Twenty-two years ago, when I was just 21, a kind lady taught me the art of quiltmaking. A gift I’ve been truly thankful for ever since (my bank account on the other hand, not so much, but that’s another story). Since then, I’ve taught many others to quilt and I’ve learned a lot of wisdom from my fellow quilters along the way. If I were to start my journey again, these are some of the rules I wish I’d been taught.
The Rules of Quilt Club
1. Never ever point out your mistakes.
You are the only person who will notice your mistakes, and they are what make your quilt unique. They don’t distract from the overall beauty of the quilt. So, when someone compliments your quilt, no matter how you personally feel about it, simply smile and say ‘Thankyou’. (You made a thing! You’re amazing!)
2. There is no right or wrong way, only the way that works for you.
There are a dozen different ways to make a quilt, from different piecing methods to all the varieties of applique and beyond. There is no ‘Quilt Police’, no one is going to take your quilting privileges away for not pressing to the dark side. Hey, if it works for you, then it’s the right way. Enjoy the process, simples!
3. Be kind to yourself, don’t expect perfection on your first try.
Ok, unless you were one of those weirdly gifted children who mastered riding a bike on their first go, chances are almost everything you now know took time and practice to learn. We forget this as adults, and we get disheartened when we don’t succeed on our first try. Be kind to yourself, it’s ok, you wouldn’t expect to figure skate on your first time out on the ice, so why expect to master free motion quilting in an hour. Youtubers do it for a living, it’s their job to make it look easy. 😉
4. Don’t let your fear of failure curb your ambition, you may just surprise yourself.
I have a confession to make, I didn’t sew a curved seam until two years ago. I was warned off them when I first started quilting, and so I avoided them for twenty years. However, once I’d done one, I realised they are a bit tricky, but not impossible, and not nearly tricky enough to avoid them forever. So, go for it! Don’t be afraid to mess up, it might just turn out alright.
5. There is no limit to how many quilts can be ‘Works in Progress ‘at any given time.
I’ll admit it, I’m a project butterfly! I flit from project to project, and I get distracted easily. Therefore, I decree it’s ok to have as many WIPs (AKA UFOs) as you want!
6. Never ask a quilter how long a quilt took to finish.
Well, you can, but you may not like the look you get. Lols. Rules 5 & 6 are related, plus, life has a tendency of getting in the way. Hey, so long as it’s finished, I call that a win!
7. Always find a kind word to say about other’s quilts.
Let’s be honest, you can’t please all of the people, all of the time. Each quilt is as different to each other as humans are, and even though you wouldn’t have necessarily chosen that particular lime green, retina burning fabric for that quilt, the points are superb, and the overall pattern is quite pleasing. 😉
8. When in doubt, buy more fabric!
No explanation needed for this one!