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Quilting crisis or opportunity?


A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to hear my friend, Mary Pal make a presentation to a guild I belonged to, QuiltCo in Ottawa, Ontario. I believe that the topic was inspiration but I must say that what I remember about her presentation was when she briefly mentioned ‘seizing opportunities’. At that time I remembered a quote, “When opportunity knocks…answer! It may not knock again!”. This is now a motto I try to live by, especially when it comes to quilting.


When opportunity knocks
When opportunity knocks


I cannot remember all the times what first appeared to me as crises turned out to be “opportunities” in the end. You know those times: it’s midnight but you need to keep going to get that quilt done so it can be delivered in time for a show. Or, trying a new block then getting a chance to teach it to others, the unexpected invite to do a trunk show… All of these were opportunities seized. Some took all my energies and others took courage. Some took both.

For example, I recall the first trunk show I was asked to do. Nervous, I asked how many people would be at the trunk show. The answer was: normally 40 – 50. Up until then, I was used to teaching computer based training to up to 12 people at a time, but this was going to be four times as many people. I had not yet accepted and my nerves were already working overtime. Trunk Show night arrived, I arrived at the guild meeting for the trunk show, the guild members began to arrive. First there were ten, then twenty, then thirty. Finally, more than 70 guild members showed up.

Long story short: I survived. That first golden opportunity led to another trunk show and another and I have now done five trunk shows with dates for three more!


Paul presenting one of his quilts during a trunk show.
Paul presenting one of his quilts during a trunk show.


I can relay similar stories for teaching, for commission quilts and now for guest blogging on! Having lived, and still living, opportunities is wonderfully affirming. I find it amazing how simply saying: “yes” to that first trunk show has opened so many additional doors.

Though we all have too many things to do in our lives than there is time, we need to make the choice to seize opportunities as they appear. We can all do with a few minutes less of sleep (drink more coffee).

One last perk. Because of actively seizing opportunities in my life, I travel more and because of traveling more I get new inspirations for more quilts. It’s a win, win, win cycle!

So remember the mantra: “When opportunity knocks…answer! It may not knock again!” unless of course it’s someone trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner.

Join me tomorrow, I’ll talk about the new quilter.


This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2:  Finding quilt inspiration everywhere

I took my first quilting course in September 1994 in Barrie, Ontario, near the armed forces base where I was stationed. After moving to Ottawa in 1996, I joined my first guild. I took more courses and began to buy quilting books and lots of fabrics. Quilting has become my passion. I have made over 150 more quilts since then, and have never looked back. I now share my knowledge of quilting by teaching and doing presentations, and blogging!


  1. Kerry Faraone

    fabulous article, Paul…and I think I recognize some of the fabrics in the quilt….lol

    • Paul Leger

      the blues from the top quilt are from two Jelly Rolls that I purchased the first time I went to the store and that I meet Carly and you. I was with Steve C and two other friends. I believe it was March 2008.

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