11 things I’ve learned in 11 years

Blocks Quilt, from the book Growing Up Modern

(Blocks quilt, from my book)

 

This month is my 11 year blogging anniversary.  To celebrate this blog lasting as long as it has…I thought I’d share some throwback quilt photos and share “11 things I’ve learned in 11 years”!

Lucky Crib Quilt

(Lucky Crib Quilt with low volumes)

 

1. Embrace the creative lulls.

Some weeks I am whipping up quilt patterns, banging out a few quilts, and overflowing with creative ideas. Other weeks I barely move from bed to couch to bed in yoga pants, with a book and a bag of popcorn from Costco. Rest days are just as important as creative days, so let yourself enjoy nothingness without beating yourself up about it.  Just roll with it!

Bits and Pieces Quilt

(Out of the block pile quilt)

 

2. Create for yourself.

If you always create for yourself you will always like what you create. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made something because I thought it would appeal to a certain audience…and it turned out blah and I regretted it.  This was the reason I stopped sewing and designing to promote new collections for fabric manufacturers years ago…it felt forced, and I’m certain it showed in my finished work.  When I’m feeling like I can’t pinpoint my style or I’m feeling swayed by social media, I take a break from Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and just enjoy playing with fabric. 

Juice Boxes Quilt

(Juice Boxes Quilt)

 

3. You can learn how to do it on YouTube.

Want to know how I learned how to use my camera? YouTube.  Start and customize my blog? YouTube.  Use Photoshop? YouTube.  Create patterns for fabric designs in Illustrator? YouTube.  Set up an email newsletter for my blog? YouTube.  Clean my sewing machine? YouTube.  Cut up a potato into french fries? YouTube. There is no excuse to not learn something new!  We are so blessed to have amazing resources right at our fingertips if they are used correctly (there is also SO MUCH JUNK so filter and use good judgment!).   

Scrappy Bulls eye Quilt Tutorial

(Ryan’s Quilt, full tutorial can be found here, and don’t worry the garland was only for the photo!)

 

4. Let it go.

When I received my first mean comment I was crushed. I don’t even remember the comment, but I do remember my complete over reaction to it (drama queen!). Last week I received a super rude email. I sent her back the nicest email like she was my favorite person in the entire world, and then I deleted her email and went on with my day. I learned a long time ago that I cannot succeed if I take everything personally, or let everything become personal.  Treat negativity with kindness, and let it go.  Don’t think about it, and don’t dwell on it!

Pink Hourglass Baby Quilt Tutorial

(Pink Hourglass quilt tutorial and baby Sophie!)

 

5. My only competition is me.  

When I gave up competing with other people in all aspects of my life, my life became so much better.  I definitely still feel a twinge of jealously or “I should be doing more!” now and then, but I can quickly remind myself that I am only trying to be better than I was yesterday.  Once I stopped feeling competitive towards others I could just be happy and excited for them instead, which is such a better feeling! 

Ben's Quilt

(Ben’s Quilt, one of my very first quilts and my first twin size)

 

6. Mistakes are learning curves.

I hate this one because I really hate making mistakes, but I’ve also learned to relax and not freak out when I do.  Maybe it’s a perk of being older and wiser, but my reaction to making mistakes has changed.  I no longer freak out, beat myself up, and let it ruin my mood.  Instead I can just accept that it happened, figure out how to fix it, and let it go without letting myself dwell on it.  Mistakes are how we learn, so if I remember that I can be thankful for the learning experience, even when it’s hard! 

Scrappy Chevron Quilt

(Scrappy Chevron Quilt)

 

7. Vulnerability = Growth

I have had so many scary, vulndrable growing experiences over the past 11 years.  So many times teaching, speaking, releasing new patterns or books or fabric, exhibiting at Quilt Market, selling at retail shows, doing book signings, figuring out how to have a business and do my dang taxes…and every time I can feel fear and doubt start to creep in.  A little bit of scary is good for me, and through it I’ve grown into a completely different person than I would have been without those experiences! 

Sprocket Pillow free pattern
(Sprocket Pillows Tutorial)

 

8. I can do anything, but I can’t do everything.

After dabbling in a lot of different things I’ve learned what I’m good or not good at, and what I really don’t enjoy. For example I get asked all the time when I will write a second book…and honestly? I just don’t enjoy writing books! Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but for now I stick to what I love with the precious time I have.  It’s easy to feel like I need to do EVERYTHING and be awesome at EVERYTHING…and it’s just not possible.  So instead I pick a couple of things and I work on being good at those, and the rest is “good enough,” and I keep my sanity.  

Pow Wow Quilt in Take a Hike fabrics

(Pow Wow Quilt in Take a Hike fabrics)

 

9. Celebrate creative differences.

Don’t judge others or their creative work.  Only celebrate differences and artistic expression, as I hope others will do for me. Creativity in all it’s forms is beautiful even if it’s not “my thing” and I appreciate it all.  This isn’t really something I learned, because I’ve always felt this way and believed this, but it’s always a good reminder.

Coin Baby Quilt

(Coin Quilt Top)

 

10. I will never have time, so stop waiting for it and make it.

A couple of years ago I realized that I was saying “I don’t have time!” about a hundred times a day….to my friends/family/husband/ kids/and work people.  Just cutting that out of my vocabulary made a ginormous difference in my life!   For all 11 years, everything I do is done in 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and during blessed nap times (which are becoming rare!).  More gets done during those slivers of time because I have to focus and hustle.  I also have to be picky about what I choose to fill my time with.   When I’m feeling like I have “no time”, I can almost always blame it on too much phone/tv/a good book/folding laundry (folding my boys laundry is a total waste of time!).  

