3 Things Quilters Should STOP Doing!

Want to become a better quilter? No matter what your level of experience, you’ll enjoy this quick video from Angela Walters, sharing 3 things quilters should STOP DOING. And really, it applies to a lot more than quilting. These 3 little tips could make a BIG change both in how you work and in how you see your end results!

3 things quilters (and anyone who sews!) should STOP DOING!

Do you quilt or sew? 3 things you should STOP DOING! Great advice!


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  1. Thanks for sharing these points, they have been an encouragement. My daughter gave me your book Shape by Shape I will endeavor to use it to finish my quilt.

  2. Thank you so much for the encouraging words. We are our own worst critics! We see everything negative and not the joy that the quilt brings to the new parent or small child that uses it to play hide and seek under or the joy that a newly wed couple feels to receive something that is theirs together. Thank you for reminding us of those simple things.

  3. after listening to you, i felt touched so much by your story about your husband’s grandfather, and your common sense approach to ‘our’ self inflicted analogies of our quilting work, i just wanted to give you a hug…….you seriously put it into perspective……….thank you angela………..you are a teacher more than you know

  4. thankyou Angela for reminding us of the important things in life. I promise not to be so hard on myself in future as a quilter and in other aspects of my life. No more loss of joy over anything so unimportant. Bless you. Frances

  5. I loved your story about your grandpa. I’m making a quilt for my granddaughter and I wanted to have it machine quilted but I don’t have the extra money right now. I have been slow at finishing the quilt because of that. Your story gave me the push to get it finished. I know she will love it even if it’s not machine quilted. Thank you

  6. Thanks for the reminders. I am, at this moment, warming my feet under the first full-sized quilt I ever finished. It was for my Uncle Frank on his first Christmas after my Aunt Doris had died. I knew there was no way I could get it quilted in time for the BIG DAY, and this was before I even knew about big quilting machines. I simply drafted my son, my sister and my mom for a marathon hand quilting session once I machine quilted around the larger shapes. I will never forget his face. He and my aunt never had children of their own and had been really special to my siblings and me. It really made the day special for all of us.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours! Keep spreading the joy!

  7. Your grandad would be so proud of you….. Not only the amazing successes in quilting, which he inspired and lovingly taught you, but your kindness, generosity and love which is so apparent in this video. Thank you for reminding me…. I have no friends who sew, no local guild I can get to and sometimes my hobby becomes my chore because I attempt too much, and of too high a standard. I have yet to find an online circle of quilting friends to fill the void of no guild but reading your blog inspires me – thank you x

  8. Angela, Your story was very touching and reminds me that it is the loving motive in which we aspire that makes life so joyful. Thank you for reminding me of this. Kathy

  9. What wonderful wisdom you have shared here! I have long expressed this kind of sentiment to my daughter or friends as the years have passed. I have reminded myself many times of these ideas as well. However, growing up I knew many critics, unfortunately, and I still have their voices echoing in my ear as I try to create. I end up having a terrible session when this happens. Thank you for making the video. I will revisit and listen whenever I need it. I wish I had a friend to encourage me like this. Cheers!

  10. Thank you so much for this video. I am working on my first quilt that’s also by hand and find it hard not to see the flaws. I’ve never thought about the way that I compare my first quilt to someone elses’ best but I do it all the time. Now when I see someone elses’ quilt I’ll remind myself that they had a first quilt too and it was probably a lot like mine. In the end, it will be used and loved and that’s all that matters. 🙂

  11. I wanted to make a quilt for my husband who was wounded in Vietnam years ago but couldn’t find the right materials. I even signed up for a patriot quilt but never heard from them. Since I had only been quilting for about a year I didn’t think I was qualified to do it justice. But since he was living on borrowed time so to speak I decided to try. When it was done he had about 7 months to enjoy it but he did. It was on his chair or bed until the end or beginning of his next steps in life.

