I regularly read Seth Godin’s blog with something always capturing my attention. This one captured my attention a while ago, with a blog draft waiting for me to have the time to write. Shortly after this I chose to limit the blog in favor of writing my book and trying to keep blogging commitments with Generation Q Magazine, after all that’s why I was hired.
PS the strand that binds: machine thread test! is mine with local quilters Renee, Cathy, Susan and Anne testing thread for piecing and quilting.
And then I read The Difference between Commitment and Technique and have started wondering if what I teach and how I teach are working. In one case I’d say yes and in another I’d say a firm no. Interestingly this class and the book are linked, at least in my mind, in a way that I think will improve both. This has me thinking a lot about how I improved as a quilter on my home sewing machine. Other than spending a lot of time at the sewing machine figuring out what worked and what didn’t. That part I teach in the beginner class: needles, thread and tension. What was it that changed in the machine quilting?
Is it the machine quilting that changed or is it something else that changed? Is it how I see and view color? Is it how I decided to throw caution to the wind and play, simply play with thread in the same way that I would play with crayons? Is it the understanding of thread weight and how it will play across the surface of the quilt?
With each quilt over the last few years I’ve opened the thread drawers picked up a spool of thread, changed the needle appropriately and continued to stitch. Sometimes this means changing quilting motifs at the same time, sometimes not. Sometimes it means looking at the variegation and wondering how it will play. How do I share with you, with my students, in a book format that I just sit and quilt? How do I share with you that I gave up being afraid of making mistakes and failing? How do I share in a meaningful way that the only way to really get to know color well is to sit at the machine and learn to trust your judgement? That what I think of your quilting doesn’t matter?
If there are actual problems i.e. tension or eyelashing or batting troubles I can help you problem solve.
I can share with you where I find inspiration: spring and fall and sunrises and sunsets and wrought iron and really cool architecture.
That I’m totally inspired by some of the coolest people and the range is quite eclectic and random from Joe Cunningham and Melanie Testa, to Elizabeth Rosenberg and Renee Fleuranges-Valdes, to Karen McTavis and Stephanie Forsythe, Lynn Krawczyk and Cheryl Sleboda and my students. Oh I am so inspired by my students! I love becoming fb friends with my students and watching them develop skill as quilters. I love seeing the move from “a quilt has to look like this” to “my quilts look like this”.
This is the best moment ever! Oh dear me that just gets me all giddy.
The list here is so incomplete.
And I’m back to: how do I change things up in classes and write so that this all works as a class and a book and each student is left with a sense that the hard work that they invest in quilting will be worth it in the end? How do I figure out how to really inspire my students in a meaningful way?
I’m off to think.