Monday, March 7, 2016


Re-entry back in to reality from a vacation, retreat, or conference never comes without that bittersweet flavor that only the real world delivers. I recently had the privilege to teach at QuiltCon in Pasadena, California. As a California native, I was delighted at the chance to visit a place I called  home for the first 20 years of my life. My family and I drove from our home in Seattle down to the beautiful Central Coast of California where I grew up.  Morro Bay never disappoints with beautiful beaches full of sand dollars, sand dunes, and clear skies at night with stars that make you never want to leave. This photo was my first glimpse of the ocean hiding behind the hills heading West from Paso Robles.

 It was a short but sweet visit for me, after only a couple days, I left my dog, husband and kids with my folks and got on a plane to LAX heading to teach in Pasadena.
Always sad to say goodbye to my mom.  I admire her for many reasons but especially  her ability to stay in the present, with grace and calm.  She also has mad skills at hiding and hoarding large quantities of chocolate, definitely note worthy accomplishments.
Watching her with my children is always a pleasure but for some reason this time the reality of her being so present really hit home, more about that later.

 Quilt Con was a whirlwind of teaching, my schedule was very full and it wasn't until Sunday that I actually had some time to walk the floor and see the amazing quilts in the show.  There was a special exhibit that I am extremely glad I didn't miss.  The Quilts of Molly Upton left me speechless.  I'd recommend looking her work up and if you ever get the chance to see the exhibit I wouldn't miss it. Pictured below are two detail shots from two quilts that hit me in a way I can't explain:

I didn't take many photos while at Quilt Con but I did manage to get a few shots of some student work from my classes.
Student work from hands on Compositional Quilting:

 More from Compositional Quilting: 

Student work from Broken Wreath:

In class Demo from Compositional Quilting: 

 Student work from Compositional Drawing Modern whole cloth design:

 And BOOM.
 Just like that I was headed back to the Pacific Northwest. On my flight home I noticed that the Earth had been doing its own Compositional Drawing.  It's amazing what you see when you take the time to look a little closer.
 I ended up with one souvenir, that I picked up at the San Francisco airport.  I do love you, California, with every part of my heart.

Getting home involved unpacking a weeks worth of swag from my visit to the Central Coast as well as a few great finds at Quilt Con: 

Pictured below are my samples from my Piece as you Quilt class, I see some pouches, totes and pot holders in my future.

 So, back to what I touched on earlier about my mom being present.  As some of you know,  I recently deleted my Instagram account.  Deleted, not just erased the app from my phone to reload a half hour later, but deleted from existence.  All of my photos, all of my followers, all of my comments, all of my likes, all of my tags, basically my entire social media presence with the screen name, Lolablueocean, gone.  My first emotions following my deletion were filled with, dread, regret, sadness, and a loneliness and empty place that hung like a dead weight on my back.  Lucky for me most of those initial emotions faded quickly and were washed away with an overwhelming feeling of relief.
Why did I do it?  Simply, because IG became a place that I spent too much time.  More complicated, because the time that I spent there was no longer time spent being inspired or energized, it was time spent judging myself, but not even my self,  my edited self, against every one else's edited selves.  I worried about offending people, I was aware when I lost a follower and I watched the number of people following me more than I am proud to admit.  All in all these feelings never made me feel good, the wanting to be accepted,  the wanting to be liked.  I had moments of feeling super left out and lonely at quilt con because while I was eating hamburgers in my hotel room everyone else was having a super fab time taking Quiltcon selfies without me.  Right?  Yeah, well, truth be told I like watching trash TV eating hamburgers alone in my hotel room and I'm old enough to know that not everything is always as it seems.  And so it is, the social media debate goes on and on.  I am not judging IG or anyone who loves it, I just realized that it is no good for me, and I am no good to myself within the context of this kind of social media.  I have a great big handful of people that I know in real life that are right in front of me that really really love me, I need to be present in the moments with them. These are the moments I want to be in, these are the moments I don't want to miss, these moments are true and real and unedited.  If I had better self control I would be happy to have stayed on IG, but I'll give you the unedited truth, 
I was totally addicted to it and I had to let it go.

That is the personal side of deleting IG, the equally important side for me lies in being creative within the IG context. I found myself working on a project and posting a picture and suddenly the creative process became an edited process that relied on positive feedback, comments and likes to press forward. I started to feel like my work became less and less authentic as I began editing my work based on what more people would "like". 
Seriously,  Krista? 
 What the F*ck?
 That has never been me, and yet suddenly there I was, worried about what 3500 people (most of whom,  I don't even know) think.  And that's where it ended.  This is also where I will stop discussing IG, I hope if you were curious about why I did it, you now get it.  Below, is my last IG selfie that was supposed to be my #helloquiltcon hash tagged photo,  ironically,  I never posted it,  because, 
 you know, someone might not like it................

