Bet the title on this one caught your attention. The day I started writing this blog post I’d just shipped boxes off to C&T, submitted my manuscript, and had to redo some work. The morning I sent the boxes it was pouring down rain. Pour-ing. Now I love a good storm it’s just kind of annoying when I’m trying to get four cardboard boxes containing quilts and samples into a shipping center. The manager gave a couple of the boxes a bit more tape because of my concern. Thank you.
Just after sending everything in a wave of nausea passed over me, and the “what if” thinking started. The flaws in the quilts, the one that went missing (yes this happened) and the one that got me at the core, “what if they don’t like it?” Yeah that. What if when it hits the bookstores and quilt shops the quilters think it’s just crap and not useful at all. I did think that. I mentioned this to a small group of friends and one reminded me that I was feeling vulnerable. I couldn’t argue that in any meaningful way.
We all in those moments when our work is public experience a deep sense of vulnerability. When it’s out there for others to see, it’s out there for others to criticize negatively. I’d like to say this is different than putting a quilt out there, however it’s really not. Books and quilts are creative places where we place our heart and mind out for public viewing. As we get closer to publication I’ll fill you in on some of the details.
In the mean time I’m making more narwhals as gifts for shop owners when I go in to see them. Right now there is a pod of three in the middle of being stitched using Banyan Batiks.
Over the last few years I’ve been collecting solids as they’re great backgrounds for a lot of the quilting I’m doing. Earlier this year Benartex added a black and white solid to the black & white prints we carry. Because I love the hand (feel) I hoped they’d make a whole line out of them. Well I got my wish! Let me introduce you to Benartex Superior Solids. We have fifty colors making their debut very soon. I can not wait to get my hands on these.
So a few weeks ago I got a chance to chat with Holice Turnbow a long time quilter (since the 70’s!), quilt show judge, and whole cloth quilt designer. I have one of these in progress in my sewing room right now. One of the things I love most about these quilts is the opportunity to practice machine quilting using a variety of techniques. And since I’m a bit of a thread geek I can see these done in a variety of thread weight and color to get a feel for how they will look on a quilt. Now here’s a bit of a thing for you…use this as the back of your pieced quilt top, take a little bit of time to line it up and quilt from the back. Talk about an amazing quilt design. The Welsh design here gives you the opportunity to practice using your walking foot, as well as freehand straight line stitching, both are great skills to have.
I’m off to work on setting appointments and getting my bags ready to go. Some new samples came in late last week and need to be added to my cases.
3 thoughts on “Quilting, Vulnerability, and Gratitude”
I love following your progress in your work. I look forward to your book. Cheers.
Thanks so much BJ! Likewise. I love your quilts <3
Congrats on clearing the hurdle on submitting your book manuscript! If they liked your concept enough to ask you to submit quilt samples, it means we’ll be reading your wisdom by next year. I look forward to seeing what you do with the Welsh Beauty using your colorful wholecloth FMQ approach! I had (finally) started on this same top as a “bucket list” hand quilting project but alas it’s on hold as I’ve had to regroup on how to quilt it since I realized my original hoop was too small for the job. Welsh quilting motifs are ripe for adding your touch to the stitch work!