Consider The Flowers – 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Happy Easter!

Welcome to my stop on the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I was so excited to participate in this last year and you know, once is never enough so of course I had to do this again. Thanks to this year’s amazing hosts Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl, Leanne @she can quilt and Beth @Cooking Up Quilts for letting me have another go at this. By the way, you should visit their blogs as they introduce other members of their hives today. As always, there are tons of prizes to win during these hops thanks to the generous sponsors so make sure you check that out.

Now to the reason you are here…my name is Sola and I quilt and Blog in my little corner of the globe all the way in Nigeria! Why Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co?  I chose that name as a memorial to my parents. I would love to tell you a lot more about me but I believe I already covered that much here and here.

Instead, I can share with you all about my quilting adventure which is the reason why I started this blog. I wish I can say where I belong as a quilter…modern, traditional, somewhere in between or none of the above. All I know is I love fabrics, colors, geometric shapes and that is what you’ll observe from my few creations since I started quilting about 3 years ago.

Without further delays, I present to you some of my quilts:

Quilting and Blogging Tip

We have been asked to share a quilting and blogging tip and for that, let me share with you an excerpt from the book: A Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline by Thomas Sterner:

Consider the flower

At what point is a flower perfect?

  • Is it perfect when it is nothing more than a seed waiting to be planted? All that it will ever be is there in that moment.
  • Is it perfect when it first starts to germinate? Unseen under several inches of soil? This is when it displays the first sign of miracle of creation.
  • How about when it pokes its head through the surface and sees the face of the sun for the first time? All its energy has gone into reaching for this source of life.  Until this point, it had nothing more than an inner voice telling it which way to grow.
  • What about when it begins to flower? This is when its individual properties starts to be seen. The shape of the leaves, the number of blooms, all are unique to this one flower even among other flowers of the same species.
  • Or is it the stage of full bloom? The crescendo/climax of all the energy and effort the flower expended to reach this point in its life.
  • Let’s not forget its quiet and humble ending when it returns to the soil where it came.

At what point then is the flower perfect? If you don’t already know the answer, IT IS ALWAYS PERFECT! It is perfect at being whatever it is, at whatever stage it is in at that moment. It is perfect at being a seed when it is placed in the ground. At that moment in time, it is exactly what it is supposed to be A SEED. Just because it doesn’t have brightly colored bloom doesn’t mean it is not a good flower seed. When it first sprouts out through the ground, it is not imperfect because it displays only the color green. At each stage of the growth from seed to full bloom and beyond, it is perfect at being a flower at that particular stage of a flower’s life.

A flower must start as a seed and it will not bulge 1mm towards its potential grandeur of full bloom without the nourishment of water, soil, sun and also time. It takes time for all these elements to work together to produce the flower. The flower cannot say to itself that becoming a full bloom takes time and I want to do everything I can to get there now. I can’t wait to start blooming…that is when I’ll be happy, that is when everyone will be happy with me.

We consciously or unconsciously pick a point of reference in whatever we do and decide that nothing will be right until we get to that point. If you sit back to examine your internal monologue, then you’ll be amazed at how hard you work against yourself with this type of thinking. If you step back routinely during your day and observe where your attention is, you will be amazed at how few times it is where you are and on what you are doing. That is why we need to develop a present minded approach to every activity we are involved in. We need to realize like the flowers that at whatever level we are performing, we are perfect at that point in time. We will experience a tremendous relief from the fictitious self-imposed pressures and expectations that only slow our progress.

When we are subconsciously focused on the result or product we are trying to achieve (especially in activities like quilting that produces tangible products)  we are distracted into the future because the result/product is pulling us out of the present moment into the future. This is like wanting to get to full bloom and skipping the rest of it.

It is our egos that make us create false ideas of what perfect is and whether we have reached it. Remember true perfection is not finite and not a specific skill level that can be reached regardless of how hard or how long you pursue an activity.

I hope you were able to pick a thing or two out of this? In essence, where ever you are on your quilting journey, take solace in the fact that you are just perfect where you are. At the end of the day, it is all in the perspectives. There are various points of views out there and you have yours, so stick to it and don’t get overwhelmed by all the other seemingly perfect point of views.

My question for you:

If you had the chance to start your quilting journey over again, what advice would you give your new beginner self? For me I’ll say, Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, this is the beginning of a life long love affair!