Getting back into my studio after a teaching gig is always very rewarding, I am amazed by what I learn from my students, I love processing the experience by creating with the experience in mind.
 I was sad to have missed the opportunity to take a class or see a lecture from Gwen Marston while I was at Quilt Con, but was very happy to find a pod cast with Gwen here.  I know a little bit about her work, but have been particularly intrigued by her small studies or "sketches". 
Hearing her talk made me think about working on a smaller scale using only the longarm to create my own studies or sketches.
Pictured below are the studies I have been working on since I got home, I started by working with a  10x11" and went smaller to a 6x6" size. I am not sure where these are going but the process has been a breath of fresh air for me and good to get out of my edited box.

Looking forward to teaching at both MQX and MQS, I am working on some new samples. I will be doing hands on lecture/demos at both shows which is a new format for me that I am very excited about. Pictured below is a sample from my Ghost Shapes lecture/demo.

  Lastly,  is a shot of my spastic and disorganized design wall.  I hope that letting all the crazy out in my studio and on my wall keeps the crazy from taking over in my head. Or something like that.
Thanks for reading, have a great week, stay inspired, stay real and stay you.


  1. Your work is amazing. The only reason I am sorry I didn't go to quiltcon is that i missed taking compositional quilting again!

  2. I grew up in Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande! Fun to see it mentioned in your blog. I totally get the deleting IG thing. I need to do that with Facebook although I'm not sure I can. Which scares me in a different way.
    However, I am actually leaving a comment because your sketches are incredible and one of the most inspirational things I've seen in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing them!

  3. loving your amazing small sketches !! and I hear you about IG - I'm on there less cause it is such a time suck and I could be using the time to actually sew ! good on you for doing what you want and keeping it real !! I actually would rather read blogs cause you get a story behind the photo - that's often what I find inspirational !! thanks for sharing - have a great week !

  4. I'll miss your amazing work in my IG feed - but I totally get why you (and all the reasons hit home big time, thanks for your honesty!). Gorgeous work by you and your students, fab blog post!

  5. I love what you've created recently. I completely understand why you made your IG decision and how it can so easily become addicting. I'm in your Composition class aat MQX on Saturday morning and I'm looking forward to meeting you and learning everything I can.

  6. This is THE best blog post I've ever read and so agree with you on social media and feelings about. Thank you for your honesty and perspective! And those "small study sketches"?!?! I'm IN LOVE! You have once again inspired and pushed me to travel my own personal road. Thank you! I have a ton of geometrical sketches I've been trying to figure out what to do with... think I know now. ;)

  7. Krista you are amazing for so many different reasons. Your talent is the obvious reason that all of the quilting world sees, but for me the most important reason is your honesty and ability to be real. I had my own moments at QuiltCon thinking..."what am I doing?! I don't belong here with these people" and then finally realized at the end of my first day that I had to let go of those feelings and just be me and enjoy the experience. I was SO HAPPY to run into you at the hotel and finally meet you in person. Hoping to one day be able to take a class from you as well. Keep up your inspiring work (LOVE the new sketches!!) and being your amazing self :)

  8. I.G. is my only quilt community, and through the generosity of many, including you, I've learned more than I could have ever have guessed. BUT...I also see what a toll social media is or can be to one's time and head, and I applaud you heartily for your decision. Your new studies are great and I imagine much more will begin flowing now that you're not bogged down with worries you never needed. Thanks so much for all that you have shared in the past. I look forward to seeing your work here in the future, as you feel like sharing. Always remember you are #1 and that love, family, and good (real) friends are the things that matter most in this life, IMHO, when all is said and done.

  9. Loving your little sketches. I can see them hung in a wonderful gallery style display!

  10. Thank you for sharing your sketches... :)

  11. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about social media.
    Your quilting is so amazing and I hope to someday be able to take a class with you. Meanwhile, I hope you'll continue to share your work on your blog.
    Enjoy living in the moment and being fully present!

  12. Loved reading your explanation of why you have left IG. I miss seeing your work on there but have read your blog for a long time before even finding IG, so will still enjoy seeing all your wonderful work. I was the crazy Brit that bumped into you in Europane one afternoon - my apologies, I was sleep deprived and must have come across as a crazy lady babbling away once I realised it was you.

  13. Thanks for sharing your honesty, makes one stop and take stock of oneself. Love your work!!

  14. And just like that your work returns to the vastly original and ethereal format I recall from long ago Flickr days. So happy for you.

