Wednesday 31 December 2014

Meet Tisha @Quilty Therapy

Following on from earlier posts, answering the questionnaire from our facebook group Quilty bloggers and Instagrammers support group, today I am hosting answers from Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy

Website/Blog: www.quiltytherapy.com
Store: www.etsy.com/shops/quiltytherapy
Instagram: @quiltytherapy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quiltytherapy
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/quiltytherapy/
Twitter: @quiltytherapy
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/50319251@N06/
 
The Questions:
  •  How did you come to be a quilter?
I became a quilter because I hated my first semester of college roommate. I had been sewing for years but wasn’t good. This roommate really annoyed me so I would go out to Jo-Anns to get off campus and away from her. I started some hand piecing that I have still not finished, almost 14 years later. I made my parents my first quilt that year that they still have. It was their Christmas present that I barely finished in time. Actually I finished on 12/26 because I ran out of binding at 3am on Christmas morning. My grandma and her friend helped me get started and I was hooked from there.

  • What is it that you love about being a quilter?
I love that I can create something from beautiful fabrics that people enjoy. I can’t draw, paint, or play an instrument as a creative outlet. Give me fabric and an idea is created. I also love that my work has evolved over the years and that I’m not like anyone else.

  • What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
This is tough because so much has about recently due to my quilting and the products I create. However this moment may have made more nervous than meeting Lotta Jansdotter. I met Mary Fons and filmed a segment with her about my friend’s quilt I made when she had cancer. See below.


This is my quilt Tischa Nagel video. Nevermind that my name and info isn’t correct.
  • What quilting challenges would you like to conquer in the next 12 months.
a. I have an irrational fear of sewing with zippers. Tried to make a wet bag for my son and the zipper is atrocious. I need to sit down and really just give zippers another try, I hear they aren’t terrible.

  • What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter?
My three favorite quilts have all been from 2013-2014. I think I really hit my stride these last couple of years.

This first gift is about charity and giving. My friend was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the only thing I could think to do was to make a quilt for her. I wanted to support her and be with her every step of the way. At least if I wasn’t there she could wrap herself up and feel me there beside her. 

Rainbow Charms is a quilt I just winged after looking at a stack of rainbow charms. This is will be my first pattern that I hope to get out in 2015. This quilt is a good reflection of how I like to use colors and keep things simple.


f. This quilt is my favorite. Luckily all three of these are nearby and I can see them often. Nomadic triangles just kinda came to be one day after weeks trying to come up with a design for the Indiana State Fair Sewing Challenge. This will be my second pattern in 2015 that I want to put out there. Improv but still modern and simple. This quilt shows me that if I keep looking at something differently, considering new techniques and sometimes throwing everything out the window I will love the end product.
  • What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
Prior to Porter, my son, hubby and I have just a few holiday traditions. On Black Friday we always shop at a few local stores nearby. Chinese food or sushi on Christmas along with watching staple Christmas movies. We usually always watch Christmas Vacation, Elf, and Die Hard. Hey, it’s set during Christmas.

Now we are working to create new traditions as a family. This year we are driving our son around on Sunday night, listening to the all Christmas music channel, and looking at lights. Porter is loving it and it melts my heart to hear him shrieking with excitement.
  • Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
Are you ready for this? I love 90’s hip hop and rap. Normally on Pandora my Petey Pablo station is blaring. My husband laughs at me for listening to rap music and quilting. When the phone is dead I reach for my laptop and bring up Netflix. I have watched all of Scandal. Do you think Olivia should be with Jake or Fitz?

Now I’m on to Once Upon a Time. I will probably finish that series out by January with the amount of sewing I foresee in my future.
  • What are your favourite types of blog posts to read?
Reading blogs for me is about learning and getting to know other sewists. I enjoy blog posts where the writer explains what went on with the project, shares ups and downs, and let’s their real voice come through. Kind of project, project, personal, then project again. Also let’s me know you’re human and not Wonder Woman over there cranking out projects. I know that everyone has that style and their blogs tend to keep me less engaged.
  • If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
Have you been reading the draft posts for my blog? This is something I have been pondering and wanting to write about. Here’s a snippet of who and why I like them. Lotta Jansdotter! Yes, exclamation point. She creates fabrics that simple, creative, and most of her collections go together. I’ve been to her Brooklyn studio and didn’t want to leave. I got to meet her and forgot to take a picture with her. Taking one of her classes in her studio is on my bucket list.

