Ask Jo: Hawaiian Sunset

Often times blog readers ask questions that I think others might be interested in as well.  I answer them on the blog.  Today is one of those days.

This comes from Pattie:

I really enjoy your blog! Thank you for sharing so much of your quilting life with us.

I am writing to ask you a question. I saw on Pinterest that you were making a Hawaiian Sunset quilt a few years back.  I was unable to find a picture of the finished quilt that you did. I have been interested in attempting one myself. I have the pattern, and I really can’t say what is stopping me from starting one.  I was wondering if you would have a picture of the one you completed to share.”

The quilt that Patty is referring to is this quilt….

BUSTED!!  Sadly it’s in my UFO pile.  UGH.  I so wish I had this quilt finished.  I was thinking about it just the other day.

I did get some progress made in that the four patches for the outer border got finished….that’s it.

I’ve actually been a little bit frustrated with myself lately.  I think I’ve gotten a little bit lazy with my quilting.  I’ve quit challenging myself to do more challenging quilts.

Let me explain…..
I love easy quilts…I love complicated quilts.  Often I am just not thoughtful in what I WANT to make…you know….REALLY want to make.

I’ll be on the computer and a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company will come on and it will be a fun quilt with a fun twist on how to make it….you know something like the Fireman quilt I made.

It was fine to make and being it’s a donation quilt I’m happy to make something quick and easy.

Before I know it I’m sucked into what I could be making rather than making what I really WANT to make….The quilts that are “the desire of my heart”….not the whim quilt.

Bonnie Hunter does it to me too.  She will have a challenge or show a block on her blog and before I know it, I’m making the blocks- or even a mystery quilt.  Did I want to make the quilt or did I just get caught up in the hype?  Often some of each but often not the quilt that was the “desire of my heart”.  It was a whim.

I’m seriously contemplating not making the mystery quilt next year….I think I might take the time and instead make the quilt that is “the desire of my heart”….maybe this quilt….Hawaiian Sunset.  Think of how far I’d be on that quilt if I put all the time into that instead.

Don’t get me wrong…I like this quilt fine.  It’s nice.  I appreciate the work that went into the design…but at the end of the day, I really wish I had sewn my Hawaiian Sunset quilt instead.  I got caught up in the hype.  With all of the social media, getting caught in the hype is so easy to do.

I find that often I don’t think through the quilts that I cut out during nap time.  I can bring a tote of cut strips downstairs in the morning then over the next week or so of nap times I can cut out a quilt.  A prime example of this was when I wrote this blog post.  This is an old blog post and some of these quilts are finished already….

These are the quilts that I cut out……Talkin’ Turkey (finished)


Bricks in the Barnyard (UFO pile)


Now were these quilts “desires of my heart”….or were these quilts just something I could grab and work on quick?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the scrap the users system that allows me to store and cut out these quilts quickly but I think in my getting so into it, I’ve shorted myself.  I don’t challenge myself very often anymore.  I don’t get myself to learn something new.  I’m not always making quilts that are the “desire of my heart”.

I’ve experience such a sense of accomplishment as I’ve been working on my Daylilies quilt.  I’ve been appliqueing.  I’ve been doing inset seams.  I’ve challenged myself a little bit.

Here is quilting goal #4 that I wrote earlier this year “4-I want to expand my horizons in the type of quilts I make.  I have a double wedding ring quilt planned.  I’ve had it in my mind and have wanted to make it for a long time.  It’s time.  I want to make the cow art quilt I’ve showed you.  It’s time for something more than simple piecing.”

…and here’s my goal #5….”5-I want to expand and make quilts by a larger variety of designers.  Becky at Quilted Twins has LOTS of free patterns and I want to make a couple!!  (Find them here)   I have some Country Threads patterns here…oh the list goes on and on.  I’ll still be pulling some UFOs but I want some new things too!!”

Both of these goals came about as I realized at the end of last year that I wasn’t making very many quilts that were “the desire of my heart”.  Don’t get me wrong…I like all of the quilts I’ve made but so many of them came because I could grab something and it was easy to grab….it wasn’t the Hawaiian Sunset quilt that NEEDS the right fabric selections the REQUIRED me to hunt and search for the right fabrics.  Sometimes, I need to make some of those special quilts.  I think we all do.

Part of the reason I think I’ve put them off is that those quilts are the ones I’d keep for me.  As a quilter I know I often put everyone else first on the quilt making list.  Well maybe it’s time I make a quilt that is the “desire of my heart”…maybe it’s time we all made one.

