View Full Version : Fiddler on the Night Owls

October 18th, 2013, 12:04 AM
The book I am currently reading is called, "Quilted Memories - Celebrations of Life" by Mary Lou Weidman. I love her quilts and her philosophy towards life. As I'm reading it I keep finding things I want to share with you night owls, to give you food for thought.

Many of us battle confusion and discouragement over our quilts. I know how this can suck the joy out of making a quilt. Here's what Mary Lou has to say on that topic:

"I have people ask how I handle a quilt that isn't turning out, or how I handle discouragement. Many times you need to get away from the project and put it away for another day. And as for getting discouraged, I really don't think a quilt is enough to garner the energy of discouragement. It's only fabric. If I ever get really discouraged over a quilt, it goes to the rummage sale and I forget about it and start another one. The process is more important than the quilt: It's what you learned and how you developed that is important."

Do you love her attitude or disagree with it? I like it. I think it will make me a more relaxed quilter. I think I'll enjoy the journey more fully, spending less time tearing my hair out or questioning my every decision. Her whole book reminds me to have FUN making quilts!

October 18th, 2013, 12:09 AM
Cyndi It's 5: 00 here! I'll come back when I'm more sleepy.hehe

Kelly F
October 18th, 2013, 12:10 AM
hahahahaha. I love it! I know I have made some ugly stuff that I will not photograph! No reason to flaunt my ugly stuff just like no reason to flaunt my fat rolls. :D. As often as possible I take head shots or put a quilt or a body in front of the fat stuff... And I don't sweat that either. I have made some beautiful things too. Those are my pride, the other was practice.

October 18th, 2013, 12:10 AM
Cyndi It's 5: 00 here! I'll come back when I'm more sleepy.heheAt least you didn't rub it in and tell me what the temperature is.

October 18th, 2013, 12:12 AM
Yes, agree totally!!! Just have fun with it!

October 18th, 2013, 12:16 AM
I agree. My phylosophy on life: it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Just so you know, it's past my bedtime, I'm not a career night owl. :) zzzzzzzzzz

October 18th, 2013, 12:23 AM
Some of you might remember the ugly quilt I was so discouraged about earlier this year. It was all done in homespuns and it was hideous! I took it here for help and boy did I get what I asked for! I got hundreds of posts with advice and the quilt is now one of my favorite ones. I'm sure glad I didn't give up on it and send it off to the rummage sale! Here are before and after shots of the quilt. (Sorry Mittens is hiding so much of the finished quilt but what's a kitty lover to do?)

October 18th, 2013, 12:26 AM
Well, look at that! You know what advice you would have gotten if we knew then what we know now about falling charm quilts?!!!

October 18th, 2013, 12:29 AM
Cyndi..where did you find those plaids? I'd love to make a plaid quilt and I really like yours!

As far as the quote...I agree we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves, and if we don't like something it's ok to just stop working on it. That's what I did with my Three Dudes blocks that were turning out so screwy. I may never go back to them...I was thinking of sending them to a charity I was reading about that takes orphan blocks.

That sounds like a good book though. :)

October 18th, 2013, 12:31 AM
I love her philosophy! I remember your quilt that you thought was ugly and it did turn into a beautiful swan...so to speak. I think often we just need other people's eyes to give us new perspective.

October 18th, 2013, 12:33 AM
I find that when my 5 yr old GD Kora is here I can't work on my stuff. I like sewing because it takes me out of myself. When she is here in "our" sewing room she is constantly talking and asking questions and I just can't get into the space I want to be in. So I have started playing with fabric while she is here. I took a piece of printer paper and started sewing scraps to it. Then I took adding paper and used that to sew scraps to and it didn't go well. Sewing with her around and with me is a journey I love. She is very much a perfectionist so I often find myself making mistakes on purpose. She kept forgetting to put her presser foot down and was getting very angry. So I forgot to put mine down. My machine beeped like it was being beaten. She was so glad that hers didn't do that and that even Grammy makes those mistakes she was fine after that.