Have you enjoyed the hop so far? Again do not forget to visit the hosts for your chance to meet other amazing New Quilt Bloggers and to take part in the giveaways. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you stick around as I continue on this wonderful quilting adventure. Have a great week!

Please take time to visit other members of my Blooming Quilters hive on the hop today:

86 thoughts on “Consider The Flowers – 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

  1. Thank you for sharing the quote about flowers. Its a good reminder to appreciate and focus on the beauty of what we have created.
    If I was starting now, I’d say enjoy the journey. Remember to try lots of things. Even if it isnt necessarily your cup of tea, learning the technique is useful because you never know when it will come in handy some day.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Very true Helen, you never know when a technique can come in handy, so if there’s an opportunity to learn why not take it! We are so much in a rush to move on to the next shining project that we sometimes miss the beauty of the work in progress.

  2. Olivia

    Fantastic post Sola!! It was a great read! My advice to a newbie quilter would be, you only need 4 tools to start…a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, a ruler and a good pair of scissors! Everything else sits in a drawer, so buy fabric instead!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Awesome advice Olivia and thanks for the lovely comment

  3. Hi Sola, love your quilt gallery, the colours and designs really pop! Your excerpt from the book is so apt, people become so obsessed with the finished product they forget to enjoy the processes along the way, which is kind of the whole point. I am still sort of at the beginning of my quilting journey, although I have sewn for many years. I have enjoyed reading your post Sola and will revisit soon 🙂

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Oh thank you Diane! I am also new on my quilting Journey and I’m learning a lot as I go so the advice will really help me too.

  4. Oh I must have missed you last year, glad I saw your blog this time around. I love your quilts, a real fresh modern look. Great post, I love your quilting philosophy, a good mantra for life, an assumption that things will be perfect. If I was beginning again, I would tell myself to lighten up, that some quilting rules are there for purpose, and some for no reason at all

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks a lot Helen! I’ve had so much fun on the hop this time around. Thats a very nice advice and as for the mantra and philosophy…I still need a daily reminder! It’s easier to be negative and drown in self doubt than looking on the bright side and there’s always a bright side 😊.

  5. Hi Sola, this is Abbie from the Better Bloggers hive. So neat to be talking to you while you are in Nigeria and me here in the US. Your quilts are so unique and vibrant! Not only are you a wonderful quilter but a philosopher as well.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you so much Abbie, the joys of technology right? Its wonderful being able to connect with so many wonderful people all over the world! 

  6. What a fantastic post Sola!!! Both in terms of quilts (your selection here are beautiful) and your words – actually this has really made me think about how many times I am not in the present when doing something. I need to think on this and become more present ……. Advice for a new quilter – take on board advice/information/tips/techniques but also be aware that you can let them go. Keep what works for you and discard the rest/should have/could haves!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks for your lovely compliment and the advice! It’s a constant battle with the mind wandering onto the next project or the other task we should be doing instead of focusing on getting the current task done.

  7. annalutzbrown

    I agree enjoy the ride..and use up the fabric you buy that year because what you liked that year you might not like next year. So then it just sits there geting old and not in a project. . happyness04431@yahoo.com

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you so much! I’ve never thought of that possibility…not liking the fabric the next year. It’s absolutely true though, I have fabrics in my stash that I’m now wondering what I was thinking when I bought them 🙈

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks for visiting Carole 💖

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Vanda!

  8. somethingrosemade14

    Hi Sola, great post, lots of pondering points for the quilter. Thanks for sharing your quilts; they are beautiful. If I could start over again, maybe focus on making smaller quilts but I really wanted quilts for my beds. Glad to have met you through the Blog Hop, it’s been a great way to discover new quilters like yourself.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Rose! I’m so glad I took part in this hop again. It’s been most interesting and I’ve made more friends 😀. I’m certainly focusing on smaller quilts this year! Thanks for your lovely comment.

  9. Great thoughts, Sola! I loved seeing your gallery of quilts! You do beautiful work! A friend of mine moves frequently due to a military spouse, and she lives by the saying, “Bloom where you are planted.” I even made a quilt for her with that name. Seems fitting for your post here too!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Laura! That would have also been a perfect title for the post. Who knows what tomorrow will bring right? I’m glad you stopped by 😊

  10. Fi

    Hi Sola, wonderful post and a great reminder to be present wherever we are on our life journey not only our quilting journey. So great to pop on back and see all your vibrant quilts, will be back cheers Fi x

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Hi Fi, thanks a lot for popping back in and for your lovely comment 💖

  11. Sola, I knew I would enjoy your post, and I wasn’t disappointed! I think I’d tell myself to look at others’ quilts and enjoy them but not compare my work to theirs, but just enjoy what I am doing now.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Hi Wendy. Thank you very much! I’m glad you weren’t disappointed 😀. Isn’t it amazing the talents out there? But we don’t know how long they’ve been on their journey or how much they’ve put in to get that result. While we can aspire to do greater things I don’t think there is really any reason for comparisons.

