Monday, 8 September 2014

My Stop on the "Around the World Blog Tour"

Hi everyone!  Welcome to my little corner of the quiltiverse!  

My friend L, over at Buttons Quilts participated in the blog tour last week and nominated me to take part too.  L is one of those special quilty people that I get to know in real life too (which means we can go fabric shopping together).  She has a really pretty, modern aesthetic to the things she makes and - holy smokes! - can she churn out a quilt or 12 in a jiffy!  Plus, she makes me feel good about myself because her tendency to fabric hoard stash build are bigger than mine....and as long as someone is worse than me, I have plausible deniability about the depth of my own problem!  :)  

I came by quilting quite by accident.  About 6 years ago I asked my parents to buy me a sewing machine for Christmas.  Nothing fancy.  I just was sick of paying to have my work pants hemmed.  It added 12-15 dollars to the purchase price of every new pair of pants I bought.  Grr!  Right?  So anyhoo, I get this newfangled machine (which I can't work) and it sits on my floor for three months.  One weekend, I ask my grandmother to teach me to use it and this look of evil glee spread over her face.  "Sure" she says.  "I'd be glad to" she sings.  Because I was such a beginner, she decides she is going to first teach me to sew a straight line.  She hands me a couple of charm squares and gets me to make a 1/4" seam down one edge.  Mission accomplished.  Then she hands me another so I can "practice some more."  At the end of that week, I had finished my first quilt.  A simple nine-patch with sashing and posts.  I didn't learn how to hem my pants for another year-and-a-half.  Sheesh!

This is the first quilt I ever made -- totally not my tastes now but I still love it.  Its all soft and worn in and delicious.
I am supposed to answer some quilty-related questions so you folks can get to know me, so here goes:

1. What am I working on? 

Um...conquering the quilting universe by creating my own quilt army!  :)  Hehe.  

Okay...aside from that....

I have a few projects on the go.  One is the aviatrix medallion for which I only need to make and attach one more border!
Here it is with border four on -- border five is on, but I like this picture better!

I also am working on putting the last zipper on my Sew Together Bag by Sew Demented.  I made two this weekend - one was for a sewing friend who is injured and couldn't make her own.   This one is for me.  I actually had the zipper on, but its ripped (and I totally didn't notice till I was done!  That drove me to drink!) and so I need to replace it. 

Can I add, this bag is AMAZEBALLS!  Everyone needs one...or seven

I also have to quilt my Swoon Quilt which was part of a summer Swoon-a-long I did with my local quilty friends:

I'm either waiting for divine inspiration before I proceed or for my quilting skills to improve to the point where I feel like I can do this bad boy some serious justice.  Conclusion....not just yet.

And finally, I am working on a simple triangle quilt for my uncle.  He is having hip surgery at the end of October and asked me if I would make him one to lay under while he recuperates.  How can a girl say no to that!?!

Hopefully masculine enough for my manly-man of an uncle.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Yikes.  This is a hard one.  My default is to say that its not.  I guess its easiest to think about in comparison to the stuff my quilty friends make.  I LOVE big, loud, bold, prints like Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, and Tula Pink...but also the really saturated colours typically used by Alison Glass and I'm the only one of my quilty friends who has this obsession.  I have tastes that are really modern, and not traditional at all.  I also HATE batiks (don't shoot me!).  I have no idea why. 

I think my work differs from others because I don't start with a pattern - my love of fabric means I start with a fabric I can't stop thinking about and I build from there.  Often, I like projects that showcase the fabrics.  I also tend to like to put many fabrics from the same collection together...but I'm making a conscious effort to do that less to force myself out of my comfort zone.  

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

I have a really intense job as a high school Vice Principal.  I throw myself into it hard-core and it takes a lot of my mental and emotional energy...but it also feeds my soul in an amazing and incredibly indescribable way..  Also, as my friends will attest, I have a really hard time turning off the educator-y/leader-y persona at the end of the day.  Quilting, sewing, and writing about it are a massive outlet for me.  It makes me concentrate on something other than work that is totally unrelated.  Its complex enough that I have to be mentally engaged, but not so taxing that I find it draining.  It also allows me (a REALLY structured and regimented person) to be creative and fun.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

My creat-ing/ive process is actually pretty simple.  As a person, I love a challenge and I love the sense of novelty from  learning new things, so I will most often choose projects that I think are a total challenge.  Hence the Swoon quilt, the Out in Space quilt I finished last August, the Lucky Stars BOM, and the current Aviatrix medallion.  I love starting something and not knowing I can do it well...or at all...and the sense of satisfaction that comes from persevering until it turns out just right.  Like BAM Quilt World, look what I can do!

In terms of writing about it - the easy answer is that my friend L bullies me into it!  Ha!  But honestly, I think I'm most effective when communicating in writing - its like letting folks see what I'm thinking as a large project comes together in stages.  Blogging is a way of keeping myself accountable for the stuff that I've started.  But mostly, I like the pictures and having something to go back and look at later...after someone has given me their puppy dog eyes and made me give away something I started by thinking it would be all mine! 

Okay, now for the fun part - I get to nominate three people whose blogs I read:

First up, is Elaine from Crazy Quilter on a Bike.  Elaine is another person that know in real life -- I believe can do ANYTHING with fabric.  She is an awesome teacher, has tonnes of helpful info on her blog, and has the ability to multi-task like no one else I know.  The greatest part is that even though she is (to me) an absolute expert, she is still so overwhelmingly excited by all things quilty.  I want to be her when I grow up.    

Next is Heather/Winding Bobbins at Crafting... .  I stumbled across Heather's blog about 8 months ago (I think when she was either part of another blog tour or someone who was on that blog tour linked to her).  She's a Canadian blogger (which I love).  What keeps me going back though is her sense of honesty about when she succeeds and/or struggles with a project.

Last, but not least is Katie from Karma Willow Designs.  I really enjoyed her post "10 Quilty Little Secrets" and the pics she put up of an Alison Glass Trunk Show.  I really enjoy her completely egalitarian view of fabric though.  She's not necessarily caught up in the fabric designer fuss and mixes and matches to her heart's desire.

Well, thanks for stopping by and getting to know me!  I hope you enjoy the next blogs!