Quilt Show Lesson: Every Work of Art Has Its Fans

In the world of the internet, it can be hard to understand the value of making things yourself. There is so much competition out there, so many people better at what you are doing than you are. A meme or video goes viral, and suddenly everyone you know is talking about baby Yoda. In such a world, it’s easy to feel very small and that your efforts aren’t worth much. Those focused on fame tell us that if you don’t have at least 100,000 followers, you’re wasting your time.

Continue reading Quilt Show Lesson: Every Work of Art Has Its Fans

Waiting for Inspiration? Spend the Time Practicing

There’s a belief that all the great artists are inspired, that what makes their work wonderful is a brilliant idea or new insight. But this is just a myth. A single moment of brilliance can be blinding to the rest of us, but there’s more to it than that. You can’t make use of inspiration if you don’t know how to use your medium. Great art comes from lots of work, which can be summed up in one word: practice.

Continue reading Waiting for Inspiration? Spend the Time Practicing

Walking After the Dinosaurs: Fossilized Tracks

One of the fun things we got to see back in November were dinosaur tracks. While I am a dinosaur fan, I find it hard to imagine what dinosaurs looked like from their bones. Bird skeletons have taught me that predicting an organism’s shape from its skeleton is tricky. Seeing their footprints, however, helped bring them to life.

Continue reading Walking After the Dinosaurs: Fossilized Tracks

Without Regular Practice, Skills Fade

I’ve made dozens of quilts in the last 25 years, so when I decided to make a baby quilt last spring, I figured it would be a cinch. Silly me. I forgot that being out of practice would mean a lower skill level than I remembered having.

Continue reading Without Regular Practice, Skills Fade