Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I learned from Heather Bailey


Finally sharing a few of the things I learned from Heather Bailey last week. I hope they will motivate you like they motivated me. Here goes:

No idea is too simple.

I was so touched by Heather's sharing her inspirational and spiritual story about inventing hair accessories called Trash Ties. This was the experience that changed the direction of her life and opened doors for many future opportunities that she has gracefully accepted. Listening to her story I was further convinced that God cares about the details of our lives. Through random experiences and meeting people and making connections, she was in the right place at the right time to launch what has become a successful product.

Don't set limits for yourself.

She encouraged us to step out of our comfort zone, to reach out to the people placed in our paths and to dare to dream of things we wouldn't think we are good enough or capable of doing.

This rang true to me as I looked back in my life. I happen to REALLY love my comfort zone. It is a very cozy place to be. But as I look back at the times when I stepped out (or was thrown out) of that comfort zone I see that the people I met and the experiences I had as a result are some of the most precious to me.

Finding my job at American Quilting was one of those experiences. As was starting a blog. So often I felt (and still feel) that it wasn't worth the effort because it wasn't as perfect looking as I'd like it to be. My pictures weren't as beautiful as others I admired, my graphic design skills are pathetic and my html skillz are pretty much non-existent. But I am SO grateful for the wonderful people I've met and come in contact with as a result starting this thing! There are days still when I get so frustrated with my blog not looking the way it does in my dreams (lol) that I want to pack it in, but I continue to remind myself that if I wait to be perfect before I try something new, I won't accomplish much in life. If I wait until I'm perfect at painting before I even try to paint, I'm not going to ever create a masterpiece. If you wait until you're a perfect seamstress before you try to sew, you're never going to create that family heirloom,. It's the jumping in and trying something new, that teaches us and helps us progress. And often, in the end, the journey - the process- is as valuable as the finished product.

Nurture your creative self. Make space for creativity.

I whole-heartedly give an Amen! to this statement. I've already spoken my piece on that subject, so I'll spare you more of my blathering here.

Just as we all have an inner critic, we all have an inner creator. Put the inner critic in her place. Promote her: don't invite her to any of the brainstorming sessions, just the final editing process.

My inner critic is a little too domineering in my life. She's not the type that screams at me, but she's really good at gently nagging. And getting me to endlessly and unfairly compare myself to other people. The perfect way to stifle any creativity.

Find what is unique about you.

Hands down, my favorite line she said: "As a teenager I was always the weird one who was making quilts for her friends, but it always made me happy." I loved this sentiment because that was ME too! And I always felt like such a weird-o and totally embarrassed if anyone found out. And sadly, I'm still kind of that way. Which is why it's so lovely to have met so many others (through blogging and working in a quilt shop) who 'get' my love for playing with fabric. But at the same time, I'm still pretty hesitant to tell other people what I do, or even that I have a blog about making quilts.


some of my collection of Heather Bailey fabrics that I'm hoarding, I mean saving for a new project

And yet, it makes me happy. It gives me a lot of creative satisfaction. And if God has given me a talent and something that I love to do, what does it say if I choose to hide it? So embrace your talents - especially if they are unique. Let them enrich your life.

I'm glad Heather Bailey embraced that gift. I think she is one of the major players in making sewing and creating with fabric very cool again and sparking that interest for a new generation of women. And creating very cool fabric to create with. Woo!

Speaking of which, she previewed her new collection Nicey Jane. So adorable. And I loved her explanation of the inspiration behind Nicey herself. :)


And if you would rather hear from Heather herself, you can check out the clip of an interview she gave while in Salt Lake here. It's worth watching. Plus she gives a demo of a very cute flower accessory anyone can make. Even the guy interviewing her gave it a go.

There is also a fascinating interview with Heather at Startup Princess (here). You can learn about her Favorite Knot, how to not feel guilty about the fabric in your stash that you aren't using, and about her spinning wheel! Seriously, its fascinating!

I'm sorry again for the delay in posting this. I spent my computer time this morning deleting weird comments in Japanese that were very dodgy. And yesterday was busy because we finally signed closing papers! Yay! So we will move this weekend. I don't know what that will mean for computer availability over the next little bit, but I'll resurface eventually. And I still need to post a tribute to my faithful fence.

20 comments:

Patty said...