If you don’t follow her on Instagram, let me encourage you to do so. She loves to play and create. She’s very hands on. For her first fabric line she hand drew all the designs and someone had to put them into a digital format. That really shows in her work because things aren’t perfectly straight for example.

I just want to sit down, have a coffee, and pick her brain.

  • Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
My biggest quilting goal for 2015 is to learn how to free motion quilt. I know I can do but I really struggle with just sitting down and giving it a try. I’m very attached to straight line quilting, that I’m struggling to break out of it.
  • Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
I used to prewash when I first started quilting. Now I don’t. With three people in the house there is little time to wash fabrics before I use them. Please I use lots of precuts so that would make washing awkward.
  • What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
This holiday season I just want to enjoy time with my family. My mother in law will be in town for 6 days and is giving us the best gift. A night and morning off. The gift of time with just my husband and I makes me so incredibly happy. We got a hotel room and will enjoy sleeping in without hearing “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAD” from across the hall and fighting for space with the dogs.
 
Hopefully we can create many new memories leading into 2015.

Thank you Tisha for sharing with us!

Monday 29 December 2014

Meet Peta Quilts!

Following on from last weeks posts featuring Quilt Bloggers from the facebook group Quilty bloggers and Instagrammers support group today I’m hosting Peta Quilts who like myself is a big dog lover!

Peta can be found at:
Website/Blog: www.thenotsewguiltyquilter.blogspot.com
Instagram: petaquilts
Facebook: Peta Minerof-Bartos
Pinterest: Peta Minerof-Bartos
Flickr: petaquilts

The Questions:
  • How did you come to be a quilter?
That's hard to say: I have memories of sewing and quilting that go back to 3rd grade in the 1970s. I got back to quilting during my first pregnancy (97) but became more active about 10 years ago.
  • What is it that you love about being a quilter?
The joy of self expression, creating beauty, and the accomplishment of a project that turns out close to what I envisioned in my mind. Perhaps more importantly, the connection I have with other quilters.
  •  What’s the one piece of advice about quilting that all new quilters should know?
No one knows how to do everything. It's a learning process, and the joy is in growing. Even bad projects help a quilter develop. Be fearless, you can do more than you ever imagined.
  • Who’s the quilter(s) that inspire you at the moment?
Karen McTavish, Robbi Joy Eklow, Angela Walters and every one of my fellow Chicago Modern Quilt Guild sisters.
  • What quilting challenges would you like to conquer in the next 12 months.
Entering a juried quilt show/competition.
Be published in a major quilting publication.
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  • What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter? See detail in #7 above.
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  • If you weren’t a quilter, what other creative endeavour would you like to master?
I've ways been curious about glass blowing: I think it's the colors.
  • What is your favourite kind of pie?
Apple, hot. With a side of vanilla ice cream,cold.
  • What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
We celebrate the Jewish holiday Hanukkah ( or Chanukah) which is an 8 day event. It is a minor holiday with regard to religious significance, but falls during the Christmas season. With all the fan fare and hoopla, we sometimes feel a little left out, and definitely different from the crowd. So, this year I curated a Hanukkah post for SewMamaSew’s Handmade Holiday series. I think it was really appreciated, and the feedback was wonderful. I'm working on finishing up a really great table runner I designed. I love it.
  • Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
Movies, or music. My tastes vary from popular hits to reggae, the Grateful Dead and tacky 80s pop.
  • What’s your favourite colour combination to work with and why?
I try to stay away from favorites, actively go the OTHER way. I made a black-white-red project as a gift, colors I'd never personally use, but it turned out to be simply stunning; that really changed the way I approach colors. Now, I try to play with contrast, high vs. low volume, combinations that create “pop” or calming harmony. Otherwise, all my projects would be purple!
  • Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
No. I'm pretty lazy. It bites me in the ass from time to time.
  • What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
Peace, and a ProStitcher.

