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. Vickie says:

    What beautiful items! Thanks for your sharing and giving heart!

  2. ann g riddle says:

    Holy Moly! You inspire me to stretch myself more and more! Thank you! I am a Maker of sorts — I work in the food industry and “make” stuff that people eat. It’s always been an awesome thing to me that people go in a grocery store where there are thousands upon thousands of product to choose from and they choose to purchase, to spend hard-earned money on, something that we make! That’s a true Holy Moly Moment! xo

  3. Christine says:

    I’m passionate about fiber arts of all sorts. I try and make time for it. I find it very relaxing!

  4. Krista says:

    Dori, I love this post! I can’t tell you how many times I felt all of those Maker sections. I would have to say I’m passionate about crochet. As of right now I don’t find time for it daily, but I know I should. Maybe I could make sure I complete at least one row a day even if it means staying up past bedtime for a minute. On a positive note my projects would get done faster! I do find myself struggling with comparing myself to others. I always feel so proud of what I have made until I see what a friend has made and it’s “better”. This is definitely one of my flaws that I need to work on. I can only get better by working harder and trying new things. I also have fears of certain projects too. Mainly ones that others ask me to make. I fear that if I start I will mess it up and disappoint them. But like you said the small flaws that we notice are beautiful to them! Thanks for helping me realize I’m not the only one with this thinking process.

  5. Mary Rauch says:

    My passion is photography. Although I am not a trained designer, I also love to seasonally decorate our home. It may not meet the standards of a professional, but I sure do enjoy myself (and the family seems to enjoy it too).

  6. Carol says:

    Wow! What beautiful work you do.
    Right now I am passionate about throwing pottery on the potters wheel. I am also hooking rugs, and that makes me so happy as it was something my grandmother did.

  7. Denise Ross says:

    Hi Dori, thank you for a post that puts a lot of my thoughts and feelings of being a maker/creartist into words.
    I know the fear feeling p, mine comes from worrying I’m going to ruin the thing, whether it’s the material, or a painting or drawing, whatever. It’s hard to take the first step and out the fears aside and just do because. I try to change my thinking toward what I’m about to do, to one of, I’m going to hav some fun now and put the worry thoughts aside. Easier said than done, I know.
    Love your materials for your twin quilts, I look forward to seeing them made when the time is right for you.
    I’m more of an artist I guess, though I do it for myself, and I doubt and compare myskef a lot. I’ve done one commission for a friend, and she loves it – which is a good confidence boost when I’m feeling down on it. But on Instagram I’ve chosen to follow lots of artists who all paint differently and so I turn a negative into a positive and can begin painting just for the joy of it.
    I like sewing, cooking/baking and gardening too and do some knitting from time to time.
    I’ve made a patchwork doona cover years ago from different scraps of material I had and clothes I cut up to out in it. I still have it, though it is showing real wear now.

  8. I need to find a daily passion! I am a passionate gardener and volunteer for lots of stuff when not garden season. Still, I’d like to find something I could do daily 🙂

  9. Julie Glover says:

    I try almost every day making someone feel loved and valued.

  10. Stefanie says:

    Well my passion is reading, which in a way is making time for beautiful adventures every day. I always read before bed.
    I also enjoy knitting, although I’m in the beginning stages of that craft.

  11. Christine Sass says:

    I love to knit and to write. Try to do both regularly. Garden in spring/summer. Also jig saw puzzles are a passion!! Reading Mary Jane Farms too!!

  12. Christine Sass says:

    I love to knit. I am a writer of short stories. My passion is jig saw puzzles. Also reading Mary Jane Farms! Gardening in spring/summer.

  13. Kaycee F says:

    Wow, I am actually blown away but what I just read! When I look around at people I know, those who embrace their passion are truly happy, courageous, content and full of life. Most of them do leave their comfort zones and press on. A good friend of mine once said, “Kaycee, if this was easy, everyone would be doing it”! Thank you for sharing such an eye opening and inspiring post.

    So true! I guess I would say that my passion is creating, from flower arrangements & wreaths, to painting anything I can get my hands on!

  14. Barb Richards says:

    Hi, I am passionate about needlework and handwork such as embroidery, small hand quilting items, yo-yo’s, hexies, and crocheting. I try to do a little of one or more each day.

