Quilt Like the Pros


  • Top tennis professionals: sisters Venus and Serena Williams.
  • For golf lessons, Billy Casper used to be the man… but sadly, he passed away recently. Now, the golf pros to watch are Jason Day, J.B. Holmes or Harris English.
  • How about fashion design? Gabrielle “Coco” Bonheur Chanel rocks the scene in France. Donna Karen in New York, Giorgio Armani is an outstanding Italian fashion designer. I could go on and list more, but so could you.
  • Auto racing: Michael Schumacher is a German Formula One race car driver who has a net worth of $800 million. Guess he did something right. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is an American NASCAR driver and media personality who has a net worth of $300 million.
  • Airline Pilot: Chesley BurnettSullySullenberger, III (born January 23, 1951) is a retired airline captain, aviation safety expert and accident investigator, best-selling author, speaker and consultant. He was hailed as a national hero in the United States when he successfully executed an emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River off Manhattan, New York City, after the aircraft was disabled by striking a flock of Canada geese during its initial climb out of LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009. All of the 155 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft survived.
  • A few of the top chefs in the world include Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Gordon James Ramsay. You know you would get a great meal from any of them.If I needed financial advice, Dave Ramsey would be my man. David L. “Dave” Ramsey III is an American financial author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker.

So why is all this information on a quilting blog? That’s an easy question to answer. Bear with me for a minute.

All of the individuals listed above are considered to have an extensive body of knowledge stored in their head. Once upon a time, they started at the beginning. Over considerable time, they experimented, studied and practiced. They took some hard knocks, and with time and practice, their muscles were fine-tuned for their area of expertise. Some of them went back to the beginning and started over. They developed skills and learned what works best. They became successful through hard work. I am sure all of them had a mentor that they followed diligently. And, when their mentor taught them something, they listened. They did not hesitate to take good advice from someone who knew what they were talking about. And if they struggled with that advice for a while, they didn’t stop and think to themselves, “No, I’m not doing it that way. My neighbor knows better.” Or “No, I’m not doing it that way, that makes no sense, and I’m new to this thing but I can figure it out my way.”

Are you following this?

I am constantly surprised when I hear quilters talk (or read what quilters have written) about quilting. For example, someone may be brand new to quilting and their instructor tells them they need to use a thimble. So they try one thimble for a few times, decide it feels awkward, and because they know somebody who knows somebody who has made a quilt and doesn’t use a thimble, so brush off their instructor’s thimble suggestion.

Or, several of the top quilters in the country will tell Jillian (or Mary or Louise or David) that they should baste the three layers of the quilt sandwich together before they hand quilt. Jillian, Mary, Louise and David find out that basting takes time, and they are anxious to get to the hand quilting. So they decide that these top quilters must not know what they are talking about, and they skip the basting stage. Later on when the quilt is complete, they wonder how the puckers on the back came to be.

And a quilt hoop or frame? What a STUPID idea! Whoever would use such a thing?
Prewash fabric? Why bother? It looks good enough when you bring it home from the store. Why would you go to all that trouble to wash it and iron it (excuse me, PRESS it)?

If I have a choice of airline pilots and Sully is one of my choices, I’m riding with him. He knows his stuff.

I’ve been in a financial mess before. I know and trust Dave Ramsey’s expertise, and would gladly do whatever he told me to do. He knows his stuff, and won’t steer me wrong.
If I ever need heart surgery, I’m hoping my family will get me to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The track record there is outstanding and the Clinic has proven to be highly respected around the world.

When my grandchildren are ready to learn how to drive, it would be fantastic if their next door neighbor were Dale Earnhart, Jr. I would feel much more at ease if they learned how to drive from a pro.

I have been quilting since 1975ish… I know quite a bit and I have won my share of blue ribbons around the country. But I don’t know it all. Not even close. That’s why I still turn to the experts in whatever I want to learn. I can use their expertise to get better. It might be tough at first; No, it might be downright hard! But if I want to learn something, I want to learn it right from someone who knows what they are doing.
I hope you do, too.


If you are interested in learning more about how to make a quilt, please attend a high quality quilt show in your area and take a class from someone who has been quilting for quite awhile.
  Here are a few links to shows in 2015:

4 thoughts on “Quilt Like the Pros

  1. Good message. When we think we know it all, we have stopped learning. I learned to sew at age four and sewed all my life, then I took a quilting class because I was expected to take over that class when the teacher left Japan. The first thing I learned was how to tie a knot that was perfect and solved the problem of thread that twisted and knotted during sewing. Now, that is one of the first lessons I pass on to new quilters. There may be a better way of doing things and even a reason it is better. We have to keep an open mind in order to learn.


  2. Great post Caron, thanks! I too have been quilting for almost 50 years (yikes) and I don't know half as much as I would like to. Life is a journey and I hope to pick up a few more tips before I travel to the next place. Thanks for sharing.


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