I can not believe it has been 5 years since I started sewing/quilting and blogging. I did not start out to be a quilter. Last time I sewed anything it was a pillow case in home economics when I was 13. However, I have always been someone who dabbled in all art medium and baking//cooking, where the blog started. I was always had a diverse range of interests from Art to Science to Languages. Quilting really has been one of those “hobbies” that has integrated the love of art and math.
I am lucky to be inspired by my own family. My Dad and Aunt are amazing artists, and my mum a highly skilled seamstress with a career in science. My only regret with starting quilting so late is not being able to actually sew with my Mum, but I love that I was able to gift her with a quilt.
Just to show you how far I have come, my first quilt was an original design of the 4 season of an apple tree. I would do this so differently today – and PS its still not finished. Yes, those are buttons and glittery snowflakes all hand stitched onto the top.
The first finished quilt, was for the MQG Madrona Road Challenge. It was loosely inspired from tiles and a Turkish bath (inside the blue square). I still love this image today.
The quilt now hangs in my studio, to remind me of my journey.
In 2014, I joined Quilt Design a Day on facebook….a game changer for me. It moved me away from a multi-subject blog to mostly quilting. The designing of quilts and bringing them into reality is my passion. (so thank you Anne @playcrafts :-))
I am so appreciative of the opportunities that this group has led me too. This is my first design for QDAD and it also won a quilt design competition. I gained enough courage to submit an idea, shortly after, to Sew Mama Sew and do a mini blog series on design to reality. Sew Mama Sew directly directly influenced the wonderful opportunity I got to work with Love Patchwork and Quilting. Eager for the opportunity to have a magazine submission, I committed to delivering a quilt in 10 days (while working a full-time job and being a mom). I was so shocked, it paid off though, as my first submission was a quilt cover.
While I look back, it makes me smile. Seeing some of my favorite quilts I have made. Two of which are Sunday Best and Altitudinal Ecosystem which represents my bi-polar quilting interest; Improvisation and Minimalism.
A couple of the big challenges I gave myself this year were:
- To enjoy my blog and just post when I have content I want to share. Very different to posting to gain followers and following a fixed schedule.
- Write a book. It is underway but I will say it is a much slower process than I expected. Life is always in the way (and definitely not in a bad way).
- Be bold and submit for an exhibit, which I am still working towards. This idea though, led to me submitting to an art curator. They purchased 3 of my quilts yesterday (you can see my digital portfolio I submitted).
- Lastly, setup my own business. I am hoping to have it all complete in a couple of weeks.
I have learned so much in this process, and still work on most of these every day:
- Be you and don’t worry what others think. If you try to please others you are likely not going to enjoy things.
- Be adaptable, things are always changing and new opportunities become available.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection. A no is just a no.
- Be bold, email manufacturers to discuss fabric and possibilities, submit to magazines, submit to quilt shows, etc. The worse that will happen is they so no.
- Experiment, find you. Give yourself permission to just play and enjoy the process.
- Enjoy your people. Support others and give back. We learn so much now-a-days via the internet and others in the community. Share experiences, techniques, support others, give feedback and if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say it.
Thank you for all your support in me and my blog. In the spirit of giving back I am doing three things:
- Posting fabric postcards to individuals (over on my IG account: ml_wilkie , tutorial coming later this week)
- Giving one of my blog followers a $50 gift card to Hawthorne Threads. Leave a comment below telling me what one of your goals are for this year. Leave a second comment if you are a follower. I will randomly select a winner next Saturday.
- The winner of the giveaway, will also designate a charity of their choice, where I will also donate $50 (Please make sure they accept online contributions).
I follow your blog on feedly
One of my goals this year has been to play and create original modern designs. You have been such an inspiration! Congrats on 5 years of blogging and your own growth!
I am a follower 🙂
Wow, only 5 years and look how much you have accomplished. You should be very proud of yourself. Congratulations! I’m working on finishing up some quilts for my nieces and nephew by Christmas.
I follow you via email.
Michelle, congrats on five years and double congrats on the purchase of your quilts! Wow, your first quilt is much different than your work today. Taking note of many items on your list including a no is a no!
I follow via IG and Bloglovin’!
I am almost done with my 13 quilts that I donate to the women’s shelter each year. Big accomplishment because it has been a tough year around here health wise. For next year I lead my Guild in our pillowcase efforts for Children’s Hospital. Last year we donated 445. I think we can do better next year. I’m going for 500.
I follow on BL
I follow by email.
