Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl ‘tagged’ me to participate in the Around the World Bloghop! I think of Yvonne as almost being a quilting machine (or even a jet!)! She updates with new projects regularly, and actually completes them which I admire a lot since we’re in similar situations and yet I tend to start things and ooh look shiny new pattern. You can read Yvonne’s responses to the hop, as well check out the other people she tagged to post today, over on her post from last week.
1. What am I working on?
I’m trying to make some updates to my blog! After finding out about the nifty Portfolio option on WordPress I couldn’t get it out of my mind and ended up switching my layout to the new one that utilises the portfolio function (the Sketch theme which actually does have a sidebar afterall). My header now resembles the quilt labels I’ve been making and using, though I’m trying to decide if I like it being so large. The font is definitely too large; I feel like I’m reading a children’s book, but I can’t change that :( Despite the blog updates, I’m trying to slow down my computer usage as blogging and catching up on other blogs eats into a lot of sewing time — not to mention actual ‘doing stuff around the house’ time (who needs clean dishes and clothes?) and balancing it all is proving difficult. I’m dreading the day I start working again, yikes.
As for sewing, I’m pretty sure 99% of my WiPs I’ve already shared here at one time or another, so here is something I know I’ve not posted about yet!
After adding the border onto Sharon’s Possum Magic centre, I was inspired into wanting to make my own version and so I started. I’ve had a bit of a mishap with the dresden’s background, because did you realise that when you do pebbling it shrinks your piece and makes it not square so it’s not as big as you started and so your dresden is now a tight fit?! Oops! :D I had to cut off the original border because it turned out wonky so I’m now trialling different fabrics to use in its place.
I’ve also been trying to be realistic about fabric purchases and my fabric needs so I started destashing over on instagram. Most of the fabrics have been sitting around for a long time for potential quilt backs (some are even amongst the first purchases I ever made so I ended up with way more than I need. 3 yards for binding is reasonable, right? :D) but I found I felt like I was trying to force myself into making quilts that would work “just because” of the quilt back and it was almost getting stressful, thinking that I had to make this many projects to actually use it all up! Realistically I don’t make as many quilts as I wish I did so I’m not likely to make quilts that use these anytime soon. There are lots of other fabrics coming out that I would like to make something with instead though. I decided to trial buying what I need for a backing at the same time as the rest of the fabric if I have “a plan”. If I’m short, I can always substitute with a bit of a pieced back with something similar (or different is good too!). I like the theory around stocking up on quilt backs and maybe one day I can do it again but at the moment I don’t think it’s working for me. I’m sad to see some of the fabrics go because I think they would make fantastic quilt backs, but hopefully for those that have found new homes, they can actually be used; even if it’s not me using them!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Even though I started to quilt a few years ago, I only finished my very first one about 18 months ago so I still feel like I’m learning and figuring out where I fit so I try to not peg myself into any holes. The most common definition of modern quilting that I see is the use of solids and negative space. That’s not me. I also don’t make anything specifically traditional. So far I don’t feel like I have a hole to fit into, so I’m not going to force myself into one. I just do what I want and make what I like. I’m a quilter. Do I need to be anything more than that? Maybe my work differs from others because I’m not trying to be one or the other. I’m not going out of my way to be modern and I’m not going out of my way to be traditional. Nor am I going out of my way to not be modern and not traditional.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I’ve often seen blog writing described as “write like you’re talking to a friend” and I guess I try and do that. If I show a friend a finished quilt in person, I’m not just going to throw it at them and say “look”. I want to talk about it and tell you how proud I am of it (or how much I hate it!) so I try and write those thoughts into posts with quilt photos. I also try and think of my posts as a record for myself because in a year or two, I can look back to the quilts I’m currently making and then remember things and feelings and thoughts I had about them and I can see how much I’ve changed and grown. I might complain and be frustrated with how my FMQ is going right now, but where will I be in two years? I already look back on my first posts and am annoyed at myself for not having enough photos, or not writing enough about what I made!
