I've been thinking a lot lately about what my ultimate reasons are for doing what I do. While it is nice to make money with a business, there are other factors that are just as important to me. When I was younger and deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up, art quilting didn't make the list, I hadn't even heard of it. I love to teach, so I got a degree in elementary education, and planned to teach until I had kids, then planned to be a full time mom. Due to scheduling difficulties in college, I ended up scrapping my music minor and taking a few sewing classes just for fun. As it turned out, my first job after college was sewing, not teaching. I did eventually teach for three years, which I loved, but the sewing job for 4 years was like another college education, I learned so much. I had no intention of homeschooling my kids either, but that has been a huge blessing, and I still get to teach. I'm also teaching at a quilt shop, and I think I like the teaching aspect of sewing as much as the actual creating. I have a huge desire to see people learning and growing, and doing more than they thought they could do. Writing patterns is really another way of teaching someone, so I think that is why I like doing that.
I have found that the biggest obstacle people have to doing most things is lack of confidence, rather than lack of ability. Sometimes a little encouragement, and a little information is all they need. My goal for my newest batch of patterns/kits, is to make it possible for people to make something they didn't think they could make, which is a great confidence builder.
There are sometimes different camps of opinion when it comes to using recycled vs. new fabrics, inexpensive vs. more expensive fabrics, hand vs. machine quilting, etc. My opinion on all of those is that there is room for everyone, and I am not a purist about any of those things, it all has value. Having said that, however, I choose to use high quality fabrics in my kits, because it increases the odds of success for people... the better the materials, the better the final results. Because of this, and because my designs use lots of different fabrics (the leaf quilt has 18, and Starr Fabrics are $18 a yard), it would be very expensive for people to buy even a quarter yard of each when they only need a little strip. So my kits are a very economical way to use nice fabric, you only pay for exactly what you need. They also use an unconventional construction method that is very beginner friendly, they look much more difficult than they are.
So, my ultimate goal is to help people move beyond where they are now, if they have a desire to do so. If someone is perfectly content doing things they way they always have, that's fine too. But I know there are always people who "wish they could" do what they see other people doing; I want to help those people see they can do more than they think. I'd like to have a couple of options on my patterns also, so quilters can have their choice of a simpler or more complicated version. It's so much fun to see how excited people get when they do something they thought they couldn't!
And maybe when my kids are grown, (and they're getting close!) I can travel around the country and do classes too, that is definitely on my wish list! :-)
Now, where do you fit? Are you one of those fearless people who likes to try everything, one who wants to do more but lacks confidence or knowledge, or are completely content to do what you have always done? (Or something else that I didn't think of.... :-) )
Beret Nelson's On The Trail Creations Blog Page
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and am starting to do more traveling and teaching. I also have many tutorials, including some on YouTube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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