I Am A Maker {And There’s A Giveaway!}


mak·er / mākər
1. a person or thing that makes or produces something

Someone recently referred to me on my Instagram account as a Maker.  I’ve heard the word used to describe people that I feel are professionals in the creative community but never have I thought of myself in this term.  It got me thinking quite seriously about the creative side of my brain that makes me a Maker and what it takes to keep the creativity alive.  This is what I’ve learned the last little while as I’ve pondered these thoughts.



Hand quilting and embellishing little sewing projects with hand work is one of my favorite things to do.


Find Your Passion

I feel that we all have (or at least we should have) something that we are passionate about. I happen to be one of those people that has many interests and enjoys learning new things, working in my gardens, cooking, and even cleaning house.  But recently I’ve become aware that time in my sewing room is my passion.  Even if all I’m doing is sewing up some quick potholders for a birthday gift for a friend, it is completely enjoyable to me.  Everytime I am with my elderly parents – who still ranch full time – I am aware that what keeps them active and happy is their passion for what they do.  We all need something that drives us.



My vintage locker basket full of my favorite inspirational project books!


Make Time For It

In the book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, the Author talks about how necessary it is to make time to develop that creative thing in our life that we are passionate about.  For me it doesn’t mean that it has to be all consuming, but I do recognize that it helps me in so many areas of my life if I make time for that creative passion.  Recently I read a comment that a friend had written about her love of creating.  She said, “I make time to sit at my sewing table and do something every day.  Even if it is only 15 minutes to pull some fabric for a new design, sew a few hand stitches on a quilt, or look at a new pattern.  I am happier, my family is happier, my day goes smoother.”   And I would agree completely.  Sometimes all I have time for is a few minutes to look at one of the fun creative books that I own.  It’s enough to get the energy flowing again!



The quilt that was not my thing!


Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I recently was asked by a friend if she could pay me to make a specific lap quilt for her sister in law.  She showed me a picture of what she wanted and I told my friend that yes, I could make it.  But then the trouble started.  The fabric colors required for the project were not my favorites, the pattern itself was not something that was enjoyable for me (it was weener dogs for goodness sakes!) and all of a sudden what I love doing became drudgery.  Because I’m a finisher, is wasn’t hard for me to stick it out and finish it but I felt that it was not my best work and I was disappointed in it.  But it taught me a lot; I learned some techniques I had never done before, I learned that even though it didn’t make me happy it certainly made someone else happy.  I also learned that stepping out of my comfort zone was good for me and that I need to do it more often.  And the final lesson was one I’m sure you’re waiting for:  when the quilt was finished I loved it and the few things that I felt I could’ve done better will certainly not be noticed by anyone else!



The gorgeous bundle of fabric I have for twin size quilts… and I can’t bring myself to cut into it.


Put The Fears Aside

Why, in doing something I love, would there be fears?  I ask myself this all the time.   I have had a plan to make quilts for my guest room beds for three years now.  Twice I’ve put the project out of my mind.  Last year, after a tremendous amount of deliberation, I purchased the fabric for the quilts.  I looked at hundreds of patterns until I finally settled on my two favorites.  And so how far have I come in the process?  Not one single step.  The beautiful fabric is still sitting on my sewing room work area.   But I cannot seem to cut into the fabric.  Strange as it seems I am having some real fears of failure here.  I’m not afraid that I can’t do it; because I can.  I’m not afraid that I won’t love them; I’m quite sure I will.  I’m not afraid of the time involved; I’m prepared in my mind for how long it will take. But somehow I’ve got some fears of taking that plunge and cutting the fabric! I’ve finally figured out that I love projects that give me instant gratification and a quilt, especially one that I intend to quilt by hand, is a very long process that could take me a year to complete.  Somehow soon I will put those fears aside and get started.  I’m asking you to hold me accountable!


“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

A quote from one of my favorite books I’ve read about creative living.


