From Frustration to Fun: Designing My Latest Quilt

by Nicole

After recovering from finishing Sun Rays, I spent this weekend starting a new project. I had a vision in mind, but when I made the first block, it just didn’t feel right. So then I made a second and a third block, a fourth and a fifth block and still none of the blocks were working for me. Some days are like that!

And then I decided to stick with what I know and love – minimalism.

Related: Going the Minimalist Route on Madrona Road

Related: A New Favorite Quilt

Once I decided to keep things simple, I started to have fun!

I found these cute hedgehogs in my stash and added a scrap of text fabric. Do you see “love”?


And then I found in my stash a bigger “love” to add in a block.


On the same print, right next to the big love, was an excerpt from the Desiderata poem by Max Ehrmann, which I just had to put in its own block.


Ever since I decided that simpler was the way to go, the process of designing and making this quilt has been much more fun! I’ll be back to share more soon.

What do you do when quilting frustration sets in?

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog





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Shasta February 29, 2016 - 9:08 am

I start a new project that appeals to me more! Kidding, sort of. When I am frustrated, depending on the source of the frustration, I usually find a project that is at a different stage. So if I am having frustration with quilting something, I will find a project where I need to piece something or prepare some applique, etc.

Nicole February 29, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Makes sense! Sometimes it helps to work on something completely different! Thanks for sharing, Shasta!

Lori February 29, 2016 - 11:07 am

I take a similar approach to Shasta and focus on something else. This allows time for the problem to percolate in my mind and often results in an inspiring solution. Even without a new inspiration, returning to the problem when rested sometimes makes the original frustration disappear. (PS – I’m experiencing maximum love for your minimal hedgehog solution 😉 )

Nicole February 29, 2016 - 3:43 pm

So true, Lori! Sometimes all we need is a break, but our minds keep working on the issue.
I’m a bit partial to the hedgehogs too!

Meredithe February 29, 2016 - 5:03 pm

They look like great blocks. I usually walk away in frustration, have a cuppa, have a think, re-assess and try again. (Or chuck it in the corner and have a tantrum!!)

Nicole February 29, 2016 - 10:26 pm

Thanks, Meredithe! I’ve had a tantrum a time or two myself!

Rosemary B February 29, 2016 - 9:22 pm

Nicole, I like the colors and the love part too.
Making your own designs is fun, right ??♥️

Nicole February 29, 2016 - 10:27 pm

Thanks, Rosemary! Designing can be fun when it comes together just like the vision I have in my head. But when it doesn’t cooperate, it’s not so much fun!

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge March 1, 2016 - 6:31 pm

When I get really frustrated with a project, I tend to put it away for as long as it takes to approach it with a calmer attitude. Sometimes I’ll pull out one of my go-to ongoing projects (selvage blocks being the most interesting of them). It might take days or even months! I love those wee hedgies and have a chunk of them in my stash!

Nicole March 2, 2016 - 8:18 am

Hi Jenn! It can definitely help to get some space from the project – so maybe having lots of wips is a good thing?!?
And yes, I’m a bit smitten with the hedgies too! I’ve only a scrap so I’m using it sparingly!

Izzy March 5, 2016 - 10:06 am

I’m a lot like everyone else here – when a project frustrates me, I put it in a “time out” for a while and focus on more fun projects. I really like where yours is going. 🙂

Nicole March 6, 2016 - 11:01 am

Thanks, Izzy! Sometimes a “time-out” is necessary! Thankfully, there’s usually other wips that are waiting in the wings for some attention!

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