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Process over product....


Sometimes I need to just sit and read so that’s what I did last night. I pulled out my old copy of “Zen and the Art of Quilting” and reread it for the umpteenth time. The quote on the back cover pretty much says it all…”a Zen quilt is one begun out of a desire to make it rather than to have it.” Process over product—that’s really the key, isn’t it?



Quilting is more than just a means to an end—it is a process that’s often fueled by a desire to create meaningful memories. Many of the quilters I know are sentimentalists driven by the need to commemorate special events and honor loved ones. For these quilters the process of making quilts is truly a labor of love. Making a quilt for someone is a very special gift that demonstrates how much we care about other people in our lives.

But the actual process of making a quilt is also a gift we can give ourselves. It’s a time to let our creativity flow. We get to play with fabric, colors, textures and design. We can sew in self-imposed silence and just chill out—or we can join in a community of like-minded souls and sew in a group.


Taking the plunge and starting a quilt is a leap of faith—first believing that this is something that is really worth doing—and then faith in one’s ability to actually do it! I’ve seen students do some amazing things—many had little faith in their ability to get it done—they doubted how it would look—and they feared the worst. Of course I can totally relate. But as I always say—patchwork has a magic to it. Small sewing mistakes get lost in the overall collage of color and texture. The whole of a patchwork top is greater than the individual parts—and the creative act of making things is just important and satisfying as the final product.

Next week we’ll start our October classes. On Thursday nights we’re going to offer a new studio class. This is the class I’ve wanted to do since designing the concept for my workshop space. I learned to quilt in workshop type classes and I love the group dynamic of these classes. We can all learn from one another, get inspired by different ideas and share a sense of community.


I’m always getting asked when I’m going to schedule a particular project class—like the popular Blooming 9-Patch, Dreaming in Color or one of the Blue Underground Studio patterns—so I thought it might be a good idea to let students select their own project and then work on it with some help from us. You can use our workshop space, tap into our knowledge, learn some new techniques and just hang out with other quilters!

Here’s how this works—Jan Aaron and I will be team teaching—we’ll each take on a maximum of 4 students so we have the time to focus on you and your project. Each month we’ll also feature a new technique that Jan will demonstrate—like paper-piecing, curved seams, appliqué or precision cutting with a coordinating quilt project like the New York Beauty, Drunkard’s Path or Charm quilt. Use the technique and tackle the month’s project quilt—or just do your own thing.


In October Jan will be repeating the Stack-n-Whack project—a precision cutting technique that produces a real wow of a quilt. I’ve posted some of the blocks Mario made in a previous class—here’s a picture of the finished top. Mario used Kaffe Fassett’s graphic beach ball fabric against a solid black setting fabric for a pop art effect. Color and big prints are the key here so if you’ve got some big crazy print that’s been calling your name—this is the project for you!

For all you beginners—we’re offering the Intro to Patchwork class on Tuesday nights and beginning sewing classes on Wednesdays. Start at the very beginning with sewing machine basics, move on to an easy sewing project in the beginning sewing class and then tackle Amy Butler’s Lounge Pants as your first garment project.

The days are growing shorter—time to come inside and sew at night!

See you soon,


Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at 10:54AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

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