Thank you Peta for sharing with us!

Saturday 27 December 2014

Meet Sunflower Quilting!

Continuing this week and next some of us from the facebook group Quilty bloggers and Instagrammers support group have been given 20 questions, and asked to answer at least 10, to showcase different quilters from the blogosphere.  Today I'm posting answers and hoping you guys will enjoy meeting Sunflower Quilting!

Website/Blog: www.sunflowerquilting.com.au www.sunflowerstitcheries.com
Instagram: @sunflowerquilting
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunflower-Quilting/127804487455
https: //www.facebook.com/SunflowerStitcheries
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rayleebielenber/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SunflowerQuilti
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/88903673@N05/

The Questions:
1. How did you come to be a quilter?
My Mum taught me to sew quite young and I am very thankful. After a number of years of sewing and making clothes we both ventured into making quilts. It’s wonderful to have that connection with my Mum and we help each other and discuss fabric frequently. About 8 years ago we bought a shortarm quilting machine and frame but as it was older I wasn’t able to make it do what I wanted. With more than 20 quilt tops between us we wanted to be able quilt them. I now have a long arm quilting machine so those quilt tops are getting done along with many others from other people.

2. What is it that you love about being a quilter?
I love seeing what everyone creates and the colour combinations and fabric choices they use. Each quilt is unique. In 6years of professional quilting I have only seen the same design 3 times. I could never make as many quilts as I see so I live vicariously through my clients.

3. What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
Learning that I am capable and can really help people complete their quilts. Sometimes it’s daunting to start on a client’s quilt, but I know it looks even better when I’ve done my part too. I know they put so much time and effort into making their quilt, each quilt becomes mine for a time. That’s how I view them.

4. What’s the one piece of advice about quilting that all new quilters should know?
It’s fabric and thread. It can be washed and /or unpicked. There are no quilt police, your quilt, your choices, Go for it!

5. Who’s the quilter(s) that inspire you at the moment?
I regularly stalk Judi Madsen and Jamie Wallen on social media. I also watch what Jenny Pedigo does and Belinda Betts. They are all long arm quilters as well.

6. What quilting challenges would you like to conquer in the next 12 months.
A shadow trapunto wholecloth and some thread painting a la Jamie Wallen style. I was inspired when I took his class in Adelaide last October. Maybe they could be on the same quilt, that would save some time…
 
7. What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter?
I am always trying to improve my skills and so I don’t think I can narrow this down to 3 quilts, I have a few that have made me grow as a quilter, some are mine some aren’t. I’ve been trying to narrow down the pictures I would share while I was writing my responses, this is the hardest question I think.

8. If you weren’t a quilter, what other creative endeavour would you like to master?
I’m working on improving my stitching or embroidery in my limited spare time. I enjoy quilts with a bit of stitching in them. I also want to spend a bit more time making myself some clothes. I used to make quite a few of them but my time demands have changed. Kids and quilting does that!

9. What is your favourite kind of pie?
Anything I have not made! My cooking mojo comes and goes, probably depends on how much quilting I want to get done. My MIL makes a good apple pie. I love meat pies which have yummy gravy in with the meat.

10. What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
I love the school holidays being on and by this stage we are ready for a change of routine, or rather the lack of one. I enjoy not having to be up and ready in the morning and making sure the boys are ready for their day. In fact we do quite a few pajamas days in the Christmas holidays. As a Christian family we celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect on what this means for us. After a short service with our church family we head back home to spend the rest of the day with family and friends. Christmas day is usually fairly quiet, perhaps even some time for sewing.

11. Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
I am a background noise person. I have the radio going even when I am quilting, I can hear it when I stop, and I sing along when I can. If I am stitching I’ll have the TV on and watch while I am working. I find it hard to sit still and do nothing.