  12. Wow! This was just what I needed to hear. About 2 years ago; maybe 3 – My Mom bought a large sewing machine so we could machine quilt. She has 12 tops that have not been quilted. We were all excited about getting them done and then my Dad became ill. Needless to say we haven’t even started one; although we have finished many other projects. I just read your story and I called my Mom (she is in her 80s and I told her as she napped to think about which one of those quilts she wants to do and that we would get it done. YOu are so right there is nothing more special that the PURPOSE of the quilts and sharing time with a loved one. I am going to encourage my sisters to help out with this as well; time spent with Mom, making memories and sharing a love of being together and sewing. Thanks so much! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  13. Wow…I so enjoyed this. I am a perfectionist and after long arm quilting for about 10 years I sold my machine, I just never felt like it was good enough…right now I wish I had it back,,,,,,, you are a true inspiration,,,,,, Thank you.

  14. Thank you for reminding me about progress, not perfection and the reason I make quilts…..the joy of sewing and the happiness of gifting it away.

  15. I want to say Thank you for the video 3 things to stop doing it was definitely everything I was doing and your story of your grandpa reminded me of a quilt I did for my grandma she also loved quilting and would make quilts for everyone but she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and our time was cut short so I decided it was time to create a special quilt for her but do to timing I had to go quickly for I only had a month to go from idea to complete so she would even be aware she received it it was a generation quilt where I had embroidery done of her life and all the children her and grandpa created and inspired my mom said on the day she passed she asked for this quilt my grandpa then used this quilt til he passed and my mom now has the quilt which she uses not my best work but I get alot of compliments and anyone that uses it also receives not only my love but hugs from anyone that used it.I know this was long but I had forgotten this along the way trying to decide that perfect quilt to make and it has robbed me of inspiration and how much love that quilt brought to many which now is my perfect quilt

  16. I am the grandma that made 2 quilts for my grandsons (14 months and newborn) for Christmas this year. I had sent the larger one to my friend who longarms. When picking it up she pointed out every mistake, and I just said it wont matter to him. Was the truth, he wont leave home without it, wont sleep without it and bet its being drug all over the house! Your video was spot on and thank you. I quit going to my modern quilt guild because of show and tell.. My skills were very lacking and it became very depressing. I’m glad i have stuck with it and take pride in putting a smile on someones face giving of my time and talents.
    Bless you for sharing!

  17. Beautiful advice for quilting and LIFE!! Thank you, so much, for your special message of encouragement.
    Your three points call us to rise above our human nature!
    We are all unique individuals that lose that perspective when comparing ourselves to another.
    When we can simply say “thank you”, we honor the joy of appreciation others feel toward our work.
    Our lives are like those unfinished quilts still being pieced… One day, we’ll see the beautiful finished product!
    Thank you, again, for my devotional for the day!

  18. Love what you had to say, you have obviously thought about it a lot. You are truly an inspiration to all. Wish i cud come to yr classes but I live so far away. I hope to follow yr blog.

  19. Angela,
    You are so young to be so wise. Your words resound not just about quilting but about life and embody one of my cornerstone mantras: Be gentle with yourself. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

  20. I know it’s been almost a year since you did this video, but I just got to see it for the first time. Whenever I make anything it seems like I see nothing but the mistakes at first, but if I haven’t looked at it in a while I usually don’t see them as much. I am very lucky to own four of my Grandmothers quilts and never, not once have I ever looked at them and seen a mistake. I just feel so happy to have them and they are all so beautiful to me. Thanks for the great advice.

  21. Great advice and good encouragement for ALL quilters no matter whether you are an accomplished quilter or a beginner. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Thank you sooo much for this blog…I can now enjoy quilting without being perfect!!! That is what is keeping me from finishing my projects… I have a new focus…

  23. Guess I am the only one who didn’t gain anything from this video. I have never compared myself to others since I have always known everyone is different. And why point out mistakes? No one would notice them anyway. I guess I am just irritated with the video because it kept stopping every 5 seconds. I would much rather read an article than listen to a stuttering video.

  24. I just listened to your post about 3 things quilters should stop doing. You inspired me. I am teaching myself to quilt because I am a very slow learner & people tend to lose patients with me. But I am enjoying every minute of it & often find myself crying when I think of the people I make my projects for using them in their life.

