your life and makes for a more balanced lifestyle. Good for you!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member cheaha39's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree, a quilt is to be enjoyed. Life is a journey but we don't have to make everything in it a challenge and a chore. I choose to quilt and enjoy......

  14. #14
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshollysd
    Pumpkin Patch, I have been quilting for over 35 years and I am just like you. One day I figured out that the quilting police is not coming over to arrest me because one of my corners isn't perfect. Even on my avatar, that quilt was painted with fabric paint, not embroidered. You would have thought I had committed a crime. So I salute you!!!! You figured out something that I didn't for 30 years. Go for it and I am proud of you!!!
    I think the painting on the fabric in your quilt is WONDERFUL! Also - not everyone can PAINT! So I find it fantastic to see things like that, things that surprise you in a quilt. You truly have a talent. ;)

    I know what you mean though, the quilt that is my avatar is one that I designed on EQ. That center star made me so mad when I attempted to piece it...it looked on screen like it would go together pretty easily as long as I was careful about cutting accurately, but it turned out to be a NIGHTMARE. So...I fused it like raw edge applique instead. LOL* It probably is a quilting sin, but what the heck. It's going to be a wall quilt, not a bed quilt, so it will likely never be washed. I did a trapunto technique that I learned from Patsy Thompson, with variegated rayon decorative thread and I just love it.

    Let me see if I can find a picture...
    Attached Images Attached Images


  15. #15
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    One learns so much as one ages. The most important thing is accepting yourself. Not letting someone else tell you how to feel about yourself can be a hard one to learn but once learned the world is your oyster. It still hurts when something derogatory is said - not for long though. :)

    I like your center. I like how the teal is framed by the pink. Those are the colors I see.

  16. #16
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    Good for you. The only person you need to please is yourself. If someone says something critical, let it go in one ear and out the other. If you are happy with the project, then it is perfect.
    Sue

  17. #17
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    on a much smaller scale...i felt that to. that a quilt had to be complicated and a masterpiece....But, i gravitate to striking, simple quilts. so now, i just strive to keep it simple and enjoy the moments. i quilt for myself, family and to donate. and i've not been disappointed yet. so....enjoy your journey. look forward to seeing your quilts. :D

  18. #18
    Senior Member kountrykreation's Avatar
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    That's what quilting is all about, anything other than that, then it becomes a J.O.B.!!! I've made quilts for myself, that I love, I've made quilts for others that are also loved, have also made quilts for others that have not been 'loved' and they were 'regifted', and quilts for fund raiser auctions that may bring $20 or $2000 (yeh, ok, I'm exagerating on the $2000, but a girl can dream! haha). But at the end of the day, it's MY hobby and it's what I see in my 'masterpiece' as 'perfection'. Everyone has different skills and needs and ultimately it's the happiness that quilting accomplishes for each of us, as the unique individuals that we are, that counts.

  19. #19
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinpatchquilter
    Thank you for the encouragement! I have an in progress SBS quilt - guess how long it's been in progress? Since WAYYYY back when the patterns were online and FREE! LOL* I have about 14 blocks done, but it for me too has been a huge learning experience. You make me want to get back at it. That was the quilt that motivated me to learn paper piecing, and the first mariners compass I'd ever done was the one in that quilt - and it is AWFUL. But I am not going to rip it, because in many ways it is a memory book of sorts of my progression. Now I just need to finish the other bazillion blocks in the quilt! ;)
    I coordinate a block of the week group for Jennifer; we would love to have you join us! You don't have to make the block every week, but it is very encouraging and a lot of fun. You can find more info on how to join at www.sylviasbridalsampler.com.

  20. #20
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    I have three rules to good quiltmakeing: Accurate measuring and/or marking; Accurate cutting; Accurate piecing.
    Beyond these three it is the quilt makers choise.
    Also........creativity can be in simple things. It is not always the wowiness of the quilt.

  21. #21
    Super Member GABBYABBY's Avatar
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    I am sooooo glad you have figured out what truly
    makes you happy. You go girl!!!

  22. #22
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    When I first started..20 some years ago..I thought it all had to be by the book..then I saw MARY ELLEN HOPKINS on TV..she was my liberator..she had a saying OPP..Own Personal Preference !! Design it..sandwhich it..quilt it..bind it and you have a quilt..I have made quilts my DD or DH have said ..are you sure..and they always seem to be the one people love..so go for it! Example: 2 years ago..I put 11 quilts in a local Coffee House ..that we all hang out..for a month to exhibit..DD said I shouldn't show (2) I'd picked out..they sold 1/2 hour after going up..we were'nt even doing it to sell..we did it to show quilting has come along way..one was bought by the owner and still hangs there...sooo goes to show you to express yourself..glad you learned it early and young !!

  23. #23

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    Well said!!

    I'm new to this website, and I can see I will love it!

  24. #24
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    AMEN!

  25. #25
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    I have three rules to good quiltmakeing: Accurate measuring and/or marking; Accurate cutting; Accurate piecing.
    Beyond these three it is the quilt makers choise.
    Also........creativity can be in simple things. It is not always the wowiness of the quilt.
    Hanging my head down in shame for my wowiness...

    I would argue that simplicity and wowiness are not mutually exclusive.

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