The Sew Mojo #1 mini quilt pattern is available for purchase in the shop! This is the first in a four part mini quilt series, each one with a different creative "lesson."
Most of us probably know what mojo is, but sew mojo? According to the Williams dictionary of made up things Suzy says (that's me):
Sew Mojo, noun, 1. joy received during the act of sewing 2. excitement at the thought of or during the process of designing and creating with fabric 3. the art of sewing without fear of mistakes, wasting fabric or the end result
Let's face it, as sewists, artists, designers, quilters, whatever label you want to give yourself, as creatives, sometimes we feel uninspired. About a month ago I was walking my dog Scrappy and thought to myself, "My well is dry. My creativity well, where all of my good ideas come from, has completely run dry. Oh no oh no oh no! I wonder how long I can keep fooling everyone before they find out that I'm all dried up?!"
Those "I'm all dried up" thoughts haunt be fairly regularly. But you know what I've learned after almost 15 years of the ebbs and flows of creativity? That there is something I can do to fill my creativity well back up. Sketch. Pull fabric. Start sewing random bits of cloth together. I know that the longer I let myself believe that I've used up my last good idea, the harder it's going to be to convince myself that I can design and that creativity never dries up. It just changes pace sometimes.
When I was in art school, we were always being forced to sketch and "warm up the creative juices." I think because fabric is not as fluid as paint or pencil, it's easy to forget how helpful that process can be.
Whether you are a brand new quilter, a seasoned sewist, a textiles artist with designer's block or even a crafter looking for a fun, simple project, this Sew Mojo mini quilt series is perfect for you. The average quilter can make one of these minis in an afternoon. For a newbie, this is a great way to practice working with fabric and your machine without the huge commitment of making an entire quilt.
Aside from helping us get our sew mojo back, this mini quilt series is intended to teach curious non-sewists how to quilt! Inside the PDF pattern is a link to a 20 minute step-by-step video tutorial. The link is private, so you have to purchase the pattern to get it. Lucky for you, the pattern is only $5! 🙂
If you follow the mathy portion of the pattern, the finished mini quilt is 11" x 14". I designed it so it could easily fit in a standard picture frame.
The "lesson" of Sew Mojo #1 is to get you thinking about lines in a new, unconventional way. I asked some of my favorite quilters to try out this mini quilt pattern, and upon seeing their pictures I have been jumping up and down, fist pumping and scaring Scrappy with my sudden bursts of YEE-HAW!!! and YIPPEEE!!!
See for yourself!
Lindsey Neill, Pen and Paper Patterns
Lindsey is one of the first modern quilters I formed a friendship with (Did you know that, Linds?). I continually reach out to her again and again for inspiration, encouragement and pattern support. (She's a fabulous pattern tester!)
I asked Linds if she wanted to write a few thoughts about her Sew Mojo process. Since she's too humble for her own good, I'm adding a couple things: Her design instincts are always on point and she is able to balance color and negative space in a way few other textile artists can. Lindsey's quilts inject joy into graphic, minimal design. And YES, Linds, you are a textile artist! Now, here's what she said...
I went into this project thinking I'd just have a cool Suzy Quilts wannabe mini for my sewing room. Haha! But, by the time I finished, I felt like a legit textile artist (p.s. I am definitely not, but I felt like one for at least a brief moment in time). I've made many minis, but this was the first one that gave me such an immense amount of satisfaction and inspired me in so many ways as an artist and quilter. Sounds dramatic, I know, but it's true! And yes, making quilts is an art form in-and-of-itself, but there's something unique about making a mini with no rigid rules or guidelines and with the intention to make it a piece of art to frame later. Suzy's pattern gives you the freedom to explore and think outside the mini quilt box, but, at the same time, also gives really helpful instruction and diagrams to make it happen.
Jenn Rossotti, Ginger Peach Studio
I had the pleasure of meeting Jenn a few weeks ago at Sew Pro, where, coincidentally, this Sew Mojo idea was inspired (read on). For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting her, let me paint a little picture: sweet, peach farming BOMBSHELL. I'm sorry, Jenn! I really am! I just had to say it. Hahaha! But in all seriousness, she has maaaad skillz. Just look at that hand quilting??
Read more about Jenn's Sew Mojo experience on her blog!
Yara Greuter, Qvilted
I've had heart eyes for Yara's quilts since I first saw this Half Square beauty on Instagram. At this point Yara is probably thinking, ok ok, get a life and stop featuring me every week. Sorry, freundin (just googled "girlfriend" in German....lol! I hope that's right!), I'm actually turning my website into Suzy&YaraQuilts.com sooooo....prepare yourself.
