It’s been three short, full weeks since I went to Quiltcon. Though I will continually process the experience and everything I learned in Austin, I feel like I have reached a place where I can figure out what I want to do about it.
So I am publicly posting my Quiltcon resolutions.
Research Quilt History – Quiltcon made me very aware of my relative new-ness in this world. I think that to truly appreciate and design and teach in it, I need to be more knowledgeable about the tradition and its history. Luckily, this resolution was already on its way when a lovely friend recommended I read American Quilts by Robert Shaw. Even more luckily, one of the librarians at our local branch is a quilter herself, they have the book there, and that shelf of the library is a wealth of information.
Learn Design Software – I have used EQ7 and enjoy its block-based tools, but in thinking more about quilts that defy grids and blocks, I’d like to learn how to play with design in Illustrator or Photoshop. I would also love to be able to make diagrams for my patterns and tutorials. I have to free up some time for this endeavor, so it’s not something I can jump right into, but I’m keeping it on my list as something to seize upon if I should find the opportunity. (Also, graphic design friends, which software do you prefer?) Heather Ross recommended it in her lecture as an investment in yourself and your personal tool box.
Keep My World Small – I am an introvert. I found for a while after the trip that I get a little overwhelmed thinking about quilters as a group and quilting as a movement. (“Where do I fit in?” “What is my aesthetic?” “What are my big goals?” “What does it all mean?”) It’s creatively paralyzing to me. And I find that I feel more creative when I maintain the illusion that my world is small in any way I can. What matters most to me is making what I love in a way that I love. Of course, I also find so much joy when I get up the courage to share my work. I love the community I find in my guild, my blog, and Instagram. So I just have to find the balance between those seemingly conflicting feelings. I think that’s easier said than done, but using social media in moderation is important, and maintaining relationships one-on-one helps. I don’t want to limit the number of people I communicate with, but if the communication can be meaningful and small, it doesn’t overwhelm.There is plenty of time for the big questions, and some of them answer themselves as long as I…
Just Keep Making – Even when I don’t feel creative, and especially when I have too many ideas, it’s important to just keep making. Listen to my gut, and even if a quilt doesn’t feel inspired, don’t get discouraged. Plug on. Build a body of work, learn from my mistakes. Work on technique. Keep building bridges.
Speaking of which, I had an amazingly productive week– I finished the top for the green Peek quilt! I posted these shots on Instagram and felt so much love from my awesome community.
I think this quilt, with its beautiful hues and simple elegance, helped me survive our brutal winter. And it’s very timely for a certain Irish holiday coming up next week. (P.S. Green is a really tough color to photograph! I’ve been trying out different effects and filters to get them to look more like it does in person, but as you can see I’m still experimenting a bit.)
I’m hoping to have the whole thing done before I teach the Peek block at Mid-Atlantic Mod at the end of April.