February 20th, 2017 by Jan

Years ago… (my version of, it was a dark and stormy night), when I was in Desktop Publishing school at the University of Oregon, I took a class to learn Pagemaker.

Pagemaker was, (maybe still is) a page layout program for small and home-office professionals. At the time was a new and an upcoming big deal.

Our task was to make a poster.

Most of these posters were design disasters. People wanted to use every feature the software offered. This meant multiple fonts, were bolded, italicized and underlined. The most complicated feature everyone struggled to figure out was how to rotate text.

A poster was nothing if the word FOR SALE wasn’t set on an angle.

You would think the click of the button would make this happen, but as I recall it was way more complicated than that, and getting this to happen was a nightmare that messed with all the printers in the computer lab.

Remember this was in the olden days.

I bring this up because of how I remember it, and the lesson I learned at the time.

See, several students were bound and determine to make this slanting type thing work on their project. They spent hours in the computer lab trying to make it so.

Me, I took the easier, softer way. I did the old fashion thing, and printed out the words in the type I set. Then I did a real life cut, and paste job, with an exacto knife, and glue stick. I place FOR SALE on a nice angle, then all I had to do was scanned it and print it. Ta-Da! My poster was finished in 30 minutes.

I was on to the next project while my class mates were still sitting at lab computers, clicking buttons, stomping their feet, tearing out their hair, and wishing technology be something it wasn’t. I thought about the hourly fee someone might charge for this poster and moved on.

How this relates to today —

I’m learning a new technique in quilt making. It is called “quilt as you go.” It’s a very different way of creating and sewing, for me.

What I’m finding is, planning is a necessary part of this technique in quilt-making. Planning is not my strong suit. I like to create on the fly, and see what I get and make adjustments along the way.

With “quilt as you go”, when you are finished, so is your quilt. So, every time I sew a piece of fabric, I’m also sewing the batting and the backing all together. It’s pretty cool, but attention is called for.

The design I’m doing looks very simple. From the outside, it looks like scraps of fabric are sewn easy peasy, one right next to the other. But, the technical construction of the quilt, is actually quite complicated.


I hit a place yesterday where I just could not figure out how to make the sash connect to the strip. I tried and tried and just before I thought to stomp my feet and rip my hair out…I thought of my desktop publishing days.

Then, I took the easier softer way.

I put on my thimble, and threaded a needle. I spent the evening hand-sewing.

I’m not on the clock, and this quilt is coming along nicely now!

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