In some ways, I also hope that by sharing some of my thoughts and processes, others coming across my blog might be helped in realising that they’re not bad at creating and shouldn’t give up. A lot of what we see on blogs, or even in books and magazines looks “perfect” and for me at least, it can be disheartening when you’re not at that ‘perfect’ place yet and you feel like you’ll never be (and then one day it all just magically clicks into place and you wonder why you ever struggled at all!). This is why I like seeing when people talk about these things and why I like talking about them. I’m not perfect so why pretend that I am?
I make what I do because I want to make it. I see something inspiring, whether a pattern or a fabric and I want to do something with it! My problem is I find too many things inspiring so I start more projects than I finish! This is kind of funny for me, because I find one of the most inspiring parts of a project is actually finishing it and knowing that if I just finished this, that and the other, that I will have all of these lovely things!
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
With my blog, I utilise the schedule post function a lot. This very post I started when Yvonne asked me to participate, and since then, I’ve been opening it up and editing what I’ve written and adding new ideas and answering sections that I left out. This way, I don’t have to sit in front of the computer at the last minute trying to rush out an answer, or a post, and I don’t even have to be here to publish it at the right time! There are times, especially with finishes, where I can be that excited about it that I want to post right away so I will! Scheduling posts works well for me because sometimes i do want to be on the computer (particularly later in the evening) and so I have time to write posts then whereas earlier on in the day I may want to spend that time sewing instead). Writing posts when I have the time, rather than forcing myself to make the time, lets me have a bit of freedom and makes blogging less of a chore.
My creating process can be random. I’ll see a pattern and put it on my to-do list and think about the fabrics I’d like to make it with. Sometimes I try and look “through” the pattern and see what I can get out of it. For example, Camille Roskelley’s Cheerio pattern is ‘just circles’ or the letter O. The pattern uses fat eighths, and I had a fat eighth of a Christmas line on my shelf, and by putting the two together I thought “hey it can look like Christmas wreaths!”. In a nautical or beachy fabric, it could be life saving rings! I’m using Basic Grey’s Aspen Frost, and have mixed in a couple of prints from their new Christmas line 25th and Pine to bring it up to 42 fabrics, as per the pattern (my bundle only had 36 prints in it). I’m loving the navy additions.
Other times, I might have a set of fabrics I’ve liked that have sat upon my hoarded shelf for some time and I will stare at them and admire them so much that what they look like is imprinted on my brain. Then when I see a pattern or some inspiration, my mind will go ding ding ding ding which is what happened when I found the ugly shirt that made me think it would be the perfect quilt design with Anna Maria Horner fabrics for my Triangle Quilt. The fabrics used on the clothing items just reminded me of AMH prints and colours (with a bit of Tula thrown in too).
I am supposed to be tagging three other people in this hop, but I’m a rebel and have four! All of these ladies are tagged to answer the above questions next Monday, 1st September!
- Sarah from Smiles Too Loudly hails from the US and is my Supernova Friendship Block Swap partner (which we haven’t forgotten about, I swear!). You may see Sarah around blogland professing her love of all things yellow. She is a very brave lady as she has also started up her very own Modern Quilt Guild!(!!!!!!!!!).
- Michelle from Factotum of Arts is a Kiwi living in the US. I love her sense of colour and design (she picks the best fabric selections!). Michelle is a frequent participator in the Quilt Design A Day challenge and has even been making some of her own quilt designs.
- Linden from Vines Line Quilting is a fellow Aussie participating in the Bonnie and Camille Aussie Charm Swap with me! She will be hosting an Aussie Aviatrix Medallion Quilt Along (and is currently looking for people to assist in the blog hop!) and she interviews quilt bloggers and designers which she shares on her own blog.
- Nurdan from Hug A Bit Quilts was another Aussie based quilter I met through the New Blogger Blog Hop. She’s taking on the challenge of starting up her own small business and starting today, she will be hosting a new linky party every Monday (Maker Mondays)!