Welcome to the 2017 New Bloggers Blog Hop!
Once again I have joined in with a great group of new bloggers to refine my blogging skills and make new friends. If you are a new blogger, I definitely suggest joining in next year if you have the opportunity. This year’s hop is hosted by Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts, Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl and Leanne @ She Can Quilt.
Because there are so many bloggers participating, we were broken up into smaller groups. I’m part of the Better Bloggers Hive, which is hosted by Beth. Check out their blogs, too.
I come from a family of traditional crafters. My grandmothers knitted, crocheted, embroidered, and sewed clothing. My mom sewed a lot of different things – clothes, quilts, drapes. I learned a bit from all of them. I’ve knitted scarves and hats, felted tote bags, crocheted clothes for my Barbie dolls, and embroidered. I spent many hours playing with my mother’s sewing machine, mostly putting the bobbin in backwards and jamming it up. At some point in my teens I made a scrap quilt top. I never finished it into a quilt because it is so poorly constructed. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I’m fairly certain I didn’t ask for help.
I gradually embraced counted cross stitch, which is a craft designed by and for anal retentive people. I am definitely that. My husband (then boyfriend) laughingly called me granny when I would pull out my sewing box when we watched TV together. The joke’s on him now. I’m sure he wishes I was still doing counted cross stitch.
The quilting bug bit when my first son was 3, back in 2000. We had gone on a Caribbean cruise, and I was struck by the view of the market stalls with sarongs hanging everywhere. I loved the vibrant colors. An episode of Simply Quilts came on PBS, probably after a marathon of Caillou, and I loved it. (Probably because Caillou is such an annoying whiner.) I decided to make my son a quilt to remember our vacations. Soon after I found a quilt shop and batik fabric. I was so overwhelmed with the beauty of the batiks – I began a serious case of fabric hoarding.
This is the quilt I made for my son. I used foundation printed fabric and my own layout. I did a crazy pieced binding – rejecting all of the rules I heard about bias binding. I still like scrappy bindings, but I like to use longer pieces now.
The first time I sat down at my sewing machine and started piecing my quilt, I knew I had found my “thing”. I’ve been a quilter ever since. I took some time off from quilting during an ill-advised social experiment called “PTA President” and it was a mistake. Quilting always helps keep me sane during the most challenging times in my life.
Now that I’ve discovered other quilters on Facebook and Instagram, I enjoy participating in sew alongs. These are blocks from 52 Weeks with the Quilter’s Planner, and Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.
I’ve also tested some patterns recently for Jo of Unicorn Harts. Her patterns are so much fun, and very well designed. I love how intense the wolf turned out. He’s going to be finished off as a mini. I do believe there may be a rainbow bear quilt in my future. It was too fun and easy to make just one.
Recently I’ve started a new chapter in my quilting adventure. I purchased a Gammill Classic Plus Longarm quilting machine. No more crawling around on the floor pin basting for me. So far I’ve learned to do pantographs, which are a long quilting pattern that you trace with a frickin’ laser beam, and I have a SPIROGRAPH that I can do patterns with. Life is amazing. I try to practice every day. I’ve heard that drawing is an important part of practice, so I try. I can see improvement every day.
I’ve been playing with old panels that I’ve been accumulating, and I’ve finished off some long term projects. I have also done this top for a charity project with my quilt guild, the Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild. I’ll be picking up a top for Quilts of Valor next week.
Quilting tip –
Take risks and try new things. The only thing you have to lose is time.
Blogging tip –
Make sure links that take readers away from your post open in a new tab. Don’t send your hard won readers off to someone else’s blog without leaving a window open to yours! They might go down the rabbit hole and forget to come back.
What is your favorite part of quilting? For me it is definitely piecing. The entire process brings me joy, but I really love watching the pieces come together.
Be sure to check out my fellow new bloggers.
And visit the hosts to enter an awesome giveaway!