Monday 1 September 2014

Blog Around the World

I started to sew by teaching myself after asking for a sewing machine for my thirtieth birthday from my husband. That was four years ago. After a year and a half of sewing I tried my first quilt, something I thought would take years before I could accomplish. I got totally and completely hooked. That included being hooked on quilting blogs, which led to me starting my own blog.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when Jenn from A Quarter Inch from the Edge contacted me to ask if I would be interested in participating in Blog Around the World where she would direct her readers to my blog (and two other blogs). I encountered Jenn when I had a giveaway on my blog from Sew Sisters and she entered. I checked out her blog and a few entries in I had her on my Blogger dashboard so I wouldn't miss a post! She is sort of a Kona solids genius. Check out what she did with these strip colour quilts or how she made a silk purse out of a (Kona) sow's ear. Also check out her epic solid Starburst quilt with the coloured Aurafil quilting. AMAZING. I'm interested to see how the addition of twins (!) will impact her quilting time (she accomplishes a zillion projects a week, or so it seems). Jenn is also Canadian but she is in Halifax in Nova Scotia whereas I am close to Toronto in Ontario. Google maps tells me it would take 17 hours and 53 minutes to drive there. Ouch.

And so here I am to answer the following questions about myself, my blog and my creative process.

What am I working on?

I used to be a woman who finished projects. My quilty friends C and A would comment that I was great at actually following through and that I didn't have very many WIPs (works in progress). Somehow that has changed this summer in particular. Or, perhaps, it has changed while being on maternity leave because the addition of a new baby (on top of my almost six-year-old) has changed how I am able to work. Currently I have the following projects "on the go" (including those for which I have already selected fabrics):

1. Oldest WIP: Stitchery Dickory Dock's Sugar Block Club Block of the Month. I have the blocks made and the binding made (with the scraps from the blocks). I made this using a bundle curated by Red Pepper quilts and purchased from Pink Castle Fabrics. I already know the backing (IKEA Nummer fabric) but I have not been motivated to do the boring sashing bits.

2. Swoon. I participated in a #Swoonalong with several quilty friends this summer. I completed all nine blocks using Tula Pink's Fox Field line and a LOT of Kona Shadow. I decided to add sashing which really helped make the quilt look right. Now I just need to add the border (which are cut and ready to go) and then baste (yuck) and decide how to quilt this sucker.  I think this will end up being a 2015 finish.

3. Aviatrix Medallion. I don't even like medallion quilts all that much. Or at least I didn't until I saw Elizabeth Hartman's pattern in all Kona solids. I bullied a friend into doing it too and she is so much further ahead. This is a very very VERY complex quilt so I knew it would take ages. I have finished the centre medallion and I'm working on the grey HSTs for Border One. This one may be a very late 2015 finish or, dare I say it, 2016?

4. Grey quilt #1: A Plus quilt. This is for a friend's son, J. She commissioned me to make two double quilts for her two little boys, ages 1 and 3. They both are dark greys and lots of Kona White. I only agreed to make these quilts because I adore her and because she turned creative control over to me. I am at the hand binding stage with this quilt.

5. Grey quilt #2. This is for big brother, E. It is a Pow Wow quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew's pattern (which I LOVE). I love this quilt so much I don't really want to let it go. I have it basted it and I'm waiting for the FMQ fairy to inspire me.

6 and 7. Mint Julep and Monkey Business, simple patchwork quilts for twins due in November to a work friend. These should be quick finishes. You know, if I stayed focused.

8. Black and White shower quilt. A lifelong friend got married two years ago and I was her maid of honour. Her mom and aunt both quilt so I came up with the idea of having the guests at her bridal showers sign squares of fabric and make a "guest book" quilt. Her aunt had the squares for two years without touching it so I took over to get the project going. Now I just need time to fit it in!

9. A very modern quilt for a neighbour expecting a little girl in November.

10. A red and white quilt for my husband's stepmother's mother, Nana. I want it done for her for Christmas.

I also need to make a baby quilt for a friend from work who is due in January, a special car holder project for my nephew for Christmas and a bunch of crayon roll ups for my daughter's loot bags at her sixth birthday party. Oh, and have I mentioned I'm going back to work from maternity leave starting tomorrow?