Take A Deep Breath… And Have Courage

Do you all remember this post I wrote in January about my plans to teach a summer quilting camp to four sweet girls?   To some people it may not seem like a big deal to plan something so simple as a summer quilting camp for young sewists, but for me it has been a really big deal and took a lot of courage to commit to it.  But just writing about it helped me to make it real and after I shared my blog post on my IG feed I could not believe the support that I received from people in the quilting community.   I feel so much more confident now and recognize that even if the camp doesn’t go exactly as I picture it in my mind; if the girls go home with a feeling of success for themselves then it is absolutely perfect!  I’m thankful I had the courage to just simply get started with the ideas.  I think there is treasure hidden there and I’m eager to see what it is!



One little area on my fabric shelves… continual inspiration!


Surround Yourself With Creativity

Numerous times I’ve shared the picture of my craft room – especially my sewing table with my wall filled with mini-quilts that I’ve sewn and many that have been gifted to me.  So I’m not going to share that picture again.  But the picture above is just a little vignette of what the top of my  fabric storage shelf looks like.  I try always to have little areas like this with beautiful fabric displayed because it  makes me happy and also makes me creative!  Incidentally that bundle of fabric there on the left that is tied with a ribbon?  That fabric is called Caravan Roundup and is designed by our very own MaryJane!  It is sitting there reminding me of my summer quilting camp coming up because one of the girls will be using that fabric!  (Just one of the little things of MaryJane’s that always inspires creativity in me.)


IMG_7981One of the sweetest gifts I’ve received from a Maker friend – a Maker bag that holds everything I need for any little hand project I’m working on.  I can grab it and go – it’s always at the ready! 


Do Not Compare Yourself To Others

Living in the world we live in now where we Makers share our projects on all sorts of different social media platforms, we are opening ourselves wide up to comparison.  I have found myself in this place a few times and all it does is feed insecurities. However, the flip side of “comparison” is that we can use it to help us fan the flame of creativity, to give us more ideas and to strive to perfect our skills.  Something I’ve found in the Maker community is this desire to encourage and inspire others.  The sharing of ideas is amazing.  And the sharing of kindnesses.  I’ve received so many beautiful little things in the mail from other Makers that I know only through social media and it is amazing the kindness.  I have found in myself that sharing is always better than comparing.



Passing on my love of fabric and quilt blocks to my grand-girls encourages me.


Always Thank Those That Encourage You

Thank you dear readers for listening to me ramble today about my musings on being a Maker.  And for always, always being an encouragement in your comments.  So…. to thank you (smile!) I’ve got a  GIVE-AWAY!  A great little special home-made item to send to one lucky winner.  It is a complete surprise…. custom made for you, by me!  I AM a Maker after all!  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what it is that you are passionate about and do you find time for it daily?


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.



  1. Connie Howard says:

    I’ve discovered the wonderful world of quilting which I enjoy frequently if not daily. My daughter and granddaughter also share this passion.

  2. Cheryl Ross says:

    My passion is all my fabric that I too have a hard time cutting into! Also all my vintage sewing machines, I love just looking at the old work horses that sew a perfect stitch and don’t bounce around. I sew some everyday and never tire of creating something on my machines!!

  3. Linda Cox says:

    I enjoy reading your blog. Your projects are beautiful. I admire you teaching girls how to quilt. Here in Louisiana they have some quilting clubs, and show their art @ library’s & craft shows. I use to quilt & crochet but I don’t do close up work anymore. I like to read a variety of large print books. I plan on teaching granddaughter on baking. I had some beautiful quilts from grandparents, but since I lived in Baton Rouge, La. my house got flooded & lost them 8/13/16. Linda

  4. Lorelai says:

    Dear Dori,

    What a sweet giveaway….thank you!

    I’m passionate about my families healthy eating so I cook fresh homemade meals for them everyday.
    I’m passionate about keeping family heirlooms on display where I can see them and remember all my loved ones specialness and values.
    I’m passionate about making art and beauty through jewelry making, water coloring, mosaics and gardening.