As you can see, quilts that are the “desire of my heart” are really calling me.  I think I’m going to finish a few things around here and see if I can’t accomplish making at least one quilt completely and totally for me.

Thanks so much for bringing this to light Pattie.  I needed to be reminded.

Does anyone else feel like you get hyped into making a quilt either by the internet, the quilt shop or a magazine before you REALLY think it through?  Please tell me I’m not the only one.

30 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Hawaiian Sunset”

  1. Yes, I’ve been having that talk with myself this past year and I decided not to make the mystery quilt from Quiltville this year because the desire of my heart was somewhere else. Congrats to you for moving in the direction that satisfies the deepest and the best of you. Happy Quilting!

  2. I have a list of quilts I WANT to make and I have finally finished off a long list of needed to completes (for other people etc.) Now I have started one quilt on my list of quilts that make my heart flutter and I am not going to rush thru it!!! I am LOVING quilting again after going thru a period last year when I dreaded going into my quilting room (by the way one of my want to makes is in YOUR BOOK! :)) My sister reminded my that sharing my talents from God doesn’t mean I have to have nothing left for myself. I will donate some of my wanted to make quilts I am sure…LOL but on MY terms.

  3. Dear Jo!
    I loved this blog post. Sounds so much like myself. Thank you for looking inside and then sharing with us your true and honest feelings!! I love your blog!! (I only read 3 blogs total—so that tells you how much I really like it.)
    Where might I find a copy of “Hawaiian Sunset?” It looks like something that I would love to work on for myself. It looks challenging and I need that!! If you or any of your readers know where I might be able to buy this pattern please let me know!!
    Aletha in Colorado

  4. I started En Provence last year (over a year ago?), but it’s still in units. Once we got enough of an idea of the quilt, I just wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. So it sits, somewhere in the disaster that is my sewing room.

    I’ve wanted to make a Pine Burr quilt for eons! I should go on EQ and design one for paper piecing, then get started. I’m not getting any younger, after all.

  5. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Thank heaven’s I don’t like mystery quilts until I see what they look like finished. Otherwise I’d get snowed completely under. I’ll admit to getting caught up in Thimbleberries. I bought the books, really wanted to make some of the quilts, bought the fabrics, and so far have only made a couple. The last few years I’ve been mired in Bonnie Hunter quilts. I love most of them, but really, how many quilts can a person make. At least hers use scraps I already have. I think it was the Thimbleberry colors that grabbed me. I’ve also saved quite a few Missouri Star patterns. I just need to spend more time sewing and less time on the computer! :)

  6. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Thank heaven’s I don’t like mystery quilts until I see what they look like finished. Otherwise I’d get snowed completely under. I’ll admit to getting caught up in Thimbleberries. I bought the books, really wanted to make some of the quilts, bought the fabrics, and so far have only made a couple. The last few years I’ve been mired in Bonnie Hunter quilts. I love most of them, but really, how many quilts can a person make. At least hers use scraps I already have. I think it was the Thimbleberry colors that grabbed me. I’ve also saved quite a few Missouri Star patterns. I just need to spend more time sewing and less time on the computer! :)

  7. You sure aren’t the only one to get caught in the hype! I started Aliatare two years ago and it’s still only partly done. I got behind and then came to realize I had made it in Bonnie’s colors and so had thousands of other! Therefore mine looked just like everyone else’s. I know I could have done my own colors but it’s hard to do that with a mystery when you don’t know where you’re going. I’ve saved the directions from the last two mysteries and followed everyone’s progress but haven’t been tempted to jump in again. Now I want to do as you are doing, make some quilts of my heart. Thanks for the reminder !

  8. Jo, you just explained exactly what I have been struggling with as a designer. Do I design what I think others will like, and what will sell, or do I quilt for myself? More and more lately, it is to quilt for myself or for what pleases me. I’m working on a new charity project that will give a quilt to every student in our district that is in foster care and is graduating from high school. That project calls to my heart for projects that are a little more simple and I’m free to sew complicated quilts for myself as well. Win, win!

  9. You may not be making “the desire of my heart” quilts but you are doing childcare at the same time….. so the harder quilts may not fit with childcare…. And hey, how many Bonnie Mystery quilts have you made? I think it would be cool to make all the mystery quilts…… which of course means more than one a year to get caught up….