12. What are your favourite types of blog posts to read?
I love hearing about a project and the how’s and why’s of the creation process. What were the elements chosen for and then did they achieve the effect they were wanting. Quilting being such a visual craft, pictures are wonderful to see.

13. How important to you is learning a craft? How do you think we can keep the craft alive?
I think learning is an ongoing thing and we never stop. We can always improve and expand our skills. Learning a craft helps you appreciate the work done by other craftsmen and women, whether we are talking fabric or timber. Time and skill go into each creation.
We need to teach the next generation about our craft and be prepared to share our knowledge with those who are seeking. We have a number of generations now where is has not be the norm that Mum sewed and made clothes or knitted etc.

14. If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
I don’t know the designers that well, if I like it I use it. Any designer would be interesting to spend the day with and learn from.

15. What’s your favourite colour combination to work with and why?
I’m a tad partial to red at present, 2 colour quilts look great, plains or areas that allow the quilting to show are a plus, and I like grey at the moment too.

16. Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
I am going to, yes you heard correct, I am going to finish my 40th birthday quilt. I asked for and was given a lovely selection of red and white fabric for my significant birthday and I am yet to make the quilt. I’m a little bit older now.
More time will be spent on designing and creating for Sunflower Stitcheries as well

17. Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
Yes, especially the red ones, and blue, and most dark colours, and I really don’t want it to shrink a t different rates, so yes I do.

18. What’s the best quilting tip you ever got?
Once is a mistake, twice is a design feature.

19. Do you have any favourite tools that you love to use?
My quilting machine and some lovely thread, wonderful clients who give me wonderful quilts to work on and sometimes free reign with what I do on their quilt. That sounds really selfish but I am extremely appreciative and I treat each quilt like it is my own. Sometimes I don’t want to hand them back!

20. What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
This festive season I would love to see my family all get along swimmingly (4 boys in this house), wonderful memory creating times, some time to sew and be creative, and time with friends, old and new.

Thank you Raylee for sharing with us!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Meet Seldear @Mad Quilters Disease

Next up, in our feature posts of Quilter Bloggers from the facebook group Quilty bloggers and Instagrammers support group answering questions posed to us by Angie at Gnome Angel, is Seldear from Mad Quilters Disease.   
 
Website/Blog: Mad Quilter’s Disease 
Instagram: http://instagram.com/seldear
Pinterest: pinterest.com/seldear/
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seldear/

The Questions:
1. How did you come to be a quilter?
I blame my aunt who, one Christmas, showed me a picture of a quilt she made for a school raffle – a purple and gold bargello that looked gorgeous and complicated. Being the process-oriented soul that I am, and with a quilting shop that had opened just around the corner from my house, I asked her how it was put together, and she explained the process. It seemed so easy!
However, I did have a sewing background: my mother sewed everything from clothes to toys to Christmas decorations, and I learned to sew from her. So quilting wasn’t completely outlandish. (Just mildly outlandish.)

2. What is it that you love about being a quilter?
I love the play of colour and the use of clever design to draw the eye in the patterns that may not necessarily reflect the quilt blocks themselves. And I love the way many disparate pieces come together to make a whole and beautiful thing. And I love the way that I’m creating something that’s not only beautiful but very functional. More than anything else, when I make a quilt, I want it to be used.
And, of course, there’s the wonderful community of quilters here in Australia and across the world – a pleasure to meet and know and be inspired by!

3. What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
That I’ve tried a wide range of styles and designs and patterns, and haven’t gotten stuck with any one type.
And I’ve learned how to free-motion quilt!

4. What’s the one piece of advice about quilting that all new quilters should know?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it the wrong way. Anyone. You’re making something that you want to make the way you want to make it. That’s okay. Even improvement isn’t absolutely necessary (although straight and well-measured seams are definitely a bonus, but, trust me, you can fudge it and nobody will notice) and as long as you’re good with what you create, it’s all good.

