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).