When I am working on my quilts or whatever I am making at the moment I don't stress over not loving it or having it turn out differently than I thought it would because I have particular tastes. There is always someone who loves what I have made. Sometimes they sit around a little longer than other times before we find that person. As long as I get taken out of myself while I am sewing or building memories with Kora and sometimes Lil' Peter while I am sewing than the journey is still a gift no matter what the end result looks like.

Jean Sewing Machine
October 18th, 2013, 12:35 AM
Jenny shared a funny story with us of how she gets rid of projects that don't quite cut it. She donates them to the church to be distributed to the needy--AT MIDNIGHT! She had us howling at that one!

October 18th, 2013, 12:37 AM
So far I have only finished baby quilts: the babies don't care and the moms have liked them so far. I guess I haven't made enough quilts yet to worry about it. If I'm making it for myself I don't get uptight, but if I am making one for someone else, I do worry more about everything being done right. I would never make anything for a person who was an expert or very picky, since I am a real amateur, have only done things for my family and a few friends. I don't want to do these things if it will cause me too much aggravation and stress. There are way too many other things going on in life to do that; I want the quilting to remain a relaxation thing and something that I have fun with.

Kelly F
October 18th, 2013, 12:37 AM
Cyndi my favorite quilts that inspired me to learn are ones like your that look old fashioned, like Grandma would hand over to you.

Here on the farm I live on, they literally used any scraps they could find. I have part of a quilt refurbished into a pillow, that my husband's Grandmother made from his great Grandmother's dress scraps. I mean using her old dresses.

I like the new fangled stuff too, but my heart loves the ones like this one that you made <3

October 18th, 2013, 12:55 AM
I think getting a little discouraged every once in a while may actually be good for you in a way. My discouragement eventually turns into determination, which of course, is the good part. If a project is not going my way then I will have to come up with a way to change things which means I will learn something new. I used to spend too much time zeroing on my mistakes but now I say oh well, it is all part of the process. As they always say practice makes perfect. I finished quilting the quilt I am making for my mom today. I have it laid out on the DR table. As I was looking it over, I can see plenty of things that are "off" but that's ok. The effort that went into those "off" stitches is the same effort and love that went into the good stitches. It was all lovingly done for my mom and I know she is going to love it and that's all that matters, right?

October 18th, 2013, 01:01 AM
I try not to get discouraged, because every "mistake" is a learning experience. I made a mug rug for my Mom and did some loopy FMQ on it and the eyelashes on the back were HORRIBLE, I was almost ashamed to give it to her but I was under a time crunch and promised myself I would make it up to her later. Turns out, she loves it! Shows it to everyone who comes to visit (much to my embarassment I might add!) And I made that Jacob's Ladder quilt for GMIL, and she sleeps under it every night. She doesn't see any points that got cut off or that the quilt isn't 100% square. She just sees a quilt that I took the time to make and it keeps her warm and reminds her of us and the cats (who she dearly loves!).

So if two of my least perfect items I've ever made have gotten huge smiles, why should I worry? :)

October 18th, 2013, 01:04 AM
I'm not a Night Owl yet as it isn't even midnight and I haven't been to sleep yet.

Haven't sewn a stitch all this week as DH has my sewing room messed up while he puts a small extension on my sewing desk. Hopefully he will be finished soon so I can work on another quilt that doesn't come out as planned but somehow after a bit of worry and fussing I'll accept it as a good quilt. I don't think I ever had a quilt that I thought came out wonderful but that isn't why I quilt. I like turning fabric into a quilt to warm and comfort people when they need it or into a quilt that a kid plays on and then uses to cover himself when he goes to sleep so I keep churning the quilts out.

October 18th, 2013, 01:07 AM
Sometimes I just power through it, and others, I just let it lie. It kind of depends on the project.
I have some fabric I truly dislike in a quilt pattern I think I would like in another fabric line, and I can't wait until it's done, but I don't want to work on it.