Modern Meadow Improv Quilt

(Modern Meadow Improv Quilt – no pattern)

 

11. Gratitude is everything.

  I go on a walk almost every day, and in my mind while I’m walking, I list things small to big that I’m thankful for.  It’s helped me feel less overwhelmed, more mindful, and more happy.  Learning how to go with the flow, be more mindful,  and live in gratitude are probably the greatest things I’ve learned since I started writing this blog 11 years ago.  None of them I necessarily learned from starting this blog, but it was certainly part of the journey!  It will always be a work in progress but hopefully in 11 more years I will be even better at it. 

Red Quilt

(Red Quilt Tutorial)

Thank you for taking this blogging journey with me for the past 11 years.  I still enjoy quilting, sharing, and blogging just as much as I did then, and hopefully I will continue to love it for many years to come!  

 

 

 

 

223 Responses to 11 things I’ve learned in 11 years

  1. Ellen Patton July 24, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    Good lessons learned! Thanks for the patterns!!

  2. Hettie Pringle July 24, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    What an amazing and uplifting post. I need to read this frequently. Thanks!

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 8:54 am #

      I’m so glad you found it uplifting and thank you for visiting!

  3. Robin July 24, 2018 at 7:10 am #

    What a beautiful post. These lessons can apply to all walks of life, but the one that seems to hurt the hearts of quilters the most is …. the comparison game. It’s a joy stealer. When I stopped comparing my work with others, I found a happiness in my work and a contentment that made me want to create more. Thank you for sharing your hard learned lessons. Blessings to you.

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 8:55 am #

      YES….it’s hard but so worth it to just stop comparing!!! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Tracey July 24, 2018 at 7:17 am #

    Awesome post that I should probably read each and every day! Thanks so much!! All of your quilts are so beautiful.

  5. Tanya Quilts in CO July 24, 2018 at 7:18 am #

    Great advice! I love your patterns and color choices–you are a big inspiration for me.

  6. Linda at Roscoe's Ma July 24, 2018 at 7:28 am #

    This is such a sweet post. #11 is definitely the best. How anyone could ever be rude to YOU is beyond me. So happy you can deal with it is such a positive way. Enjoyed seeing some of your quilts again. How did those kid grow up so fast!?!?! Happy blogiversary!

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

      They did grow up SO fast! Time marches on! Thanks for visiting!

  7. lizrehrauerLiz Rehrauer July 24, 2018 at 7:42 am #

    What a thoughtful post. It’s all good advice, but the one that rings true for me is #2 – create for me. I’m happiest when sewing with my favorite colors and fabrics and patterns. I sew it because I like it. Wallflowers was the first fabric collection I used for an entire quilt and it is still my favorite quilt (it sits proudly on my mother’s bed). Thanks for blogging and creating fabric lines and patterns ( I have more than a few…).

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

      Oh I love that! Wallflowers was my first and is so special to me!

  8. charlotte m. July 24, 2018 at 7:46 am #

    Lovely post. Thank you for sharing so much here. Your beautiful work inspires me to keep on creating. Your eleven things inspire me to try and be better at those same things, many of which were already on my radar. Thank you.

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

      I’m so glad Charlotte! They take some constant work but I’m always trying to be better at them too!

  9. Sandy July 24, 2018 at 8:11 am #

    Lesson #8 “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything” resonates with me. I am thankful for my talents (#11 gratitude) yet I do not have to prove myself by trying everything (#5 competition). Actually, your entire post resonates! Thank you for taking the time to share these lessons with us readers. It was a good reminder for my own thoughts, my own life. Sandy at sewhigh.blogspot.com

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

      I’m so glad Sandy! Gratitude is an amazing talent to have!

  10. Anja @ Anja Quilts July 24, 2018 at 8:12 am #

    All great lessons. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on 11 years.

  11. rl2b2017 July 24, 2018 at 8:13 am #

    Oh, such sweet pictures. I love all of them with babies and children adorning your quilts. What a wonderful post, and big congrats on 11 years of your blog and sharing your quilting journey. Happy Tuesday! ~smile~ Roseanne

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

      Happy Tuesday to you too and thanks for visiting!

  12. Jocelyn July 24, 2018 at 8:16 am #

    This is a fantastic post, and some great lessons. I love reading about your beautiful quilts, and your family, and how you find time to do it all. I used to quilt a lot, but now spend most of my time knitting, and yours is the only quilting blog that I still subscribe to, because I love seeing what you make and I love watching your children grow up. Whenever I meet someone new to quilting I always point them to your blog. When I move to a forever (retirement) home, I’d love it to be a cottage by the water done up mostly in white with quilts inspired by your patterns and color palettes everywhere!

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm #

      That is the sweetest compliment ever Jocelyn…and when you get ready to move to your forever home, tell me so I can send you a quilt to hang on your wall!! Thank you for subscribing for all these years!

  13. Jeni July 24, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    So many wonderful, thoughtful nuggets in here. You were such an inspiration for me when I first started growing my business, and continue to be an inspiration today! You are one of the nicest people I’ve met in this industry. Thank you and Happy 11 years!!

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

      Nice is always my goal so I’m glad you feel that way!! Thank you for visiting!!

  14. In The Boon Docks July 24, 2018 at 8:26 am #

    The whole post was upbeat and uplifting! It is all true! Congratulations on hanging in there! I loved all your creative endeavors!

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

      I’m so glad and thank you!

  15. Martha Cook July 24, 2018 at 8:28 am #

    Thank you for sharing your experiences about the quilting process . We must not get hung up on time, mistakes, comparing,etc . Just enjoy why we are even quilting.

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

      Yes! The goal is to enjoy the process!!