    Spring is coming ~ I hope it’s a crafty, fun and fulfilling time for you!

  5. Sally Christiansen says:

    I love to quilt and am making sure I find time to work on projects at least once a week. I find that if I don’t do something for myself I get a little cranky.

  6. Judi says:

    My passion is my farm. Unfortunately, I only go there during the summer months, but when the weather breaks I’m there a couple of days every week. I mow, work outdoors, take care of my old horse Mack, and feed the spirit.

  7. What beautiful sewing..it is inspiring me to get back into my hand sewing..thank you

  8. Kathleen Frederick says:

    I am passionate about quilting! If several days go by and I haven’t made time for some little portion of the quilting process I actually get antsy! Sometimes I neglect “have to” projects to get a little sewing in. Sometimes I get up early; sometimes I hurry and get my work done so I can sew a seam or two And sometimes, after supper, I just need 10 minutes alone time with my sewing machine to settle down for the evening:)

  9. Donna Shearrer says:

    I love to sew. Small and big quilts. Bags, too. I do find time every day. I love hand work. I also knit some.

  10. Deborah Hauser says:

    I am a Maker like you. I am a nurse by trade; however a maker by heart. I love to sew and craft. I have shared with my children, scouts, neighbor, relative and co- workers. As nurses we often experience compassionate fatigue. Making something as little as a fabric pumpkin or Christmas ornament can make a big difference in a nurses life allowing them to continue to be care givers. I am a maker I am passionate about being remembered.

  11. Marion says:

    You are an inspiration. Good luck with the camp,it should be a great success. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Joan says:

    Thank you for this generous giveaway. I love the things you have shown in this post. You are a talented lady.

  13. Marilyn says:

    You have given me the energy to start to learn to sew. I have been wanting to learn for some time. I look forward to reading about your camp when it starts. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your lovely gifts.

  14. Kelly Harms says:

    I’ve discovered fiber arts and I’m learning to spin, dye, and weave fibers (mostly wool). I am taking care of our farm and my aging parents (along with working part time) so I don’t always find time everyday to DO this creative endeavor, but I try to at least read about or watch a video some aspect of the fiber arts each day. This helps keep my imagination and creative juices flowing for the time I can get down to making things.

  15. Mary says:

    I am passionate about just crafting something that makes me feel good and others enjoy. It could be out of fabric, yarn, scrap wood, old bottles, food or whatever odds & ends I have around. I just like to create. Thank you for your wonderful creations and gifts.

  16. Dorothy says:

    I like to cook and try new recipes out on my grandchildren. I used to cross stitch and you have inspired me to get the box out and see what project I can work on. Even if it is 15 minutes a day it would help relax me. I also attempt to garden and this year have new flowers ordered to put in more flowers to draw butterflies and bees.

  17. Marsha Ransom says:

    Yes!! I’m a maker, too! Whether it’s quilting, embroidery or crochet there is something satisfying about making things! Gifts, household items or kitschy littles, isn’t it fun??

  18. A says:

    Wowee! What a brilliant piece! My mother-in-law forwarded to me because we just spoke about this very struggle. I’m a maker in many ways, especially quilts, but right now with 2 busy boys, 10 & 14, it seems all the making I’m doing is the homemaking. Although I love that too, I’ve been feeling restless and missing my other making avenues. Thank you for your wisdom and advice. Starting tomorrow, I’m changing up my game plan and taking back a little time each day to keep the fire burning. Thanks from the bottom of my creative-hungry heart!

  19. Laurie Lasala-Tuttle says:

    Hi Dori ~ I so enjoyed reading your musings, and I completely agree with them! I think that for me, the hardest part of creating, is having the confidence to make something and believe that it is good enough. My passion centers around my family most of the time, whether I’m cooking, baking, gardening, or playing with fabric. You are truly an inspiration Dori! Thank you.

