Emotional Benefits Of Quilting

Overcoming Mental Block by Making Two Applique Quilts.

I've never been one for making New Years' resolutions, but I did make one at the end of 2006. I was determined to get over my fear of using applique in my quilts. It was actually more of a challenge put to me by my daughter, Amanda. She told me that all of my quilts looked the same. Puzzled, I asked her what she meant. She nonchalantly said they're all geometric shaped (this coming from a 20-year old non-quilter). Okay, I admit my feelings were hurt (nowhere did she say how gorgeous my quilts were) and, yes, my quilts are made up of squares, rectangles, diamonds (what's wrong with that?). I've always been a traditional quilter, never venturing into the art of thread painting, applique or landscape.

But my daughter's comment got me thinking about "stepping outside of my box". I had tried applique before, but found it confusing and frustrating -- rough edge, needle turn, freezer paper, P3, fusible, etc. The numerous methods left me with a mental block.

So I decided to make two applique quilts in 2007. I've started one using the rough edge fusible method (with blanket stitch) and Steam-a-Seam 2. I saw this product demonstrated at the 2004 Houston show, and it looked fantastic, but the two sticky sides confuse me. I just want a simple, easy method.

The other applique quilt I will attempt is Verna Mosquera's "Vintage Valentine". As of this writing, I haven't decided which method to use. Of course I love the needle turn look, but that entails hand stitching (which I dread). My clients say that binding their quilts by hand relaxes them. I'd much rather organize a client's messy sewing room than to sit down and hand stitch my own quilts.

The "Vintage Valentine" will be a Block of the Month Club made up of my good quilting friends (the same ones I went to Houston with in 2004). I know they rolled their eyes and snickered when I announced I was determined to make this quilt with them. I started out in the same Block of the Month Club last year making Verna Mosquera's "Enchanted Autumn" applique quilt. I never even got the first block made . . . another UFO due to the applique mental block.

Linda Griffith, owner of The Organized Option, is a Professional Organizer & Speaker based in Phoenix. The creator of the Messiest Sewing Room ContestTM, Linda has helped dozens of sewers, crafters and home-based business owners to achieve a clutter-free, efficient work area and regain their lost energy. A national speaker, Linda's presentations blend practical how-to organizing tips with motivation and humor. She's also a regular columnist in the international publication, The Country Register. Linda can be reached at 480-755-3991, or through her website, where you can sign up for her free monthly e-newsletter.

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