The Big Cheese and Quiltmania
Many months back, I was tired and discouraged on a Friday afternoon. I had an attitude of “devil may care.”
In a fit of—what? Insanity? Kamikaze mindset? Utter foolishness? I remember thinking “what have I got to lose” as I sent off some quilt designs to Quiltmania, the beautifully produced French magazine for quilters around the world.
On that Monday morning I had an email response. They’d like to publish two of the designs. I did a happy dance!
Fast forward to last week when I opened my phone to see a post from Quiltmania with the cover for Issue #145. My quilt was on that cover!
To say I was surprised and thrilled is an understatement. I am over the moon! And it’s funny because that quilt, The Big Cheese, has a story behind it.
I enjoy string piecing on paper foundations. “Strings” have traditionally been the long, skinny strips in quilters’ scrap bins. I usually have to cut scraps into strings these days but you can get interesting effects and the playtime can go on and on!
I had an idea for strings and hexagons, but I can’t remember exactly what it was. What I do remember is that my first idea turned out to be very ho-hum, a real flop. As I was moving things around on the design wall, adding different values and more fabrics, trying to salvage my concept, I saw some columns start to emerge.
“That’s interesting,” and I was off. The combination of turkey red and cheddar with old blues and shirting fabrics is irresistible. Once I started building the columns with half-hexies of string blocks and solid blocks, I could see that the design had potential. I finished it up in just a few days.
Then because it wasn’t a huge quilt, I quilted it myself with a walking foot and bound it by machine. And then it sat here for a long time because I didn’t have any great ideas for what to do with it.
Just for a minute, let me take you inside Stash Bandit’s head.
One of the most difficult things for me about having a small business is the self promotion. I don’t like it. I’m uncomfortable saying “Hire me for your quilt guild” or “Let me teach a class for you” or “Here’s my quilt design, what do you think?”
I’m an introvert, and I’d rather hole up alone in my studio and sew than promote my latest trunk show. But being a hermit doesn’t take your business anywhere (read “doesn’t generate income”) and so I make myself do the things that are hard for me.
I send quilt designs to magazines. (Many are not published.) I write emails sharing ideas. I touch base with quilt guilds. I shoot video. I post on social.
I have days when I think that my designs aren’t anything special and nobody cares and it’s all pointless and blah blah blah.
That’s the creative journey. It’s the infamous self critic hard at work.
But then something magical happens like my quilt being on the cover of a great magazine, and I’m so thankful and happy and I know I’m on the right path. I’m doing what I was meant to do.
I want to thank everyone at Quiltmania for making The Big Cheese look amazing and letting me share it with the world.
And dear blog reader, I hope you’re doing what you were meant to do, too!