Rona the Ribibiter: Using Travel to inspire Quilters out of their comfort zones and come alive!


Just Let the Fabric Win

How letting go of control can enhance your Quilting experience.

This week I had the pleasure of working with the wonderful Carol Lyles Shaw. She is an author, teacher, designer and accomplished Modern Quilter. To be honest, her designs belong on a wall in a fancy art deco forum. And, as my friend Susan said, pictures just don’t do them justice. To see them in person, you really get the feel of the brilliance in the colors and the sharpness in contrasts. They are absolutely stunning.

I am a bit of a control freak. Before beginning my quilts I already have the design complete in my head. The colors, the layout, the overall look is done. All that’s left is for me to bring it to life. So, taking Carol’s workshop on Parisian curves and Improv Quilting was a little bit of a challenge. But, hey, isn’t that why we take classes? To break out of our boxes and try something new!

Admittedly, I struggled in the beginning. It was difficult for me to simply let go of control and let the fabric guide the outcome. It’s still a little uncomfortable but eventually I got used to the idea that if I didn’t like a block, throw it in the scrap pile. Or… change it.

Take this block for instance. It was my very first block that I put together and I hated it. No, literally, I hated it. The colors were wrong and the blue was too bright and busy. But, at the insistence of my fellow quilters I didn’t throw it out. I put it on the design wall and kept working.

About 8 blocks in I took another look at the trouble child and decided all it needed was another fabric. So, I added a 4th fabric to the block and reduced that blue down to a mere strip instead of a third of the block. Much better! No, it fits and I’ll probably still use it in the final quilt.

My biggest lesson learned from this whole experience is to trust myself. And, trust the process. Just because I can’t see the outcome doesn’t mean it won’t be beautiful. When faced with something I don’t like, set it aside and take another look later with fresh eyes.

Well, my coffee’s almost gone so that means it’s time to go hang out with my son and fiancé today. Have an amazing weekend my friends!

As always, Hoppy Quilting!

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