  15. Barbara (WA) says:

    You have indeed inspired me many times to be a Maker – I’ve sewn and planted and cooked because of what you’ve shared. I thank you!

  16. Pam says:

    My passion was basket making for 18 years. Then my passion became grandchildren. I have a new passion emerging, WOOL! As in hooked rugs, penny rugs, and braided rugs!

  17. Mary Kerber says:

    Love quilts they are so beautiful, the love and care that goes into making them makes them so comfy. Nothing like snuggling up in a quilt.

  18. Eileen Romary says:

    My cross stitch, pictures, pillows, table toppers. I get to zone, unwind. A cup of tea and my hoop, all is good.

  19. Julie says:

    Even if it is only a few stitches or a few rows, knitting is my daily passion!!

  20. Rose Ann wong says:

    Sewing! Every day if I don’t sew, I am looking at patterns online or in books…the ‘future projects’ list of and dreams grows and grows!!

  21. Deborah Huff says:

    Loved everything about your post. What is the best place for a beginner (Quilter) to begin?

  22. Dawn says:

    Love your posts! Inspiring!

  23. Carol Norwood says:

    I’m passionate about my photography! I love getting out and snapping pictures. I have my camera with me at all times! Thanks, Carol

  24. Cyndie Gray says:

    My dear Dori, I love this blog post. And you are, indeed, a Maker!! You are also one who can inspire others to be passionate. I have to admit I have been in quite a long dry spell, creatively speaking. I love using my dust collecting scrapbook in supplies to make little gift projects for those I love. I don’t get to it daily, nor even weekly but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy it. Another creative thing I love to do is to cook for those I love, which happens more often than my other creative outlets 😉 oh my, I have gone on long enough…

  25. Lois Versaw says:

    I am passionate about gardening (mostly butterfly and pollinator gardening), my children (of course!) and am new to quilting, but finding joy in the colors and possibilities!
    I find time for my children daily (and always!), gardening almost daily and beginning sewing/quilting weekly.

  26. Lisa says:

    For the last few months, I’ve been making this old farmhouse we bought “as is” in to a home. It was in really rough shape, so opportunities abound to create a comfortable and happy home (on a very tight budget) for our family. Thrilled and grateful to have heat and (finally) a working kitchen. So many projects await!

  27. Becky Davies says:

    I would probably say I am. It’s passionate about cooking and baking. I love old recipes, new recipes, and creating my own. I also love sewing for my family however that has been on hold since I’ve had a joint replacement and RA flare. Don’t even cook as much I use to. Slow and steady, that is me right now. Love your site. Thanks for all the great advice and sharing your passion.

  28. Angela Rife says:

    My passion is cooking and trying new recipes. I knew immediately without even looking at the name of the blog that it was by you because of your beautiful quilt and I could not wait to read it! You inspire me with your blog and your creative spirit! ❤

  29. Karen rehm says:

    I love to sew. Most all of my sewing projects (quilts) are gifts of love so creating them brings my “giftee” and me joy!

  30. Elizabeth #657 says:

    I guess I could be defined as a maker too! But what I make is seasonal – quilts and crochet in the winter, canner in the fall, gardener in the spring and summer. My husband joked that I’m a maker in the summer during salmon season – maker of noise!

  31. Carol Vagher says:

    I love fabric and multi media arts. I consider myself a maker! These are all glorious fabrics!

  32. Kimberly A Busby says:

    I love everything that has to do with yarn or fabric!

  33. marilyn Khadduri says:

    I am not a professional photographer, but I love taking pictures and creating my own
    note cards. I find that most people just use the computer to contact each other,
    but I think it is so special to receive a card with a handwritten note in your mailbox
    that is meant just for you!

  34. Laura Staley says:

    Dear Dori,
    I recently retired after 36 years of teaching Special Education. I miss my students, especially because we experienced a house fire on Christmas evening and have had to live outside of our home for the past 12 weeks. I look forward to resuming sewing and knitting, and improving my quilting skills. Since my passion for so many years involved improving the lives of my students, I want to continue making cloth books for them.