  20. Emily says:

    Dori, I love this post! I have experienced the same fears and the same dreams. You have inspired me to think and look “outside the box”. In my little part of the world, I am sure there are others who feel the same as we all do.

    Take care.

  21. Cyndi Neumann says:

    Thanks for sharing your creativity and inspiration! I do Not get to my craft room daily as it is too cluttered with things I love but yhis is going to change. When we moved I never found space for all I adore and I just like seeing it but, I can;t take it with me so, I WILL make my new craft room accessiable to me to do what I love, mixed media!

    I can’t sew like you do but, I hope this too change! Not like quilts but just small makings. I am passionate about iit! I got side-tracking with nature around me when we moved to the forest, the moss, lichen, etc. I collected it to make even less room but tiny terrariums I love!

    I love your sharing and would love anything oyu have made for your followers.
    Blessings, Cyndi

  22. Lizvc says:

    I’m truly passionate about creating my own jewelry…the shapes, colors, textures and different media, but to my taste! I’m also a beginning quilter so we’ll see if it surpasses my original passion. 😉

  23. Heidi boehl says:

    I love to redesign, whether it’s my yard, my interior my exterior house, or the vintage trailers I so desperately adore. Ian always dreaming and plotting the space around me

  24. Tessa Peters says:

    So glad I saw this today! I want to be a maker. I love to sew and do crafts. I think about them often. Making the time seems to be my problem. I have more time in the evening but that is family time. I need to put it in my daytime schedule and do it! (The light is better then too!) Thank You!

  25. denise says:

    I love doing a lot of different things, making cards, quilting, cooking or working outside in the flowers and weeds! but I find myself always thinking of something to make or do. I love all your projects you show us and the dog quilt was so cute!

  26. My passion is gardening! Taking some tiny thing,a seed, sprout, or plant – nourishing and loving it and watching it grow and develop! In the winter I have my house plants, and I time their growth so that some are always in flower- a great cheer to warm our winter spirits! I can’t wait to get outside and get dirty in the garden though! Happy Spring!

  27. Carmen Anderson says:

    Being a Maker…the world offers us so many opportunities, so many choices. Moments of giddiness, of laughter, of deep pondering. Time to look within our souls to relish in the small things, to rejoice in what our hearts hold dear. I am a maker of many things, from cooking, gardening, family moments, animals, books, music.. yet my passion is…I love to quilt!! I try to make time each, some days in all honesty I fail, other days I can/could spend hours. I love to look around my quilting room between stitches, planning, cutting. Each corner holds a treasure of mine, from family, friends and years gone by, the sewing machines of my mother and grandmothers, all left this earth decades ago. I know the love that tumbled from each machine, the clothing, the quilts which I still use and display, wrapping around children young and old, covering tables, spread on the grass for a picnic, to snuggle under on a cold winter night, to catch the laughter and tears of life….Makers.. I come from a long line of them, each gifted in their own way, watching from above…..

  28. Sabrena Orr says:

    Dori, You define “Maker” to a T! From sewing, to gardening, to your family-based flower fun…you are an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing your love of all things made from that heart!

  29. Heather L Marmon says:

    I find creative usefulness out of practically everything! Sparkly bobbles, broken jewelry, old clothes, old furniture. Everything can be turned into something else! I try to start with something someone is interested in and build that into a custom piece of art for them. I have a lot of unfinished projects. Everyday I am creating, or gathering materials, or putting ideas to paper for future projects!!

  30. Kris Thompson says:

    I just found your blog, and loved reading “I am a Maker.” You summed up my thoughts exactly. I am passionate about creating, and I try to do something every day……….quilting, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, whatever!

  31. M.Janey Burns says:

    I recently discovered that when you are asked to make something out of your comfort zone, you learn a lot more about yourself and what you can do with your creative side. It gives you a high and makes you feel like you can do anything. Makes you step outside of your comfort zone. I quilt, embroider, sew my own clothes, knit, and crochet. I have always had too many projects going at once, but would not want to have it any other way.