5. Who’s the quilter(s) that inspire you at the moment?
Right now? Hm. My taste in quilters is rather like my taste in music – somewhat eclectic, and more geared to the item than to the artist.
But recent quilts that caught my eye: Moccasin by Gen X Quilters , Iceberg by Two Little Aussie Birds , Tangled by Red Pepper Quilts and Honey by Elizabeth Hartman

6. What quilting challenges would you like to conquer in the next 12 months.
Free-motion quilting on my domestic machine, if only for small projects. Practising enough to get good enough to make things I wouldn’t be ashamed to give away!
I’d like to actually publish a couple of quilt block designs, and a quilt pattern. I’m really good at working things out for me as I go along, but really bad at writing them down and actually formalising a process.

7. What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter?
Gingham Gingham

Oh yes, it’s a gingham quilt! Made with gingham!
I have a very keen sense of mischief and always have. Like the ‘Gothic Summer Sampler’ I subverted several years ago, I made this quilt to kick sand over the line of “what’s modern” and “what’s traditional”: rainbow-bright colours in a pattern/print that’s very traditional!
This is the kind of quilt that I like to make: something that takes quilter expectations (“Gingham? How boring!”) and tosses a glitterbomb into the mix. (“All the colours of the rainbow? GIMME!”)
Eternity

I designed this myself based off a prompt for an art project. Basically, I found a design I liked, worked out how to put it together, pieced it together row by row…and then realised there was a simpler way to do it. It was my first attempt at free-motion quilting on a longarm, and if I’d had any time left before it was due, it might have been my first attempt at trapunto, too!
It reflects who I am as a quilter because of the process that I went through to make it: this is a design I like, how do I put it together, choose fabrics, quilt it.
Mondrian Dreaming

Mondrian Dreaming was made for the Sydney Quilt Show 2014. It’s a Disappearing 9-Patch, with a modern twist – have at least 4 of the 9 patches be of the same fabric.
I made this quilt because it seemed to me that, lovely as the complex and complicate quilts in the Sydney Quilt Show 2013 were, they weren’t accessible quilts to your basic sewist. Not everyone has the time/resources to play with the blocks and colour of a Double Wedding Ring or English-Paper-Pieced hexies. But something that’s composed of squares with a modern slant? Yes.
I love quilting – it’s definitely an art form to me. But as quilting and quilt show judging moves into a realm with a seriousness that borders on competitive sport, I think it’s also important to keep quilting accessible. A simple, yet effective quilt was what got me into quilting in the first place; and it was important to me not to forget my roots in this.

8. If you weren’t a quilter, what other creative endeavour would you like to master?
Wait, we’re limited to mastering one creative endeavour? (I don’t tend to read the instruction booklet...)
I write. I garden. I cook. Mastery? Well, I’d really like to be better at drawing so I could do character tableaus and interactions, but that’s mostly a case of practise making perfect. Unfortunately rather more practise than I have time to do right now.

9. What is your favourite kind of pie?
Apple pie. With real apples, a sugared crust, and dollops and dollops of cream. (Are you done with that cream bowl? Just hand it over, thanks!)

10.What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
My family is Christian, so we usually attend whatever services we can reach (based on traffic and locality).
Christmas Day Lunch is the major celebration, though – early to the parentals’ house, opening presents, then the Christmas Day Lunch (with bonus relatives) and the post-lunch coma. In recent years, I’ve spent the afternoon/evening reading through the Yuletide Fic Archive, full of fanfiction about books and shows and movies that I love.
New Years’ Eve has been quiet the last few years, mostly because I’m a homebody and I don’t want to deal with drunk crowds. Easier to just stay home and sleep in the New Year!

11.Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
I don’t mind music, but I tend to forget to turn it on until just before I finish – so the hum of the sewing machine!
I tried watching TV while sewing, but I need to be able to see what’s happening – I can’t just let it play in the background.

12.What are your favourite types of blog posts to read?
The pattern posts. Definitely the pattern posts! People are so full of amazing ideas and designs – it’s a joy to watch the process unfold and a pleasure to come out saying “hey, I see how that would work!”