  16. farmhousequiltsblog July 24, 2018 at 8:31 am #

    I love this post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As a blogger of almost 3 years I find myself comparing me and my accomplishments to others and wonder if I should just give up because there is no way I am as talented or accomplished as them. But I love blogging and I like sharing my creative pursuits and so I will just do it for ME ;).

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm #

      It’s so hard to learn that lesson when you are starting, so good for you for already being aware of it and working on just blogging for YOU!!

  17. Bland McPherson July 24, 2018 at 8:33 am #

    Best. Darn. Post. Ever.

  18. Cocoa Quilts July 24, 2018 at 8:41 am #

    Thanks for this post. It is great to hear simple lessons that you can use in so many places in your life. Hope for another 11!!

  19. thatfabricfeelingcom July 24, 2018 at 8:44 am #

    What a great post! Thanks for the life lessons.

  20. Sheila Otte July 24, 2018 at 8:45 am #

    Wow! Love. This, Post. I am amazed with all that you do as a young mom and so appreciate you sharing not just your quilt patterns but your inspiration, thoughtfulness, and adorable children. Happy 11th blggiversary!

  21. Barbara July 24, 2018 at 8:49 am #

    What a great post! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over the years. I’m inspired by how much you get accomplished with young children at home!

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

      Most days it’s a challenge to get anything done…but somehow it gets done eventually! ;)

  22. Lily July 24, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    Well, voice of reason is rare on blogs, so these bits of wisdom and honesty are refreshing and sure to be useful.
    Number 2 is a good one. I think you could also say create as if for yourself… meaning put as much care and love in your gift project as you would for yourself (or someone close). quality of work should always matter.
    As for negative comments, well, sometimes I wonder how can one enjoy reading dozens of praising, admiring, and shallow replies that often sound the same?… So for a change you hear something different…and it may be some criticism or it may be meanness. Either way as they are coming from strangers they have everything to do with their state of mind and very little with you. Shortly, ‘negative’ encounters teach us and help us grow much more than all the praise in the world.

    • Allison July 24, 2018 at 5:11 pm #

      Yes Lily! Perfect addition to #2! Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment…I loved reading it!

  23. dawn at firstlightdesigns July 24, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    One of the best blog posts EVER!! Great advice for new and experienced quilters. Thank you!

  24. Jocelyn July 24, 2018 at 8:55 am #

    Wise words from 11 years years of learning. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Linda B July 24, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    What a lovely journey you have been on. May we all learn as much as you have!! Thanks for sharing so much with us. Nomaste!!

  26. Lourdes Ibarra July 24, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    Your 11 tips apply to more than just quilting! I love it. So much to be grateful for. I’m grateful for artists like you!

  27. Amber July 24, 2018 at 9:03 am #

    I LOVE this post! I know all this, but don’t always remember it! Thanks!

  28. pmfowl July 24, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    11 Lessons to Live By… for all of us! Congratulations on your 11 year Anniversary and thank you sooo much for continuing and sharing your blogging journey with us!

  29. Barbara July 24, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    Great lessons and beautiful quilts. What more could I ask for this morning. I am older and wiser now and have learned most of these things too. But to be reminded today will make a difference in my life. And the quilts give me inspiration to make something new. Thank you ☺️

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm #

      I’m so glad! Thanks for reading!

  30. Mary July 24, 2018 at 9:36 am #

    So glad I stopped working to read your blog post posted today; due to many issues in my life right now the thing that provided so much joy and peace to me…my creativity, which seems to have taken a holiday and I am feeling the loss. I will take your words to heart and understand that it will return and I will be ready for it. Thank you for your wisdom and for sharing it.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm #

      We all go through those phases and it can be so frustrating! Hang in there and read/listen/watch uplifting things…it will return!

  31. Karen Seitz July 24, 2018 at 9:37 am #

    Each one of these lessons is a gift to the reader. Thanks for sharing them and for sharing your talent with us!

  32. Jude Jones July 24, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    Al, you have been such a huge inspiration to me and I appreciate it so much! Thank you for your friendship and support over the years! You have made a difference in my life for the better and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! And your patterns are pretty great too! And so is this blog post!!! XO XO

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:46 pm #

      Awe thanks Jude! You’ve been with me through most of these years I can remember!! I hope you are doing well!

  33. Little Quiltsong July 24, 2018 at 9:53 am #

    Loved your post and your 11 items learned! Thank you I need to save this – to check back to again :)! Have loved your patterns since first coming into contact with them!

  34. abydolinger July 24, 2018 at 10:05 am #

    Thanks for sharing the 11 things you have learned. Applause for all you have accomplished in the past 11 years!

  35. sue July 24, 2018 at 10:14 am #

    Your list would make a very good “word” quilt! Number 10 spoke to me. TFS

  36. Andrea July 24, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    Bless you for the beautiful post… it was so thoughtful and refreshing. Thankyou.

  37. Marianne July 24, 2018 at 11:14 am #

    I love this post. I like how it applies to non-quilting things also, to life in general! Thank you, well done!

  38. Betsy July 24, 2018 at 11:27 am #

    I enjoyed reading this post. Several of your patterns are my “go-to’s” for baby quilts.

  39. Kay July 24, 2018 at 11:29 am #

    Congratulations on your first 11 years!! Thank you for a beautiful post, it resonated with me on many levels. x

  40. Ellen in North FL July 24, 2018 at 11:33 am #

    Thanks so much for 11 years and this wonderful post. I’ve made a few of your quilts and admired so many of them. I especially like “I can do anything but I can’t do everything” wisdom.

