I Quilt without a plan


i quilt blog button

Hooray for Thursday!  It’s nearly the end of the week and it’s time to link up your quilty goodness.  This week I have been quilting without a plan, I know lots of people sketch out their designs or even draw them on clear plastic and then lay it on top of their quilt. For some reason my brain doesn’t get beyond vague ideas before I start stitching.

photo 1 (20)

The quilt that I’m working on is one of my entries for the Canberra Quilters exhibition.  The biggest lesson I’ve learnt this week is not to quilt after a quilt has been accepted into a show!  I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect and every mistake is a rude shock.  And trust me, there are a lot of mistakes, I’m terrible at stitching in the ditch and this quilt has a lot of that!

photo 4 (7)

I mentioned last week that going to the quilt show in Sydney was somewhat intimidating, the quilts were amazing, I thought I was pretty awesome, but I felt completely dwarfed.  I wish I had the time to talk to some of the quilters about their quilts, to ask how they developed the skills that they have.  To hear that they are human too.

photo 2 (17)

As it is I have come to the realisation that I have a long way to go in my quilting career.  I have been watching a tonne of youtube videos this week and am thinking about going to the Australian Machine Quilters Festival in Adelaide later in the year.  I also hope that I’ll learn a lot at QuiltCon (I have two classes booked with Lisa Sipes). I guess that longarming can be somewhat solitary and I like to talk about process and brainstorm with others!

photo 3 (6)

At the end of the day (or mid quilt) I am happy with where this quilt is going.  It isn’t perfect but it is very me and I am using it as an opportunity to learn new skills and push my quilting just that little bit further.  I’m also reminding myself that I’ve only been longarming for 6 months! :)

i quilt blog button

So now it’s your turn to link up your quilty process.  Have you ever made a quilt for a show?  Do you plan your quilting or just jump in and see where you end up?

Please remember to link up your quilting process and visit three other linkers :)

P.S. Just to keep it real, I’m typing this post in the dark in my kids bedroom. We have two extras sleeping over tonight and there have been tears (the youngest is 3) but as I type this, it has just hit 10.15pm and I think everyone is finally asleep.  My life is very hectic right now and my blog is not getting the love from me that I’d like to give it.  Thank you for your continuing support and for linking up every week xxx

An InLinkz Link-up


18 Comments on I Quilt without a plan

  1. Christine
    July 18, 2014 at 12:21 am (5 days ago)

    Your quilting is exceptional and so refined! Congratulations!

  2. Hilary Florence
    July 18, 2014 at 12:33 am (5 days ago)

    Hi Gemma – I know exactly what you mean both about discovering how you are going to quilt whilst you are quilting and the pressure of entering an unfinished quilt into a show. That, I will never do again – well, not until next time anyway! I know roughly the guide lines that I am going to quilt between, but I never know what pattern until I do it.
    Best of luck with the show – you have a lovely variety of quilting patterns. As to the prospect of taking some longarm quilting classes – I am just jealous – of both the long arm and the classes!

  3. Pam My Way
    July 18, 2014 at 12:51 am (5 days ago)

    Your quilting is just stunning!!!

  4. Renee
    July 18, 2014 at 1:08 am (5 days ago)

    I know exactly what you mean about going to quilt shows and feeling so…amatuer. One of my quilts was accepted into a juried show and I was pretty excited about that, but when I saw the winning quilts for my category I was blown away! They were just…wow a whole different level of quilting than my quilt! But at the same time they were inspiring! I think your quilting is gorgeous and amazing, and inspiring! You’re living my dream of owning a long arm and starting a quilting business!

  5. Katy S
    July 18, 2014 at 2:57 am (5 days ago)

    This quilt is looking fabulous! Love watching your progress via IG :).

