Discussion

Quilting is more than just a creative outlet for me. I want to pause and reflect on larger ideas to cultivate a community of discussion and insight. Below are a list of links to discussion posts and conversations that have been started (along with a brief synopsis of the article). Please share any ideas or suggestions for future articles with me in the comments.

  • Design Aesthetics and Quilts
    • Let’s face it, quilts have great function, but most of the time we are drawn to a pattern, fabric, or quilt quickly. What mechanisms are at work behind our judgement, and how quickly do we form these opinions?
The Four Agreements
The Four Agreements
  • The Four Agreements
    • I am inspired this week to open another discussion after recently re-reading the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Even though it is a small book, I come away with something new every time I pick it up and read it. 
  • It’s All Been Done Before?
    • I want to introduce you to another resource that I use to keep my creative juices flowing and motivated. A few months ago, a friend suggested that I check out Marie Forleo. She is a life and business coach, and I immediately connected with some of the guiding principals of her company.

Community

  • Community Discussion
    • I have been thinking about community in terms of the online quilt blogging community and real life quilting friends. So, online quilting community, how is the temperature of the water? What do you need to feel fellowship and community?

Customer Focus

  • Design Philosophy: Google
    • Do you have a design philosophy? What are the companies or other individuals with philosophies that you admire?

How Artists Work

  • Creativity and Time
    • I recently read an article on the Art of Creativity, and what caught my eye was the section on creativity in children. The article notes that one of the greatest creativity killers is more subtle and so deeply rooted in our culture that it is hardly noticed. It has to do with time. It is important to have uninterrupted periods of “flow” and deep concentration to develop our creative skills. Have you noticed when you are the most creative? What helps you get into the creative zone?
  • History of Quilting: Civil War Era
    • There were several references during the lectures and at QuiltCon that nudged my interest in researching and understanding more about quilt history. As Daisy @Ants to Sugar recounts, Mary Fons referenced her interest in the history of quilt making in the Maker to Making a Living Lecture. Listening to the testimonials of the Gee’s Bend Quilters also got me thinking about quilting history. In particular, I have been interested in learning more about civil war era quilts, so I figured I might as well scratch that itch!

reading

  • Online Reading and Communication
    • I have found that when I have a strong need for a response to a specific question, if I follow some loosely outlined thoughts about online communication, I have a much higher likelihood of success. Have you experienced anything similar to my online communication blunders? Have you developed any skills or methods or rules of thumb to help effectively communicate in our current technological environment?
  • QDAD Medallion Week
    • The goal of Quilt Design a Day (QDAD) is to spend a little time (15-20 minutes) each day, creating a quilt design. During the medallion week challenge, the goal on the first day is to create the design for the center of a medallion quilt, and each day the goal is to add a new border to the full design.

Six Pillars of Character

  • Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness
    • I want to explore the first pillar, trustworthiness, a bit today in terms of blogging. What makes a blogger or brand trustworthy? Why do you shop at a particular online retailer or local quilt store? What makes you keep coming back to visit certain blogs?
  • Artist Spotlight: Frank Fuchs
    • This post has been a collaborative effort and a result of several really wonderful email discussions. First I want to thank and acknowledge Kelsey @Lovely and Enough who engaged me in a conversation about Art vs. Craft. You can find her thoughts on the topic on her blog here: art versus craft. I highly recommend you read her thoughts and join us in this conversation.
    • When I started to think about Art vs. Craft, my brain jumped over to a slightly different set of tracks. I started thinking about all the artistic talent in my own family, and I reached out to my father-in-law, Frank Fuchs, who is a talented artist. I was curious to get an actual artist’s point of view on these topics and others, and I asked a series of questions that Frank graciously responded to.
    • Frank’s assessment that “art is often intended to evoke emotion in the viewer” resonated deeply with me. Do you find that you view the distinction of an “art quilt” with this statement or do you feel that there is a different or additional criteria to define art quilts?

Pattern Testing

  • Thoughts on Pattern Testing
    • Have you ever pattern tested before, and how did you feel about the compensation for your time and effort? As a tester, do you gauge your level of feedback and promotion based on how valued you feel?
    • Have you ever had pattern testers work for you and is compensating your pattern testers something you do or would ever consider? Do you feel you have or would get better feedback and quality testers when you consider compensation?

YOU ARE CREATIVE

  • You Are Creative!
    • The truth is that you are creative. And if you want to to awaken that creativity and start to put it into practice by learning a new skill it is not too late! There is no better time than now and if you’ve got no one to encourage you, then I’ll be that person and cheer you on. What makes you get into a creative zone, and how do you remove creative block obstacles?

CultivatingCommunity

  • Cultivating Community
    • For me, the heart and soul of what makes my online quilting community is the process of leaving and receiving and responding to comments. Just over a year ago, I began an almost daily practice of taking time to leave meaningful comments on other blogs and in turn, responding to the comments that are left on my blog. It has been a work in progress, but today I feel that I have a community of quilters who I count as friends, mentors, and confidants. I believe that it is not the size of my community that counts; what matters most is the quality of my interaction with my community. Have you noticed what makes your community grow? What other options could be added to this list? What makes you feel like part of a whole, and do you have any new ideas for healthy communication and interaction to feed the community?

Blogging Pain Points

  • Blogging Pain Points
    • As part of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, there has been a Facebook group established to allow participants a forum to ask and answer questions. Last year when I was a participant in the blog hop, the discussions were the most beneficial element of the experience for me. Many questions were raised and answered, and while I might not have been at a point in my blogging experience to benefit from all the knowledge exchanged at that point, I have gone back and referenced those discussions many times over the past year.