  12. thedarlingdogwood

    Hi, Sola! I love your colorful quilts! And you are right–all quilts, like all flowers, are perfect as they are. What a lovely thought!

    I wish my early quilting self had learned the proper way to press, not iron. But really, that’s it. I love my quilting journey of almost 20 years and I’m glad you are loving yours!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Wow 20 years! How wonderful 💖. I’m glad to be getting these advices now because I can then learn from them being a beginner myself 😊. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  13. Liz

    What a great post Sola! So glad we are in the same hive! I love your quilts! So simple but yet cheery and love your free motion. I am with Paige on the free motion quilting…just go for it!

    Great meeting you Sola! Btw…LOVE your country! I’ve never been there but have friends that have and saw there pictures and WOW!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Hi Liz, thanks for stopping over and for the wonderful comment! I enjoyed reading your post too. You really should visit Nigeria sometime. I can atleast promise you an abundance of colorful fabrics 😀

  14. Your quilts are lovely! Thank you for the story of the flower-great analogy, Susan

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks for stopping by Susan 😊

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks for a nice comment Susan 😊

  15. Great post! I love that wonky log cabin quilt.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you for the lovely comment Sarah.

  16. Thank you for the reminder to be present right here, right now. ❤️

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks for stopping by Anne. Things get done faster if we can shut out every other thing and only concentrate on what we are doing for as long as we can.

  17. adreamandastitch

    Thank you for sharing! I love your advice. What a great thing to share with everyone (especially quilters! 🙂 )

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Jen, It has helped me a lot so I felt the need to share with my friends 🙂

  18. I enjoyed reading your post regarding flowers. I can appreciate this because I am a plant lover, also. I will try to sit back and enjoy my quilting process, too.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Danette, I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 and left your lovely comment

  19. Cocoa Quilts

    Sola, it was a pleasure to read you post. The flowers are always perfect, I love this, as I try to live in the moment. Can”t change what already happened, Can’t worry about what might happen. Now is all we are guaranteed. I look forward to following along with you on your journey.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Jan, for you comment and for following along 🙂 I wish I can live more in the moment! I need constant reminder to stop stressing about what might happen next.

  20. I wouldn’t have done anything differently when I began quilting. I would say it helps to have a sewing background so one is not totally lost. I also began quilting with thrifted fabric and thread so I could make mistakes and it wouldn’t cost an arm and leg for those items.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Lucky you Tami! I started out straight with investing in the expensive stuffs. Thanks to social media, I really felt like I needed all those things to be good at this…Now I know better! You are right, having a sewing background would be a nice advantage.

  21. Thank you for post. I especially like your quilt that is a work in progress. I would say “Love what you make and make what you love” is my motto. I also love knowing about how you named your blog.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Kathleen! I am not certain I’m done with that particular quilt yet, so I have set it aside till I can decide. It’s much fun when you make what you love isn’t it?

  22. You have a beautiful blog, and I love your work. You’ve make some really wonderful quilts.

    I think Mr. Sterner is so right. We’re all basically good and need to recognize that in both ourselves and one another.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Oh thank you Cate! Yes we are all good in our own unique ways.

  23. Sola, your blog looks great, and your advice is terrific. Make what you love and celebrate every stage of your quilting journey.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Marla for your compliment on the blog…The blog critique this year was very helpful.

  24. Great post, and I would give my beginner self similar advice as the advice you would give yours. The only thing I would add is – “it is not a race to finish a quilt, slow down and pay attention to details” 🙂

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you so much Tierney! Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s not just about the finished quilt…the process also counts. I’ve realized now that’s why I hated basting so much. It feels like a time wasting delay to reaching my end goal of a completed quilt!

  25. I agree with what you share today, Sola. If I were able to go back and tell myself something as a beginner, it would probably be something along those lines and to try new things without fear. Thank you so much for participating again this year!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks a lot for the opportunity Yvonne…I’ve grown a lot as a quilter and blogger from participating! Trying new things without fear is great advice but not the easiest thing to do is it?

