It is Thursday and I am linking up to Pretty Bobbins I Quilt linky party. I have just read Gemma blog post about confidence and it has got me thinking. Why are we out own worst critics? 

Recently I have been working on my Midnight at the Oasis. This quilt has been a journey and I am only one border in. I managed to keep up with the QAL and finish 20 orange peel blocks by hand! I have attempted hand applique before but had never even finished one block, so I was a bit chuffed. I was even starting to enjoy handwork and was congratulating myself on a job reasonably well done. That is until....I started sewing them together. My heart sunk, I felt like crying. It just didn't look nice. My orange peels didn't meet up nicely and I felt like giving up. I probably would have done just that, if the lovely peeps of Instagram hadn't encouraged my by their kind comments and likes. 
When I look at this picture I realize my aversion to this quilt it isn't as strong now. I think the problem is in my head. I have a strong idea of how I want my quilts and projects to look and when that doesn't happen, it can be disappointing. It doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't look good though. I have had projects in the past, that half way through I don't like but when I persevere I start to like them again. In fact more often than not I have a crisis of confidence mid way through a project. My hubby is very good as encouraging me to keep going, just another reason to love him. I have had a few days off from my MATO and I am almost ready to start the next border. I will link up with the QAL on Friday (button in my side bar).

When a project is a gift the confidence problem can even be worse. The sunshine cushion above was made as a gift for a friend. I personally love handmade gifts - they cost more than money in a way. They contain time, energy and emotions. But when I am the one giving the gift (Gemma mentioned this too) I worry that it isn't good enough. It helps though is I like something and I happen to like this little cushion.
This cushion is made from parallelograms (I love saying that word) cut quickly and easily using my AccuQuilt Go Baby. I quilted it at first using my walking foot. I echoed the seam lines using the edge of the foot as a guide. I then filled in the spaces between with some of my favourite fillers all inspired very much by the work of Angela Walters.  It is hard to see in the pictures - I used spirals, pebbles, feathers and dense back and forth lines. I have said it before (and not doubt will say it again), cushions (pillows) are a great way to increase skill and boost confidence. I have a few others on the go. They have both been quilted using my walking foot, I just need to make the backs and finish them off. 
Take care and enjoy what you do. If you have fun making something, don't criticize it - love and enjoy it. 



15/11/2013 3:50am

I love them all. Especially the pillow! I love anything yellow. Thanks for sharing your hardship on Midnight at the Oasis, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has problems and feels like crying sometimes. BTW, it's gorgeous!

16/11/2013 1:03am

Thank you Cathy

I am not usually a yellow person but I really enjoyed using it on the cushion. I think we all have low moments when sewing but that is only because we love it so much.

15/11/2013 4:08am

You have so many wonderful projects going on. It's hard to choose a favorite.

16/11/2013 1:04am

Thanks so much. I like to have a few things going at once. Stops me getting bored. Ha!

15/11/2013 5:00am

I think your version of Midnight at the Oasis is gorgeous! You have made me find a new appreciation for yellow and orange :) I do know what you mean about being our worst critics. . .even though many of my orange peels line up nicely - my eyes always lock on the wonky ones :) your cushions and quilting - beautiful!

16/11/2013 1:10am

Thanks for your kind words Caroline. I have always loved orange but hardly ever sew with it. Yellow is new to me though. We should be as kind to ourselves and as encouraging as we are to others. Not critical. In the end though it is the little wonkiness that makes a quilt special.

15/11/2013 10:40am

Great advice! I struggled this week with fabric selection and colour choice and got there in the end. Sometimes it's trusting yourself and just going with it!

16/11/2013 1:15am

Fabric and colour choice has always been a struggle for me. In the beginning I would make quilts completely from one fabric range as I didn't trust myself to mix designers. I found making very scrappy quilts liberating - ones that use 50 or more different fabrics.

15/11/2013 2:41pm

All those quilts are lovely!

16/11/2013 1:16am

Thank you Renee. Thanks for visiting.

16/11/2013 3:37am

your yellow pillow is so cheerful! and your MATO is coming along great, so glad you are happier with it.

16/11/2013 11:10pm

Thanks Sharon

I never have been a yellow fan but have to admit this little project has made me think about using it more, it is just so happy. Thanks for the encouragement regarding my MATO. I am sure I will love it again one day.

16/11/2013 7:55am

Your MAYO is lovely and the cushions are so cheerful - brighten up any room.

16/11/2013 11:11pm

Thank you. I usually like very muted and traditional colours but in the past 12 months have been experimenting with more modern palettes. I have to admit this is the boldest yet.

16/11/2013 8:38am

I love your work! That orange peel medallion is just beautiful - forget about the stress it gave you putting it together, step back and take a look at how vibrant and intricate it looks!

16/11/2013 11:16pm

Hi Jane

That is very kind of you. Sewing stress is easily forgotten. Taking a step back is good advice. Wobbly stitches and mismatched points don't matter when you are snuggled under a quilt.

17/11/2013 12:05pm

You know I love your MATO, and that cushion is gorgeous! You're incredibly talented Jo.

18/11/2013 12:10am

Naww Jess, that is very nice of you to say. I just like to sew! MATO is definitely going to be a special piece in my quilting journey - so many new skills. I will classify my projects as pm (pre - MATO) or am (after - MATO) lol!

18/11/2013 5:29am

Love, love, love your MATO so far... such interesting fabrics and colors. It's wonderful. Can't wait to see what you do with the next border. :)

18/11/2013 11:32pm

Thank you so much Terri. I am really not sure what to choose next and have been procrastinating. I must try not to over think it.

19/11/2013 11:01pm

Great post Jo! Very insightful. I love both the cushion and the quilt in progress :) I used to not like setting projects aside as I would lose motivation but now I think I sometimes need to set a project aside so I can come back and see what it really looks like rather than what I see in the heat of the moment. Having said that, I'm currently pushing through my current wip as I want to move onto something else ;) thanks for linking up!!

20/11/2013 10:16pm

Thanks Gemma

Stepping back is good sometimes, though there is always the risk it may not get picked up again. I have a few of them! Sometimes all that is needed is to sleep on it.

Thanks again for your weekly party - it makes me blog more often and think about what it is I love about quilting.


23/11/2013 5:37am

A little bit of sunshine is the perfect name. I love this pillow. Nice :)


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