    That you
    Genevieve Beise

  25. I love quilting, especially machine appliqué! I quite often make my own designs using colouring books or simple drawings from the internet. I have a photo copy place that patiently helps me make the pictures the correct size and reverse copy for copying onto the fusible web. I usually put in borders and use 505 for basting. Then I use free motion quilting in the squares. Sometimes my stitching isn’t perfect as I have M.S. And tend to shake and jerk. My quilts aren’t perfect, but I am so proud of my quilts and everyone I give a quilt to loves the quilt and appreciates my workmanship. I feel fulfilled, creative and appreciated! What more could I ask for?👍🤗💘

  26. When I was in H. S. in 1968 our “Charm” teacher told us a story. Every Friday she bought a new outfit, every Saturday her boyfriend picked her up and said “You look so beautiful.” She would say “Oh this old thing? My hair is all over the place, etc.” After a while he stopped telling her she was pretty. Your 3 things NOT TO DO go to every aspect of our lives. No the pot roast is not over done – it’s dinner. Anyway thanks for sharing and taking the time to remind us of what’s important.

  27. Thanks for the blog it made me think differently how I feel about my finished quilts, because I know where all the mistakes are.

  28. I stumbled onto this video and I had to stop what I was doing and watch Angela. My mother, grandmother., and it seems all of my female cousins on that side of my family quilt. I inherited the love of fabric but with 4 kids and work I never had the luxury to sit and hand quilt with my Mom except for a few times. Now I have multiple quilts of hers in various stages of completion besides a gigantic horde of my own fabric. Watching Angela and Jenny Doan has sparked the desire in me to actually cut into that out of print fabric I still have going back into the 1970’s and also to try to figure how to piece together the bits and pieces of my mom’s unfinished quilt tops. I know that what ever I don’t finish will be tossed out so I better get a move on! Thank you Angela for always being inspirational!

  29. What a perfect video, I will always remember your advice and am passing it along to my 2 daughter-in-laws who have just started quilting. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  30. THANK YOU!!!! I needed to hear what you said so badly. I have spent months working on a king size quilt for my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas. I stayed up all night long many nights only to not get it finished in time. I shed many tears over this project before I ever started it because the fabric I was using was no longer available and I knew I wanted it to be perfect. No matter how I tried I had mistakes that were so very obvious to me. I spent a full session with my therapist talking about my anxiety.

    Christmas Eve came and the family gathered. When it was time to give out the presents, I showed them the unfinished quilt and apologized profusely. They both were shocked and amazed that I had made such a lovely gift for them. My daughter-in-law was beyond thrilled and even took a picture of it to show her family.

    I will finish it soon and take it to them. They live a couple of hours away but my daughter-in-law wants me to be there when it is put on their bed. Regardless of the mistakes, I feel sure that they will love it and enjoy it.

    I can’t wait to tell my therapist how your comments helped me get past my anxiety. Bless you!

  31. Thank you for sharing this. I am new to quilting and sewing in general, and I do find myself feeling self conscious about my work.

  32. What a wonderful philosophy for life in general! As my daughter says, life is not a competition. There is a book called The Artists Wahy which supports everything you say. Wonderful little video. I hope MANY folks see it!

  33. Thanks so much for this! Just what I needed after receiving the comments from the quilt judge at the county fair about a quilt I was really pleased with as it showed considerable progress for me. Felt bad after because it wasn’t perfect. Nope, now I will just be pleased with my progress! Thanks!

  34. Time has passed since you made your Video about finishing a quilt not looking at the faults. When my grandson was turning 5 he had a passion for dinosaurs. I had patterns to make big stuffed dinosaurs & flying ones & decided to make him a quilt to go with the big stuffies I made him. I chose a pretty blue & made only half of three different dinosaurs. I then sewed each half on the top side of the quilt, stuffed those halves & sewed around each one like appliqué. He absolutely loved it. In later years as a teen, his mom was going to give it away to thrift shop. He is now close to 30, in the Canadian Navy, & I believe still has it. That meant more to me than anything you could buy me. Now I have to get busy & finish the quilt I started for myself. At 79 years old, my time could be running out but I sure want to get it done. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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