Quilting for Fun or Work?

I have learned, in my later years, that I have to be creative. Whether it be with a blog (designing and writing), playing with graphics (I used to sit for hours, modifying one pixel at a time on graphics for fun), crocheting, knitting, playing Minecraft and building massive structures or coming up with ideas for them, programming (websites or real world programs), cooking unique items to feed my family, quilting or anything else I can dream up. If I am not being creative in some fashion, I get very bored and very unhappy. No one really likes being around when I am going through a mode of not-creative.

Is this a woman trait or is it a me trait? I sent off a text to my friend, Elaine, asking her to answer a question for me. The question is, “Is being a creative woman a Biblical trait?” I guess what I’m wondering is, were we created, as women, to be creative?

While I wait for an answer, I ponder the question myself. I did a quick search and came up with this quote:

“Creative is being resourceful and imaginative in using the best of the goods and talents we have been given to serve the Lord. (1 Timothy 4:14)”

If I take that quote to heart, I believe I was given a creative spirit. I’m sure quite a few of you would agree. I’m constantly coming up with new ideas and working to create them. I break the mold constantly in that I will try something to see if I can. I will take one thing and modify it, recreate it and change it to something new. I will pick up pieces of fabric and look at them, seeing in them all that can be and then work hard to make it happen. A few random items in my kitchen can become a full meal to feed my family.

To that end, in all the quilting I’ve done for the past few months, I believe it has been a necessity. I have to create. I have to make something. I have to DO. Right now, my creativity is being expressed in the cutting and sewing of fabrics. Making a quilt top or three in one day, several in a weekend. Next month, it may be playing with graphics or Minecraft. I might just even start baking and cooking up a storm again (not treats and snacks, they are fattening – I’m talking food items!).

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This past week and weekend, I made several quilt tops (like the one above) for the local quilt shop. My primary goal is to give the local quilt shop in my town something to show off. I believe, when women see fabrics made into something, it gives them more to think about and create with. My goal is to inspire the quilters in my town to create more and, in doing so, keep the quilt store open and thriving for much longer. I am just one small woman; however, if each person does a small part in purchasing and using our local resources, everyone benefits.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very selfish! I want that store to stay open so I have easy access to what I want! By keeping that store open, it’s available when I want it to be. There’s no great altruism here – just the basic need to have a place to express my creativity and not have to drive hours upon hours to get somewhere.

That being said, here’s my latest creations:

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Here’s the story: The store I went to in Logan, Utah, for the quilt retreat had a class scheduled for a Wednesday night. The class was, “How to make a fast, easy Granny Squares quilt from a Jelly Roll and 2.5 yards of fabric.” I wanted to go to the class but, alas, I’ve spent my allowance and then some, so I had no money to go. I got to being curious and looked it up. I found a site that taught the same as what the class was going to teach and set about learning it on the day the class was to be held.

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First, grab a Jelly Roll. Jen picked this one, telling me that, if I messed up, at least I wouldn’t be sad losing a precious Jelly Roll. She’s right. I never really liked this line, sending several of these to my mother (who liked them) and just letting them rot on my shelves.

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Next, pick out half the colors and cut them up. Cutting them up is easy – didn’t like the colors, anyway!

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Finally, sew it together. Now, there are a few steps in between all that; however, I’m not going to tell them to you here. I’m going to be teaching a class on how to do it at the local quilt store on March 28th and don’t want to give away my secrets until then. I’ll do a proper write-up after the class.

Yes, I did say I was going to teach a class. ME! My first ever! I am so excited and scared spitless at the same time. It’ll be interesting, for sure. I’ll definitely let you know how it goes.

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Another quilt top to show off a pattern the quilt store is selling. I love the tree print against the green leaves print. The white you see is actually a bunch of branches with birds on them.

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Brendan, in the picture above, is looking at the quilt with the red-tint glasses on. I had to take a picture with the glasses to show you what he was seeing. The green and brown doesn’t show up as well with the red-tint glasses; however, I still think it looks great! On this one, I actually added an extra row on the outside to make it a full square instead of the rectangle the pattern called for.

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And the final one I created this weekend. Another $6 pattern the quilt store is selling. I added the border pieces simply because I had extra pieces when done. I love this one and, even though the green one is “mine” to keep, I really can’t decide if I like this one or the other better.

I have so many other ideas floating around my head and I’m quite sure Cynthia is getting tired of me. I just can’t help it. My creative nature is stuck on quilting right now. She’ll just have to wait it out to see if I move on to something else sometime soon.

Not likely but a great idea, right?

We’re planning out a class schedule when I moderate a few ladies making “quick” quilts over the next few months. The patterns I’m going to help sell are very simple, easy and quite elegant. Our first will be a “Christmas in March (or April)” and I’ve already picked out the pattern, fabrics and only have to set a date. In making the sample for the class, Cynthia asked me to “Please stick to the pattern.” I think I will … quite perhaps.

There’s that creative thing again – modifying patterns.

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