Think Like a Designer

If you are a quilter, are you an artist? You may not think of yourself that way, but that is exactly what you are, particularly if you don’t need someone to give you a pattern to create the visions in your head. This post is designed to make you think about your art.

Garr Reynolds’ ”10 Tips on how to think like a designer” gives the quilt artist food for thought. Listed below are his 11 tips (yes 11, not 10) that he has learned from designers. Apply them to quilting. Hopefully, it will keep you deep in thought for a long while. I am posting this in my studio!

View it in slide form:

In List Form:

1. Embrace constraints.
2. Practice restraint.
3. Adopt the beginner’s mind.
4. Check your ego at the door.
5. Focus on the experience of the design.
6. Become a master storyteller.
7. Think communication not decoration.
8. Obsess about ideas not tools.
9. Clarify your intention.
10. Sharpen your vision & curiosity and learn from the lessons around you.
11. Learn all the “rules” and know when and why to break them.

I love number 8. How many quilters do you know that hoard fabric, patterns and tools?!?


Thank You for following my Blog!

If you are one of the 35 people who follow my blog, these flowers are for you! Thanks so much for making this a regular part of your reading. Stay tuned for some special patterns you can download this fall!


My Cat Swears

Dean and I run a cat house.

Don’t take that the wrong way. We have become a home with a cat instead of a dog. Our cat rules the house. We are on her schedule, and she is very vocal about it. We carry on conversations. Yes, actual conversations, and when she thinks we don’t quite understand her, I do believe she gives us “the finger.” I know she swears!

Hubby goes walking at a set time every morning before most humans are awake. As soon as he leaves, I am told of his disappearance… over and over, at full volume, until I get out of bed. Then she has to beat me to the kitchen, cutting me off in quick bursts of energy.

Stormie always has dry food available, but 5 PM is her “dinner time.” That’s when she gets half a can of soft food. 5 PM is not a range of time, it is the exact time she sits in front of her food area and stares at it. She won’t move until the food arrives.

Stormie chatters at the birds. She gets angry when the windows are closed because we think it is either too hot or cold outside. She complains when the “furnace monster” or “air conditioning monster” make noise. She demands we remove her fuzzy and jingly balls out from under the furniture by laying on her belly and staring. Non-stop. And she lets us know things, usually exaggerating.

The cat shown here is not my cat. But I do think it communicates much like ours does.

I wish I understood feline dialect better than I do. But maybe not. I know I’m being called bad words far too often!


Is it the same pattern?

A few days ago, I posted this photo of a quilt I would like to make. I was looking for the name of the pattern. Karen commented that it was “Grandmother’s Engagement Ring.” She was able to find it in Barbara Brackman’s quilt block encyclopedia.

Last night I was doing some walking on the treadmill (I know, shocking!) and flipping through some old quilt magazines. I came upon this photo from Lady’s Circle Patchwork Quilts, May 1986 page 13. The quilt was one of the Mountain Mist contest winners, and was the winner of the Grand Prize at Houston Quilt Festival in November of 1985. The pattern is Mountain Mist pattern #109.

Isn’t it amazing how two people can take the same pattern and give it a totally different look? I don’t think these look anything alike, and yet they are both stunning!
Do you hang on to your old quilt magazines? I have them dating back to the mid 1970’s. I’ve tossed a few and sold a few more, but still have a lot. It is fun to look back and see the changes quilting has taken through the years. We put a lot more quilting on our quilts now, and they have a totally different look. Makes you wonder what they will look like twenty years from now, doesn’t it?
Edit to add:
Check out this page for another photo of this same quilt! I just found it — and other Mountain Mist quilts – online!
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Lightening and a Movie

Yesterday turned out to be very different from what was planned. We were supposed to spend the day with a group from my work, taking two busses to the Detroit Tigers game. It was going to be very humid and 92 degrees though, so we backed out. I don’t do well in the heat, and the thought of an entire day of that made my stomach crawl just thinking about it. But cudos to Marcus Thames for hitting his 100th career home run!!!

Instead, we took Jacob to see the movie G Force. It was a cute movie with guinnea pigs and action, just the perfect movie for a five year old. I laughed a lot, too!

Even though we had tremendous heat, we had an evening full of thunderstorms and amazing lightening. The sky turned a vivid red – this picture over Tim and Lisa’s house doesn’t really grasp the whole look, though. And, every time I pointed my camera to catch the lightening, I missed it. DRAT!

Hope you had a great weekend!
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The Importance of Documentation

When I attend a quilt show and I am allowed to use my camera, I become giddy and take photos of everything I see that I like. Likewise, when I am surfing the Internet and I see pictures of antique quilts that I either have to have or have to make myself, I right click and save them to a special folder on my computer.

Unfortunately, many times most of the time, I don’t write down the maker or owner’s name or the name of the quilt. If it’s at a show, it’s usually possible to take a photo of the display card or refer to the show bulletin for the information.

I spotted this beauty one day a year or two ago. And, you are correct, I don’t have any information on the quilt. Do you know the name of the pattern? It looks like an antique quilt to me. I’d love to make this quilt, and I know I can draft the pattern when I put my mind to it. But I would LOVE to know the history of the quilt!

If you have seen this beautiful quilt before and know anything about it, please let me know in the comment section below.

Yes, I have learned my lesson.

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Are You a Follower?

If you want to return to this blog and read future posts using a blog reader, an easy way to do that is by becoming a “follower.”

If you look at the top left column of this blog, you will see an area that says “Blog Followers.” Below that there is a button that says FOLLOW with Google Friend Connect. Click that button and you will be taken to a page that asks how you want to sign up for automatic reading and updating of this blog.

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Facebook Overload

If you’re on Facebook, have you ever had a Facebook Overload? That is, you have so many people on there that you DON’T know… that you can’t find recent postings from those that you DO know? Geesh! I have tried sorting my peeps into groups, and that helps, but it’s still very confusing. I feel all out of whack and overflowing. I love friends… I really do, but I don’t know how to keep up with all these people! How do you manage?

Speaking of lots to do, I’m running out of app space. There are only so many bear hugs, hearts, quizzes, farm gifts, virtual drinks, etc. that I can manage. Do you ignore a lot of those, and if you do, do you feel as guilty as I do?

ADMISSION: I delete businesses that are constantly in my face. I don’t mind an occasional “look at what we’re doing here,” but if all you do on Facebook is push your goodies, I usually will delete. I get enough advertising in the mail and in my spam folder. Sorry, but thanks, no.

Facebook should be a FUN place to chat and catch up with what your family and friends are doing. It shouldn’t be work. Am I right, or don’t I get it?

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