Amy, Congratulations on your signing. I'm sure you'll be very busy over the next few days(weeks)settling in. But at least the trip to school won't be so long. I hear you and Heather Bailey about stepping of your comfort zone. The few times I've done it I have rarely regretted it, and I've become a better person because of it. It's all about growth.

Aimee said...

Wow! I love this post! It hit home on nearly every level! As a matter of fact, I had one of my closest friends tell me she felt like I had left her behind when she checked out my blog. And I have to say, it was a little bit true. But I'll never completely leave her behind, I'll just go away on trips. ;) Thanks for the inspiration!

amylouwho said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I needed to hear it. I love Heather Bailey too and am off to check out her interview!

Thanks again!

signed, another amy

Annette said...

A very nice post with a lot of wisdom. Thanks. oh, and I think your blog is awesome.

Aunt Spicy said...

AUS-What a great post! I must say, I am super glad that you started your blog, you are a total inspiration! Plus I needed a cousin to conspire with on fabric and quilting and sewing!

Becky said...

I agree with everything you wrote and say a big Amen, sister! Especially the whole critic thing. I, too, love to make things just to give them away. But the attention when giving is a little much. I don't mind appreciativeness, but I don't need a lot of attention...just an excuse to sew.
Congrats on your closing!

paulette said...

Well said- all of it! Good luck on the weekend! Let us know how it went!
Take care!
Paulette

Kelly King Anderson-Startup Princess said...

Amy! Thanks for this post, I loved her presentation at Touchpoint as well. I'm so happy you came! You might also link to this interview that we featured, you'll love the Q&A:

http://startupprincess.com/wordpress/introducing-heather-bailey-touchpoint-keynote-speaker-and-owner-of-heather-bailey-designs/

take care and congrats with your new house!
Kelly

The Papin's said...

Dear Amy,
My daughter and I love your blog and even went to some of the quilt shops you love while we were visiting in the Provo Canyon. You are an inspiration to all quilters. Keep up the wonderful blog. Love, Vicki from California

Nedra said...

Such wise and wonderful words. Never apologize for your amazing God given gifts. If you could only see yourself as we see you. You are one talented and generous lady!What you are is perfect enough.
Good luck with the move this weekend.

Katy said...

Sometimes I find myself apologising for preferring to sew than going to the gym, or playing sports or drinking. And after I've apologised, I think 'why'd I just do that?'.

So glad you had a great time meeting Heather Bailey.

And...most importantly... GOOD LUCK WITH THE MOVE!!!!!!!!

Mauri said...

Amy, thanks for the wonderful post. I too often shut my creative side down because I think I won't be able to accomplish whatever I want to take on. Thanks for the inspiration! And you are so not a weirdo, you are one of the sweetest most wonderful girls I've ever known! Keep up the quilting, you do have oodles of talent. Hooray for the papers being signed, let the moving begin!

Jodie B-C said...

Thank you for this post...I needed to read it! I'm stepping out of my comfort zone...in a direction that requires a ton of confidence in myself knowing that I am "good enough" and it's hard to keep thinking that way. I may reread this post frequently in the next couple of days! Good luck with the move. I'll be thinking about you and your family!

Tiffany said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing that. I've followed your blog for a long time and have always enjoyed it. I started one up also and now am working full time again - I will keep it going because like you said, it doesn't need to be perfect :)

Hannah S said...

That's a great wrap up of what she spoke about. I really debated going and sort of regret not going now. My cousin Sarah (jane) loved it too and felt very touched by many of her words.

Thanks for your quick reponse to my question. Where can I get my hands on the fabric you suggested?? Is Etsy the best place now? or are there places (like your shop) that carry it in the valley? Get to me when you can...I know you are busy being a home owner :)

Rebel said...

So inspirational! Thank You!

live a colorful life said...

This was such a great post. I'm going to read it again, more slowly this time. Thanks, Amy.

MadeByMeaghan said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! What you wrote about really spoke to me in this post - especially about other people thinking this is a weird hobby. I also feel so lucky to have found the blog world and other people so excited about fabric as I am. Who knew quilting and sewing was so cool? Oh yeah, we did!

Pamela said...

Amy, it was so great to meet you and visit at Touchpoint. I loved sitting and basking in Heather Bailey presence and all the "good things" she talked about. (tad dramatic, I know.

What a great wrap up of what she discussed and shared.

Melissa said...

Found you today from park city girl (i think you found me too)...
boy did I need to read that today, all those things have been on my mind this week.. I'm so glad I found this post
.. Love your blog, added you to my reader today!