At the start of 2014, I chose a word to help guide me and give me focus: Important (you can read more about it here). I had been doubting my work and the importance of my contributions to the quilting industry. Seeing myself, my choices and the world through the lens of "importance" was empowering. I began to truly see that what I do is important to others and that hiding my importance isn't a sign of modesty, but a sign of not believing in myself. I made small shifts in my perspective, and they began to add up. I had an article published in Machine Quilter's Unlimited (July 2014), I sought out and was presented with many new teaching opportunities, and I filmed my class with Craftsy. It was a wonderful year.
In 2015, I didn't choose a word. Instead, I created a Vision Board, with the kind guidance of Carrie Bloomston. My Vision Board is on my wall, above my computer where it provides daily inspiration and reminds me of who I am and what's most important in my world. It makes me smile too - how can you not smile with Mickey, Goofy and Minnie smiling right at you?
Last year was one of the hardest of my life. I'm looking forward to 2016 as a continuation of the work that I began doing in 2014 - discovering and uncovering who I am, and what empowers each aspect of my life to flourish. As a lot of us do, I was doing quite a bit of reflecting during the holidays. I began to think less of what happened and more of what I want to have happen. One word summed it up: Thrive.
When my friend Mandy told me about the One Little Word class by Ali Edwards, I was compelled to sign up. One Little Word is a year long project to explore, craft, invite and connect with your chosen word. I'm really excited to be a part of Ali's class, and even more excited to have it as a part of of my life. And I'm looking forward to sharing what I discover with you.
Since I've chosen thrive as my word, I've already begun to look at my world through the lens of "Thrive". I've been asking myself a lot of hard questions about what it means to me to thrive, and if what I'm choosing to do (or not to do) is supportive of me thriving. All of this led me to an "Ah-ha" moment. I was working on business "stuff" like emails, packing/shipping orders, and accounting all the while I was getting really down on myself about the state of my home. It was untidy and recovering from the holidays, with many new toys not put away, the sink was full of dishes, and loads of laundry to wash and fold. I began to get down on myself about everything that needed to be done which led me to feeling guilty about doing my work. Later that week, I was cleaning the house, and looked into my studio and immediately began to remind myself of all of the work I needed to finish, which led me to feel guilty about taking care of my home. Oh my gosh! There it was, like a slap in the face! I wasn't letting myself win. I wasn't allowing myself to thrive. I'm not quite sure how I will change this bad habit, but I know that I must. It's not helping me feel good about my work or home, and it's preventing me from being a good mom and wife. Have you ever felt this way? How did you overcome it?
This journey will be interesting, and I'm welcoming it with open arms. I have some work to do. I'm sure there will be hard moments, but it will be worth it.
Have you ever chosen a word for the year? Do you have a word for this year? I'd love to hear what your word is and how you're making it a part of your world.
Lots of love and happy quilting!
Welcome to my stop on the Wanderlust Quilts blog hop! It is an honor to share this incredibly special book with you. I hope you enjoy my review. At the end, you'll have a chance to win your very own copy, courtesy of C&T and Stash Books.
I am not a world traveller. I've had many dreams of jetsetting around the world and visiting places like Greece, Rome and France. In high school and college, I studied French and came quite close to taking a magical trip to Paris. In college, I filled general education requirements with as many non-western civilation classes that my schedule would allow. Classical art, architecture and literature inspired and intrigued me. I found myself always wanting to know more about the stories of those that created such works. For one semester, I even considered changing my major to anthropology or archeology. Even though I didn't change my magor, my deep love for classical art and architecture remain.
Wanderlust Quilts by Amanda Leins reignited my love for the beauty and ingenuity classic art and architecture and how design principles like proportion and balance influence us all today. Amanda (whom I lovingly call Mandy) is a classically trained archeologist turned artist and quilter. In her book, she expertly translates her work with classical designs into fresh and exciting designs for quilters to create and enjoy. Plus, she passes on her technical knowledge as she guides quilters through each beautiful project. As a quilter and teacher, I know you'll enjoy and appreciate Mandy's attention to detail in her clear and thoughtful instructions.
Wanderlust Quilts is a not-to-be-missed. Through any of Mandy's inspiring 10 projects, you'll learn techniques and tips that will help you uncover the depth of your own quilting skills. You'll find techniques for joining Y-seams, turned-edge applique, improv quilting and much more. Mandy also includes wonderful images of the art and architecture that inspired her designs and shows how she translated them into her designs.
One of my favorite projects from Wanderlust Quilts is Aquaducts. The bright colors and the various scale of the arches bring this piece of ingenuity to life in a whole new way.
While I haven't traveled to far off lands, I do find inspiration from places that are very special to me. There are many, and you might find me taking random pictures of the floors, walls or small details that inspire my quilting. One of my favorite places is Disneyland. Besides being The Happiest Place on Earth, it is inspiring and has clearly been inspired by patterns, art and architecture from our collective past. For Mandy's blog hop, she asked that we incorporate her book in a picture of a place or quilt that inspires us. It may be no surprise that I chose the center of the Disneyland, where each magial land awaits you. From the simple herringbone design in the bricks, to the details of Sleeping Beauty's castle, it's clear that classical design has and always will guide and inspire us all. (photo note: all photos of Disneyland were taken by me)
This image of Sleeping Beauty's castle is perfection to me. The colors (aqua, pink and gray) make my heart smile. The shapes in the brick, and the scrolling iron on the castle wall are inspiring. I see so many ways to use the patterns and designs to create unique quilts and quilting designs.
It's a Small World is full of inspiration from the simple patterns and shapes, to the incorporation of subtle and bright color.
As I was looking for pictures to share with you, I found this one of Molly and Aaron as they prepare to battle Darth Vader in the Jedi Training Academy. The wall just beyond the sign for the Jedi Training Academy is a fabulous inspiration for a quilt! I think I need to pull out my graph paper and pencils and get to sketching! Plus that floor!! The floor is a quilt just waiting to happen.
I'd love to know what place, near or far, that inspires you. C&T and Stash Books, the publisher of Wanderlust Quilts, is giving away a copy to a lucky winner at each stop on the blog hop. To enter to win here, leave a comment telling me about a place that inspires you. I can't wait to hear about each one! Entries will end at midnight November 18th. I'll choose a winner on November 19th.
Be sure to visit all of the stops. Each one is inspiring!
November 2: Kickoff with Maddie Kertay at Bad Ass Quilters Society (official link available now!)
Mandy's podcast interview with Sandi of Crafty Planner (official link available now!)
November 3: Stephanie Palmer the Late Night Quilter
November 4: Christa Watson of Christa Quilts
November 5: Gen Q
November 6: Casey York Designs
November 7: Bill Volckening
November 8: Angela Walters
November 9: Kitty Wilkin, the Night Quilter
November 10: Lynn Harris of the Little Red Hen - you are here!
November 11: Latifah Saafir Studios
November 12: Rose Hughes
November 13: Rossie Hutchison of Rossie Crafts
November 14: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio
November 15: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting
November 16: Wrap-up with Mandy Leins