  41. Sue H July 24, 2018 at 11:55 am #

    I’m so glad I found your blog. You are inspirational, creative, and such a positive person. Thank you.

  42. Debbie Lee July 24, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

    Love your blog, ideas patterns and your decorating. I have followed you about 10 years which I can’t even believe. Thanks so much.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

      10 years is such a long time! It went by in a flash though didn’t it?! Thanks for reading for that long!

  43. Susan July 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

    Happy blogaversary month. I enjoyed the “quilt show” and the lessons you learned. Good for all of us.

  44. Betty Ayers July 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    Happy 11th Anniversary! I’ve been following you for so long now I don’t remember and probably even took some breaks along the way. Have loved watching your girls come along and seeing you grow. You’re one of the few constants I love hearing from or about online – thanks for all you do!!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:48 pm #

      Oh that’s so awesome, thanks for sticking with me this long!

  45. Martha L July 24, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    Wonderfully said and hope to apply these to my own life. I’m not even a quilter or a blogger but I do enjoy your work and your words. Hope you keep it going for at least another 11! Best Wishes!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:49 pm #

      That’s like me and all the cooking blogs I follow…I never make anything they post about but they all look so good! ;) Thank you!

  46. SarahB July 24, 2018 at 12:53 pm #

    I love it! To go with your “you can find anything on youtube,” I find “you can find a tutorial on a blog.” Thanks to generous bloggers like you for putting information and encouragement out there for folks new to quilting!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:49 pm #

      Haha that’s so true!

  47. kathy olkowski July 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    This is a post I would like to save….then read it often…..then remember why I get to do what I do every.single.day. Thank you….xxoo

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:49 pm #

      Awe you’re the best! So glad this blog brought me to find you!

  48. Carol AJ July 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm #

    I am in awe of this post. All quilters put too much pressure on their work. It should be fun. I finally realized that I can only make a King Size quilt for our bed about once every 10 years. I love making quilts for kids and babies. Ben’s quilt is my favorite. I have followed you for years. Thank you for sharing.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:50 pm #

      Thank you Carol that means a lot! I am the same way…I never make large quilts because they frustrate me and I like fast finishes! Thanks for sticking with me this long!

  49. Ariel July 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm #

    I enjoyed reading this. Quilting is an important creative outlet for me, but with a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old, it doesn’t happen as much as I would like! That’s why your points about embracing the creative lulls and remembering that I can’t do everything resonated with me. I also appreciate that you are still blogging instead of switching everything over to Instagram! I wish more people did that these days.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:52 pm #

      Oh man…I remember the 3 year old and 4 month old phase of my life! Give yourself a lot of grace and just remember it will pass! Seriously 2 kids was harder than 4 kids…a 3 year old and a baby was a struggle for me! I always try to be better at Instagram and I just can’t do it! ;)

  50. Danette July 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

    Happy Anniversary! Love your blog posts, tutorials and patterns and it’s nice to know I not the only one experiencing creative lulls. I remind myself my sewing is there for the enjoyment of creating and it will always be a part of who I am whether I’m pedal to the metal sparks flying or taking a nap :)

  51. Jessie July 24, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    I love reading your bog. Happy anniversary!

  52. Vicki Hoffman July 24, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    Wow….11 years and now you are a renowned quilter and an inspiration to me.
    PS…..I can’t see a mistake on that mistake quilt.

  53. Helen LeBrett July 24, 2018 at 3:21 pm #

    I loved reading your 11 things. And seeing the quilts, especially the ones with your sweet babies in them. :-) Happy Anniversary: I love your posts because they don’t come too often, and that makes me want to read them more, and I love the bits of your family and life that you share. Have a happy day! Hugs, H

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:54 pm #

      Haha….if only “the posts not coming too often” was intentional! This phase of my life allows for maybe a post a week if I’m lucky! Thank you for visiting and reading for all these years…you’ve always been a constant and I feel like you are a friend!

  54. nancyangerer July 24, 2018 at 3:53 pm #

    Good life lessons! Love your quilts.

  55. Rosemaryflower July 24, 2018 at 3:59 pm #

    I really really enjoyed reading your thoughts, and looking at your adorable creativity. You are inspiring, always.
    Gosh, I hope I never commented anything that hurt you. I do not think I have… This makes me sad to think someone would write something negative on your blog
    You have made a lot of growth. That is the great part of life, learning, making mistakes, being realistic and being brave.
    At least you did not have to sing in front of people. That I could never do haha

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm #

      Oh no way have you ever said anything to hurt me! I’m not easily offended anyways. ;) Negativity just goes with the territory of being a blogger and putting things on the internet these days! I’m SO SO SO glad I’ve never had to sing in front of people…I have bad dreams about that one!

  56. MARY D July 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm #

    It really is all about the wisdom we acquire as we make our way through life’s journey that gives us a certain peace. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  57. Jennifer Bay July 24, 2018 at 4:10 pm #

    What a great reminder of things that really matter. Thank you for taking the time to share it. They seem like simple things, but oh so hard to implement and remember sometimes. Lovely to have it in a spot to read and potentially re-read when I need a reminder.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:56 pm #

      Thanks for reading it!

  58. selina July 24, 2018 at 4:23 pm #

    love your lessons learned. So good of you to share them. We can all learn a little something while reading them over. Thank you

  59. Theresa July 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

    No…thank you! A gorgeous summary and lots of beautiful quilt reminders for so many years of following you. Thank you Allison for all the inspiration and sharing. You’re a treasure. Theresa

  60. Barbara Dillingham Moore July 24, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

    Thank you for putting yourself out there and just writing what was on your mind. We are all creative individuals and yet it seems competition among us is in the genes! We’re exposed early in our lives and it becomes such a part of us that we often cannot get beyond the oneupmanship that’s been bred into us. Thanks for exposing this not-so-nice side of creativity and pushing through it toward the lovely reward – the finished project. Your words are fuel! Thanks for brightening the way!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:57 pm #

      Yes that is so true! Thanks for the comment!

