I show little snippets of my garden on IG here and there, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever talked about it here. I really don’t know what I’m doing out there. I’ve been gardening for about five years now and I’m still in the dark. I piddle. I pull weeds. I add soil and mulch. I water it daily. It’s a shade garden and I’ve learned some expensive lessons about what plants not to buy.
This year though it’s starting to really come together. It’s still a baby garden. I only have very small plants, except for my two large ones. Everything looks like a baby, so I call it my baby garden. This past week I transplanted many of the plants from the back, and brought them closer in. They were small plants and never should have been planted in the back, but I didn’t know any better when I planted them. I just jumped in and started without any kind of knowing, except the knowing that I loved my hands covered in dirt and that I love to sit and stare at my work afterwards.
This is exactly the way I started my quilt making. I just jumped in.
I made so many ugly quilts. I didn’t know there were methods that could make things easier or better. I knew nothing, except that I loved playing with the fabric and sewing it together.
I get lots of emails asking for help for this or that, about how I learned, about pairing fabrics. I always answer these emails and offer up what I know, but the truth is that the real learning comes from jumping in and getting your hands dirty, it comes from doing it.
Buy a pattern. Work through it. You may end up with an ugly quilt, but you’ll love it anyway. You will learn something from that ugly quilt. You will learn from the quilt with the busted seams, the one with the wonky blocks, the one with the fabric choices you later think were awful.
These “mess ups” are not mess ups at all. There is valuable learning within them. They are practice. Every quilter has them.
And hopefully for me and my garden, every gardener starts with a baby garden and plants that need transplanting because they were too small to go in the back. 🙂
Once you get your hands dirty, take a class or two or several. I took several online classes and even the classes I wasn’t thrilled with, I always managed to find little nuggets that were game changing for me. I vividly remember watching a video class and seeing a quilter chain piece and just palm faced myself, “how did I not know that?”. It’s like this with almost every class I ever took and every quilt I ever made.
Takes classes when you can, yes, but keep making anyway, even when you can’t take a class or just don’t want to. Make all the quilts!
If you are interested, I do offer Patchwork + Make, a full bodied class I made in 2019. It assumes you know nothing and starts from there working through making your first quilt.
This fall I have plans on working on a few bit sized classes of topics I get asked about often: putting fabrics together, seams meeting up, things of that nature. But feel free to email me if you are struggling. I’m always happy to help.
And here’s a pic of the baby garden in case you are curious….
Patchwork + Make (a class for learning to quilt)
- Made especially for brand new quilters
- Comes with two quilt patterns: The Good Girl quilt and The Evening Walk quilt (the latter is exclusive to this class)
- You will learn: About sewing machines, how to work a sewing machine, a list of basic supplies, quilters terminology, all basic quilting skills, how to read a quilt pattern, how to make each of the blocks in the sampler quilt, how to cut backing and batting fabric, how to wall baste your quilt, how to meander quilt and how to machine bind a quilt
- Sampler blocks will include skills such as: half square triangles, square in a square blocks, hourglass blocks, flying geese, snowball blocks, log cabins, half rectangle triangles and turning blocks on point.
- There are 24 lessons in this class
- 3 hours worth of video tutorials including video tutorials for every step of the way for the Evening Walk quilt
- Class is set up to come to you by email. Once you purchase, you’ll receive a downloadable PDF where you will click and sign yourself up to the email subscription. Be sure to double opt in to get the classes started (check your spam folder if you don’t receive anything immediately).
- An email will arrive to you every few days on a set schedule, but you can also go at your own pace
Doris Barile says
Your garden looks good but your quilts are beautiful!!
That is the way to build the most beautiful garden, natural and “unplanned”! You can move things around when they get too big, and enlarge the garden also ! I enjoy reading your blog and follow your teaching style well on your videos.
ThNk you so much!