Thoughts

Life is about learning; when you stop learning you die. -Tom Clancy

 I wanted to put some thoughts down on my blog about the recent webinar held last Thursday by Mr. Mark Lipinski. I signed up to watch and listen. I settled down after a long day of writing for a very interesting evening. Mark wants to call the quilting world to attention by introducing the concept of Slow Stitching. HUH? Splain it to me Mark! In other words working on quilts that take a bit more time to complete, encourage us to use skills and techniques that we may know but are not putting into practice. The idea of learning new skills and taking them out for a spin is what is another exciting element to Slow Stitching. Basically, Mark was speaking my language, preaching to the choir so to speak.

Mark

What I wanted to say here comes from years of teaching, not just quilting, but also teaching children. When I was in the elementary classroom the goal was to create life long learners. Ignite the spark of curiosity helping children appreciate and be continually open to new ideas. Development of an open arms approach to life and learning was number ONE.  Well, doesn’t the same thing apply to quilters? Just because we can locate a 1/4″ seam, cut and sew accuarately, does not make us “master” quilters. Learning, experimenting and trying new techniques is the key.  An attitude of openess to learning brings the joy of discovery into our daily quilting lives. JOY TO THE QUILTING!!!

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When traveling and teaching in the quilting classroom (guilds/lectures etc) I talk about tools, and I don’t mean notions!!! Techniques are tools we put in our personal invisible quilting tool box. Let’s use as an example the world of applique. There are about a zillion different ways to applique. Why not learn several different techniques and place the techniques in our personal tool box? When approaching new a project that envolves applique think about the person receiving the quilt or the intended use of the project. If I am coming to your house for a Christmas party and want to bring a hostess gift I’m NOT going to bring you my special banana bread wrapped in an appliqued needle turned tea towel. NO NO NO. I’m going to machine applique the towel and off I go to the party. If I am going to make a bridal quilt for my daughter or someone special I may reach into my tool box and needle turn the applique,embellish try different fabrics etc etc etc. See? learn the tools, put them in your tool box and use the right tool for the job at hand. This approach to quilting leads us to a lifelong journey to stuff our tool boxes to the brim with different techniques, ideas and goals. Perhaps we have gotten a bit lazy in our quilting habits. Maybe huh????

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OK Pat, if we are constantly learning then what should be going on??? TAKING CLASSES. If you have been quilting 3 months, 3 years or 3 decades classes are the best way to keep you evolving as a quilter. Taking classes with the instructor present in the room is fantastic and perhaps the best. To be a member of a guild that actively puts the education of the membership at the front of their mission statement another fantastic opportunity. Shops and quilt shows are major tool box expansion opportunities. If you go to a quilt show and do not take a class, you have only touched the tip of the iceberg. All you have done is shopped!  The classes offered at shows quite often have great instructors all in one place!  Soak up the information my friends! It is made for YOU! Your local quilt shop is another gold mine of learning. Support support support…if you don’t it will leave you and then it will be missed opportunity. Finally, we have the internet….OH MY! I don’t even need to explain all that is offered in cyberspace. Participate in all these avenues not just ONE! 

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I’m on my soap box aren’t I? So what does this have to do with Mr. Lipinski’s Slow Stitching Movement? Well cupcakes, if  you are always in learning mode you quite possibly may find yourself right smack in the middle of Slow Stitching! Making quilts that have more visual interest or even show off quilts! Quilts that say, ” HEY!!! Look at me insert YOUR name here   put extra time into making me, and learned some new stuff too!” Special quilts, quilts that you are proud to bring to show and tell. Perhaps being open to learning is part of what Slow Stitching is about. just sayin……… 

THE END!  I’m going to go write and maybe do some embriodery today. Leave me a comment here an tell me what you think.