  61. sewroseyblog July 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing! Theses are things we should all know, but seeing them in print is really enlightening! I particularly liked “I will never have time, so stop waiting for it and make it”. I am a terrible procrastinator and may need to embroider that on a sampler to hang in my sewing room!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:57 pm #

      Haha that is a great idea! Thank you for reading it!

  62. sgrancio July 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

    Wonderful post, thank you for writing it! Great life lessons with a gentle touch. I have very much enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the lovely and appealing work you share.

  63. Karen S July 24, 2018 at 5:44 pm #

    So glad you’ve continued blogging. Congratulations on 11 years! Thanks for sharing your 11 special lessons. I enjoy your posts and especially your quilts.

  64. Stacy Urich July 24, 2018 at 6:56 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your reflection s and talent. I discovered your blog about 8 years ago because of the last quilt you have pictured on this post. I have enjoyed reading it since then and learning from what you share. Thank you so much for opening more to explore in the quilting word and always pitting a smile on my face.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:58 pm #

      Thank you Stacy for sticking with me for 8 years!!

  65. Mary July 24, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    Thanks for a lovely post. I really enjoy hearing from you as I know there will be substance and not fluff. Congratulations on eleven years and here’s to many more! I love seeing the kiddies and the quilts.

  66. Maureen July 24, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    Well, what a refreshing post! Thank you as well for your lovely blog….keep it up!

  67. Paige @Quilted Blooms July 24, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

    Perfect timing for your words of wisdom! Sophie on the hourglass quilt is one of my favs, so precious! Allison, here’s to the next eleven and beyond!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 10:59 pm #

      That is one of my favorites too! That 6 years just FLEW by! Thanks for reading for this long!

  68. Cate July 24, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

    Love this post. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. All these lessons can be applied to so many creative endeavors.

  69. Amy July 24, 2018 at 9:04 pm #

    Happy anniversary! Thanks for blessing me and my inbox with so much beauty and inspiration!

  70. shoshana July 24, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    wonderful! may you be blessed with another 11 years of growth and joy

  71. anne d July 25, 2018 at 3:03 am #

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I usually skim read and look at pictures but I actually stopped and read this one. Thanks and I am looking forward to your next 11 years.

  72. Mary Catherine Maines July 25, 2018 at 3:47 am #

    Thanks for saying what has been bouncing around in my head for a while. Well put and true. I like your quilts too.Mary Catherine Maines

  73. Ann O. July 25, 2018 at 3:56 am #

    Thank you for such a wonderful post (#8 really resonated with me – I even wrote it down in my little notebook), and congratulations on your 11 years of blogging. Here’s to 11 more!

  74. Lynn White July 25, 2018 at 4:03 am #

    What a great post, an amazing summary, beautiful quilts, such sensible and positive advice. I don’t understand why people can leave unpleasant comments, why do they bother? Gratitude is such a better attitude for us all, thanks for your ongoing work.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:00 pm #

      Thank you Lynn! Honestly I think mean commenters are just bored! I kind of feel sorry for them sometimes! ;)

  75. Verna Buchanan July 25, 2018 at 4:18 am #

    Thank you, Allison for writing this blog. I always look forward to reading it, and am so glad I found it. You and your creativity are such an inspiration to me and I regularly save them to my Pinterest. Thank you for sharing what you have learned these past eleven years. I can definitely apply several of your lessons to my own life. :D

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

      I’m so glad Verna and thank you for reading it!

  76. Pat S July 25, 2018 at 4:22 am #

    What a wonderful post! I think I’m going to pin it so I’ll have it on hand when I’m feeling the need for a “reset”. I totally agree with you about YouTube. Wow, I’ve learned how to do so many things that way. I never understand why people don’t avail themselves of that resource more often. And those little slivers of time? … Priceless. Thank you for your very thoughtful insights.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:01 pm #

      Thanks for reading it (and pinning it!)

  77. Kate Jensen July 25, 2018 at 4:48 am #

    I needed every bit of what you wrote, love it all. Thank you!

  78. Ellen F Thompson July 25, 2018 at 5:13 am #

    Wow! You have proven the ‘quilting is life’ philosophy. I agree with everything you said; I’ve learned all 11 and more in life and quilting.

  79. Karee SOWARDS July 25, 2018 at 6:03 am #

    Bravo! You demonstrate clarity of thought, feelings, and talent. You are a great inspiration to many, thank you for your blog and willingness to share your wisdom. As I read this blog post this morning, so many of your patterns are my “Go To” patterns. Love your style and your wisdom. Thank you.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:02 pm #

      Awe thank you! What a sweet comment!

  80. April Meadows July 25, 2018 at 6:04 am #

    Happy Anniversary! and thanks for the good advice. :)

  81. bogeywogeybiker July 25, 2018 at 6:25 am #

    The first quilt I made was the raw edge circle in a square from you, I still use it every day. I too have learned a lot from you tube, but I always come back to your blog for a reality check on what I have learned since I started quilting your blog is real a real person with creative ideas is refreshing. I love all of your quilts and have found that I also like low volume fabrics from my backgrounds. At my quilt club many of the older quilters say “I don’t use white it makes the quilt too stark” I don’t care I like white it is almost all of my quilts. I do what makes me happy. Thank You for being you, honest and creative.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:03 pm #

      Good job just doing what makes you happy! Thank you for the sweet comment and for visiting my blog and sticking with me this long!

