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
Thanks so much for introducing yourself and your path into quilting. I always love to learn about this from other. And even I am just a hobby quilter I can relate to your story in different points. Sewing , quilting and stitching was a way for me to calm down and to start to become more myself. I am still amazed about the changes in my personal life which startet officially during my sewing time! Yay!
Hugs from Switzerland, Martina
I am always amazed by how much we all have in common as quilters Martina! There must be something in our DNA that draws us to want to piece together bits of fabric, and helps us see the beauty in every quilter we meet 🙂
Hi Samantha, I love your blog and will definitely be dropping back in! The stories of the makers and the quilts themselves are intrinsically linked within the craft of being a maker. I hope your book becomes a reality you have a very warm and friendly way of writing. Try out Spoonflower if you want to dabble in fabric design and I think I might have to get a bit more organised and start listing a quilty bucket list – great idea! My quilty dream is to teach so maybe some lists are in order! Cheers Fi
Thank you Fi!! Yes, teaching would be awesome too! I used to teach design after hours to college students when I worked full time, and that is the one thing I miss about stepping out of the workforce for the time being!
Nice to meet you, Samantha! Your 4 quilts foryour kids from 2013 are lovely, and how nice that you get to see reminders of them being used and loved every day!
My quilty bucket list is mostly techniques that I want to try, but the one specific pattern on that list is a log cabin. I’ve done a few blocks for swaps/bees, but I want to make a completed log cabin quilt. Such a timeless design.
Emily, I think I need to add a Log Cabin quilt to my list too – it is such a classic!
Hi Samantha, I enjoyed hearing your story. I like making hexagons as well, and Grandmother’s Flower Garden is definitely on my list. Your site is well organized and fun to read. I will be back! Greetings from the US.
Thank you April!
Becca // Pretty Piney says
What a wonderful post to kick off the blog hop with. An excellent introduction, and a lovely blog overall. I do love that last photo–breathtaking!
Thank you Becca – I am always on the hunt for ‘the’ perfect photo now – lol!
I loved your post. My mother made me a queen Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt by hand and hand quilted it. It was stolen and I had never used it. I found some flowers that she had apparently made after she started failing in health. I started making more flowers and lost interest due to my health. I usually only work on them when I fly to see my daughter and it’s been three years since I was there, so it’s going to be a long time, if it ever gets finished. I’m disabled due to fibromyalgia. About 1.5 years ago my adult son moved home. Then about a year ago his then 2 year old daughter came to live with us. When he’s not working, I take care of her. So, I have no energy to quilt at all – not even cut out. My sewing machine died a year ago and I haven’t replaced her either. My fibromyalgia is most probably due to childhood trauma. My pastor is encouraging me to write a book to help others dealing with the issue. So, we have many, many commonalities. Blessings to you and I am anxious to watch you flourish more and more! I started following you on Bloglovin’.
It is so lovely to see your quilts and learn more about you. I am glad you are a part of the blog hop!
Laura Piland says
It’s great to learn more about you! I love that you include the stories with your patterns! I’m always sharing the stories behind my quilts on my blog. I love that you’ve mapped out your goals and dreams – I do that too! Would love to sit and chat sometime! Are you by chance going to Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis next month??
Darren Keane says
Your introduction inspires! Immediately I wanted to get a sewing machine and sew my own quilt.
Hi Samantha, I have enjoyed reading your quilting journey (so far). I’ll definitely be following you, both here and on IG. Your quilts are so bright and cheery. I agree that last photo and quilt is stunning!
Jan Altomare says
Fi, I truly enjoyed your story so far and will be following along in the future. I would love to see your sketches turn into fabric. You have taken the jump to designing patterns and I thank you, because I am a newby to quilting and patterns are my thing so far. I am heading over to wunderlist, since I have bought duplicate fabric bundles.
Abigail @cut&alter says
What a great post Amanda – so lovely to read more about you and see some of your gorgeous quilts!! The NQB groups has been fun so far hasn’t it? What lovely quilts you have made – so much gorgeous colour. I love IG too so have just popped over there and followed your feed. It will be lovely to get to know you better.
Carol Nelms says
I want to make a Glacier star by Quiltworx. I have the pattern, and I think all the fabric, and plan to start it in the fall. Nice to meet you!
I agree with Becca… this was a wonderful post to kick off our blog hop!!
As a new pattern designer myself, it was great to hear the story how you evolved into pattern design. I only knew a small part of it from Instagram.
I also love your quilty bucket list idea. I have many projects to fill one with! Thanks for sharing! Happy Quilting!
Anna lutz brown says
Ty for sharing your store with us .I would love to get one of my creations done by a pro quilt machine..One of my goals. . email@example.com
Paige @ Quilted Blooms says
What a great intro post Amanda! Pleased to meet you and see your beauitiful quilts! My quilty bucket list is long, but a EPP project is on that list somewhere!
I enjoyed reading your post and getting to know you. You quilts are beautiful. I would like to design lots and lots of quilts and hope to. I’ve designed a couple of very simple ones so far.
Rose Mikulski says
Lot of good reading and seeing in your post–I love it. I’m visiting from the Better Blogger hives and am enjoying this Blog Hop immensely–it good to meet and follow new Quilt Bloggers. Thanks for the heads-up on the Wanderlist App which I may need for my never-ending project list.
Beth T. says
List-making is my only hope for organization.