Sparking a Discussion

  • Sparking a Conversation
    • I believe each social media platform has a different purpose, and I really enjoy my blog for the conversations that it can foster. I believe that the beauty of a blog are the connections that are formed through these conversations. What do you like most in a blog and what can I do to fully engage you? Do you even want to be engaged to the point of having a conversation, or are you just looking for ideas and inspiration?

Ugly Duckling Phase

  • Ugly Duckling Phase
    • Over the course of the past few weeks, I recognized that I was repeatedly finding myself stuck on several projects. Basically, there comes a point in the creative process when the item in question is in an Ugly Duckling Phase. When I am baking, it is that moment right before the dough mixes together and congeals and flour is flying (I make a mess in the kitchen). When I am paper piecing, it is when my craft room is exploded with bits of fabric and paper ev.ery.where. Can you recognize times when you have had to work through an Ugly Duckling Phase and come out on the other side renewed and more excited about the end result? What helps you work through the difficult moments in a project that require a leap of faith and determination to see it through?
  • FMQing Name
    • Brainstorming about what to call free motion quilting using lots of different designs used with intention.

You are what you repeatedly do

  • Design Inspiration
    • “You become what you repeatedly do.” – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl. I believe that this one idea is a key to much of the success I have had in my life. Show up. Try. Learn. Repeat.

Creative Process

  • Creative Process
    • ***Strong Language Warning*** In this post, I share a quilt I created that contains a curse word. If that is not your cup of tea, this post may not be for you. When I say “Show up. Try. Learn. Repeat.” and “You become what you repeatedly do,” I completely understand that the biggest challenge might be overcoming fear about showing up and being different, feeling excluded, or being lost and overwhelmed. Or once you have shown up, there can be great fear in putting pencil to paper / thread to cloth / rotary cutter to fabric. Change / New / Learning can be scary. What techniques do you use to overcome your fear and try something new?

Modern Quilting Trends

  • Modern Quilting Trends (2016)
    • I am taking a stab at some current modern quilting trends. I welcome a discussion about this and would love to know what you think if you were at QuiltCon, if you watched from afar, and/or based on what you are noticing trending online or at your own local guild.

five-levels-of-attachment

  • Five Levels of Attachment
    • The Five Levels of Attachment are tools for gauging how attached you are to your own point of view and also how open you are to other points of view, opinions, and possibilities. Is the idea of attachment new or familiar to you? Does exploring your levels of attachment and openness to possibilities seem like it could free you from other quilting fears (color / fabric selection, quilting motif selection, etc.)?

close the gap

  • Creative Process
    • It is likely that you have already seen this captioned audio of Ira Glass discussing the creative process. I think I watch it every 6 months or so. And every time, it speaks to me. So what are your goals and ambitions? Where can you celebrate success and where do you want to focus your attention on closing the gap next?

Stay on the Bus

  • Stay on the Bus
    • The premise is that when you are starting out, you will be in a sea of opportunity. There will be lots of options (buses) that you can choose from. There are lots of reasons to choose a particular bus, but let’s all assume that we are on this quilting / blogging journey because it is a passion. A calling. Something that speaks to our hearts and souls. I know that the message is really aimed at creative types who are going to receive critique on their work and feel a need to reinvent themselves along the way, but I do know that I am open to personal reinvention. What do you think? Does this resonate with you? Does this touch a spot that encourages you to keep going down your path or are you thinking it might be time for a course correction (whatever that might mean)?

Truth About Talent

  • Truth About Talent
    • There are actually many more reasons and excuses not to do any particular thing (we all have our unique and creative methods of self-sabotage), but the fear of a difficult journey and lack of passion definitely resonated with me as major roadblocks that come up over and over in conversation. This is an interesting discussion as many do feel that there are natural talents that some are lucky to have, but I still hold that passion and hard work are what are needed to refine anything good into something amazing.

design-1

  • Thoughts on Quilting Blogs
    • There have been several blog posts and discussions online lately about the state and value of having and reading quilting blogs. I believe that the conversation has actually been going on for some time, and recently I realized that I have some thoughts and insights that were finally worth writing down. So, forgive me for not linking to some of the earlier discussions, but I think that what I have to say here is slightly different. What I am interested in is online interaction, which comes from comments. Which brings me to the heart of what I want to talk about today: blog comments.

the-power-of-asking

Why Quilts Matter

I recently stumbled across a discussion guide about “Why Quilts Matter“, and I want to explore in detail some of the questions within the guide book.

Emotional-Connection-Blog-460x235

  • Emotional Connections
    • What kinds of emotional connections do we have with quilts, and why do they engage us? Do you find that you have specific types of emotional connections to quilts or do you prefer quilts that elicit a particular emotion?

wherethemagichappens

  • Comfort Zone
    • Given the variety of fabrics and notions available today, what would it take to move you out of your comfort zone to try a new style? Are there keys to setting up an environment that allows you to step out of a comfort zone and try something new?

PatternDesign

  • Aspects of Quilt Making
    • [W]hat are the aspects of quilt making with which you most identify? Do you most strongly identify with one portion of the quilting process, or can you identify a different commonality that keeps you quilting?

Technology and Quilting

  • Technology and Quilting
    • Is there a balance when it comes to technology and quilting? Can you have too much technology in the quilt making process?

Selling Your Work

  • Selling Your Work
    • The bottom line is that I am still learning as I go, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say regarding this topic. Do you sell your work? Why or why not? What does and does not work for you as a seller and/or as a reader of blogs of people who do sell?

5 comments

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)