Welcome! If you’re a new visitor, courtesy of the blog hop – thanks so much for stopping by; and if you are an old friend, I hope you enjoy this little extra glimpse into my life. Okay, here goes…
I made my first quilt 20 years ago, but I only rekindled my passion for the craft in 2013 as a means of therapy during a rather tumultuous period in my then professional life. During my lunch break one day I was browsing Pinterest and I noticed an image of Lori Holt’s Mixing It Up quilt that jumped off the page and said MAKE ME!! My daughter is an avid baker and I knew she would love this quilt, so I ordered the pattern then and there, and went home excited to unearth my old quilting supplies.
While the unfortunate circumstances of my workplace discontent continued, I was becoming less and less myself, and I found the time I spent quilting in the evening was the only time I felt like me. I decided to make a quilt for each of my four children for Christmas that year, and it was that decision that helped me piece together what felt like a life unraveling! I stopped caring so much about what was going on behind the scenes at work, because I was focused on getting home to the sanctuary of my family and my quilting projects that waited for me. The four quilts enabled me to work through a lot of emotional stress, and replace it with a joy that filled me to the brim.
The Beginning of Something New
In 2014, I joined Instagram not having any clue what I was doing, and wondering if anyone was going to ‘like’ what I shared; but it wasn’t long before I realised how much I enjoyed and benefited from sharing my creations with like-minded makers. I tried to share something at least weekly on my one day off from work, which meant I began to develop a routine for carving out time to make new things.
Fast forward a little into 2014 and I found myself happily unemployed. This event coincided with some events in my home life that made me question my role as a working mother, and I decided to take some time out of the workforce to support my family and strengthen our core values. This was a really hard decision for me, because I thrived on the creative lifestyle that my employment provided, but I knew I needed to prioritise my family at an influential stage in my children’s lives. The positive consequence of my decision was that while I was no longer able to create in the same way I had done previously, I found myself becoming more and more immersed in the quilting world as a means to satisfy my creative energy.
After a little time as a quilt maker, and feeling more confident referring to myself as such, I began to think more consciously about what my style was, and what it was in a quilt pattern that ‘spoke’ to me. I am a traditionalist at heart and my style motto has always been
‘classic inspiration – modern interpretation’,
and clearly my quilt making style was no different. In August 2015 I launched my first series of PDF patterns – Stardust was a slight twist on a classic block inspired by a line from a book (see below), At the Crossroads emerged from emotions about motherhood that were on my mind at the time, and Going Places was a reproduction from a quilt in my own personal collection that held fond memories from 20 years earlier.
Each of these quilts has a story, and I include the stories behind almost all my quilts in the actual pattern because I want to make the connection between our everyday lives and our quilt making more apparent to makers everywhere. We are not only quilt makers, but storytellers whose medium happens to be fabric and thread.
This blog grew out of my need to further grow my skills and challenge myself creatively. I love to write as much as I love to sew, and I wanted a place where I could share the story behind all of the quilts I design, and somewhere to act as a base camp for my small pattern design business. I would love to say that setting up my blog was easy, but it wasn’t! I knew I needed the flexibility to be able to do my own thing and have my website reflect my emerging brand, and so I opted for a self-hosted WordPress site and purchased a template that was supposedly going to make designing the site simple enough for a non-techie person like me to achieve. Over the course of a year I worked on the back end of my site getting it to a place where it was for the most part presentable for public consumption. I still have lots of work to do, but I am becoming more confident with exactly how to do things. I’ve learnt that when things go wrong, with a little bit of patience, Google almost always has the answer ;). !!
At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog post outlining my 5 creative goals for this year, and I am really happy with the progress I am making in each of the areas. Having this list of goals visible on a pinboard in my studio has made a big difference in how I work towards them. One of my biggest goals (and challenges) is to reduce the number of WIPs I currently have, and so I recently decided I needed to make this list visible too. I now feel more organised and in control of what projects I am working on.
Another great tool for those who like to stay organised is the Wunderlist App you can download to your phone or iPad. I use it to keep track of projects I would like to make, my quilty shopping list, and even the patterns I purchase – all these lists help me stay relatively organised and give me guidance when it comes time to work on something new.
Do you have a favourite way to stay organised?
The Beginnings of My Quilty Bucket List
Recently I started thinking more about what I would like to accomplish in the next 5+ years, and in true list-maker fashion, I thought I should start my own Quilty Bucket List. I haven’t gotten very far, but here are some of the ‘maybe one day, but not today’ items on my list:
- Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt – I have started a few hexagon projects and never gotten very far, but I would love to have one of these beautiful quilts in my personal collection.
- Winding Ways Quilt – Cindy and Jitka have inspired me to make this quilt, but I am undecided whether to use traditional templates or the Sew Kind of Wonderful Quick Curve Ruler. Both methods suggest a need to embrace imperfections, but I know myself well enough to know that anything more that 1/16″ inaccuracy will drive me crazy – LOL.
- Flowering Snowball Quilt – I started to make a few blocks once upon a time, but my colour palette was all wrong and so I threw the pieces in my orphan blocks pile. I am still on the hunt for the perfect colour combination.
- A quilt collection for every season (I probably need a lot longer than 5 years for this dream, but doesn’t the idea just make you smile!)
- Authorship – I would love to write a book that is more than just a collection of patterns. I would love to design a series of quilts based on stories from quilters all over the world and share the stories alongside the quilt designs. I feel as though there still needs to be a little something ‘extra’ to this idea, but I am not yet sure what that might be…
- Fabric Design – I have an entire book of sketches I would like to translate into fabric one day. Not necessarily for mass production, but just to make a quilt that is entirely my own from start to finish!
Maybe there is something on your list that I might like to add to my mine – what is the one quilt related goal or project you often dream of?
I hope you enjoyed this stop on the blog tour.
Next week I will be sharing a cute tutorial for the sweet little mini quilt I have been sharing on IG – I hope you drop by again and say hello!
More from the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers
Don’t forget to check out the gracious hosts of this blog hop who have links to all those who are participating in their individual hives over the coming weeks, and some sponsored giveaways too:
Leanne @shecanquilt : She Can Quilt
Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl : Quilting Jet Girl
Beth @ cookingupquilts : Cooking Up Quilts
Other new quilt bloggers you will find sharing about themselves today are:
Rita @rita_wahn : Posterity Quilt Co.
Andrea @alwaysgoofy : Goofin’ Off Around the Block
Emily @emilyleachman : The Darling Dogwood
Vivian @quiltingwithvivian : Quilting, Crafting and Sometimes Cooking
The following is a list of links to all the members in my hive, please drop by and show them some love and be inspired!
|Andrea||Goofin’ Off Around the Block|
|Barbara||Crazy Red Quilts|
|Emily||The Darling Dogwood|
|Gina||Quilts and Cakes|
|Kathy||Kathys Kwilts and More|
|Nancy||Grace and Peace Quilting|
|Rita||Posterity Quilt Company|
|Samantha||Aqua Paisley Studio|
|Sharon||Yellow Cat Quilt Designs|
|Vivian||Quilting, Crafting and Sometimes Cooking|
|Wendy||Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life|
2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop Schedule
Blog Hop Week 1 – April 10th
Blog Hop Week 2 – April 17th
Blog Hop Week 3 – May 1st
Blog Hop Week 4 – May 8th
PS. If you read to the end of this post then you deserve some eye-candy in the form of my favourite quilt image EVER – South Bank Spin at twilight! – Isn’t it pretty? xxx