13. How important to you is learning a craft? How do you think we can keep the craft alive?
Arts and crafts are my sanity space – a chance to do something creative and tactile, more than the programming I do for work, or the reading and storytelling I enjoy in my other free time. So learning a craft is very important – an aesthetic outlet, and one focused on colour and pattern, both very much things that I like being able to develop and manipulate.
Encouragement. Making friends. Developing community on the social networks that quilters use – Instagram, Pinterest, FB and others.

14.If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
Rashida Coleman-Hale, because she’s a successful woman of colour in the quiltblogging world and that’s unusual, but I really love her colours and designs, particularly with the Cotton+Steel line of fabrics. (And I’d ask for a sneak peek of the next “spring” line!)

15.What’s your favourite colour combination to work with and why?
Two or three complementary colours and a contrast: the actual colours don’t matter too much as long as they’re very bright, very saturated colours.
And rainbows are always safe…

16.Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
Make at least 3 scrap quilts.
Complete 4 WIPs.
Get all my ‘free’ quilt tops quilted (by me or a professional).
Publish a bag pattern and a quilt pattern.
…I think that’s it. There are probably more, but for the moment that’s all I got.

17.Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
Nope. I used to – right at the start – but I didn’t really like the way it crumpled in the wash and wouldn’t iron out. And these days, I figure that the quality quilting cotton we have doesn’t need to be pre-shrunk the way it used to.

18.What’s the best quilting tip you ever got?
“Don’t overthink it. Just do it.”
 
19.Do you have any favourite tools that you love to use?
Other than my roller blade and cutting ruler? My Clover open-sided thimble. Fits to my finger, perfect for handsewing.
I’m not much of a sewing gadgets person I’m afraid – the basics tend to do me quite nicely!

20.What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
A bit of peace and a breather. I’ve been running flat out for the last few months, so it would be nice to sit back and not have anything with a due date for a while!
graphics:

Thank you Sel for sharing with us!

Monday 22 December 2014

Meet Blossom Heart Quilts

As the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are usually crazy busy with fun things, not all sewing related, many people take time off from blog posts.  Still, for those of us that like to read during our time off Angie @ Gnome Angel came up with a way to provide something to read that doesn’t rely on actual sewing time.

Some of us from the from the facebook group Quilty bloggers and Instagrammers support group  have been given 20 questions, and asked to answer at least 10, to showcase different quilters from the blogosphere.  For this week and next I’ll be posting our answers and hoping you guys will enjoy meeting and reading more about other quilter bloggers.

Firstup is Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts!  Alyce can be found at:
Website/Blog: www.blossomheartquilts.com
Store: www.blossomheartquilts.com/pattern-store
Instagram: www.instagram.com/blossomheartquilts
Facebook: www.facebook.com/blossomheartquilts
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/alyceb
Twitter: www.twitter.com/blossomheartq
Flickr: www.flickr.com/people/sewblossomheart/