  26. Lori Smanski

    This is a wonderful post. Thanks for the many insights and tips. For me if I were to go back and give myself some advice it would be, BE PATIENT AND WATCH EACH STITCH COME ALIVE. I started hand quilting with my mom, but things just did not go fast enough for me (I was in high school, enough said, LOL)

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks Lori…I love your advice. Patience is a virtue they say but I don’t think you agree with that when you are in high school 😄

  27. inquiringquilter

    Sola, from the moment I met you through last year’s hop, I knew you were perfect. Yours is a generous soul, a giving spirit and a curious mind. So glad I met you and can call you friend!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Awww, thanks for this amazing comment Jennifer! It’s been such a privilege participating in these things and meeting wonderful people like you to call friends too.

  28. Paula S. Pike

    Sola, you have a wonderful outlook on quilting and it seems life. I’ve quilted for about the last thirty years and just this year I’ve finally ventured into long arm and FMQ…it’s scary but so fun and rewarding. I’d tell myself to breath, cut, sew and then just enjoy the journey.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Paula. I am definitely trying to have a positive outlook on life and everything. It’s certainly rewarding to take the plunge! Breathe, cut, sew and enjoy the journey is great advice.

  29. A lovely post from a beautiful lady! I’ve always jumped in whenever I’ve wanted to learn how to do something. My advice is to do just that. And not be intimidated by a seam ripper! LOL

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Beth! Isn’t it terrible how much time we waste being intimated by stuffs we will eventually conquer if we just venture to try?

  30. Beautiful quilts, Beautiful Thoughts, Beautiful sharing woman. Love the flower analogy. If I could advise the younger me it would be to keep investing in the art of quilting. Follow your imagination where it will go. Thank you, Sola, for a lovely start to the day.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Beautiful comment Debbie 😀, thank you very much! I quite agree, Imagination is very key on this quilting journey.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Oh thank you Nancy! Yes we are and just like the flower, all of our efforts and dedication at every point has a part to play on our journey to full bloom.

  31. Each time you show your work I’m surprised again at how recently you began quilting. Three years! You have grown quickly in skill and talent.

    The flower analogy works for me. My son is 28 now, and one of the best pieces of advice I heard when he was quite small was not to “wish his life away.” Try to avoid thinking “I can’t wait until he can … ” walk, or use the toilet, or go to school, or drive … Enjoy his stage of life as he is right now, rather than wishing for him to be older or capable of different things. It was a good lesson and I still draw on it now. Thanks.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you so much Melanie. Good to hear such lovely comment coming from you 😊. It’s so easy to get sucked into wishing for what we can’t do yet instead of concentrating all our efforts to excel in what we can actually do.

  32. kaholly

    Delightful post and so nice to ‘meet you’. I’d advise someone to embrace each new day.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks a lot. That’s good advice too 😀

  33. Great post Sola! It’s interesting to see the progress you’ve made in the past months since the last hop. I loved your flower analogy and it puts into words what I’ve realised myself in the past few months! I’m not sure what I’d tell myself… Maybe that it’s okay not to do things the way you should. There are many different ways to do a task and it’s okay to do it the way you want to.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thanks for the wonderful words Sue. I have made so much progress indeed! I’ve learnt a lot from participating in these things. Your word to yourself is a good one, you discover different ways to do things everyday 😊

  34. Beth T.

    Your quilts are beautiful. While they are each different and unique, they share a radiance. Thanks so much for sharing them with us, and for passing along your insightful thoughts on the quilting journey.

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you for stopping by Beth and for your lovely comment 😊

  35. Great post Sola! I enjoyed seeing some of the quilts you’ve made. I’m with Paige on this one. I wasted so many years not knowing how to quilt and kind of quit even the piecing part of it just because I didn’t know how to quilt! Now that I can do it, I wonder why did I wait so long?

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Janice 😊. Fear of the unknown is why you waited so long! At least that’s why I did. Like what if I ruin my quilt top? I wouldn’t want to rip those stitches if they end up looking wobbly. It’s better to just get on with it.

  36. Sola, what a great post! I agree, flowers are always perfect! I’d tell myselft not to be afraid of free motion quilting, just do it!

    • alicesamuelsquiltco

      Thank you Paige! You know that’s the same with me…I dreaded free motion quilting but now I just do it 😃

You know I love to read your comments!