for the love of fabric.

I vividly remember my first trip to Lancaster, PA with my family. I walked through store after store of Amish treasures – colorful quilts, pillows, wall hangings and other fabric crafts. I was first attracted to the colors and styles. But then, when I really LOOKED at a quilt or pillow, I thought to myself, “I can DO this.”

Those of you who know me in “real life” know that I am a pretty crafty girl. I knit, crochet, and sew. I’ve dabbled in jewelry, beads and scrapbooking. I enjoy most creative endeavors … and always love trying something new.

There was a time in my life, however, that I hadn’t yet found my creative outlet. I was still searching for my niche. Sports? Not so much. Drawing and painting? To my profound disappointment, there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect when it comes to seeing something and then putting pencil to paper to capture it. Music? I had a bit of talent, but not enough to really carry me past high school groups.

But then I discovered crafts. Fabric. Needle and thread. It was my first real crafty endeavor. I came home from Lancaster and went straight to the local fabric store and bought up some neat fabrics, needle and thread. I purchased a few beginner books on patchwork and quilting. And I started cutting.

Over the years, I made a few pillows and a wall hanging or two with varying degrees of success and skill. I amassed quite the fabric collection from yearly trips to Lancaster as well as the local fabric stores. I received a basic brother sewing machine from my family one Christmas. And promptly began to doubt and clam up.

I tend to let my fear of messing up or not being perfect freeze me up. See Sports, Music etc above. Well, I’ll never be pro so why bother? was my mantra growing up. And it was now happening to my crafts.

Bags of beautiful fabric sat untouched in … well, bags. Each trip to PA i bought more with the intention of making something fabulous. And then I would put it away and thing, “well, I’ll use that when I get really good.” Are you starting to get the gist here?

Fast forward to the past few years. A place to call my own. A boy who supported me in EVERYTHING I did, no matter my skill level. The discovery and inspiration of Etsy and Blogs. So I broke out the sewing machine again and started cutting up some fabric. I stumbled. A LOT. I have entire storage boxes of unfinished, poorly made, badly stitched items. But, if you laid it all out on the floor, you can see my growth and progression. Practice really does make perfect. Or, if not perfect, then at least … BETTER! :)

A while back, a sweet online friend had started a weekly online quilt-along. And I thought, hey! Maybe THIS is what I can do. A week to do each step. My own pace … but the nudge of, “gotta get this done before the next lesson!” And so, I bit the bullet and bought some AMAZING fabric off Etsy that, at the time, seemed extravagantly expensive. It came in the mail a few days later and I was IN LOVE with the colors and style and patterns. And then I was instantly afraid. Truly. I mean, I spent like $40 on this GORGEOUS fabric … and now I am going to cut it to shreds and (probably poorly) sew it together? I don’t know what I am doing! I am definitely going to MESS.THIS.UP.

I did stay the course … for the first few weeks. I cut the gorgeous yards and sewed it together in strips. So far, so good. And then came the time to piece the top together. And the fear of quilting and binding it froze me once again. I thought about sending it to a quilter … but I really wanted it to be ALL of my work. SO. The fear of messing it up, again, sent me packing. I put it in a bag and hid it in the closet.

Several months and lots of various Blog-Stalking later … I began to think about that bag of beautiful fabric strips in the closet. I thought, “its not doing much in the closet … maybe I should dig it out and give it a whirl. I admire all this gorgeous fabric … I love all the new sewing books that have come out … I gotta give this a shot.” And then we bought a house and I thought what cooler thing is there than sleeping in my HOUSE under my QUILT. And so, I dug it out and started it up again.

Well, many MANY days and a new sewing machine later, and this is what I have accomplished …


And now, I can not be stopped. I still need work. Lots of work. My binding left a little to be desired and some of the backing scrunched up while I quilted. But it’s mine. I created something. And I will love it and cherish it and … hopefully will pass it down to future children. And make them lots of their own.

And, oh. It went down to lower 50s here tonight … so I got to test it out. And it works just fine! :)


2 responses to “for the love of fabric.”

  1. Mef Gannon Avatar
    Mef Gannon

    I am inspired! I have plenty of unfinished projects. I’ve decided to combine some of them to make an entirely new project. Sometimes the mistakes are the best part. You either learn or you create something new! Keep going jess. You can only get better!

  2. Beautiful quilt Jessica! I knit but not very well and am often afraid of projects and patterns. Some day.

    Just wanted to stop by and say “hi” . . . cute site!

    trailmomma aka Pam (Turse)! :-)

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