The Questions:
  • How did you come to be a quilter?
I had always been vaguely intrigued by quilting, knowing that it existed, but I really realized what it was when a mum in my local mums’ group showed off the quilt she had made with her own mum! It was gorgeous and I decided to make one each for my kids, maybe when they were 5 years old… They were 1 and barely born at the time! I started reading up about it, when one day in Spotlight, my husband told me to just buy a machine already while they were on sale. So I did. And Ellie the Elna 1000 and I have had such adventures since!
  • What is it that you love about being a quilter?
The colour play. The choosing of fabrics. The math of making the designs coming together properly. The community.
  • What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
On the actual quilt side of quilting experiences, my latest quilt is definitely my proudest achievement. Eternity was not only the biggest quilt I’ve quilted myself, it’s also the most detailed that I’ve done.
In other quilting experiences, I’m definitely proud of the writing opportunities that have come out of blogging – Make Modern (http://www.makemodern.com.au) and Craftsy blog (http://www.craftsy.com).
  • What’s the one piece of advice about quilting that all new quilters should know?
Experiment and try everything once. That way you’ll be able to find your style much more easily!
  • What’s your 3 favourite quilts that you’ve made that reflect who you are as a quilter?
Well, we’ve already covered Eternity, and I’d be remiss to mention the original Bright Sky quilt. 
It was such a fun journey to get to the final design, and very precious to me as it was a gift for my best friend. 
I think I’d have to pick Tea For Two (http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/pattern-shop/tea-two-pdf-quilt-pattern/) as my third one, as it really reflects my love for quilt math and sneaky-cool repetitive patterns.  I have sketchbooks full of designs like this, that work on simple blocks repeated to make an effective, complex design. I’m excited that many will finally see the light of day next year!
  • If you weren’t a quilter, what other creative endeavour would you like to master?
Well, I dabble in cross-stitch and Project Life scrapbooking, but I don’t know that I’d want to master either of them… I guess potentially scrapbooking? I have always loved beautiful paper and stationery! So really, living in Japan is truly the best place for me with all the fabric and adorable stationery everywhere!
  • What is your favourite kind of pie?
Apple or cherry for sure. Or both. Both is good! Chapple pie, anyone?
  • What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
We are all Christmas, all December. We put up the tree roughly December 1st (or for the past couple of years, the weekend nearest, anyway), we sing carols, we eat fruit cake, and now the kids are at last old enough to fully enjoy the Advent calendar I made a couple of years ago! This year, they will find a piece of the 24-piece Nativity scene puzzle, a Bible verse and an activity to do together.

  • Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
I frequently try to watch videos/TV on the iPad while sewing, but I just get too distracted – I either sew away and suddenly realized I haven’t paid attention for 5 minutes, or I realize I’ve just spent 30 minutes to do a 5-minute task because I was watching the show instead. Ditto for podcasts! So music is definitely my best companion while sewing.
  • What are your favourite types of blog posts to read?
I love stories. It’s so easy to see images everywhere else – Instagram, Pinterest, etc – but this is why blogs aren’t really dying. Words. Nowhere else can you find the stories, the tips, the tutorials, the behind-the-scenes information that take us deeper than that snapshot into your sewing room.
  • If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
Kate Spain. Anyone who knows me for even a few weeks would know this already! I just love her designs. While some other designers have the most amazing uses of colour in individual prints that might make my heart sing more, it’s her actual patterns that get me and the way her colours work across the whole range. Each line takes me to a different place! Cuzco and Terrain are definitely my favourites, and her Christmas lines are always so fun but also full of good blenders for use any time of the year.
  • What’s your favourite colour combination to work with and why?
It changes every few months! 2013 was the year of navy, pink, yellow and teal green. These evolved into a more saturated palette of navy, coral, rich/golden yellow, aqua and/or teal. Currently, I can’t bear to put this autumn-inspired pull away.

These aren’t usually my colours – hello, brown?! But it’s gotten under my skin and I know I need to use it somehow.
  • Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
I have some big goals I’m already working towards! There will be a year-long quilting series on my blog, and several patterns to go along with it. I also want to make at least 2 full-size original quilts, plus it would be good to chip away at a few UFOs lying around before we move back to Australia in 2016.
  • Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
Nope, ain’t nobody got time fo’ that! Especially all the ironing afterwards! I only prewash flannel if I don’t want it to shrink, or fabric for garments.
  • What’s the best quilting tip you ever got?
A quarter inch seam really does make the difference. So does pressing seams – my Clover finger presser is my best sewing friend!
  • Do you have any favourite tools that you love to use?
Clover finger presser is obviously at the top! I also love my little pink scissors for trimming thread tails, and my red Clover seam unpicker is one of those tools you need but hate but love. Also red and awesome are my Clover Wonder clips. I’ve got 30 of them, and I’d love another 30! They’re awesome – not just for binding or holding bulky layers together, but also long paper piecing seams.
  •  What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
Well, my chances of getting that new Juki sewing machine are about as real as Santa, so I’m quite happily settling for some beautiful family times with our five guests visiting us here in Japan! My cousin/sister-from-another-mother is one of those, and oh boy, I have late night chats and sing-alongs and crazy dancing sessions already lined up!


