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Life, Quilting, and the "Disaster" That Was My Applique:

Quilting Fun

In the joyous realm of quilting, where creativity knows no bounds and fabric becomes a canvas for our dreams, there exist certain forces that conspire against even the most seasoned quilters. As female quilters navigating the maze of daily life, we often find ourselves tangled in a patchwork of responsibilities. And let me tell you, my recent applique mishap served as a stark reminder that sometimes, life just loves to throw a quilt-wrecking curveball.


So there I was, armed with my colourful fabrics and an ambitious vision for my month three applique block, something I designed long ago. The pattern I was hoping would be a showstopper, with intricate applique pieces and a little snail adding that extra touch of whimsy. As I meticulously cut out my shapes and arranged them just so, I couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement at the thought of the final result.

But alas, the universe had other plans for my quilting escapade. Just as I was about to secure my applique pieces in place, life decided to make its grand entrance. The doorbell rang, the phone buzzed incessantly, and the dogs decided it was the perfect time to embark on a muddy yarn-chasing adventure. Before I knew it, my applique lay forgotten amidst the chaos of daily life.


As I finally managed to reclaim my quilting time from the clutches of domestic pandemonium, I faced a new challenge - my applique wasn't turning out how I had envisioned. The shapes were wonky, the colours didn't work, and my once-majestic design now resembled a quirky abstract puddle of blue. For some reason, it just didn't look right; as I write this, I realise I didn't even take a photo of my first attempt, but I have my design drawing photo, and this is the colour layout I went with.

Creative Mess

Frustration threatened to take over, as creating a monotone quilt has been challenging for me—one I suggested and gladly took on. However, I usually adorn my appliques in a myriad of colours, and I use different contrasting colours to define aspects of my designs. I went to show Mum, and she agreed it wasn't my best work.


The dark flowers were gaudy, taking over the block and the little snail was lost in a sea of blue.


But then we remembered the power of second opinions.

Calling upon my fellow artistic family members for advice and support, I shared my applique and colour woes. I invited them to witness the magnificent "disaster" that my applique had become. I was ready to scrap the entire design and do month 4's block instead, which would throw the entire quilt out of whack.


To my surprise, instead of judgment, I was met with laughter, empathy, and a chorus of "Just change the flowers around; it is fine". So that is what we did, which completely changed the entire design.


Supportive Quilting Community

Through the lens of camaraderie, I began to see my applique blunder in a new light. What I initially deemed a catastrophe transformed into a journey filled with laughter, learning, and the sweet reminder that perfection is overrated in the whimsical world of quilting. We are our own harshest critics; the pieces I thought I had poorly cut due to cold, shaky hands went unnoticed by my family. The monotone colours that I had stared at for too long were met with the bright eyes of my family, who gazed upon it for the first time. Once we changed the flowers and a few details, the design blossomed to life. A few friends said they don't like snails, and others said they love them.

I personally love them, but I know some of you might not. So, for those who are a part of the course and don't, I encourage you to add another little creature of your liking. Some course members have been switching up the designs and adding their own details. I love seeing this, and I would like to see more.


This whole experience reminded me of fellow course members posting stunning work that they aren't happy with, coupled with comments like it isn't perfect, I am not satisfied with it, etc. When we view your work, we see something extraordinary! You showed up for yourself amidst the chaos of your life while juggling the many dutiful tasks of womanhood. And we love doing these tasks, (most days), but it can take away from our quilting time.

This month was chaotic in our family life and my personal life. I've had so many weddings, hen's nights, a friend giving birth, another pregnant, a partner starting a new course, my best friend's 30th, a renovating laundry room with no washing machine and many trips to the laundromat, constant rain, and moving back home with a cost-of-living crisis, my dad's birthday, my dog injuring his leg and costing me 5k for surgery. Then there is my long COVID chronic fatigue.... oh the list goes on and I don't even have kids! I guess Pattern Poole is my baby. But I am sure we all have lists like this, filled with tasks for our loved ones. I mean, that is our superpower as women. Our love for others is boundless, sometimes, though, maybe not for ourselves.


We show up perfectly and are devoted to as many people as we can, and as quilters, we also want to make everyone a handmade gift!!! But Time to Bloom is all about taking our time to bloom. Every time you sit at your machine, it is an act of self-love. From beginner to advanced quilters, we all judge our own work harshly. But quilting is the one place we leave perfectionism at the door because showing up to sew, even just a seam, is your special time. Even if you aren't doing Time to Bloom, this applies to you.


In the grand tapestry of quilting, where stitches weave tales of creativity and resilience, let us celebrate the mishaps, the mayhem, and the moments of sheer quilting joy. For in the end, it's not about the perfect applique or flawless seams - it's about the love, laughter, and community that come together to create something truly magical. This community we have all created together is one that is special, and it belongs to just us: a reprieve from our busy lives, a moment of peace, self-love and friendship.



So go forth, fellow quilters, and stitch your stories with pride. As for me, I'll be over here untangling my thread, embracing the chaos, and eagerly anticipating the next chapter of Time to Bloom.


Lots of love,

Alaura



 

Month Three Time to Bloom Patchwork Block

So, in the first month, we mastered a patchwork block with squares; in the second month, we did rectangles, and now it is time to learn triangles. It is a lot easier than you think with the simple sew-and-flip technique. This time, we will create a beautiful tulip-style patchwork block, and I will show you how easy it is to get the perfect triangle.


Without further ado, here is our latest block!


And here are our blocks so far; what do you think?

Check out the video here:




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15 Comments


Alaura, in my eyes your work/sewing/creating is beautiful. In my little sewing world I love your work and totally look forward to the months to come. Thank you, Mary

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Hi, I would like to pay the difference of what is owing for my quilting project. I really enjoy this course as it provides me with something I've needed to do and fire up creativity.

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Alaura
Alaura
Jul 04
Replying to

Hi Dodie, No problem, I will send you an email! Thanks Alaura

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Alaura, I admire your honesty, and praise that you can ask others for support. Well done, this months block is gorgeous and I love the snail! I openly admit to not being a fan of appliqué but you’re certainly inspiring me. Life - I can totally relate! My month 2 blocks aren’t complete as I fractured my right (machine pedal) foot. This has made my month more difficult but it turns out you can use your left foot quite easily to sew! Everything else takes longer, and I’m ok that I’m ‘behind’. Sometimes as women we need to slow down, and that’s okay too :) Loving the contrast of the round lines on the appliqué and the straight blocks togethe…

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Alaura
Alaura
Jul 04
Replying to

Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Norma; I am glad you like this block and that I am inspiring you to like applique. I am sorry about your injured foot and your pedal foot! It is excellent that you can use your left foot, and don't worry; you aren't behind at all. I agree, slowing down is important, as women we show up much better when we are recharged and feeling good. I hope that you are healing up well, and I am excited to see your blocks, but take your time!

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Good morning-looks beautiful, incidently-but where in the quilt would these blocks be placed?! Every row of mine is a slight different shade of grey.

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Alaura
Alaura
Jul 04
Replying to

Hi Lindie, There is a photo in the video and the course notes. But they will be placed at the top right corner of the quilt. Different shades of grey sounds so dreamy, I can't wait to see your work!

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How do we download this month's blocks? The download button? missing ???

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Replying to

Try clicking on this link. Make sure that you are logged in then refresh the page.

https://www.patternpoole.com/post/time-to-bloom-month-3

You’ll find the course notes halfway down the page just under the video.

If you have a problem, please email us at studio@patternpoole.com

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