For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them – Aristotle
I want to become a master quilter one day. I’m not even sure if there is such a thing as a master quilter, but if there is I plan on becoming one within the next eight to ten years.
Right now I’m still in the infancy stage of quilting. No, wait a minute. Seeing as I can throw a tantrum and pull out a bottle (of wine that is) to help me calm down when my attempts at quilting become challenging, I need to change that to the toddler stage.
I’m currently in the toddler stage of becoming a master quilter.
In order to reach my quilting goals, I know that sooner or later I’m going to have to get out and mingle with experienced quilters, but in the meantime I’m content with learning the basics on my own with the help of books, magazines, YouTube, blogs, Instagram, trial and error and classes at http://www.craftsy.com.
As quiet as it is kept, I hold a master’s degree in library science. So it is no surprise that whenever I want to learn something new I first turn to books. I started my journey into quilting with books I checked out from my local library. When I eventually checked out all of the available books I was interested in, I started requesting books through interlibrary loan. They would fulfill my request by buying new quilting books. So if you live in Leon County, Florida and are interested in learning how to create art quilts check out these two new books:
When I find a book I want to own I usually order it from Amazon. I only own four books on quilting and out of those four my favorite by far has to be the following:
This book is 319 pages chock-full of clear, helpful examples, instructions and information for the novice quilter. The pages are thick and sturdy. Not only will they stand up to repeated handling, but mine stood strong in the destructive hands of a real toddler. The photographs are sharp, bright, and plentiful. They are never used as fillers and are always matched with concise instructions. Seeing as one of my quilting goals is to master the construction techniques of traditional quilt blocks, I fully expect to use this book for many years.
The book is divided into five major sections. 1. Getting started 2. Patchwork 3. Appliqué 4. Quilting and 5. Things to make
Like all crafting books, it begins with a “Getting started” section, complete with information on the different tools and other materials you will need for quilting. It covers information on fabric and thread. It explains how to calculate the size of a quilt, and discusses design principles including basic principles of color theory. Nearly half of the section is devoted to the general techniques of quilting, including preparing fabric for quilting and examples of techniques often used when binding a quilt.
You will learn construction techniques in the “Patchwork” section. You will also find instructions on how to complete projects such as pillows, toys, a tote bag and basic quilts completely different from the instructions for the 24 projects in the “Things to make” section at the end of the book.
I recently completed several hexagon stars for my current quilting project by following the instructions on assembling a hexagon star.
I turned my first Hexagon star attempt into a pocket on a bag using tips from the “Appliqué” section.
Last weekend I finally made a quilt board and am finally in the design stage of my quilt.
The book has about 18 beautiful quilt patterns but I don’t know if I will use them. I hope I do but twice I’ve tried to follow patterns I found in quilt magazines and both times I ended up veering off and doing my own thing. I feel that I will only develop my personal style if I design my own quilts. I also think that I will find greater satisfaction in my final quilts, no matter the results, if I design them myself. Even if I never reach my goal of becoming a master quilter, I think as long as my quilts keep people warm, bring people comfort, and make them smile I will be one happy quilter. And, after all, isn’t that a better goal?
Note: I Googled “Master Quilter” and discovered there is such a thing. Well, sort of. Check it out for yourself at http://www.nqaquilts.org/master-quilt/