  32. Dona says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your ramblings. I find it inspirational. I used to be a maker but children then single motherhood caught up with me and I had NO time for making anything other than dinner. I have resolved to taking back Saturday. At least I can have one day to create something that brings me joy. You helped and I humbly thank you.

  33. Debbie Allen says:

    Baking is my favorite…I love to give away the treats. You have inspired me by all the things you share, I have bought awesome fabric and am getting my courage up to sew!
    Thank you so much for taking time to share what you do and where you live and your sweet grand girls! Have a great day!

  34. Judy from Maine says:

    Quilting is my passion…and my livelihood, everything you wrote about in this blog is so true and so well written. If I might, I’d just like to send on a bit that quilting has taught me. Quilting is truly like any thing in life, you need to take one step at a time. You’ve taken a few steps already…you picked a pattern, you picked beautiful fabrics you even see the quilts finished in your mind; and there in lies a tiny problem, you jumped all the fun steps of actually making the quilt. Go back to the beginning, take the next step and then the next in order, enjoy each step for what it is. Don’t worry or think about how long it might take. Soon enough your beautiful quilt will be finished, covering a bed, waiting to welcome someone to a good nights sleep under your handcrafted blanket of love.

  35. Judy allen says:

    I feel so inspired when I read your blog! I love to garden in the cool Texas mornings and quilt in the hot afternoons. My sewing room is definitely my sanctuary. I am a Maker.

  36. Barbara Roy says:

    Hi, your words resonate with my search for opportunities to allow passions to break forth. I currently work 50 plus hours a week as a nurse and find it daunting. I also have a degree in communications and have so many creative “bubbles” or ideas or impulses that are simmering under my surface, but there doesn’t seem to be time to allow them to break through. I am job searching and praying for something that will allow me a bit more space to breathe. I wish you the best with your endeavors!

  37. Cathy R says:

    You are a Maker Dori and a wonderful one! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  38. Rebecca M. says:

    I’m easily distracted so I usually have more than one project going at once, but I have a camera with me at all times. You can find the most beautiful things in everyday places. I also love crochet because it calms me and I’ve found that I feel confident enough to try new things with it, knowing that I can always start over if I don’t like the first result.

  39. Gigi says:

    Oh my, where to start? I’ve tried it all! I am all over the place, as I’ve done craft shows with cross stitched pillows, painted doo-dads, floral wreaths and arrangements. Staying up after my little ones went to bed to unleash my crafting demon.
    Oh how I wish I had that kind of energy and fearless enthusiasm 30 odd years later.
    I’ve continued to paint, improved my sewing just a tiny bit to attempt wedding gown doll clothes,pj bottoms, and a reversible Frozen Princess cape, all for the love of my Grandgirls. edited….I totally had forgotten I made a beast (with extra long arms just right for hugging) for my grandboy when his woobie became too threadbare and he needed sleepytime comfort.
    Estate sales were my passion, unearthing overlooked treasures to recover, repaint, redo or replant in the garden. I recovered two different sofas. We gifted all of our grandbabies with their cribs, first dressers, rocking chairs and later bookshelves through our estate love-overs. My 6 children’s first apartments, dorm rooms and houses were filled with tables, chairs, beds, tv bases and shelves that we coaxed back to life. My husband eagerly joined me on that creative journey. But our kids are all grown and we’re past that phase now.
    I’m an avid gardener, though a reluctant canner (I ALWAYS fear I will do something incorrect and give my family botulism or waste an entire days effort (and crop) on runny strawberry sauce instead of the glistening jelly I envision as Christmas gifts.)
    It’s already that time of year; the seeds have been bought, most have been started. The sweet potatoe slips are just sprouting in the jars in the kitchen window. Raking and hoeing and sowing will commence shortly. The garden in spring is a beastly endeavor, however the better you prepare, the greater the reward as the summer roars in then gently rolls out to autumn and the fall garden. There will be many hot steamy canning sessions (though I did buy a countertop electric canner after the debauchery I made canning the green beans last year and all 18 jars went bad) to agonize and look forward to. But that’s still months away.
    Time passes, needs change, but the constant that remains is the thirst (or maybe it’s hunger)for creativity. The need to do something pretty. Something useful. Something special. Something good. I have a craft room now. Full to the brim with whatsits and doodads galore. Beautiful fabric I stroke, yet am afraid to alter, just yet. Mason jars full of buttons and dowels full of ribbon rolls, Old french dictionaries and yellowed atlases aching to be folded and turned and admired. My sewing machine is always out, threaded, waiting to go, like Ozzie my terrier, for a walk around the block.
    I peruse books from the library for inspiration. I flit through Pinterest wondering if I am addicted? I think, I could surely make that, and that, and that, and then the afternoon is gone. i moved my computer to my craft room as it’s the prettiest place in my home. To me, it’s serene yet chaotic, energizing and uplifting just to take it all in. I soak it up, drink it in, wonder what I will start next, and I am full. For now.

