Sunday, January 20, 2013

Inspiration - Melissa Corry

Have you ever encountered someone that totally inspires you?  I am not one of those people who slavishly follows someone, whether they are a celebrity, musician, co-worker or character in a book (cue visions of crying Beattles fans and Twilight fans camping out to see Bella, Jacob and Edward), I can't put that much of myself into something or someone.  It just isn’t me – I’ll follow a pattern, but usually end up making something different from the original.  Unless it is a matter of time constraints – then I just follow the durned pattern and churn it out. 
But I found one of those people that totally inspires me - inspires me to follow her pattern EXACTLY and to do my own thing with a little nudge from her genius.  I even say her silly little sayings in my head every once in a while (Hoolay Moolay cracks me up) and stretch myself to keep pace when she challenges her followers to something.
That person is Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting – I just want to sew, sew, sew when I read her blogs and see her progress on her own projects and ideas.  I honestly can’t tell you how I got to her blog the first time; I probably just followed from someone else’s page. 
What snagged me first was the Tetris Quilt-A-Long.  I enjoyed playing Tetris as a kid and had wanted to try a QAL.  Seemed easy to me so I jumped in.  First thing – I wanted to make a girly quilt so I went off and bought some fabrics that didn’t quite line up with the traditional primary/secondary colors.  Then I went to town.  I missed two of the six block deadlines, but managed to keep up and got my top together for the final reveal.  It is still hanging on the wall in my bedroom.  I see it every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to sleep.  It keeps me going in my quest to develop myself and my skills.
Second was a baby quilt I wanted to make for my husband’s cousins.  They were having a baby boy and my first quilt for their daughter was frightful.  I wanted to stretch myself and make something not so kitschy and more traditional.  I found Melissa’s recipe for her Snuggly Squares II quilt at Moda’s Bakeshop and new it was what I wanted to do.  This was the only pattern that I actually followed everything shown – fabric, cutting and layout instructions.  It went together fast and turned out great.  All I was left with was the quilting and I knew from the fabric I wanted bunnies and vines.  Quilting it was the icing on the cake – I loved it!
Lastly, I tested a pattern that she had designed and I was floored.  For the longest time I have struggled with a ¼” seam and ironing long, thin pieces straight.  This block turned out perfectly.  I didn’t even have to trim it at the end or have wonky lines on the long pieces.  Maybe I am just getting better at things – practice does make perfect, but I think it has something to do with Melissa and the way she inspires her followers to keep it up and have fun doing what you’re doing.
Now, enough with all the gushiness – I just wanted to say that Melissa is one of those people that make you stretch your boundaries, build on your strengths and enjoy yourself and your creations.  I’ll never get an award for essay writing (research writing is my thing) and I know this is all over the place, but Melissa ROCKS.  Now I am off to get the fabric cut for my Starburst QAL.  I am too excited to see what happens with this one!
woof woof meow