I love to write. Like most of my writer friends, I have more stories inside of me than I can ever hope to write. But I can only take so much computer time before my eyes start to cross and my stashes of fabric and paper start calling my name. (In the summer, the garden calls, too, but not so much in December.) As Christians created in the image of God – the ultimate creator – I think we are supposed to live a creative life. You are creative! It doesn’t have to be BIG creativity. You don’t even have to be talented or trained. You don’t have to be “craftsy.” Just think outside the box (yes, I know a creative writer shouldn’t use cliches like that, but it fits.) A creative life doesn’t necessarily involve arts and crafts at all. It might just be a matter of rearranging things you already have. Cooking a new meal. Reorganizing your bookshelves. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve always liked dressing up my house for the changing seasons, but I seldom spend money on it. I just pull out quilts, dishes, linens, and anything else I could find in the right Read More
I recently published an article – Quitting Quilting – on my GloryQuilts blog, explaining why I was restructuring my business. It explained the quitting part, but it didn’t really address the “art as career” aspect of the change. Through this experience, I am persuaded that if I am ever forced to support myself financially, I must not do it by making a career from the things I love doing. It sounds good, but it can end up sucking the joy from the creative heart and leaving only resentment. For more than 20 years, I have been teaching quiltmaking as well as sewing and quilting professionally as GloryQuilts. At first, I sold class samples and pattern prototypes as well as some things I made just for fun. I did some juried art shows, and then some that were less selective. I had to make quantities of items for the shows, on a strict deadline, and be ready to set up displays and manage sales. I started selling things on eBay and then Etsy. Instead of selling unique and creative quilts, I began creating quilts specifically to sell, in trendy fabrics and styles. As my reputation grew, I was offered and accepted Read More
Author Catherine Castle, of The Writer’s Block, invited me to write an article about quilting in community for her blog. I shared about the GloryQuilts Bridal Quilting Bees and the Baby Bees. Check it out!
That’s usually good advice for an aspiring novelist, but my day job isn’t all that profitable, either. I teach quiltmaking. I have been teaching for twenty years, and I love it. Teaching is something that blesses me. I also make quilts for sale on etsy or by commission and do some custom dressmaking. Although I learned to sew clothing over forty years ago, I didn’t take up quiltmaking until I was pregnant with my second child. That first quilt was very sweet, with pink and blue lambs on a muslin background. I appliqued the lambs with a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine and used a puffy batting. I decided I enjoyed quiltmaking and started looking for more information. We were living in a tiny farming town in Germany, and it was hard to find calico fabric in the local stores. The Air Force Base Exchange had some fabric, although none of it matched, and they had something even more interesting: a rotary cutter. There weren’t many quilting books in the base library, and they were all too old-fashioned (I was 24), so I used graph paper and colored pencils to design a little wall quilt to insulate the bathroom Read More