March is for Crafting
Since 1994, March has been designated as National Craft Month. It is a great time for people of all ages to rediscover and enjoy a craft you used to do, improve on one you do presently, or perhaps try your hand at something totally new to you. You never know what you can do or might enjoy doing until you try it!
There are a variety of craft projects that can be completed in an hour or two and others that can be enjoyed over days or weeks. There is virtually something for every age- everything from painting, paper crafting and scrapbooking, knitting, sewing and quilting, to woodworking.
Some of the crafting I do incorporates a couple of craft elements in one project, like embroidering and water-coloring a birthday card. There are some crafts I enjoy, but don't do as often: making a scrapbook page, glass etching for graduation or wedding gifts, or creating a new floral arrangement for holidays.
Trying new things might be a little intimidating. I think many of us put ourselves in a box of what we can or can't do when we see what others accomplish. I did that when it came to quilting. I guess you could say it was out of my comfort zone.
My grandmother made amazing quilts - by hand! Her handwork looked as lovely on the back as it did on the front - Talk about a hard act to follow! I knew from my early attempts of handwork, I preferred using my sewing machine, and thinking hand stitching was the only "right way" to quilt, I didn't even think other options were allowed. So, I tried other crafts and kept to my sewing machine. Then I discovered machine embroidery!
What joy, I was hooked!
The big surprise came when I was introduced to quilts with machine embroidered blocks. Up until then, I had been embroidering on towels, clothing, and home décor items. Then I kept seeing quilts that incorporated embroidery designs. One day, I spotted a wall quilt that I REALLY wanted to recreate exactly as it was; however, it had a lot of angles and "beyond your first quilt" elements.
It was at that point I wanted to learn, and started by taking a basic quilting class.
I knew it would be best to learn the basics to get me going in the right direction. Learning the rules so everything comes together at the end is really important; it got me off to a great start and gave me the confidence to build more skills. The basic rules are there for the best outcome, which is what I wanted. There are also rules and guidelines that many quilting groups/organizations have in place, so it would be best to learn and follow the basic rules from the beginning if you want to enter contests or have continuity when working with others in a group.
Yes, I made the quilt that inspired me to learn a new skill! It was the first of many, and I am so glad that I ventured out of my comfort zone and gave it a try.
Talking with others about what they have learned and enjoy is also a great resource for me. In many of those discussions, I discovered that there are options that can be used in both the construction and completion in quilt making. The basics still apply, but I now have the freedom to embellish and create things that bring me joy as well!
Today we have so many more opportunities and resources than ever before to learn just about anything! This month is a great time to do some crafting! Check with your local sewing shop or craft store to see what kinds of things they might be offering. There are also several crafting sites that are offering special classes this month, look around and see what you might like to try.
I hope you are inspired to let your creative (or recreative) juices flow, relax, and have fun making something for you or someone special!
Sandra of Inspired Remnants LLC