I hope to make quilts without buying new fabrics and use my stash .
Hi Michelle! My goal is to make progress in abstraction in my improv work. I don’t find it easy to edit out detail. You’ve inspired me immensely in this area of design. Thank you!
I am a happy follower of your blog and IG. Congratulations on five years!
One of my goals is to learn to quilt freehand feathers. I know it will take lots of practice. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished in a short time (wow!) and thanks for offering the wonderful giveaway.
One of my goals is to experiment more with improv quilting. It has been so much fun! Thanks for all your inspiration. I look forward to your blog posts more than any other! Thanks for the giveaway!
I follow you on Bloglovin’
I follow you via Bloglovin.
My goal this year is to improve on my FMQ. I have mastered a decent stipple, but am still trying other designs.
My biggest goal this year was to make and donate 30 quilts. I exceeded that at 32 quilts!
I follow through bloglovin.
I follow via bloglovin
One of my goals this year was to use my stash…some success, not a lot! The biggest goal that always makes my list though is to make what makes me happy. No rules, No Fools!
Congrats on 5 years of blogging. You have always been an inspiration and can’t wait for your book!
I’m a follower.I enjoy your work.
My recent goal has been to finish up some quilts that have been around for a while. I’ve always stopped short when it came time to quilt. Now a walking foot and a new machine have helped me over this obstacle. P.S. I love Hawthorne Threads. Also, the matching donation to a charity is a nice add-on.
My current goal is to complete two picnic quilts and a boy scout quilt before the end of the year. thanks!
I am a follower with bloglovn!
Congratulations! Good luck with your goals this year – I have no doubt you will continue to inspire many! I think one of my goals is to be ME…. There is so much vying for my attention, it’s hard to remember to just ‘be’ sometimes!
Oh yes, I’m a follower! 😉
I hope to finish a sampler to make two tv quilts for my girls.
Following on bloglovin!
A goal for me this year has been to explore color palettes, and to play with improvisation. It’s been fun, although I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to really get into it. I’d also like to play more with designing, but maybe I’ll wait for next year for that. Congratulations on your five years! I always look forward to seeing your finishes.
I am a follower
I’m glad to know more about your journey! My goals include finishing some projects I really like, and getting the nerve to submit to quiltcon. I’m also hoping to develop a class to teach at my local quilt store. Overarching your, I’m trying to maintain a forgiving and curious attitude about my work.
I am a faithful follower via bloglovin
I have so many projects to do, some are started, some are BOM’s and I am trying my best to keep up with them, but most are in my head or in my growing stack of “to do” patterns. I just need to buckle down with what I have and not try to add anymore to the list!
I am a follower. Love your goals. With one of your comments under, “What I’ve Learned.” I would tend to agree with you about, about if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Sometimes constructive criticism or feedback is a good thing. It depends on the relationship you have with the person who made the quilt. If it’s a really good friend who wants to grow, and you know she or he wants that, always start with the positive. And approach negative criticism, with careful and kind wording.
I agree, I don’t consider constructive feedback a “not nice thing to say”, though there are right ways to do it. If you don’t know how the person will take it can always be done in private and also ask if feedback is wanted.
One of my quilty goals this year is to finish ONE of several quilt along projects I have started.
I love your blog! Hope to see you at Sewtopia Salt Lake City next spring!
I wish you the best on your goals. I’ve been blogging only as the mood strikes me. My goal is to enjoy my quilting and not feel as much guilt. There are too many “should do”s which is quite silly.
I follow you on Bloglovin’
My goal this year is to work on and finish my Delilah quilt! Congratulations on your accomplishments!
I follow on Bloglovin and Instagram
I loved reading about your goals! I too set some goals for 2017 and so far I have completed 3 quilts that I had started in the 1990s. It was fun to rediscover that I still loved what I started, but I made it a personal challenge to take the blocks in new directions (not what I had planned when I started them)! I also started and completed two improv quilts that I machine quilted on my own. Thank you for inspiring me to be “fearless” and good luck with meeting your goals! Love your blog!
I love that you are also donating to a charity, thank you! One of my goals this year has been to make 12 charity quilts. They have made me the happiest of everything made this year.
I follow by email
To make a dress for my 20th high school reunion!
I get your blog emailed to me.
My goal is to do more charity quilts/sewing.
Congratulations on 5 years of blogging! My goal this year is to finish a king sized flannel quilt that I started about 2 years ago. Thanks!
I follow you on Bloglovin. Thanks!