Thank you Alyce for sharing with us!

Friday 19 December 2014

The Library Project - A Finish

Last January, Adrienne @ Chezzetcook Modern Quilts had a great idea for a monthly link up party.  We were to pull from our shelves the craft books and magazines that we had been hoarding and pick 4 or more projects to make.  Instead of thumbing through our Library, put those books to good use!

I picked 4 projects initially and then added 1 more to give me 5 to aim for.  I managed to get 3 made from these two books over the course of the year.
This is my last of the 3 and I forgot to blog about him finished!  I've written about my work in progress on this little 30 x 40 inch quilt here and here but forgot to share him as a finished quilt.  This is Wilbur our Basset Hound, who apart from sleeping and eating (his favourite pastimes), likes to pose for photos.


So I had the bright idea of making a Ticker Tape quilt version just like the elephant in the Scrap Happy book.
I used scraps from the Karavan range by Valori Wells, as I thought the colours were quite Basetty, and things were going well  until Gordon commented that he looked like one of those butchers cartoons showing the cuts of meat.  Close your ears Wilbur, don't listen to him!

The process is to sew an outline shape, (I hand sewed with perle cotton), layer and baste your quilt sandwich and then add the pieces to fill the space (I used fusible paper) and stitch them down through all three layers.  I preferred a zig zag over a straight stitch and added wavy line quilting all over.  I love the texture it gives when washed.
I was given advice in our local quilt shop to wash first and then add binding and this worked out a treat!

From the Creative Quilting special edition magazine, I also made my first bag from charm squares which led me to tackle what I consider my first proper bag the Bye Bye Love bag by Sew Sweetness.


And I made a quilt from gingham charm squares too.





And tried my hand at free motion quilting clamshells and figures of 8!
Thank you Adrienne for a great project to work on this year.  I tried and learned new things and completed 3 projects I am very happy with!  How about you guys?  Any inspiration or projects lurking away in hidden books you might want to try next year?  I still have these two from my list to get to!
From Best of Fons & Porters Baby and Kids Quilts
From Hand Quilted with Love by Sarah Fielke


Linking up to Thankful Thursday, Finish it Friday and for the last time
Chezzetcook Modern Quilts

Monday 8 December 2014

A Finish - Modern Irish Quilters Swap

Today is the postal date for our Modern Quilters Ireland swap!  This year, we have been making Christmas cushions, for our assigned partner.  It's a secret swap and my partner doesn't know I am making for her but I hope she'll like this as much as I do.


I had great fun with this little project!  I was going to hand quilt it but then changed my mind.  I wanted swirly quilting in the white to suggest a bit of a snow storm and once I had that on, the hand quilting didn't feel right.  I put a bit in the blue star points but you can barely see it!

I also changed my mind on the backing fabric.

I was going to use the Folk Art Holiday fabric but then thought it would be better used to bind the cushion and frame the star, so I dug into my Ikea 2014 Christmas print.  I have a few yards of this home decoration weight cotton to make into a table cloth.  I really like it as the backing!

The Folk Art fabric worked really well then for binding front and back.  I used two 2.5" strips x width of fabric and a 3/8" seam to have it even both sides of the cushion.  Clover wonder clips held everything in place (love them!!!) and then zig-zagged it all down!

The star burst was quilted in straight lines using a walking foot and the star and ray were quilted in the ditch too to make them stand up a bit from the background.

Lastly, to accompany the cushion, we were to make a small Christmas tree decoration.  Mine was made of scraps from Joy by Kate Spain as was the red in the cushion above.

So all done and another tick off the Christmas list - getting there!  Just have to put up our tree today now so I can hang my decoration from last years swap!  Love this little touch and hope it will be a yearly tradition!
Mum saw this finished yesterday and given her track record of swiping cushions,  I had to tell her hands off it's spoken for!  So this is going in the post today - hope you like it partner!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and

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