Emily Dennis, Quilty love
It's inevitable (so I tell myself) that when you design patterns for others to make, eventually someone will come along and make a version that is just a wee bit...or a lot bit...awesomer than the original. uhhum. [pointing to the picture above]. Now Emily, I'm not going to hold it against you, but I will say you may regret doing such a good job...you see, now I'm going to have to ask you to pattern test for me forever. Also I vaguely know where you live. Also, I have been told that I have no "boundaries."
Sigh....Em. Darling. What I'm trying to say is, whether you like it or not, I'm never not going to ask you to make a Quilty-love version for me. Also, be aware that if you try to ignore me, I might end up looking through your living room windows at night...I'm not saying it WILL happen...just saying it MIGHT happen.
In Emily's words, here's what the process was like. Pay attention to point three. It's important.
- I have too much fabric but couldn't actually cut into any of it for this. So I dug through the scrap bin.
- Hand sewing details is SO MUCH FUN!
- Suzy is a genius and I want to be her when I grow up.
- Minis are satisfying. This was my first one.
- Improv cutting and piecing is quite freeing and I need to do more of it.
Stephanie Kendron, Modern Sewciety
I proclaimed my love for Stephanie in an earlier blog post, so I'll just link to that and move on to THOSE STITCHES! *swoon* Seriously, Steph, you took hand quilting to the next level and have left us all inspired. I also want to point out how she plays with texture through various machine embroidery stitches mixed in with hand stitches. yummmm....
Oh! And raw edges! Raw edges, like really raw edges, can look so rad if you leave them. It gives the mini quilt great texture and dimension. Beautiful work, Steph!
Megan Nichols, City Stitches
If we boil this whole Sew Mojo concept down, it all started when I met Megan. Miss City Stitches came into my life a few weeks ago at Sew Pro and I was not just impressed by her engineering mathy brain (I'm hit'n you up for quilt math questions later. I know you didn't ask or want this, but now that I'm publicly asking you it would be super rude for you to say no.) but also by her open frankness about going through a dry spell with quilting.
Standing in a well lit lobby between lectures Meg announced to our small group that she'd lost her sewing mojo and was hoping to get it back. The conversation quickly moved on, but my brain had honed in and needed to ruminate on that for a while. Losing sewing mojo...that's it! That's the same thing as my fear of "my creativity well drying up!" I knew exactly what she was talking about and I wanted to do something about it!
Thus, the Sew Mojo mini quilt series!
Kristi Schroeder, Initial K Studio
Ex-graphic designer, Kristi-K-Quilter, was another happy surprise I got to enjoy while at (can you guess? I can't seem to stop talking about it.) Sew Pro a few weeks ago. Before being formally introduced, Kristi's quilts had become like an elusive white rabbit (I know this is a weird analogy, but stay with me). I would see flashes of them at QuiltCon, on Instagram and in different places, but I always got sidetracked before tracking down who was making these stunning, minimal, modern designs.
When I finally met Kristi and she handed me a postcard with all of her quilt designs on it, I thought, "Well, Jiminy Cricket, it's you! I know you!"
I'm glad that was one of the few times in my life I didn't blurt out exactly what I was thinking, because Kristi probably would have started screening my emails if upon meeting her I got buggy-eyed and said, "Oooooh YES! I know aaaaaaall about you, my little white rabbit! I have finally caught YOU!"
A few words from K-Quilter about the process...
Absolutely love the concept behind this exercise and knew this neutral mini would be the perfect accent to my gallery wall. The project took no time at all which is always a win in my book.
Jess Zeigler, Threaded Quilting
After seeing the above pictures, let me guess, you have two question for Jess:
- Can I hire you to quilt all the things?
- Do you teach hand quilting because WOWZER!
As much as I want to talk about the Halloween cuteness that is going on, can we get back to that quilting??? Like whaaaa?? Jess, when I asked you to make a Sew Mojo mini, I did not factor in the possibility of you putting my quilting to SHAME. Oh girl.
Well, now that I got that out of my system, let's talk about the black and orange theme that is giving me a hankering for a mini Kit Kat.
Wait, naaaaw, I'm still not done with the quilting. LOL! I can NEVER be done with that quilting. Lawd have mercy...
Read more about Jess' process on her blog!
If you have questions, comments, ideas, anything, please leave a comment. I love hearing from you! If you are on Instagram, be sure to use #SewMojoQuilts so we can all see your beautiful mini creation!