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!
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.🙂
I’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.
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.
I 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.
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!