Rita Wahn says
I, very selfishly, am glad that you found yourself unemployed because you make beautiful quilts and now I get to look at them! I love your 5 goals for the year, I did the same thing with New Year’s resolutions, and at the end of every month I post an update of what I’ve accomplished as a mode of accountability.
I am also very certain that some “Stardust” blocks are in my very near future!
Thanks for the post!
Vanda Chittenden says
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your back story leading up to where are you are now. And your quilts are truly beautiful.
What a great intro post! Loved reading how you got started and then into writing patterns. Headed off to check out your pattern shop!
Your work is lovely, and those photographs…OH! Thanks for sharing about your journey, glad to be on the hop with you 🙂
Kathleen Scargle McCormick says
I dream about a self-designed modern quilt with lots of quilting (that I did). I have been thinking about designing more things, but generally come up with traditional type quilts. Also, I want to get the quilt done so I rarely overquilt.
Kara Zevchik says
Lovely to get to know who you are and how you started down your quilty journey. I can’t wait to see more of your creations in the future! And yes, that last quilt & photo is beautiful!!
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl says
A lot of your story resonates deeply with me. I, too, started quilting over 20 years ago and returned to quilting through a rough patch in my professional life. I now am also happily no longer at that job and focused on home, family, and quilting. You have a crisp and clean ascetic and I wish you much joy in your future quilting endeavors!
Diana @ Red Delicious Life says
Hi Samantha, so nice to meet you on this hop. First off, I must say, you have a very polished look to your blog that I absolutely love. It makes me want to sit down a cup of morning tea (despite the fact that it’s 3pm right now) and just chat with an old friend. That right there, is half the battle to drawing in a blogging audience and your writing style is the other half of the equation. I think you’re well on your way. Looking forward to more.
fannie jane says
I really enjoyed your story. It inspirational and touching. I think all quilters have a special quality that we all can somehow connect with. Best of luck with all your endeavors. fannie jane
Kathy Bruckman says
I love your intro. I am currently working on metro medallion using the quick curve ruler. I love it. The winding ways quilt is on my list, and I am thinking of making the sew kind of wonderful pattern for that.
Kathy Bruckman says
Loved getting to know you. Winding ways is also on my list. I love the quick curve ruler.
Anne Boundy says
I think a Quilty Wishlist / bucket list is great. Put all those secret dreams (well, not so secret now!) out there into the world. You never know where they will lead you. Xx
Loved reading all about your journey!
And I really like the look of that Winding Ways quilt!
Best wishes on your next five years!!
Thank you Michelle – xxx
Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter says
Wonderful introduction! I really feel like I know you so much better now. Love your quilt esthetic, but especially I love your quilt photos! So clean and bright. And that last one is sublime. No wonder it’s your favorite.
Thank you Jennifer – I am trying to get better with quilt photography, but it is often much more difficult that I anticipate. I am so glad you like the ones I have shared!
Tami Von Zalez says
What a great backstory – thank you for sharing that. Sometimes in the world of work you have to step back and sometimes step out of a position. I did the same thing a few years ago – went from a private law firm administrator to a public sector legal secretary. I have now made legal analyst and it was the best move I’d made career-wise, should have done it sooner.
That last image is the BOMB. First I have seen of the kitchenaid mixer blocks, tres cute!
In answer to your question, I have been amassing grey fabric to make a bear paw quilt with that background.
Hi Tami – I am glad your career move was a positive one for you. It is definitely hard to see some issues when you are in the midst of them while at work, and it takes a lot of courage to admit that things aren’t working the way they should be for you. Good luck with you bear paw quilt – such a classic quilt 🙂
Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting says
Very inspiring intro, Samantha! Your quilts all have a bit of red, which really makes them sparkle and shine. At this point in my quilting career, my top quilt goal is to use up stash in making quilts that are fun to make. Best wishes on your bucket list!
Thank you Nancy – I am looking forward to the day I actually have a stash that meets my needs – lol. I should probably add that to my bucket list!
Vanda Chittenden says
I really enjoyed your story.
Sharon Parcel says
Great to meet you! and your quilts are beautiful!
Thank you Sharon!
I really enjoyed reading your story and I’m glad quilting was able to help you in those hard times. I like your quilty bucket list. Mine is really long but if I had to pick one quilt I would love to make it would be a Double Wedding Ring quilt. Though, like you and your Winding Ways quilt (also on my bucket list, lol), I’m undecided on whether to use templates or the Quick Curve Ruler.
Glad I am not the only one who can’t decide on the best method Sarah! I hope you get a chance to make some of the things on your list 🙂
Diane Lomax says
This is a very moving and motivating story Samantha, thank you for sharing. I love your blog and will visit regularly, your photographs and writing style are like a breath of fresh air! Lovely to meet you.
Thank you so much Diane – your sweet comment has made my day! xx
Jennifer Strauser says
I love your intro post.
I don’t have a quilty bucket list – that is a good idea. I think mine might be too long. A Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a great on-the-go project. With a little bit of planning you can put it together while you are waiting for kids to finish activities, in doctor waiting rooms, etc. I’ve finished one and am working on my second now.
Thank you Jennifer! A portable project is such a great idea – I keep telling myself I need to do this, and should get myself more organised!
Vanda Chittenden says
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I loved reading about your quilting journey. And your quilts are beautiful.
Thank you Vanda!
Kate Heads says
An interesting journey, sometimes things happen just at the right time for us, if they had happened earlier we would not have been able to appreciate the result. Your blog has a lovely crisp, clean and modern feel ad I have enjoyed my visit. Good luck in your future blogging and quilting life.