Good morning quilty friends. Today is a good day to quilt, edit video and prepare for International Quilt Festival in Houston. My front porch and I have a standing date in the morning as long as the weather isn’t too chilly. This morning, in the 50’s it’s bordering on too chilly. Bordering. I might have to break out the sweats.
Before I get into all things quilty today I want to share with you the website of one of the kids I grew up with.
This week I need to get a couple of presentations ready, pack (hopefully there are enough suitcases in the house for all the quilts & supplies), clean, and do some quilting. It’ll be a full week and I’m excited. I’m so excited I can’t hide it. Well, actually since I’m behind the screen and keyboard I can, rest assured I’m happy dancing and generally behaving in a goofy manner. Saturday I’ll pick up Brandy Maslowski the Quilter on Fire and Sunday we’ll drive into Houston for the week. I’m teaching Beginner Free-Motion Monday, The Weight of Color on Tuesday, will participate in the Machine Quilting Forum and have two lectures. See the Quilt Festival Page, and will be in the Oliso booth when I’m not teaching. Sunday I’ll putter around until the close of Festival. I’ll also be looking for what’s new and interesting so watch for Instagram posts and Lives.
I’m looking forward to coming home and doing some serious quilting on the Handi Quilter Moxie, in part getting ready for Road to California, but in part to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time a whole cloth version of Split Complimenterity that will be wildly different and yet inspired by. I have to say that learning to longarm quilt is so fun and delightfully different. There are similarities in movement, the space is different.
When I teach free-motion quilting I share with students there’s the 50/500/10,000 hour principle. If quilting were your job and you quilted every day for eight to ten hours a day by the end of one week or fifty hours you would be comfortable with the process of machine quilting, when you get to 500 hours or about ten weeks you’d be good at it. There are breakthroughs along the way, where the quilting and understanding of the bits and pieces comes together. When you get to several thousand hours there are breakthroughs along the way that lead to mastery. One day I hope to be a free-motion machine master, in the meantime I love practicing. I love practicing I love seeing what happens under my needle. I love seeing the places where I momentarily lose my place and jog a little in a direction I didn’t want to go, adding just that wee bit of character to the quilt.
This week something delightful happened that has encouraged me to make this quilt: I found that place where the quilting simply happens. I’d been fiddling with the settings on Cruise and getting closer to that moment, there’s a sweet spot for every quilter. Then I changed over to Manual at about 550 stitches per minute and there it is, that spot, I could feel myself getting lost in the moment of quilting. You know that space where it’s you, the quilt, the machine, the thread and your breath?
Friends there’ve been moments where I thought I’d lost that place forever. And there it is right there. And that’s when I knew it’s time to pursue that quilt. I also know that I’m saving up for the Handi Quilter Forte. I drove one at the Dallas Quilt Show and swoon! Debby Brown and I talk about this in an upcoming interview that will post on Wednesday. I know there are a couple of things in a longarm that I want and having the Moxie has allowed me to learn the things I need to be a decent longarm quilter. I will always be a domestic machine quilter. What I’ve learned though is invaluable that quilting is a gift, a skill, an escape, work, beautiful, messy, worth it, easy, hard, straightforward and complicated. That it is so worth pursuing in any direction that it can, it does take.
Let’s get stitching!