  15. I so loved the chance to learn from you again at QuiltCon and I have been meaning to let you know that I think you are such a fantastic teacher. I hope you will keep following your heart with those smaller studies, they are inspiring and interesting - and it is great that you don't need anyone to tell you that to keep creating and stretching. Thanks for sharing the IG story, I work very hard to ignore it a lot of the time, and now I know that is the right approach.

  16. i love your little doodles krista...that nearly all green is super great.

  17. You don't know me from Adam, and all I know of you is what I've read on your blog and seen on Instagram. But this (im)perfect stranger applauds your courage in making the artistic, personal and professional choices that work for you. Maybe IG and other social media will find a place in your life again, or maybe they won't. What matters is that the choices work for you, as you — like all of us — create and discover your own best path.

  18. It is wonderful to read your blog

  19. I'm really jealous of those who got to take your Compositional Drawing class! Hope to see you teach it online someday! Or come teach at AQS Paducah :)
    It sounds like you made the best decision for you and your work regarding Instagram. Knowing what does and doesn't work for you is sometimes hard to figure out, and even harder to do what you know you really should. Good for you.

  20. Enjoyed watching your interview by Alex on the Quilt Show and wanted to see more about you. Thanks for the insight into being present and being true to your own path.
    Happy Quilting,
    Mary in New Mexico

  21. Thanks for all the fabulous eye candy of your small studies. I just finished 3 days with Gwen and your work fits right in with what we were doing. I have wondered about your exit from IG, and have to admit, many of your statements run through my mind about myself. Thanks for sharing from your heart, this post is more real than most IG posts. Enjoy the show season, your quilting ROCKS!

  22. I LOVE eating burgers alone in my room...but I would be watching basketball.
    Love your work! Keep it coming in whatever form flows....

  23. I love all the beautiful pictures in this blog post. What I loved the most, the very most, today, was reading about your decision regarding IG. You put into words what I so often think. Good for you. Being present for those you love will not go unnoticed. I'm so glad I have met your mother. And even more, I have all of the quilts you have quilted for me up on the walls where I see each of them on a daily basis and marvel at the amazing skills you have.

  24. I just recently completed my first quilt using your method. Thank u for sharing. I'm thrilled.

  25. I think your work is amazing. So glad I found your site.

  26. I was at QuiltCon too all the way from UK and the use of Instagram really hit me but the instantness of it doesn't appeal. I love looking at quilt pictures but ones head can get so cluttered that there is no space for ones own inspiration. I found your post on the subject very thoughtful and inspirational and well done for going "cold turkey" but please keep blogging. I think its a lovely way to stand back and look at your work and also to look back at your progress.

  27. I was at QuiltCon too all the way from UK and the use of Instagram really hit me but the instantness of it doesn't appeal. I love looking at quilt pictures but ones head can get so cluttered that there is no space for ones own inspiration. I found your post on the subject very thoughtful and inspirational and well done for going "cold turkey" but please keep blogging. I think its a lovely way to stand back and look at your work and also to look back at your progress.

  28. Krista, I can't wait to see what you decide to do next, unedited, with no feeling the need to explain or justify your creative choice. No need to post every step and make changes based on what other people's opinions are. You are a fantastic artist. I hope the step back from social media and freedom from the pressure to "create on demand" will revive your creative spirit in whatever you decide you are passionate about.

  29. I was recently looking to purchase your beautiful Geo Tile block to do a panto and I come across this. I don't even know you and have only seen a bit of your work and I think it's wonderful! I'm so saddened to hear of all this BS that you had to experience. Never give up...things will work out for you. Best wishes to you.

  30. Sports which are of huge event like football, cricket, NBA Soccer, Base Ball, UFC and many more can bring together people with different opinions together. we like to watch sports live

  31. Hi Krista, I just recently landed on your blog/website and just wanted to say that although I don't consider myself a "Modern Quilter" but more a Traditional Quilter, I love your modern style and absolutely LOVE your free motion quilting. I find them both extremely inspiring. After reading your article on getting rid of your Instagram account, it has certainly opened my eyes �� on the amount of time we waste for the most part. I have a FB, Instagram and Pinterest account but rarely go to any of them anymore. I may go to each of them for 10 minutes at a time once or twice per week. I am more likely to spend more time on Pinterest, but the advertisements have truly caused the enjoyment of that to not be very much fun anymore. I have over the years learned a great deal about quilting techniques, but after reading your article I too feel like shutting them down for the simple fact of wastine time. I am learning much more from websites/blog like yours and I truly appreciate you sharing your talents with people like me. Good luck in your quilting adventures! Jackson M.