Around the World Blog Hop – My Turn!

My friend Becca from Bryan House Quilts invited me to join the Around the World Blog hop. What fun! Each Monday, different bloggers answer the following questions and then pass the ball onto someone else! It’s been going on for awhile and is literally having worldwide reach. You can click the links at the beginning and end of this post to find more fun blogs to follow and get to know other fun quilters in the process!

20140828_wip_bookI’ve been slaving away on the computer while work starts to pile up in the background.

1. What am I working on?

Currently I’m finishing up the manuscript for my first book, sneak peeks of which I shared previously. After that, I’m ready to launch a fall quilt along, prepare new teaching samples and even finish up a few patterns in the works. It’s never a dull moment around here!

2. How does my work differ from others?

That’s an interesting one. My work has evolved over time and probably the biggest difference I’ve seen is my preference to make my quilts completely from start to finish (including the designing). I don’t think there is anything wrong with only piecing, or only quilting, etc. (Remember there’s room for everyone in this journey!) I just enjoy every step of the process, so it’s been natural for me to always make the whole thing.

It’s definitely a slower process, (especially when one is trying to publish their work), but I’m ok with that, too. It’s been very satisfying to find like-minded souls within the online community, and to not feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t mind spending hours and hours on their quilts. :-)

20140828_thread_countI’ve recently begun keeping track of how much thread it takes to quilt a quilt. I count by the bobbin and each of my large Bernina bobbins holds about 80-100 yards of thread.

3. Why do I do what I do?

The first answer is because quilting is my business. From nearly the first moment I took up this glorious hobby 20 years ago, I thought that if I could make money from it,  I could justify the cost. (Not that I really needed to, but I was a poor starving college student back then!)

But the real answer is that it feeds my soul. Creating to me is as important as breathing, and I would be lost in a world without art. Also, I’ve found that I have nearly as much fun participating in the community of quilting as I do making the actual quilts. I enjoy it just as much when my quilting buddies receive recognition for their work as I do for my own projects.

20140828_colorful_fabricsI love working with color! Pearl Bracelet fabrics courtesy of Andover.

4. How does my creative process work?

I usually have an idea of a quilt I want to make and I sketch it out roughly in EQ7 first. At this point, I am brainstorming, so the quilt can go off in many different directions. I save all of the different versions and often use them in future projects.

201406010_eq_artistI am a planner, so I have to know what the quilt looks like before I ever cut the first fabric. If I know for sure which fabrics I’m using, I’ll import them into the program and create a pattern for myself to follow. If the fabrics aren’t important and it’s more about the colors, I’ll create the design in solids, then use prints when I sew. Of course many times I end up loving the solid version and make an exact copy of that, too!

It’s hard for me to make a quilt just for the sake of making. Each quilt needs to have a purpose. Whether that purpose is learning a new technique, preparing a class sample, or making the quilt for an intended recipient, I can’t start on it until I know where it’s going to end up.

Rainbow Bridge

Here’s a recent sketch I came up with when I was messing around with half-square triangle layouts. I’m not sure if it will ever become a quilt, but it was fun to design!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about what makes me tick! I’m inviting my friends Stacy from Farm Road Quilts and Cheryl the Quilter Chic to play along next week!

This entry was posted in Personal Life, Sew and Tell, Soapbox. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Around the World Blog Hop – My Turn!

  1. Thanks for sharing with us. So fun to sneak a peek into another quilter’s work and process. I appreciate your honesty too– not many folks would lead with your first paragraph’s answer to #3 and yet, it is a big part of the answer for many people, or the hope of many. I am so relating to #1 right now: must quilt, must blog, must write…..bounce from one to another…..argh!

  2. Anne says:

    I like making any quilt that catches my fancy. I don’t always have a recipient in mind and therefore sometimes I wonder why I start this. I will also buy fabric for a project and not always start it. The fabric looks great in my stash and reminds me to get at it. I admire you for doing all the steps yourself, very talented. I have started doing smaller projects, pillows, runners and baby quilts in order to do the whole process and you are right, it is a great feeling. Interesting post.

  3. Ellie says:

    My quilts also have to have a purpose which in my case is always the recipient. I think of who’s receiving it while I’m making it. But being the owner of too many UFOs yesterday I started on one of my UFOs and am determined to finish it and not let myself get distracted by trying out a completely different quilt block for yet the start of another quilt for a future recipient.

  4. treadlemusic says:

    So much in common with you!! Whatever stage of the quilt I’m at…THAT is my fave!!!! But the final stitching/quilting in the “cherry on the top” and is always the (‘reward’) thought in the back of my mind. Having projects “stacked up” only serves as “fuel” for my creativity and an excitement at what’s around the next bend in the road. I’m so glad our paths crossed and wish you the absolute BEST in these next chapters unfolding in your quilting adventure!!! You are such a gifted/talented textile artist with no end of inspiration for me. Hugs and blessings to you……

  5. I love your site Christa! Agree with you; LOVE COLORS! I’m the ARTSY FARTSY type… have done paper crafts, beading, painting… Just need some help on organization end of things! Working on it!!! Happy Labor Day!!!

  6. Michele says:

    Yes it is always fun to hear what others are up to. Thanks for sharing.

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