  82. Julie Vogel July 25, 2018 at 7:09 am #

    I love what you have learned and my journey is similar to yours! And thank you for sharing so many of your GORGEOUS quilts! I like your style!

  83. Kristy S July 25, 2018 at 7:21 am #

    Thank you for this post. Such beautiful reminders that we all need to take to heart! Congratulations on your blogging milestone and keep up the good work!

  84. swimbikequilt July 25, 2018 at 8:21 am #

    So good. Especially about answering negativity with kindness and then moving on. Happy 11 years.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:04 pm #

      So hard but true! Hope you are doing well!

  85. A.Bouwman July 25, 2018 at 8:35 am #

    I just love the quilts you show in this blog. And the 11 things you share are so true. Thank you for sharing.

  86. Suzy Reno July 25, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    This blog post totally came at the right time for me today! I needed that reminder that I am human and not Superwoman. Thank you, Allison, and keep up the good work! Your quilt patterns are among my favorites. <3

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:04 pm #

      We all need those reminders every once in awhile! Thank you!

  87. Cindy in NC July 25, 2018 at 10:25 am #

    Thank you for this. Simple but beautiful, just like your patterns.

  88. jennifermoore480307654J July 25, 2018 at 10:28 am #

    Wonderful post, Allison! Thanks for sharing those lessons.

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

      Thanks for reading it!

  89. amyusmart July 25, 2018 at 10:35 am #

    Great post, Allison! (And congratulations on 11 years!) You have always been one of my favorite sources for inspiration. xo

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

      Thank you Amy and right back at ya!!! You are my “sticking with blogging” soul sister! ;)

  90. Fran July 25, 2018 at 4:44 pm #

    Congratulations on the 11 years! Your blog is one of the first quilting resources I stumbled across about 10 years ago & I’m so grateful for your tutorials & blog posts – I’d never sewn before so I needed all the help! And I love your lessons learned, they certainly resonate with me. Thanks!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:06 pm #

      Oh I’m so glad you stumbled on it and thank you for sticking with me for 10 years ago! Yikes that’s a long time! ;)

  91. Kelsey July 25, 2018 at 6:26 pm #

    You are the best! Love this post and love you!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:06 pm #

      Awe thank you and right back at ya!

  92. Susan K July 25, 2018 at 9:37 pm #

    Number 11 is so true – gratitude is everything! And with gratitude comes a change in attitude.
    I also appreciate #4. Let it go. You can’t xhange the mean comment but you can change your reaction to it.
    I’m looking forward to reading your blog for another 11 years! Happy Blogiversary!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

      Yes! We can only control ourselves and our reactions (but it’s so hard sometimes!). Thank you for reading it!

  93. Tiffany July 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm #

    I just wanted to say I’m a big fan. I’m sorry you don’t enjoy writing books because I love love love your book and always hoped you’d write another one. Thank you for all your work here on the blog – you are very inspiring to me

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:08 pm #

      Haha maybe I will write a book in the future…when my 2 year old isn’t as much of a handful! ;) Thank you for sticking with me and for reading my blog!

  94. Katherine July 25, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

    I love this post, Allison! So many words of wisdom – greatly appreciated. I found myself smiling and nodding along with each point! Thank you so much for sharing these gems with us.

    Happy stitching!

    • Allison July 25, 2018 at 11:08 pm #

      You are so welcome and thank you for reading it!!

  95. Amanda Jane Ogden July 25, 2018 at 11:38 pm #

    What a wonderful blog post. I am just coming up to the end of year four of blogging. This was so encouraging and so wise. Thank you very much.

  96. Melissa July 26, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    Ditto to what was said so well by all the previous commentors. I LOVE this post and will refer to it often. I sometimes question if quilting is really for me because I beat myself up throughout the process instead of finding the joy (those darn comparisons!) Thank you for putting it into perspective.

  97. Nancy Morneault July 26, 2018 at 9:06 am #

    Excellent blog post. All of these things are so true in blogging, creating and everyday life. I learned long ago that I am the only person responsible for my happiness. I also create for myself as everyone’s taste is different. I really enjoyed revisiting your quilts. Thank you

  98. Cheryl Fewell-Brown July 26, 2018 at 11:43 am #

    Excellent!

  99. Kathy July 26, 2018 at 1:26 pm #

    Thank you so very much for this post! It truly spoke to me. Thank you.

  100. Susanne July 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm #

    I love the blog post – definitely one to save and reread. My new motto is “I can do anything, but I can’t do everything” … wish I’d thought of it years ago. Thankyou!

  101. Kimberley K. July 26, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

    I found your blog while I was still working. I’d sneak in time to read any new entry you had made. It made those days really good while I dreamed of everything I would do went I retired. I’m so glad you’ve kept writing for all these years. And many of your lessons in life are well stated. Thanks Allison for it all.

    • Allison July 27, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

      Thank you for sneaking to read my blog! ;)

  102. Maureen July 26, 2018 at 5:04 pm #

    Thank you for your 11 lessons. I love them and I love your quilting style–you have helped me create some awesome quilts over the years!

  103. Becca Troyer July 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

    Thank you so much for the things you’ve learned in eleven years. I just finished my first quilt this morning and I sure could have used the advice from your #6. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have a clue about quilting, even after watching quite a few videos. When I made errors, whether one two or a bunch, I really beat myself up. My BFF told me the was lovely and was a learning experience. On to the next one!

    • Allison July 27, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

      Unfortunately the best way to learn how to quilt is to make TONS of mistakes LOL! I think we all have! Keep with it!