  40. Cathy Garrett says:

    Hi Dori,
    I love the bright cheerful fabrics. So pretty and makes me want to make something with them. I love quilting and everything creative and handmade. The mini quilts and little embellishments amaze me. They are so sweet. Some of the things I love are quilting, cross stitch, art and miniatures(dollhouses). Thank you for the wonderful article and I think the quilt camp for the girls is a great idea! Keep us posted on that. Thank you for the giveaway.

  41. Carol Johnson says:

    Dori, thank you for the words of wisdom. I am a maker as well. (Maker/poet what beautiful words.) I enjoy quilting, crocheting, and embroidering. You uncovered the reasons I have been less than passionate about pursuing these loves daily: fear and comparison. Setting those aside, I’m heading upstairs to finish a quilt top that will now be the quilt back. I have a more original idea for the top, and the current piece is not what I intended it to be.



  42. Sandee says:

    This blog post resonated with me thank you for putting these thoughts down, loved it

  43. Kim Rice says:

    Well I wasn’t going to enter…… but who can resist you AND a Minki inspired giveaway??? Not this chickadee!!! No sir!! I have such admiration for you and your heart as a blogger and a friend! No one says it better!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  44. Raimie Harrison says:

    Many of the passions I have are tied up in homeschooling our kiddos: reading, writing, learning, adventures, trying new creative projects and building new skills, paper planning & lists, photography, and nature. I really need to figure out how to incorporate more scrapbooking because I don’t feel like myself when I don’t do that regularly. Your writing is excellent and lots of love to you and all the pretties you are making! Love, Raimie Lu xoxoox

  45. Shannon says:

    What a great blog Dori. My passion is creating ANYTHING with fabric.

  46. You are one of my favorite makers Dori! I always love your projects and some of them have inspired my own projects 🙂 cutting into fabrics for the first time to begin a project has always been one of the hardest things for me. It has held me up many times. I’m going to hold you accountable on those quilts, mostly because I can’t wait to see them 😉 LOVE that fabric!

  47. Monique says:

    I love photography and enjoy taking a few pictures every day. I’m not a professional by any means, but love capturing our family life through pictures. In turn, I use those pictures to make family gifts …calendars, notebooks, etc…through the year! LOVE your Instagram feed and all your cheery projects!

  48. Kathi says:

    I love to do cross stitch & embroidery.

  49. Maxine Jelinek says:

    I love your post! That book was my top favorite read of 2016. I love creating– many different areas of it. My days almost always have some type of creating – canning, decorating, painting, sewing, quilting…..

  50. Dawn says:

    I’m passionate about the ideas and creativity of others, looking on Instagram and pinning on pinterest. And then I fall apart…… I have more unfinished projects than anyone I know! I love your idea of taking just 15 min each day to work on something.

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