Thursday, April 25, 2013

Entering Quilt Shows...It's the deadline that kills you!

Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.

I sometimes think that if I didn't have a deadline, none of my own quilts would ever get done.  Exactly two weeks from today my two entries are due at a quilt show.  They are not quilted.  They are not done. And yet here I am on my computer...

My first quilt show entry.
When I entered my first national quilt show in 2002 (Wearable Art at MQS) I was done with the whole project in plenty of time.  Got the entry form in on time, got the pics done and sent the disk.  There was no stress.  There were no 3 AM sewing room marathons.  There was no frantic call to some overnight shipping company.  For 11 years I have made the deadline (most of the time) and been rewarded for my efforts. 

Just yesterday I saw a post of friend on facebook talking about a crazy deadline for an upcoming show.  I jokingly said I could relate and that I think they are called deadlines because you die trying to make them.  

Ask any show promoter and they will no doubt agree that quilters either think things take way less time than they do, or that we are all procrastinators!  I'm going with the first! 

Last night I was on line chatting with a friend. A quilter.  When I said I had to go I mentioned that I had to go work on my quilt show entries. His response was "Oh I would never be brave enough to put my quilts in a show."

I was a little surprised to hear that, but totally understood where he was coming from. Many people have that fear.  The fear that their work will be looked at with a critical eye, or that the one flaw you see every time you look at the quilt will be the first thing others see too. Or the fear that their quilt won't measure up. Or that they can't stand to see the "report card" they know is coming.  But I think it is something else. I think it is the fear of making the deadline ☺!

When you have been to as many national shows as I have you see things you can hardly believe.  I have seen quilters cry or throw a tantrum when they didn't win. I have seen them get up from a show awards presentation and storm out.  I have seen them discussing the outcome loudly in the lobby - and not in a nice way.  The made the deadline and it didn't matter. So you see again, it's the deadline!

On the flip side I have seen pure joy that comes when you just can't believe that you won. The excitement that comes when your name is called. I have experienced that first hand.  You truly are shocked. Shocked that you got the quilt in on time and that some judge liked it. Again, with that deadline.

Vintage Union~Two For The Money
By Linda M. Thielfoldt
First quilt I won Blue with!

But what I think keeps people from entering is the deadline!!!☺

You have to get the quilt done. End of story.

Yep, it's the deadline!

Excuse me while I go pull another all-nighter.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Coming undone at the seams...

This week has been a challenging one for America.

The unthinkable thing has happened...both in Boston and in TX and more close to home, right here in MI.  

For those of you that know me, you know that my faith in God is at the very foundation of who I am. It's what makes all the rest matter to me.  It's what I try to live by.  It's what gets me through stuff.  Hard stuff.  Stuff like someone doing something they never imagined they could do (running THE marathon) and being struck down by hate in the process. Stuff like a guy going to work to take care of his family and never coming home again.  Stuff like a little boy standing along side the biggest race in the country to watch something many runners dream about doing, only to leave his family behind. And just today changed my former SIL's life as she was hit by a drunk driver while she had stopped to help a co-worker stranded on the side of the road.

I've been muddling around all day.  Can't seem to focus on much for very long and I find myself just trying to keep busy.  

For me one of the most comforting gifts God gave me was my ability to make quilts.   To immerse myself in color and fabric and digging deep within myself to tap my creativity has been my solace for so many years.  

Alternatives For Girls Shelter Quilts - Myself along with three friends spearheaded the project to make 35 quilts for a girls shelter in Detroit.  We had a lot of help and this shows the result of 5 months of work from many hands!  Left to right: Janet Rose, me, Karen Lieberman and Cathy McIntee.
It's helped me deal with hard stuff so many times. Got me through cancer twice.  Loss of family members. Helped me support our nations brightest and best serving our country. Brought joy to a young girl living in a shelter.  Brought me many friends.  Provided a way to make a living. Given me a vehicle to share what I love. Given me a chance to make a difference - no matter how small.

Quilt of Valor for Alex Knapp
So tonight I head to my sewing room, not to work on my quilt show entry in spite of a looming deadline.  Not to work on a quilt for my book.  No tonight I will be starting a new quilt, one for my SIL, something pretty.  Something that will help ease the pain of broken limbs and body and maybe in some small way offer comfort in a way that I cannot.

Quilting has been the thing that I can channel my energy into when I feel like I'm coming apart at the seams.  

It is time alone with just me, the machine, the fabric and my conversations with God.  

May quilting be for you what it has been for me.....something to keep you busy during the hard stuff and in the process help you to bless others when you are the one coming apart at the seams.  

Pray for each other and our nation.  ~ Linda

1 Peter 4:10-11 God has given gifts to each of you...


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the wee hours...

Do you ever have such a burst of creativity that you just sew and sew and sew with little regard to the time?  I love those!  Hubs was out of town last night so my usual time triggers were not in know when the game is over and the news comes on or when he switches to the weather channel to check out what the morning will look like?
Spencer in the box made just for the boys.

I was blissfully sewing away in my little spot of heaven all evening after dinner. The quilt I was working on was going together just as I imagined and before I knew it the clock said it was I figured I would just work until I got the borders on...

Bazinga!  Next thing I know the clock said 3:00 AM!!  Holy cow!  I got into bed and was not the least bit tired.

I love the quilt but my alarm going off at 7 was not a welcome sound.  Ah the price we pay to feed our creative souls!!!

I would share the photo of the quilt but it is part of my super secret project...stay tuned!

Monday, April 15, 2013


Welcome!!  As a maker of quilts for almost 40 years I figured it was time to finally get my blog up and running! It has been on my to-do list for just about forever! I started out making quilts for family (my niece Becky got the first one) and then moved on to friends and co-workers and then to selling them at craft shows and art fairs.  Soon I realized that I was never going to get all the quilts done at the rate I was hand quilting them, so I started to quilt them on my domestic machine.  It only took a couple of dozen trips to the Chiropractor to realize that something had to change.  I bought a longarm machine and had no idea how my life was about to change.

I entered my first quilt competition in 2002 and had no idea where that would take me.  Over 85 ribbons later I am still humbled at the positive response my work has received at major shows around the country. Here I am almost a decade and a half later and while I still quilt for others (who are willing to wait a ridiculous amount of time) I spend a great deal of time sharing what I love at major quilt shows and guilds across the country.

As someone who has had a hard time following the rules for most of her life, I designed most of the quilts I made over the years.  When teaching I would often get asked "Where did you get that pattern?" or "Can I buy that pattern?" when students would see my quilts. After a couple of years of that I decided it was time to launch my own pattern line.  (I know I can be a tad slow at times.)  In addition to the pattern line to actually make the quilts I also sell digital patterns for the quilting of the quilts. 

I plan to utilize this blog to share my experiences across the country, photos of interesting quilts I find along the way and an occasional picture of my family - especially the furry members.

So I hope you will join me along the way and thanks for stopping by.... 

kindest regards ~ Linda T.