  104. Rachel Hauser July 27, 2018 at 8:44 am #

    Congratulations, Allison. You are an inspiration exactly because of the things you listed here. Thank you for carving your own path and not following all the hype. Here’s to many more!

    • Allison July 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks Rachel! I feel the same about you!

  105. Lindsey Brake July 27, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    Lovely quilts and great blog. I so enjoy seeing what you’re making and you’re a wonderful inspiration. Wise words too!

  106. Gregg Colson July 27, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    Happy anniversary on your blogging. And excellent things to learn along the way! I agree with you on every point. As a quilt designer (in my spare tome) I can appreciate everything you say about blogging, quilting, and the creative process in general. Thank you for sharing a really excellent post!

  107. Liz July 28, 2018 at 5:32 am #

    Thank you for your post, Allison. The thoughts and reminders you’ve shared are extremely helpful to me. I think your contentment and happiness shines through in the projects you make, and I’m thankful for the inspiration I gain from them.

  108. Christine July 28, 2018 at 8:43 am #

    Allison – thank you for the wonderful post and words to live by. I’m new to quilting since my retirement a little over a year ago, and of the six quilts I’ve made, three are your patterns! Needless to say I love your quilts, your patterns and your wonderful flair. Just a note regarding point #4, one thing I learned in the working world is that not every email deserves a response. Sometimes silence is the best reply – leaving the sender to reflect on whether they should have sent a less than kind email (and maybe learn something). Happy blogiversary!!

  109. Sherio July 28, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    Allison – hello and thank you for offering gifts over and above normal content. What a treat! I love your common sense approach to your artwork, please yourself first and rest to restor creative juices. Rest and sleep is often dismissed as a creative currative but it works! Thank you for your blog and words of wisdom ! Sherio

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks for visiting Sherio!

  110. Lucy July 28, 2018 at 9:45 pm #

    I put an SOS out many years ago on Facebook for suggestions of great sewing blogs to follow. Yours was suggested to me by a fellow New Zealander living in the US and I have read it ever since. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all your posts and admired all you’ve achieved while raising your growing family (I too have 4 children). My mother is an avid quilter so I’d often chat to her about your ideas, tricks and tips of the trade I had read but I’ve never had the headspace or confidence to delve into quilting until recently. I’ve put off cutting up fabric for fear of getting it wrong. Then I read this post and it all resonated with me, giving me a bit more courage to just try.
    Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned over the last 11 years and all the hard work you’ve put into your blog so we can learn and be inspired.
    It’s a real blessing.

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

      I’m glad you finally gave it a try! Just do a little bit at a time and it becomes easier! Thank you for the sweet comment. -Allison

  111. karen July 29, 2018 at 7:59 am #

    Thank you so much for this great post! Lots of food for thought and future approaches. And that laundry problem? Unless there’s some “special clothes” that should be up and out of the way, neatly stowed, just toss things in underwear/socks, shirts, and pants bins–just like they came out of the dryer. Their friends, their school, the larger world really don’t care how they look. And one day, your kiddos will care and then you can teach them how to fold and put away in drawers neatly. My now adult–and well dressed son–went through elementary school wearing sweatpants, often with holes in the knees. I simply surrendered to his need for comfy clothes and let it go. He can be very presentable now and no one suffered from having to look at him in his clothes of choice–clean, well worn, definitely rumpled and wrinkly :) Be kind to yourself and eliminate another thankless task!

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

      Haha Thank you Karen!

  112. Dorothy July 29, 2018 at 10:16 am #

    I am new to quilting and to your website. Beautiful, beautiful creations! I hope to be that talented and creative some day!

  113. Julie July 30, 2018 at 7:49 pm #

    Thanks for blogging—I have been a fan for many years, recently added more patterns from you. I am thankful for you in my quilting life!

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

      Thank you for visiting the blog all these years Julie!

  114. Melanie Bhagat July 31, 2018 at 11:39 pm #

    You sound like a very sensible, nice, grounded person! Congrats on yr 11 years.

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

      I’m pretty sensible at least 80% of the time. ;) -Allison

  115. Robin August 1, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    Thank you so much for this. I’m slowly starting to get back to the machine to create. I left it for a while because of a loss and the memories that working at it stirred up. But I’ve been drawn back and excited to create again. Enjoying the hum, the smell, the feeling of fabric under my hands. What a beautiful sensory experience it is. I dumped $200 on fabric last weekend. My head first plunge and fire under my ass to stop dragging my feet and get back in there. Your words in this post help me inch forward a little more. Thank you.

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

      Haha I’m so glad you are getting back to it!!! Do little by little until you find joy in it again!

  116. Shelley Needham August 1, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

    Thank you for these great reminders, there is a lot of wisdom in this post. Although I’m pretty good about not competing with other quilters, do daily walks, and live a life of gratitude, I do tend to get hung up in the “I don’t have time” rut. I think I will follow your advice and just remove that from my vocabulary, remembering that the time spent with my family is the most important thing I can do. I’m also going to start only making quilts what I personally like, instead of ones I think might sell. Great advice, thank you!

    • Allison August 6, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

      We all get stuck in those “ruts” all the time! I’m in some right now…working on getting out of them again! :) Thanks for visiting!

  117. Sonja August 3, 2018 at 9:54 am #

    Well done! A insightful reminder no matter what field or project one is engaged in. Your prospective reads like sage advise from someone years older than you obviously are. Congratulations on 11 years of doing good work. I have unsubscribed from many blogs, but yours in a real keeper.

  118. Sara August 4, 2018 at 3:51 pm #

    Congratulations on 11 years! I love your quilt patterns.

