Art: Comfort When You Can’t Leave Home

While I still insist we should be expecting less rather than more of ourselves due to the stress and strangeness of life during the pandemic, I also believe that we should keep making things.

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Good Design Takes Thought: A Quilting Story

Sometimes running with inspiration has magical results. Each step of the process is a natural extension of the last, and the vision of the end product keeps you on the right path, just doing the next thing, until suddenly, the project’s done. Sometimes doing what seems natural, however, can be a mistake, especially if that next thing is done without thought.

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Unfinished Quilt: How Praise Froze My Project

We need to be careful who sees our work when it’s still in process. I’ve learned this from writing and from quilting. My quilting experience is particularly surprising, because I discovered that early praise can be as harmful as early scorn.

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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.

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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.

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