East Dakota Quilter

Quilting Happiness: Finding Your Quilting Style


I am selective about the books and magazines I buy related to sewing, probably because I’d prefer to spend my money on fabric! However, a new book called Quilting Happiness is coming out soon, and I became excited since reading about it on some of the blogs I follow.*

The book features a creative exercise to hone your understanding of your quilting style. You look through a few books and magazines–they need not be related to quilting, but from personal experience, I do not suggest using many lawyer magazines because the photos are BLAND–and pull your favorite images for a collage. Looking at the photos, you try to identify common themes. There is Blog Hop, but I just did this on my own for fun. Here’s my collage:


At first, it seemed there were two distinct styles emerging: rustic/farm and modern/bright. Since I couldn’t define my preferences into a single style, I started listing features of images I didn’t like side-by-side with the images I preferred.

quilting and image preferences

With the list, I realized it didn’t matter whether the images were rustic or modern: I still preferred de-cluttered, clean lines–like the ones in Thomas Edison’s lab. I preferred images with either one central focus (a line of galoshes) or “anything goes” images (the lab full of stuff) over those that fell somewhere in between.

Not only did I not select any asymmetrical quilts for my collage, I even exercised OCD in repositioning some of the images I chose! The maximum angle I am comfortable using hovers around 19 degrees. : ) I haven’t been able to reconcile this with the fact I was okay using a manilla folder when I didn’t have any paper handy. No OCD there!

Interestingly, I selected images that (for me at least) indicate a challenge. The postage stamp quilt is comprised of simple squares, but I find palettes challenging and liked the one in the photo. I played violin for 12 years and want to improve my wrist position. The CD/record quilt uses reverse appliqué; appliqué is a technique I hope to try soon!

Finally, I was drawn to images that were somehow nostalgic, historical, or sentimental. The fox and raccoon stuffed animals reminded me of a bear my aunt made me when I was little. I spent my childhood reading and love books; I started writing a novel when I was about 7 years old on an old typewriter and am therefore in love with Julie Rothman’s fabric.

I made this collage because I thought looking through a bunch of images sounded fun. I was surprised I actually learned some things about myself. Try the exercise and see if you do, too!

*I don’t have a copy of the book and did not get paid to write this. I do find the advice of some of my favorite bloggers is spot-on and hope the book is as good as it looks.

6 thoughts on “Quilting Happiness: Finding Your Quilting Style

  1. Greenfield Village – Edison’s Menlo Park Lab. Next time you’re here.

  2. Thank you so much for trying out the creative exercise from our upcoming book! I’ll add your link to our blog hop linky. I love that you made this on a file folder – what an awesome idea. And I love how serene your collage feels. It’s great to acknowledge that you like right angles and symmetry, and work with that – there’s real freedom, I think, in embracing our own styles!

    • Wow! Thanks! The exercise was so much fun… even if I did find images that didn’t make the cut stuck to the back of my office paperwork the rest of the day. 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful and insightful collage evaluation. It is a huge help to me in evaluating my own collages. I am such a dabbler and always find so much that appeals that my collection of scraps can be quite intimidating and confusing. Thanks to you i am already making headway!

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