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A Quilters Journey - Conquering the Fear of Quilting the Teal Dream Big Panel

Home Quilter - Winner - Louise Brogan

I wanted to share with you a little about Louise. I asked her to give us her story about her quilt and herself. I hope you enjoy her quilting as much as I do and her story. I added the pictures of the rest of her entries. The teal one had a color blotch in one of the petals and Louise made that into a raindrop. I told her to create a masterpiece out of the mistake and she did. I did replace it with one without a blemish. :)

Tell me a little about yourself and what inspired you in your quilting?

From the time I can remember holding a chunky crayon in Kindergarten, creating beautiful things has been my passion. I have always loved to draw and paint, but it was always most thrilling for me when I found a new medium to express my art with. From oil painting to pastels, pen and ink, watercolors and acrylic paints, at one time or another, they all fulfilled my love of expressing myself through creating art.

It was when I became a mother for the first time and received a hand-made baby quilt as a gift 28 years ago that I found my true passion. I loved the tactile feel of this new medium. The fabrics, the colors, the textures were an exciting change for me. When my son was getting ready to graduate from his crib to a new, big bed, I began my first attempt at creating a full-sized quilt myself. By hand, I pieced together an entire Log Cabin Quilt from a pattern I dug up in a library book (ancient history, I know!) I was so drawn in by the whole process that it only took 3 weeks for me to complete by hand… pieced and quilted! I was HOOKED! It came out amazing, and I still have that quilt, which I keep draped over a special rocking chair in my art studio.

For years after that, I hand pieced quilts until one day, about 15 years ago, my husband surprised me with a wonderful Bernina sewing machine! That is when I truly engulfed myself in learning everything I could about art quilting. Everything I learned was from magazine articles and TV shows. I was able to combine my love for painting and drawing together with my love of sewing. It was the perfect fit for my creative outlets.

Through much trial and error, I became quite skilled at Thread-Painting. It was first landscapes, I then moved on to portraits. I am still so in love with the process. Just when I started getting comfortable with my new passion, my husband surprised me again… this time with a new Long-Arm machine and frame for my 50th birthday (That was nine years ago, mind you.)! He has always been my biggest fan and always encourages me to “push myself forward, out of my comfort zone.” That machine frightened me for the longest time! I had no clue how to load it, no less how to even use it! It felt so foreign and unnatural to me. Although I took a few workshops here and there during the next several years, I never felt completely comfortable with it. I have to say, with all honesty, that it was when I first saw one of the amazingly, beautifully quilted Hoffman Dream Big Panels posted on Instagram that I was inspired to master my long-arm machine skills… or at least give it my complete attention!  I was in awe at how beautiful this quilt was.  I was determined to conquer my discomfort.  With a project like this, I felt less intimidated because the quilt was broken down into sections for me; each petal was its own separate canvas!  I had a new-found confidence now, and I was ready to get started on one.  I thought, “I think I can do this.  At the very least, it will be a great practice for me.”

Next step was to find where to purchase one. I searched online and found “My Favorite Quilt Store.”  Margo had so many beautiful panels to choose from.  It was so hard to decide which one I wanted!  Needless to say, I ordered “the Teal one.” I have finally fallen in love with my Long- Arm machine after nine years. I truly had so much fun conquering one petal at a time and designing each petal with a different quilting design.

MyFavoriteQuiltStore Dream Big
Winning Dream Big Teal Panel quilt by Louise Brogan

I was so impressed with the results of my beautiful quilted panel and so sad that it was completed, so of course, I had to buy another one, and then another one, and then another one… I have completed four different ones so far, and it never gets old, and I have two more on my frame right now that I’m working on! Yes, two on a frame at one time! I have four of these fabulous Dream Big Panels quilted and hanging in my dining area in my Cupola, all facing each other, all different colors; and the two on my Long-Arm Frame, which will be baby quilts for two young friends who are expecting babies soon. Perhaps I can inspire these new moms to love quilting as much as I do someday.

I can’t get enough of these beautiful panels. They are so much fun to design and quilt and are a great break for me from my Thread-Painting work. I am addicted, and can’t wait to stop typing now, so I can go into my studio and finish up my Dream Big Panels! Sorry to cut this short, but I have things to gift!!

In conclusion, I just have to say that I have learned so much from quilting these panels. I am no longer intimidated by my Long- Arm Machine. These Dream Big Panels have helped me to “Compartmentalize” my quilting strategy and have moved me forward in my quilting skills; a huge thank you to Margo and her staff as well. They have been very patient with me. I was so anxious to get my first panel, and she assured me that it would be coming shortly each time I ordered!

Dream Big Closeup
Dream Big Close up top right

More Louise Dream Big Panels