  10. Jo,
    Thank you for commenting on my e- mail, you made me feel pretty special today. I am always amazed at how much you can get done. You have that pineapple crazy top done, that is more than amazing, Wow!! I have five squares done. You are my quilting hero! Sew what makes you happy!
    I have tried this year to finish up some UFO’s. I haven’t started a new quilt yet this year and it’s almost March. That’s probably a record for me. But this Hawaiian Sunset quilt along with your Bohemian Rhapsody (I think my daughter in law would love it) are on top of my list and calling my name.
    Thank you for keeping me inspired everyday with your blog!

  11. WOW – what a timely post. Just this past week or so, I’ve been thinking about why I have sort of loss interest in my quilting. For the past year and half, I’ve been working on quilt tops for one charity. I haven’t been working on anything for myself or for other charities. I want to make different types of quilts, try my hand at paper-piecing and maybe more complicated quilts. So a decision has been made. I’m going to work on quilts that I want to make. I’ll still make a quilt top or two for that charity, but not at the same pace as before. Thanks JO for your post and to some of the replies. I won’t feel guilty for working on what I want to make.

  12. I’ve started a ” bucket list” of quilt patterns. Helps keep me focused on what fabrics to buy, etc. So easy to get sidetracked and bogged down.

  13. Well, that is so timely! I’m just home from a long weekend retreat, where I was finishing easy scrap quilts started long ago, to get them finished and gifted to someone in need, and to clear the decks for one of “my” quilts. Some of the ladies were steaming through 4 or 5 jelly roll race quilt tops, and some scrap quilts someone else had cut out, more in the vein of “look how many I’ve done!” rather than enjoying the slower process of making something they loved. In contrast there was another lady who was finishing a quilt for herself that she had put aside some time ago, catching up with where she was at, and then making another for her daughter, in colours completely outside her comfort zone. She said it was so satisfying to be “stretched “, while making a special gift. We need to find a balance that restores the joy in what we do and make.

  14. Yes, I have to confess that I DO get caught up in the hype; I loved the colors in the the last mystery quilt, ORL, and so went out and bought all the fabrics, but something just told me, “Wait”, and while I followed along, in the end I have to say this is the first one of the last 3 BH mystery quilts I have not been fond of; so I was glad I did not cut into the fabrics. One of Bonnie’s quilts I like very much is Smith Mountain Morning, so I think I now have plenty of beautiful browns to use in that one. Another one that sticks in my mind is your neat School Bus quilt in the autographed copy of your book I bought. I also want to say I think that cabinet you and your hubby are working on is going to be just beautiful. The sanded wood is very pretty. You guys are so talented!

  15. I find myself getting caught up in the hype too. I have numerous Bonnie Hunter quilts in various stages and also have many other patterns sitting around waiting for me to get to them. I was thinking about some of those patterns I’ve had for years and still love them but don’t make the time. I guess I need to think about what the desires of my heart is.

  16. You sing it, Sister! I’m right there with you…and from reading the comments, we might want to start a club…or get t-shirts. I’ve become a lazy quilter. Not only do I take the course of least resistance (read EASY and fast) but I find myself “saving” my favorite fabrics for a better project. Thanks for telling me I’m not the only one…and it’s OK take a step in a different direction. I might just get creative…again!

  17. Yes! Yes! Yes! Now that you’ve openly admitted so in your post I too have the same thoughts of really making a special quilt not just the ones I’m hyped into! I just didn’t admit it to myself & right now I am! Thank you, Jo!

  18. Everyone gets caught up in the excitement of a quilt along. This year I’m committed to finishing quilts I’ve started the last several years, quilts I’m making for me, that have made me stretch and learn something different. For me anyway, once I made my mind up not to start any new whim quilts, it’s been easy to sit back and watch everyone else jump in and start new quilts while I keep working away on my old ones.

  19. I made the same decision in January. We will keep on track this year with the quilts of my heart. Thanks for your thoughts.

  20. Oh this is my daily struggle. I sometimes have to deliberately stay away from instagram do to over stimulation of ideas. Sure its beautiful but getting caught up in the hype is bad. I have a swoon quilt never to be finished Im sure due to it being over my skill set. I purchased so many patterns its ridiculous…due to the hype and the posting and the destash. I took a class recently on hst my nemesis and I enjoyed it so much and she was a great teacher in the fact that she is a no pattern person she does all her quilts with no patterns. She is an award wining quilter and she uses no Internet. She is in competition with no one but herself. She enjoys every quilt she makes and the process. She has literally changed my whole thinking on this situation. I have purchased more than I will every use.

