Monday, 10 November 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hi everyone. Today I'm taking part in the Around the World Blog Hop and I was asked by my friend, Cynthia of Dream Quilt Create, to participate. Cynthia has a wonderful blog, and if you haven't stopped to see it before, you should really go check it out. She makes the cutest stuff, and from what I can tell, she has the most romantic husband in the world who made-over her sewing room for her!

Another friend of mine, Shauna from lovinquiltin asked me a about a month ago to participate, but unfortunately we were on vacation and I wasn't able to do it. But I would feel bad if I didn't give a shout-out to Shauna! (Hi Shauna!)


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What am I currently working on?

Right now I have so many projects in the works I don't know which way is up or down. I think I have what is commonly known as QADD--Quilting Attention Deficit Disorder. That being said, I'm not making a whole lot of progress on anything. Do any of you do that?

But as for the big items, I'm working on a Union Jack Quilt for a friend, I'm testing a couple of patterns for some other friends, I'm working on a fall quilt (that is a little late coming along), and I have recently decided to participate in the #haveyourselfamerrylittlechristmas quilt-along on Instagram. I guess this is something that has been going on for a couple of weeks, but I didn't find out about it last night when my friend @AudreyAnn33 from Strawberry Island Studio asked me if I was playing. How did I miss this? Anyway, so I pulled some fabric today so I could get caught up. I really can't wait to get started.


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How does my work differ from others?

I don't know if my work really does differ from others because a lot of what I make is inspired by other people! If anything, I wish I could do what others do because I see so many beautiful quilts and think to myself, "Now why couldn't I come up with that?". I have quilt envy I guess.

But if there's something that I've learned about myself is that the biggest motivator for me is the meaning behind the quilt. And by that I mean, 'what does this quilt represent for me?'. Usually it's a memory or a connection to something that keeps me inspired to finish it. I start lots of projects, but I have a hard time seeing them through if I don't have an emotional connection to the design. Really, the projects I have been most passionate about are quilts that are inspired by people that I love, or places I've visited.

Why do I create?

I watched a documentary once called "Helvetica", and I remember the designer saying "Creativity is a disease for which there is no cure" and that really made sense to me. I think (probably like most crafters/artists) I create because it's just something that I have to do. Sometimes creating isn't always a stress-reliever because I become obsessed with an idea, and then I can't focus on anything else until I've made it. And then there are other times, when I have absolutely no new ideas, but even then I start to become really anxious if I'm not working on something, because I feel like it's just something I need to be doing.

How do I work?

I looked at this question in two different ways, so I'll go ahead and answer both.

I think my creative process is a little inconsistent. Sometimes I have an idea the develops slowly, and then I might draw it out and carefully pick out fabric. And then there are those other times, when an idea blasts me out of my sleep and I just start making stuff when I'm not really sure how it's all going to work out.

As for where I work, I am very, very fortunate to have a small sewing room, and to be honest right now, it's completely out-of-control. So, much of my time has been spent trying to get it organized and decorated properly. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to share some before and after photos. The photo below is somewhere in between before and after and is the only picture I could take that wouldn't send you into cardiac arrest : )


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And as for my machine, I sew on a Bernina Patchwork 350 and I absolutely love it! I saved up for two years after sewing on a Singer Simple, and now I'm a Bernina fan for life. Before Bernina I didn't know that fabric wasn't supposed to be eaten by the machine! It has been a lifesaver for me.


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Anyway, that's all for my portion of the Around the World Blog Hop. I know my answers aren't all that thrilling, but I appreciate you stopping by!! Next I'm tagging Melissa from My Fabric Relish and Audrey from Strawberry Island Studio--and now I just need to go tell them. Haha.




Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Congratulations Helen!!!




I used the random number generator to select a winner, and it chose #54, Helen, who said 

"Of course, I would spend the extra hours making quilts for family and young patients in the Pediatric Infusion Therapy Unit (kids chemo) that I have adopted. There never seems to be enough time for quilting. Love the idea of a tea time giveaway - thanks!"

Helen, send me your address so I can get your gifts out to you! Thanks to everyone who participated and I still hope you all get to take a few moments for yourself!!!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Moda Spell it with Fabric

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I'm so happy to post this today because it seems like it has been forever since I've had a finish to show you! This one took me awhile because I kept changing my mind about what colors I wanted to use. When it was all said and done I think I made about 40 letter/blocks, so I have almost enough for a second quilt. I want this quilt to be the one that is on my sofa everyday, so I just quilted it in a wavy line stitch, which makes it soft and drapes really well.

I used the Moda Spell it With Fabric pattern, and at one time it was available for free, but now I can't find the original posts for you, but if you want to purchase it, you can do that here.

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Although I had wanted to make this quilt for a while, I was only really inspired to get started during the summer when my daughter and I were spending much of our time reading together. My daughter really struggled with reading, and did not enjoy it at all. It baffled me at first, because she is such a bright child, but it seemed like it was just never clicking for her. For her entire second grade year she went to additional tutoring every day, but not much progress was made, and her reading level was that of an early first grader. Her Lexile score (tests used to determine reading level) was at a 167 and for a beginning 3rd grader it should be at 500--so we had only a few months to get her where she needed to be. I was worrying myself to death about it. It's not that I wanted her to be the smartest kid in school, but I don't want her to lose confidence in herself if she was behind. Mostly, I just wanted her to love reading, because there's so much enjoyment to be found in books.

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At the end of the school year, her teacher sent home a recommended summer reading list that were appropriate for her reading level. The list had books like "Clifford the Big Red Dog" and other books that I felt were never going to help her progress. Those books only have about 14 words in them and although they might be appropriate for her reading level, they are not suited for her age level. So I went online and started buying books that I remembered loving at her age. When the books arrived, we started slowly making our way through them. At first it was really slow, but even if we only read a half-page in 20 minutes then I was okay with that. I just wanted her to read enough to where she would fall in love with story, which I hoped would motivate her enough to keep reading. And then it happened. We where reading "The Chocolate Touch" and she thought the story was so funny she didn't want to stop reading! Chapter after chapter we just kept reading, and when I was ready to stop, she finished it on her own.

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We read four chapter books over the summer--over 600 pages of words. It might not seem like a lot for some children, but for us, it was a great achievement. When it was time for her to start school again I was so nervous about her next reading-level test and kept pestering her about when they were going to take it. Then, one afternoon, a couple of weeks after school started, she called me at work and said "Mom, I took the test today and I scored a 499!". Well you can imagine, I was ecstatic, and I started crying tears of happiness, and even as I write this tears are springing into my eyes! I am just so proud of her I can hardly stand it, and this quilt will always help me remember this awesome achievement.

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I must admit, I imagine her at her high school graduation, standing up at the podium to give the Valedictorian speech, and she says, "...and this would not be possible without the support and guidance of my greatest teacher--my mother."

But my fantasy about the future is broken with the sound of her saying (in real life), "Mom, can you pleeeaase microwave me some bagel bites?"

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Have a great week everyone!


Linking up at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday!