Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Losing your Quilting Mojo

A few days ago Mary Kate posted on Inside Quilters Newsletter her thoughts about losing her quilting mojo. The article gave me pause to think.

There have been many times when I've had such a burning desire to quilt, that everything else goes by the wayside. But of late, that has happened less and less.

One reason may be because I don't have quilting buddies available anymore. Time, families, and work pushed quilting to the bottom of the list. It was always fun to meet up with friends, find a pattern, and sew all day.

But just yesterday I was going through some old magazines, sorting them as keepers and give aways. There was an "aha!" moment as I leafed through a variety of magazines.
 I think I've lost my mojo mostly because quilting times have changed. More and more quilters have lent themselves to modern quilting. Modern fabric, modern patterns, modern quilts.

So I find that what used to give me inspiration, now dampens my enthusiasm. I'm not saying I don't like the newer brighter fabric colors. It's just that I have always been a traditional quilter, and I'm not finding much encouragement anymore.

In our area, quilt shops are gearing up with more and more modern fabrics. Quilting magazines feature lots of modern patterns, applique and paper piecing. All of which I don't do.

Another thing I've noticed is the emphasis on long arm machine quilting. I don't know about you, but I don't own a long arm, and I don't even know anybody who does. So are the magazines pushing quilters to buy a long arm? There certainly are lots of helpful hints for longarmers.

Believe me, I'm not downplaying modern quilting. It's just not what I enjoy doing. I like my fabric to coordinate, my patterns to have symmetry, and my points to match.  I'm just sharing my thoughts on losing my quilting mojo. We each have to enjoy what we are creating.

I do wish each of you Happy Quilting. No matter which kind you enjoy doing.



15 comments:

deb said...

I don't like modern quilts either, so I don't do 'em. I buy fabric that's reminiscent of the time periods I prefer and find patterns for what I want to do. I just order it on-line. I figure the younger women can do the modern stuff - I'll stick which what resonates with my "old" self!!

GO STARS! said...

The quilt shops I prefer have a good mix of modern and traditional. I kept most of my old magazines and still enjoy going back to them. I'm a mix of modern and traditional. I like the modern but I also like batiks, civil war, and traditional florals. I'm not that into solids only and I don't like the over-quilted modern pieces that become mainly thread. I do enjoy being able to shop online and learn new skills online - a nice side effect of the modern quilters. I have noticed that the more skilled the "newbies" to the quilt world become, the more complicated and precise their quilts are.

Debbie said...

Excellent thoughts. I am not modern at all....traditional with a strong leaning to my watercolors. I like simple, but not necessarily modern. I find the modern movement is trying to reinvent the wheel sometimes. So I applaud you to stay true to who you are.

Quilting Babcia said...

You echo my thoughts perfectly. I think a lot of us don't consider ourselves modern quilters and that's why we follow the blogs we do, because of some sense of unity with what others are creating. I don't know any other quilters in my new local area, don't have any quilt shops within 40 miles of our home and really consider my blogging friends my quilting community. Thank goodness for the Internet that makes this possible, otherwise we wouldn't be so different from many pioneer women who had no close neighbors or relatives.

ytsmom said...

I do like modern quilts, but I also like traditional quilts. I like brights, but quilts made with fabrics like Kansas Troubles give me a warm hug!

Sally said...

I agree. It's so hard to find fabric and patterns that speak to me. While I have made some 'modern' quilts (and Art quilts, EPP quilts, PP quilts and some applique quilts) my heart belongs to traditional quilting and traditional fabrics. I've been going through my stash and pulling the 1930s repros and the 19th Century repros ("Civil War") and planning old standard quilts. I took a 6 month break from quilting and it's nice to be back--making a Goose on the Pond quilt, just finished a 1930s fan top and 1930s Dresden Plate (on apricot background)top. I'm also working on 19th Century tumblers quilt, hexagons and triangles quilt and churn dash quilt. Much better. Thank goodness for my stash!

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Oh ... you're not alone, dear one. And from the sounds of the other commenters, there are more of us who feel this way. I'm thankful for the Internet and blogging community where I can find inspiration and camaraderie.

Nicole said...

What a thought provoking post. My sources of inspiration have definitely changed over the years. I don't sew along side other quilters anymore either, and rarely get to visit a quilt shop. The magazine situation is dire--I tossed the last Quilt Sampler magazine right into the trash after looked at it, and I used to wait on pins and needles to see what was in it. I get most of my ideas through blogs, Pinterest, and in particular, Instagram.

Ranch Wife said...

To everything there is a season...and I think we ought to spend time making the things that bring us joy. I've probably got one foot on each side of the fence...sure glad its a a short fence. :) However, like you, its the traditional quilts that tug at my heart...really, the scrap quilts with lots of Kansas Troubles types of fabrics. We live out and I've never been a part of a group, but the Internet and blogs like yours have been a wonderful source of inspiration.
I rarely have the opportunity to visit quilt shops, but lately, when I have, I have noticed the same trend. I'm glad I have my stash!

Quilt Hollow said...

Well, I'm a longarm quilter and get a variety to frost for others. Keep getting your inspiration by scouring Pinterest over magazines. There are many new and young quilters these days in comparison to the past and they do tend to love the more modern and brightly colored fabrics. I'm on Instagram and can tell you that I've seen some INSANE fabric sales for Bonnie & Cameille (Thimbleblossoms) fabrics lines that are now out of print. Had I of known a few years back to stock up just for doubling or tripling my money on resale. I cancelled all magazine subscriptions because there is so much FREE on the internet. The only time I scour through new quilt magazines is sitting at the book store with a coffee in hand. I also found that the older magazines I have kept are more me.

Crickets Corner said...

I've been quilting since the 70's and have watched all kinds of styles come and go. I like some modern but lean more to the traditional and civil war styles. I've noticed the newest trend is toward "primitive" quilting so am confident that traditional, civil war and reproduction will soon be rediscovered by the younger quilters.

Everything cycles around and is new to the next generation.
Rina

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I love to find the old quilt magazines, and look at those pictures. I can take 'some' modern, but, other than I like bright colors, I am pretty traditional, too. Older quilt books are great, too, since they also have more traditional stuff.

mrsmcbee said...

Oh my goodness, you speak right to my heart, I totally agree!! I am a traditional quilter for sure, I hand quilt mostly, I do machine piece, but never machine quilt, I do not like the look of longarm, never have never will, and the new quilt magazines FOR GET IT! I hang on to my old old issues of magazines and turn to them for inspiration!! Thanks for the blog!! Love that someone is on the same page as myself!!

Allie-oops Designs said...

Great post, hon! I don't even bother with magazines anymore, when hubby lost his job I couldn't afford them and that's when I discovered quilting on the internet - I haven't gone back! My best friend still gets a lot of quilt magazines, but it seems like we're seeing the same patterns over and over again made with different lines of fabric. BORING. I adore traditional quilts, but I'm an awful piecer, with not a lot of interest to get better - applique is my thing! I'm not fond of the modern quilts, with few exceptions, and much prefer hand quilting to machine. I don't like the feel of heavily machine quilted quilts.

SandyPA said...

You are definitely not alone! I have made both modern and traditional quilts and can say I feel more accomplished when I finish a traditional design. Modern quilting patterns are okay if you want to showcase free-motion quilting. Some quilts speak to me so loudly that I have to do the quilting myself, but I prefer piecing. Many of us don't have enough room to wrestle a quilt around or time to do hand-quilting, so it helps to know a longarmer you trust. I totally agree with you and many of the commenters about today's quilting magazines.