“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.”

~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Friday, January 31, 2014

How Mama Got Her Groove Back

I was in a bit of a sewing slump. After over three years of having an Etsy shop with slow but steady sales I was not yet in the place I had hoped to be. I couldn't find my "Mojo", if you will. Through the years I attempted to try new (to me) quilting techniques and patterns, wanting to become an avid and respected quilter. My fabric stash became larger and larger but my sewing output was a bit stagnant. I finally realize some of my issues...I'm lazy and want instant gratification, right NOW! I just do not have the patience for following a quilt pattern with lots of small, precisely measured pieces in which one beautiful block takes a day to complete...ugh! I struggled to figure out a way to create quilts using my ever growing fabric stash that would inspire and excite my creativity. I had found I was more inclined to create random patchwork quilts, as this technique allows the freedom to use various sizes of fabric pieces in every which way, without the need for measuring. It is a wonderful way to use up those precious scraps. It was my go-to method. Then the other day I watched a video in which the instructor was explaining how to line up points in a traditional patchwork: Lay out your squares, sew into strips, iron seams in each row opposite of the next row, pin rows together at the seams by "nesting" or "locking"them together, sew rows together accordingly. Pretty simple...with some practice.

I started out slowly and then things started heating up from there. I began creating quilt tops in a matter of hours.  I wasn't creating the much beloved quilt block (although I do still love piecing together simple quilt blocks). I was just sewing beautiful fabric squares together, kind of a no-brainer. I was pulling out all my fabrics, creating fun combos and whipping them together in a flash. I wasn't worried that my traditional method wouldn't be worthy to be considered a modern application. The thing about Modern Quilting is that it is vast in it's definition:

From the Modern Quilt Guild web page ~

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. "Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

I can totally relate to modern traditionalism in that I'm using a traditional design with bold, modern fabrics. Yay me!

So, for now I'm really liking this new/old (modern/traditional) way of using up many of my long neglected fabrics. As I see my stash dwindle and my Etsy shop expand I can feel oh so much better with buying even more bold, modern fabrics. Because that's what it's all about anyway...a reason to buy more fabric without the guilt, right?

You can find these new quilts in the shop!


  1. I totally needed to read this post today! The quilts that get the most attention in my little shop are the simple square on square patchwork quilts that let the fabrics speak for themselves and I seem to forget that every now and again :)

  2. Great share today! I feel it will spur others to enjoy the simplicity of color and fabrics. I'm inspired ~