|The bright Twister that I made for a class...still unquilted|
In the quilting world, I am still an unknown. However, I would like to change that someday and perhaps be able to travel and teach a bit. I am only 45, (which is still pretty young-or so I keep telling myself!) and, for now, I am thinking about the future of my career each time I make a new quilt. I know that in order to make a name for myself, I need to create a trunk show of quilts that people would enjoy seeing and want to hear about. That can be tough when I need to spend most of my time quilting for customers. I've decided that I have plenty of time to accomplish my goals as long as I approach it (to use an old saying), "like eating an elephant, one bite at a time." My first step has been to start thinking in terms of making more elaborate quilts, and then to quilt the quilts I do make in a fancier way. In the past, a lot of my quilts have been small, quick projects with utility-type quilting because my goal was to finish the project and either give it away or use it. My 1930's quilt was one of the first quilts that I did where I followed Karen McTavish's advice. When I took a class with her she said the following, and it really stuck with me: "Always do the hardest thing." Her point was that difficult idea that you had, but are fighting doing because you know it will take more time, is what will make the quilt special. I am remembering that from now on. Each quilt that I add to my future trunk show will include at least one element that makes it special, whether that is in the piecing or in the quilting, or both, remains to be seen. My second step is to do more of my own design work. Whether it is taking a pattern and modifying it to fit my own ideas, or making my own designs from scratch, I know it is important that my quilts not just be "cookie cutter" quilts from patterns that everyone else is also making. I often modify patterns, but I need to step further out of my comfort zone and really get creative. In order to create more, I need to set aside time to work on my own projects. I have decided that from now on, unless I am up against a deadline, I am going to save one day a week to work on my own projects. I can't wait!