The first time I stopped to marvel at a quilt was whilst down a Pinterest rabbit hole. Vibrant colours, wonderful textures and beautiful geometry. The quilting rabbit holes consumed many an hour before I actually got around to making my first.
After much staring at beautiful quilts I finally enrolled in a class at my local fabric shop. I learned how to chain piece a charm pack, stitch in the ditch and self -bind to produce a mini quilt. I came away from the class with VERY clear instructions on the ‘right’ way to quilt.
I’m not sure it was the best learning experience for me as I am a bit of a perfectionist and a rule follower. Fortunately a little less so these days, but, it gave me a lot of fixed ideas of how a quilt should be constructed and my very high standards probably put me off for a while.
After my lesson I attempted to make an English Paper Piecing (EPP) quilt for my daughter. However, I struggled to quilt it with my basic Singer and very poor choice of polyester batting. I told myself lots of stories about why I shouldn’t spend time quilting and why would I be any good at it anyway? All those wonderful American quilts I drooled over were made by women who had been sewing since they were 3, with skills that had been passed down through generations. Camille Roskelly of Thimble Blossom was on a very high pedestal at this point! Amazing quilter with 3 young boys, how the heck did she manage to sew all those quilts and publish books, whilst I never seemed to have enough hours in the day?! (….might have had something to do with my Pinterest addiction!)
Looking back, it is a regret of mine that I didn’t start sooner.
My advice to anyone wanting to learn is; ‘just start’.! Forget perfectionism, or whether you’ve picked up a needle and thread before. Remember when you were a child when you happily played with paints and crayons without a care in the world? Channel that carefree attitude to learning and give yourself permission to create for the sake of just creating. And remember ….there is no ‘right’ way to quilt!