I am so excited to have been asked to take part in the Around The World Blog Hop by Greta Anderson from Material Detachment, hop over and find out more about Greta’s quilting exploits. I have really enjoyed finding out a bit more about some of the bloggers I already follow and have discovered some new blogs as well.
The rules of the Blog Hop are 1) Acknowledge the person who nominated you. Thanks Greta. 2) Answer four questions. 3) Link to one to three bloggers to carry on the Around The World Blog Hop, it’s like passing on the Olympic flame!
Here I go with the questions.
What are you currently working on?
Here’s a little sneak peak.
After writing my tutorial on how to make a personalised Santa sack, I decided that I would write a pattern for a quilt top. I designed the pattern after receiving my lovely fat quarter set of Dashwood Studio fabrics. I love Dashwood Studio, not least because the designers are British (and so am I!) The fabrics are from the Retro Orchard collection by Wendy Kendall, with a bit of Flurry added in. I knew I wanted to showcase the fabrics in the design of the quilt top, so I have kept the pieces large and simple. I am rather excited to start cutting fabric and get this project underway.
How does your work differ from others?
This is always a difficult question, I find the whole notion of being unique rather difficult…anyway, what I can say is that I have never made a quilt from a pattern, from my first quilt I have designed them all myself. This was not intentional, when I started quilting I got a great book from the library that went through the whole process of making a quilt from start to finish. A great way for a beginner to learn all of the basic techniques and all the quilting jargon, I thought. So I had the book, I bought all the sewing supplies and the fabric. I was ready to start, however I found the book really difficult to understand. I have since discovered I find written patterns of any type difficult to follow, I need a real step by step, with photo’s of each step which is just not practical in a published book. I gave up on the book and turned to YouTube. Those badly filmed five minute videos is where I learned to quilt! Actually some of them are very well filmed and some of the quilters are very experienced. I love YouTube, it helped me to see what the book was telling me to do, it took away some of the confusion, I fell in love with quilting and wanted to know more.
This is the first quilt I made, it’s a cot size quilt.You can’t see on this rather bad photo, but it has hand quilted circles in the blue squares and there is hand quilted along the edges of the red gingham strips.
It was at this point that I decided I couldn’t really be bothered with accurately matching seams and started to find out more about art quilts. I read this great book Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. It’s a book full of different art quilt techniques, including printing photographs on to fabric. At the time I was doing scrapbooking and was working on a photo montage using some scrapbooking techniques. After I read the Art Quilt Workbook, I knew I had to create some sort of photo frame in fabric. I had no idea what I was doing and just printed my photo’s out in whatever size I thought they looked best, then I had to work out how I was going to get all of these different sized blocks in to a quilt. This is what I cam up with.
Every single one of these seams is a set in seam! I literally cut each piece of the background to fit as I stitched the photo’s together. It was not the easiest way to create this look, but I love it. I wanted it to look like the photo’s were ‘floating’ on top of the background fabric. The only other photo quilt I had seen at that time that looked like this, had the photo’s appliqued on to the background. I was determined to piece my quilt. This is the third quilt I ever made, and it is not perfect, it’s a bit wonky, but I adore it. I was asked once if I would remake it, now that I have developed my skill, my answer was and will always be a resounding no!
My work today has grown out of those beginnings, I still don’t follow patterns, (although I do read them, patterns are a great source of inspiration) and I like to create quilts that have a randomness about them, a lack of uniformity.
Why do you write/create what you do?
Why do I make quilts?…Because I can…Because I want to! Before I discovered quilting I had never known what it was to be so passionate about something. I had hobbies I enjoyed, like reading (love fiction) gardening, I had done a bit of sewing, tried my hand a scrapbooking, then I discovered quilting…and the world made sense! Angela Walters has called her blog Quilting Is My Therapy and I can 100% relate to that. I decided to turn my hobby in to a business and opened a shop on Etsy in May of this year.
Why do I write this blog? I realised that I was (and still am to a certain degree) quite bad at documenting the quilts I make. I get in to the ‘zone’ plough through making the quilt, give it to it’s new owner, then realise I have not documented how it was made and in some cases did not even get finished photographs. I started the blog to force myself to take the time to document the quilts I make, I still need to work on documenting the ‘in progress’ bits. Pattern writing is really an extension of documenting how the quilts are made, I have a couple of quilts that I cannot remember how I actually made them!
How does your creative process work?
I usually start with the fabric, I choose what combination of fabrics I want to use as the main focus first, then I design a quilt pattern with the fabric in mind. For example if I have fabric with a large scale print, I will want to show that print in the quilt top, so I will have some larger blocks to accommodate that. When I have designed the quilt top, I then decide if any extra fabrics need to be included then set about cutting, and piecing. Then I baste together my quilt sandwich and at this point I think about how I want to quilt it, although I am working on designing the quilting at the same time as the quilt top as this sometimes has implications for seams.
My process includes a lot of time draping fabric, quilt tops, basted quilts about the place waiting for them to ‘talk to me’.
Passing on the Hop
I thought it would be fun to have some non-quilty links to see where that leads us.
Hop on over to these very fun blogs:
Lisa at The Quilting Bird