Quilting for You or Them?

In one of my past posts, I wrote about my struggle to find the "right" quilting path. At one point, I started making more modern looking quilts because I thought that is what "they" would like, "they" being the people who come to our quilt booth.

However, I really didn't like making modern quilts. I don't like working with white fabric (I always stain it) and the designs were just not my thing. Plus I couldn't figure out how to quilt in all the white space.

After three years of doing this, I finally gave up. And, bonus here, I heard a woman at our booth say "Who makes the modern quilts? I didn't think that was your thing?" Ah ha, the serious buyers were the ones who like our traditional style.

This picture shows my quilts for sale last fall. There are are three that I made for me. Can you spot them? (Snowman, sailboat and hummingbird).

So after this past show, I gave away as many quilts as I could, and had my aunt try to sell a few more at another show. I came home to an empty sewing room. Zero left over quilts. Zero new projects started. A blank slate. Then I let me be me.

Now I have a notebook of ideas that I have been drawing for the last two years. And of course I have lots of folders with patterns I have made, ideas I have collected etc. This time, I asked myself what I like to make: seasonal applique jumped to the top of the list immediately. After a few work arounds, I found and idea I thought would work.

Within a week, I had three designs drawn and one started. The ideas just kept coming and coming, and still are. I have 9 quilts finished since the last week in September - so three months. For me, this is a record. The best part is I just love it!

My recent finishes this month include the Sunflower Quilt, Falling Leaves, and Winter Evergreen, an idea I had previously set aside.

Originally, I wanted to have a bear in front of the tree, more of a Northwoods type theme, but the proportions of the bear to the tree just didn't work.

A couple of days of playing with this told me that it wasn't going to work. I have learned that when I set something aside that isn't working, later on I will get an idea that fits perfectly. It was the moonlight one night that got me thinking about this quilt, and adding a moon or star.

The star seemed to grab me more, because then I could quilt starlight throughout the quilt before appliqueing the tree on. Once I had the idea, (the tree was already drawn) I quickly added a star, appliqued it, and quilted the lines.

On the evening, I sat down to applique the tree, before I knew it, I was ready to put the binding on. Fifteen minutes later I was done. I just love the size of these quilts because they are a quick finish. Also, they can be done in short time frames of 15 minutes here or there.

It's so important to be true to yourself. Big Magic can happen!

If you would like to make the pattern, or using the applique template for your own design, my pattern can be found in my Etsy shop.