Make Quilting Even More Fun with 'Quilting Happiness'

Does quilting make you happy? Assuming the answer is yes, then what is it that makes you happy? Being elbows-deep in fabulous fabrics? Becoming one with the sewing machine as it hums out quilting stitches? Designing the quilt?
Cross-stitch quilt from
Quilting Happiness.

Are there some aspects of quilting that sap your energy or that you avoid, leaving you with a stack of UFOs and a headful of guilt?

Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland want you to enjoy your quilting process to the fullest, and so they've put together a book called Quilting Happiness: Projects, Inspiration & Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful.

In addition to the projects, Christina and Diane have provided happiness-related goodies: creative exercises, useful tools you can make, inspiring stories, questions to get you journaling, and practices to increase your enjoyment of quilting. The book is set up so that you can take the chapters in order or plunge in anywhere.

I especially like the tips and exercises aimed at giving you permission to make quilts work for you. For example, "Sometimes you see a quilt design you really love, but your skills aren't up to it yet. There are lots of simple ways to modify a pattern so it fits your quilting style right now," the authors write, offering these tips:

  • If you're feeling intimidated by a complex pattern, why not just make half of it-or even a quarter or just one block? (Turn it into a baby quilt, tote bag, place mat, etc.)
  • If the notion of coming up with a color scheme for a quilt intimidates you, just reduce the number of colors you use. Or use a solid background and one print.
  • If a quilt involves curved seams but you're not proficient at them yet, just cut curved shapes from fabric and fuse them to a base block.
  • If you aren't comfortable with free-motion quilting in intricate patterns, try tie quilting or cross stitches.
  • If you're not a big fan of measuring and precision, make the patterns in a wonky style so unmatched points and crooked edges become part of the design?

Just having permission to relax and enjoy the patterns and projects in Quilting Happiness make me happy!

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