  21. I so agree with what you are saying about making our heart’s desire quilts. After finishing the Quiltville mystery top this year, I decided to not do it along with everyone else in November 2018. I want to see it first, then if I like it, I will print the instructions & make it. If I dont, then I wont. I still have two past mystery tops that I haven’t quilted yet cause they are so huge. Right now, I’ve challenged myself to finish a couple more UFO tops, then I want to do a quilt just for me. I’ve been making alot of charity quilts in the past year, so now it’s time for me! My heart’s desire quilt is “Trail Mix”. It was in American Patchwork & Quilting a few years ago, but it’s free on their website now. I’ve always loved it. I will be starting on it very soon! Thanks for the boost, Jo!!

  22. I agree the hype and excitement fuels your drive to make the ‘current’ online quilting thrill. BUT, when you fall behind and everyone else seems to be sailing through it and completing each BOM or BOW or . . . it can create negative feelings for yourself.
    I like to look online and use the viewing for inspiration by visually viewing the eye candy and using it as an aide for technique, but come on, does any ‘new’ ruler have to be created for someone’s selling to make your piecing any more precise? Talk about ‘hype’; I’ve seen where people literally have to have any mention of a product and I sheepishly admit, I have bought into the hype to purchase a product a few times.

  23. Yes! Moda Blockheads quilt. I just finished all my blocks. Only have to now sash and put together. Hearts desire? Not really but it will be a pretty quilt when I’m done.

  24. Ah, yes. I love the excitement of a new project and mystery’s are such fun! But I’ve also had to get the big STOP sign out . Several times I didn’t even like the finished quilt. Now I let the excitement flow in my mind and really think it thru before jumping in. My stuffed stash is a bit lighter because of the caution brakes.

  25. OH, you are not the only one!! The hype is so enticing. And it is so fun to sew along with others and post progress.. but finishing… another story. I’m determined to use the fabric I have and finish some big projects. Our guild is doing a BOM so I plan to support that.. but using what I have. There are 5 big projects on my to do list. And one of them is a hand applique that I’m really enjoying working on it. Probably a year of work to do on it. But I’m ok with that. The other 4 will get done this year. I also make several comfort quilts every year for donations.. I get to sew and use the gifts God has given me.
    Thanks for the post!!

  26. Jo,
    I made the “quilt of my dreams” as my first big quilt. I had seen a picture in a Better Homes and Gardens Creative Ideas from 1979. I fell in love with it! it was a very simple blue and white quilt they called a True Lover’s Knot. I bought the magazine and then went in a JoAnn’s and bought a blue calico print that looked a lot like the fabric they used and a white fabric. I took it home and there it stayed (moving with me several times) for about 30 years. After completing several smaller quilt tops, I decided to make it . I pulled everything out and finished the top. I needed some more of the blue fabric for the binding. I looked on eBay for a year or so and one day, lo and behold!, someone had some of my fabric and they said it was from the late 70’s or early 80’s. I snagged it and it was a PERFECT match! I then had someone longarm quilt it for me (it’s like 90×90) and now it’s on my bed. I love it!!

  27. Jo, Thank-you for sharing from your heart, you’ve helped many of us refocus. I joined a “Finish A Long” last year and put my favorite UFOs on the list. Not everything got done, people kept having babies and getting married and then my projects got set aside. So those left over UFOs went on this year’s list. We’ll see how that goes… Like most of those leaving comments today, I also make charity quits. Most of the charity quilts are smallish, 42″ x 60″, often I’ll make one of them in a pattern I want to try. If I enjoy it I can make a bigger one for me or for a gift. I don’t feel bad if they don’t fit my personal taste, I’ve discovered that my taste can be rather narrow, and others seem to like them anyways. I am blessed with a friend who loves Bonnie Hunter quilts and sometimes she lets me help her sew. I get to see the process and the finished product with only a few hours invested (but I get to spend those hours with my friend, a win/win). Again, Thanks for being open and real with your life and quilting…THat’s why I check your blog everyday! Edna

  28. In answer to your question, yes, I get sucked into the hype (sometimes). I just finished the Celtic Soltice mystery quilt from 2013. Fortunately, I decided after I started and stalled on that one to not start any future mystery quilts until I finished Celtic Soltice. SOOO many pieces! I think that we do need to quilt for ourselves sometimes too:)

  29. Totally got sucked into the hype. And my “On Ringo Lake” is languishing. It was just TOO orange/coral. I think I have a fix, but it’s going to sit and wait for a bit until I get my BOM/Sampler challenge quilt done.

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