When All Else Fails… Quilt.
It never ceases to amaze me how much quilting helps me emotionally and spiritually. Even when I’m questioning my very reason of existence, I always come back to quilting.
A few days ago, I took a fear assessment. It was supposed to tell me my top 3 biggest fears that are holding me back from moving forward in my Quilting career. After answering some 50 questions or so I was told basically what I already know, I’m stuck. The only problem is, how do I get unstuck?
Fear #1: The Procrastinator – The person who needs everything to be done ‘right.’ So much so, they over-analyze and plan the project to death before actually completing the tasks.
Fear #2: The People Pleaser – The person who is so afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing that we, often times, don’t do anything at all.
Fear #3: The Self Doubter – This is the person that has a bully inside their brain. This is the person whose inner monologue keeps reminding them (incorrectly) how much the world hates them and how whatever they do isn’t quite ‘good enough.’
When I read those results it stopped me dead in my tracks. Yes, I already knew that I suffer from these issues. I’ve known it all my life. In fact, I used to joke about how procrastinating is my worst quality. Give me a deadline and I’m golden. But, self-imposed deadlines? Why do I have to achieve them if no one knows I set the deadline? And, why would I tell anyone (for accountability) about said deadlines when I run the risk of missing them and disappointing or even angering the people I told? Since I can’t even keep a self-imposed deadline… why even set one to begin with? Fear #’s 1, 2 and 3. This is my life.
Last night we had our Quilters Guild meeting. Participating in a coffee can challenge, I was required to complete this month’s mystery block and turn it in at the meeting. So, of course, I waited until the very last minute to make the block (Procrastinator).
Only one day after reeling emotionally from the fear assessment thing and finally admitting just how badly I struggle, I poured myself into completing this block. Of course, I made it an applique project (it’s my favorite). I fell back to what I do best, designing.
I went to work drawing out my design, then working it into usable pieces, cutting the template, working the fabric, meticulously turning the edges so each curve was smooth and centered. Finally, carefully stitching each piece in place until I had my finished product. A beautiful butterfly applique.
Then, do you know what I did? I took a picture and shared it with a friend and my husband. All I wrote was “Applique makes me happy.” Talk about a lightbulb moment.
Everyone struggles in life. We all have our ups and our downs. Our triumphs and our failures. But the one thing we all need is a relief. A safe place we can escape to, to forget the world around us if only for a moment. A place where we can see the beauty and creativity within ourselves and bring it to life.
Quilting is that place for me. Quilting pushes me past those fears and helps me to remember that my best IS good enough. Maybe not for every person in the world, but they are for me. I can look at my creations and know in my heart that I have value. That value gives me the strength to put my head back in the game and tell that bully inside to shut the hell up. I’m running this ship. And, we’re forging ahead with nothing but blue skies and calm seas on the horizon.
Find what it is you want to do and do it. Never, ever, ever give up. When all else fails… quilt.
Raw Edge Butterfly Applique Tutorial
- 3 pieces of matching scrap fabric
- 1 piece of background fabric cut to 10” x 10” square
- 1 piece of fusible webbing / stabilizer
- Elmer’s Glue stick
- Matching thread
- Quilting pins (optional)
- Craft Iron (optional)
- Light table (optional)
Click the Butterfly image to Download the Butterfly Applique template. Print out the template. Using regular printer paper will work just fine.
Place the templates on your light table and lay your webbing / stabilizer over top of the template with the Glue side facing DOWN. Trace the individual template pieces onto your stabilizer.
*If you don’t have a light box, you can use a window to trace the templates.
Place the Glue side of your templates to the WRONG side of your fabric scraps. Press using a pressing cloth to adhere the glue. For non-fusible I use Elmer’s Glue to hold the stabilizer in place. Don’t worry, it’s basically starch and will wash out.
Trim the fabric pieces so the edge hangs over the interfacing by about 1/4 – 1/8 inch.
Using your glue stick, run a small line of glue around the edge of the interfacing. Fold the edges of your fabric over the glue and position the curves.
Once your fabric edges are in place, press the applique piece with your iron to set the glue. I prefer to use my craft iron as the smaller size is easier to manage. Repeat with your remaining applique pieces.
Lay out all of your template pieces on your background fabric to see what your butterfly will look like (and to make sure you didn’t miss something – ask my how I know )
You can either use Quilting pins or a little more glue and press to set each piece in place. I personally prefer the glue as it will wash out and I don’t have to worry about the pieces shifting while I sew.
Carefully stitch around your applique pieces, just inside the edges, using either a straight stitch or decorative stitch of your choice. You can read more on applique stitches HERE.
Once you have all your applique pieces stitched in place, trim your background fabric to the block size you need (mine was a 9 ½ x 9 ½ square) and you’re on your way. You can also add antennae if you wish using hand stitching or free motion quilting.
What will you use your block for? A bag? A pillow? A quilt block? Oh, the options are endless!!
I LOVE seeing your creations! Be sure to share your blocks in the comments below or on our Facebook Group. Let your value shine!!
As always, Hoppy Quilting!