  35. Deb Rockey says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! As a mother and a grandmama, My heart and soul is passionate for family! Creativity and learning new things keep my heart humming happily! Sewing, crocheting, making homemade soaps and lotions … to name a few! Right now the simple “apron” has become my most recent favorite thing to sew! I have made thirteen so far and have plans for at least four more for gifts. I find that sewing at the dining room table in the evening instead of watching television, leaves me feeling much more satisfied and the end product is great!!!!

  36. Marvene says:

    I have loved in the past to change decorating our homes, but that has passed as we age. We are trying to give away some of our treasures. But the one thing I do have a passion for is working in the yard and creating a landscape that is beautiful out here in the AZ desert. As I have aged it gets harder and harder to prune the trees perfectly. I have decided I will do one project a day to keep the acre (one of five) that we have landscaped and decorated in beautiful shape. It doesn’t seem like so much now that I think about it as “my passion”!! Love, Ms

  37. Kendrain Summers says:

    My husband and I own our own business making sausage and custom meat cutting. But my true passion is quilting, gardening, and canning. I also have a small flock of chickens. (Which is more of an obsession than a passion, crazy chicken lady here) Crafting and giving these wonderful gifts that are hand made or homemade are my favorite passion. These last two years I have become very in touch with my creative side again.

  38. Joan Price says:

    Oh YOU are an encourager for sure! I am an ” maker”, of many things but fabric is my first love. Some of my friends call my stash hoarding but when they ask me to ” make” something my stash is their first shopping stop …. isn’t it fun! Thanks for the super post, your summer camp sounds like great fun. God bless.

  39. Tina says:

    I am passionate about baking. I always have myself immersed in my many cookbooks looking for that next great recipe. I love the joy that my baking brings to my family.

  40. Connie says:

    Love making-all kinds of things: sewing, card making, you name it , I’ll try it.

  41. KayC says:

    Love your post! It is really something to take to heart. Thanks for sharing. And it is a wonderful giveaway.

  42. Sharon Buck says:

    I have not used the title ‘Maker’ but it fits! I am passionate about knitting and sewing, and I have a cabinet painting business. Thanks for the words you shared about needing to be brave. In 2014, almost simultaneously, I became a widow and an empty nester. Grieving was exhausting. I finally have energy to to create again. But as you quoted, it takes courage! Thank you so much for the en’courage’ment!! Sharon

  43. Sharon Elaine says:

    Like you, I have many passions but all is directed to two little granddaughters we’re caring for in an emergency situation. Enoy your posts. Thank you.

  44. Donna I says:

    I am passionate about repurposing. I don’t take the time to start projects. I have a room full of ‘retirement projects’. I am just not sure when retirement will be yet.

  45. jenn says:

    Thank you for writing this! I too have many interests (not to mention, day job commitments!) and I struggle to make time for my creations these days. You nailed all of these points right on the head. My passion(s) are wire sculpture, gardening, cooking/baking, music, and my family.

  46. Barbara says:

    I am passionate about writing. I carve time into my day to write. I just do.

  47. Joy says:

    My passion is counted cross stitch. It is my way to unwind & make something pretty at the same time. MY grandmother taught me to stitch on stamped cross stitch & then I moved on to counted cross stitch. I wish she was still here to see all options there are now.I also wish more young ladies would take interest in hand work.

  48. Mary says:

    I love this post! I too am a maker. But some times life stress ( like having your power out for 6 straight days) gets the best of me and I shouldn’t let it! I am passionate about fiber arts… spinning, weaving, knitting and nalbinding! I am going to take a deep breath and have some “maker time” today ❤️

  49. Joyce Bozeman Powell says:

    I love to do many different things-painting,drawing,crochet,rug making, playing the piano-and I collect fabric hoping to make quilts. My husband is not well and wants me to sit with him while he watches his westerns. I have a basket next to me with a crochet project and a rug project. I have art supplies next to the sofa. Everyday I do something on one of my projects.
    It makes my day brighter!

  50. Krea says:

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. The timing of reading your encouragement is spot on. I have always been a creative person but it has been for my personal use. Recently I joined an instagram group where at the end of the month we send a “happy mail box” filled with 7 specific topics to craft. My heart was seriously beating so fast when I pressed the “join group” button. But I have just been encouraged lately to step out of my comfort zone. I’m so worried she won’t enjoy her gifts or hers to me will be so much more crafty, but I’m doing it So again I thank you. It’s helped me very much to keep my creativeness moving forward

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