I have some more fabric to fold and I can get back to quilting the last few blocks on my hand-dye quilt. I am really excited to get that one done. I am really pleased with how it has come out. I was a little worried at first that it might not work out the way I had it laid out in my head. This is one of those times that it actually did!

October 18th, 2013, 01:12 AM
I signed up for the Craftsy 2012 and the 2013 BOM classes so that I could learn some new things. There were two blocks each month for the 2012 class and we didn't get to see anything ahead of time. I wasn't too sure of myself for that one, so I chose Christmas fabric to make it in. That way if it didn't turn out too good, I would only have to see it once a year. How is that for confidence? Results? I did everything but one paper pieced block and one drunkard's path block. I have had them sitting here all year, but haven't had time to finish them. For some reason the second paper pieced block gave me fits. I didn't feel stressed about it since I considered it a learning experience. I haven't done the latest class yet, and I have been enrolled in another BOM that I work on when I have a few minutes here and there. If they come out good, all the better. If the blocks aren't too cool, I just won't make a quilt out of them. Maybe I'll make a table runner or wall hanging; or who knows.

October 18th, 2013, 01:41 AM
Cyndi, I remember vividly when you were fretting over your homespun quilt. Didn't Jean even send you wooden buttons for it? It is one of my favorite quilts. So homey, and comfy looking. Makes you just want to curl up, and cuddle.

October 18th, 2013, 01:48 AM
Cyndi, I remember vividly when you were fretting over your homespun quilt. Didn't Jean even send you wooden buttons for it? It is one of my favorite quilts. So homey, and comfy looking. Makes you just want to curl up, and cuddle.

I was just curling up and cuddling... but then he went to sleep. BAAWAAHAHAHAHA! :icon_heh:

October 18th, 2013, 02:06 AM
Cyndi I love that quilt! I have some homespun that I can start one like that. But I will have to do the shirt search.

Oh and it's super muggy here!

October 18th, 2013, 05:29 AM
Cyndi..where did you find those plaids? I'd love to make a plaid quilt and I really like yours!

Dear Gayle, I collected plaids for years until I had a nice bin full of them. I like to look ahead and plan quilts months or even years ahead of time. Buy a 1/4 yd here and there until you have what you need for a quilt. It's painless and fun.

And yes, Marilyn, I did put buttons on it and they really added a nice touch.

October 18th, 2013, 05:36 AM
How very wise her thoughts are I too need to remember them. Mittens, your quilt, and that lovely spider plant behind all look like they just need to be where they are. God put's us on a path to follow, what we do with the walk down the path is what matters. Only 1:30 am here so I'll let my path take me into the sewing room tonight. Do you know if that book is currently in print?

Thanks so much for sharing her wisdom


October 18th, 2013, 05:52 AM
Do you know if that book is currently in print? DebbieI bought mine off Amazon. I like it so much I ordered two more of her books and love them as well! Her quilts are exactly the direction I want to go with my quilting, very wild and carefree and funky, so she is giving me lots of inspiration and encouragement. Check them out.

This book (and others by this quilter) is also very good. I recommend it, too. Fuse-And-Tell Journal Quilts: Create Your Story in Cloth (http://www.amazon.com/Fuse---Tell-Journal-Quilts-Create/dp/1571205020/ref=la_B001JRVCJ6_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382086225&sr=1-2) by Laura Wasilowski

October 18th, 2013, 05:57 AM
Cyndi It's 5: 00 here! I'll come back when I'm more sleepy.hehe

Are you more sleepy now?? just saying.... :icon_wave:

October 18th, 2013, 09:48 AM
WOW - it hardly looks like the same quilt.....I love it

October 18th, 2013, 11:50 AM
Are you more sleepy now?? just saying.... :icon_wave:

hehe Just a little, I just woke up. I was dreaming of getting my embroidery machine started today. I bought some new designs and I haven't used the machine since it came back from the shop. I think I was having a nightmare that it was going to have the same problem and I have been stalling on getting her going. lol

I was checking out Cyndi's books. Very interesting.