  119. Mar W August 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Keep doing what you do!

  120. Susan R August 5, 2018 at 6:00 am #

    Great post and great tips! Love your thoughts and you sharing them and I love your quilts (not sure how anyone could be mean to you, but nice you can overlook it). Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  121. Janelle Ward August 9, 2018 at 3:01 am #

    Such a lovely post with great reminders. Sad that you don’t think you are good at book writing because I love Growing Up Modern so much!
    Happy Blog Birthday!

  122. Carol in Texas August 11, 2018 at 7:39 am #

    Sherry of A Quilting Life referenced this blog entry and I enjoyed it so very much. What a wise lady you have become! We should all get to know ourselves and be happy to work on the gifts we have been given. Thank you for sharing.

  123. Monika August 11, 2018 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for sharing your time & your ideas throughout all the years. I can’t believe that it were 11 !!!!

    • Allison August 11, 2018 at 11:12 pm #

      I know…time flies!

  124. Kathleen August 11, 2018 at 8:39 am #

    Hi Allison, appreciate this thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing with us. Big fan of Growing Up Modern, love your beautiful work. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

    • Allison August 11, 2018 at 11:11 pm #

      Thank you Kathleen!

  125. Carole August 11, 2018 at 10:47 am #

    What a wonderful post. Just what I needed this summer. I’m going to print it off and put it in my desk at school and just read over it when I feel overwhelmed, out of time or otherwise just need a little boost. I bought your book and just love it. I don’t think you need to write another one as it’s all I need, along with your individual patterns, so just revel in the fact that you did it once. I find your work thoroughly inspiring and I also have started doing a little furniture painting because you made it look so approachable.

    • Allison August 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

      Thank you Carole what a kind comment!

  126. weddingdressblue August 11, 2018 at 11:03 am #

    #8 is great! I am adopting it into my life–yes, I can do anything, but that doesn’t mean I need to do _____ (fill in the blank). Saying “no” is empowering and leaves room for the most important things in my world.

    • Allison August 11, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

      Leaving room for nothing is so important! Thanks!

  127. Susan August 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

    Beautiful reflection! I think gratitude is very important – it sure helps to put things into perspective. Once when I was going through a very low point, a therapist suggested that I keep a gratitude journal which I wish I had continued. I was to write down just a few things each day things for which I was grateful since at the time I didn’t feel very grateful and I wasn’t getting out of the house much. My items did not have to be “big ticket” items either. An item could be as simple as “A stranger smiled at me today” or “Someone held a door open for me today.” When I had cancer and was bald, many people held doors open for me. I appreciated that and it changed my outlook when I realized that with the introduction of the chemo to the point that I had lost that much hair, I was on the road to recovery and I was probably better than I had been previously. It still was appreciated that people opened doors and I smiled even wider with the revelation. Thanks for the enlightment. Susan

    • Allison August 11, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

      That’s beautiful Susan thank you for the comment!

  128. Lisa J. August 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm #

    Awesome post. I

  129. jean f August 14, 2018 at 10:16 pm #

    I really appreciate you sharing the 11 things you’ve learned in this 11 year long blogging activity. I need to copy these down!

  130. Susan August 16, 2018 at 5:03 am #

    Wonderful post!!! I love the idea of a daily gratitude walk!!

  131. Brenda Ackerman August 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

    I truly enjoyed reading your post and had to ask myself some serious questions. It is very strengthening for someone like me to know that such a successful quilter as yourself does go through a variety of emotions and struggles to balance and finding the right methods that work for them and their lives. Even though at the same time, I would never want anyone in the world to face what I go through.. and that is the truth. I have written down a few of your lessons learned so that I can work towards achieving a better place in my life with understanding them and hopefully overcoming them. Thank you so much for sharing this post and so much more! I hope that you have a splendid day!

    • Allison August 18, 2018 at 5:24 pm #

      Thank you Brenda! We all go through these same trials and learning curves…it’s good to talk about them!

  132. Julia S. August 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

    I agreed with all eleven of your life lessons. I feel so sad that someone would be nasty and critical, when you can delete what you don’t like. Good for you rising above it. I get your blog posts and I think you are very creative!

  133. lswanekamp August 20, 2018 at 3:51 pm #

    There is it not much original I can say after reading the comments. So thank you for your honesty, your clarity, your consistency, willingness to share, your wonderful work and such a helpful post. I appreciate you.

    • Allison August 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

      Thank you for visiting!

  134. kaholly August 28, 2018 at 3:19 am #

    I’m so glad I popped in for a visit today. Reading this post was the most excellent way to begin another new day!

  135. Phoebe Ingraham September 4, 2018 at 6:23 am #

    Congratulations on your 11 year anniversary! I love your quilt patterns and your fabrics. When I retired, I returned to quilting after many years away from sewing. My first quilt was from your book, made for my first grandchild. I still have my Wallflower fabric collection, saving it for the day I make a quilt for myself! Your belief in practicing kindness and using mistakes to improve your skills have always shown through in your blog. It is clear these are not things you learned via quilting or blogging, but have always been part of who you are. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who returns to your blog regularly because of your grace as well as your patterns and knowledge! Thank you for sharing your creativity, experience, and inspiration with us!

    • Allison September 6, 2018 at 9:53 pm #

      Thank you Phoebe for this wonderful compliment and comment! It made my day!!

  136. Barb DeVilbiss December 8, 2018 at 6:41 am #

    Always a timely reminder when I look back on my year. Thank you!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Humility Blocks - Comfort and Joy Quilter - August 30, 2018

    […] of my favorite quilters, Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew, wrote an inspiring article titled “Eleven Things I’ve Learned in 11 Years.” Number 6 is “Mistakes are Learning Curves.” She says, “Mistakes are how we learn, so if I […]

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