How does my work differ from others who quilt?

I don't really know how to answer this question. I know that when I compare my quilts to that of my friend's mother and aunt, or my great aunt, I am definitely more modern in my pattern and fabric choices. I know that compared to my quilty friends I am more adventurous than one of them (she chooses more modern fabrics but more traditional patterns) and less adventurous than the other (who chooses patterns because they are hard). Maybe at only three years into quilting I don't have a solid identity yet.

Why do I quilt?

I have always been drawn to quilts. For my high school graduation I didn't want a class ring. I asked my parents to pay to have a quilt made (I guess at 18 my parents should have read the warning signs). My job is incredible and challenging and rewarding but I also need something to do that is not related to the consuming nature of my job. Quilting fits the bill because it is very challenging and I am constantly learning and my mind is busy but on something other than work. I find that refreshing. I also think I can express love through my quilts, and since I am a pretty tough cookie that is one of the few ways I do!

What is my creative process?

I read a lot of blogs and go on Instagram and Pinterest a lot. Sometimes fabric or patterns just speak to me. They jump out at me and then get stuck in my head and haunt me until I at least write them down in this little notebook I have that is just for quilting. I will sketch out or write out my thinking behind the quilt and then I will have it sitting in my brain begging to be made until I actually get to making it. The problem is getting things done because my mind has sometimes already moved on to the next project before I finish the grunt work (like basting) for the one I'm on. This hasn't been too bad until recently. The grey quilts are an example of this madness. My friend mentioned wanting quilts in dark grey for her boys and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Within two days I had sent her inspiration photos and explained my vision. She was sold without much consideration and then I jumped on making the quilts happening. Alas I am nearing the finish line but I'm already itching to make something colourful!

So that is all about me. Now check out THESE amazing women and their blogs. On September 8th they will have new posts similar in flavour to mine. Check them out!

The Edgy Perfectionist
Her title encapsulates her perfectly. Crissa works full time and yet creates the most incredible quilts and projects. She is meticulous and it shows in her work. She likes BOLD colours and fabrics like Tula Pink, Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett. When her mojo is flowing, watch out! I think the quilt she made that blew me away the most is her Out in Space quilt. Epic. Another Canadian, but closer to home than Jenn as she is in a neighbouring city here in Ontario.

How My Time Flies
An experienced sewer and quilter, this woman can do it all. Anita makes quilts but also clothing (including her own bras!), pillows, drapes and, well, anything you can sew. And she knits, too! She works full time and she is a very detail-oriented quilter (read: perfect seam matching every time. She told me she would teach me how but I know I wouldn't have her patience!) so her finishes are fewer. Anita has been working on a Dear Jane quilt for two years and I can't wait to see it together. Also, check out her incredible landscape quilt. She made this after taking a class on Craftsy. This is her first landscape quilt. WOW. Hooray for another local Canadian!

Peas in a Pod Creations
Kymberly is American, from Iowa. She was one of my first followers on my blog. She blogs about quilting but also about her knitting (gorgeous stuff that I could never make!). I am particularly captivated by her foray into making a Farmer's Wife quilt (a zillion tiny blocks with a zillion pieces each, much like a Dear Jane) because she is doing it entirely in black, white and grey. I have never seen one with a colour scheme like that and she is so good about explaining her process with the blocks and when she makes mistakes that she can live with and when she scraps it and tries again! I can't wait to see how it looks when it is all together because I think it is going to be worthy of a quilting show.



  1. It is hard to believe that you have only been quilting for 3 years!!! Wow! I'd say that you are gifted!!! Love your creations, you are an inspiration!

  2. Beautiful projects. Your to do list looks like mine. Lots of great projects and not enough time to finish them all...sleep is overrated!

  3. Again with the genius! I just don't know about that title! Thank you for hopping onto the Blog Hop... and I love that you Google mapped how long it would take for you to come for a visit. :)