  6. Afton
    July 18, 2014 at 4:32 am (5 days ago)

    I hope you survived all the little ones! Maybe those other quilters aren’t human after all. Cue the Twilight Zone music. Just kidding! It’s easy to get a little self-conscious at the major shows. It’s something like seeing a beautiful blog with thousands of followers. We don’t see al the out-takes, all the years of practice, and all that we are actually accomplishing in our own lives. It’s easy to forget that grand prize winner may not have time divided by sitting for friends’ anniversaries and removing a dancing toddler from the coffee table, and putting those scissors up a little higher and trying to figure out how to fix those blocks that mysteriously printed out 1/4″ too large (I suspect the table-dancing toddler of pushing the enlargement buttons.). Maybe that’s just my real life, but I suspect you have a lot more going on than undisrupted quilting too.

  7. Stephanie @ Quarter Incher
    July 18, 2014 at 5:29 am (5 days ago)

    What are you talking about?! Your quilting is amazing!!!

  8. Diana @ Red Delicious Life
    July 18, 2014 at 6:52 am (5 days ago)

    Your quilting is amazing. I know it’s got to be hard not to put pressure on yourself when you know you’ll be in a show, but it really is looking wonderful!

  9. Gina
    July 18, 2014 at 7:26 am (5 days ago)

    I’ve never done a show quilt and rarely plan my quilting. I stitch in the ditch all my quilts and that’s when the ideas come to me. I need to get up close and personal with the quilt before I decide what to quilt xxx

  10. gina
    July 18, 2014 at 7:48 am (5 days ago)

    these bits and pieces are absolutely gorgeous!! i can’t wait for the full reveal. i think you just might look back at this quilt in the future and see it as a growth quilt. Enjoy the rest of the week Gem! :)

  11. Michelle
    July 18, 2014 at 9:03 am (5 days ago)

    Gemma you are putting WAY too much pressure on yourself! Just enjoy the process! It is looking beautiful and I honestly can’t wait to see it hanging in the show!

  12. Susan the farm quilter
    July 18, 2014 at 11:23 am (5 days ago)

    The more classes you take, the better – even if you only get one nugget per class! I love taking classes from Angela Walters on Craftsy as she explains her thinking on quilting designs. I am a planner most of the time, drawing out what designs I’m going to do on a quilt (thank you to the class I took from Lisa Calle), but that is always subject to change when the quilt talks to me!!! I love browsing through quilting blogs to see what designs other LA quilters are using and adapting them to my style of quilting. Have a blast getting this baby ready for its but show and have fun!!!

  13. Lisa in Port Hope
    July 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm (5 days ago)

    I love the freedom of not drawing out my designs, and I have done some stitch ripping on my latest quilt. My other tip is to not quilt when tired, my atms are sore so im stpping tonight. Thank you for hosting this linky, I really enjoy it.

  14. Cassandra
    July 18, 2014 at 5:14 pm (4 days ago)

    I’ve been watching this awesome quilt come together on instagram, trust me, there’s nothing simple about what you are achieving. It blows me away! Come to Adelaide, I’ll buy you a coffee and pick YOUR brain!!

  15. Karen @ Pieces of Contentment
    July 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm (4 days ago)

    Your swirls and flourishes are divine! I guess there is always something more to aim for and perfect in our quilting journey but sometimes we also need to appreciate how far we have come.

  16. Suzanna
    July 19, 2014 at 1:03 am (4 days ago)

    Your quilting is stunning. I am so impressed by the variety, suitability and fit of the designs. The whole thing is beautiful.

  17. Bron
    July 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm (3 days ago)

    Ooooh Gemma this looks gorgeous! I can wait to see it at the show and I think it will blow everyone away!
    I was also really anxious about quilting my exhibition quilt – I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. But then when I thought about it, I really want my quilts to inspire other people to try something that they might not have thought they could do. So I hope that when they see how amazing our quilts look (because, let’s face it, they are pretty stunning ;-)) , and then get up close and see some wonky stitches and a few chopped points, maybe that will help people realise that they can do something fantastic too, and inspire them to give it a go =)

  18. Kim S
    July 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm (3 days ago)

    Your quilting is beautiful!


Leave a Reply