Celtic Quilts – My Journey

My first book Celtic Quilts: A New Look for Ancient Designs was published in 2000 by Martingale & Co. Clicking on the book photo will take you the book page on Amazon.com.

The following has been excerpted from a lecture/trunk show that I have shared with quilt guilds, quilt show attendees, and various community groups around the country.

I’d like to share with you some of the things in my life that led to my becoming a quiltmaker, and ultimately to the writing of my Celtic book. I’m also going to try to answer some of the questions I’m asked most often. So please be patient with me – we are going to tiptoe down what might seem to be a couple of rabbit trails; but I promise that they do, in fact, bring us back to where we want to be.

It is my hope that even if you don’t have any interest whatsoever in Celtic designs (how could that be??) Or if you never even look at any of my books, we can find some common ground – it always amazes me how quilters can be so different from each other, and yet again still so much alike.

We make quilts because we love to.  We need to.  It’s not just about keeping warm – it’s about creativity, self-expression, comfort, healing (sometimes even grieving) and expressing love.

My own journey has encompassed all of these things.

As you will see, my quilts are not intended to be the ultimate in Celtic design.  Instead, they are meant to reflect both my own heritage and my fascination with color and line.  My book is meant to be a good starting point for anyone who is interested in making their own Celtic inspired quilts – especially those with limited time on their hands who would still like to achieve an heirloom look.

The quilts, table runner, pillows and wall hangings shown in this post are all from my Celtic Quilts book. Complete patterns for all but the final quilt shown are included in the book.

Continue Reading…

My Quilting Story

Legacy Journal Quilt

Back in March of this year, the Missouri Quilt Co. ran a contest: ”Quilting touches so many of our hearts on a much deeper level than just pretty fabrics pieced together. For some, quilting is an artistic outlet. It is a medium to allow your creative talents to really shine. For others, quilting can be a sort of therapy. I know that as I measure, cut, and stitch, I feel a great sense of release and relaxation. It is very satisfying to create my own little piece of order and beauty even though the rest of the world may be spinning out of control!
We want to hear your story. Why do you quilt? How has quilting made your life better? How has quilting changed you?”

This got me thinking… How could I sum up what quilting means to me in 500 words or less? Continue Reading…

8 Tips for a Creative Life

tulip

This is a reprint of an article that originally appeared in the magazine CraftSanity, Issue 2, published by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood. © Beth Ann Williams, 2011.

CraftSanity. Making stuff. Crafting Sanity.

Sometimes it’s about having something do to with my hands while my heart and mind are in turmoil. Sometimes it’s distraction from pain. Sometimes it’s about expressing friendship, love or commitment to a person or a cause. Sometimes it’s a way to reframe hardship or powerlessness. Sometimes it’s an affirmation of identity. And sometimes it’s for the pure joy of exploring “what if?” But mostly it’s a compulsion.

I have had to accommodate significant fluctuations in available resources and in physical abilities, but I have also learned there is ALWAYS a way to continue to create. It’s right up there on the level of breathing in importance to my sanity and well-being…

Which brings me back to CraftSanity.Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for living a creative life: Continue Reading…

Finished Is More Important Than Perfect

2013 Zen-Tangle

Finished is more important than perfect. Anyone who has participated in one of my classes or Demo Days has probably heard me say this – it’s one of my favorite mantras when teaching.

The second part goes like this: The more you finish, the closer to perfect you’ll get.

It’s generally true, especially when applied to learning a new skill or “perfecting” established skills. Time after time, I’ve observed that the creative souls who forge ahead and joyfully finish their project (whether it is a learning exercise or a finished work) tend to advance much faster than those who stop, judge, rip out, undo, redo, and eventually abandon the work because it doesn’t measure up to their expectations. Continue Reading…

Evolving…

Tree of Life Journal Quilt

Evolve or Die. That sounds terribly ominous, doesn’t it?
A bit Borg-ish, even… (Yep, that’s a Star Trek reference; and nope, I didn’t see it coming either.)

But there’s some truth there.

Letting go of the old in order to make way for the new – I confess that sometimes it feels like that’s what my entire life has always been about. Transitions – sometimes eagerly anticipated, sometimes forcibly thrust upon me, sometimes resisted and sometimes embraced. It can be hard to let go of the known (even when it’s less than perfect) in favor of the unknown… but it can also be exciting, can’t it?

That’s how I feel about this new website and blog. I’ve been resisting it for a long time, but I’m finally ready to get moving – even though I’m not entirely sure where I’ll end up. Continue Reading…