Sunday, September 21, 2014
So I've been tagged by my friend, Debbie, for the Around the World Blog Hop. You can find her blog HERE.
I didn't grow up with a quilting background. My mom sewed doll clothes for me, and I learned how to cross stitch, but that was about it. I bought my first sewing machine about 8 years ago, thinking I could learn how to make curtains for our new home. I found some books on quilting at the local library and my journey began.
I'm married to a sexy Welshman, and we have 3 kids, 3 dogs, and 8 chickens, hehehe.
A couple of years ago, I upgraded from a Viking with a 6" throat (yes, I did quilt a couple of king size quilts with this) to a Babylock with a 9" throat, thinking I might be able to quilt for customers and earn a little extra money. The Babylock seemed like a dream and then I discovered the sitdown longarm. Who knew such a thing existed! Of course, I didn't want a proper longarm with a frame. I didn't need one of those huge things. I was a whiz at free motion and I figured I could quilt just as well on a sitdown. It only took a few months to disabuse me of that notion. I loved my APQS George. It was smooth and had an amazing 20" throat and would have been perfectly fine for personal use. However, it doesn't matter how good you think you are at free motion work. If you are using a sitdown machine of any size, you still have to clear the kitchen and vacuum and mop the floor for every quilt you do. It isn't exactly conducive to productivity in business.
So just under a year of quilting on my George, and putting away every dime, my George moved to Patsy Thompson's house and Debbie's Sundance came to live in what used to be my living room.
I'm considering renamed her Toothless after one of my favorite cartoon characters, which now resides on top of the machine head. Her namesake is loyal and powerful and dedicated, all characteristics which I think should be present in any longarm. Obedient as well. We'll see.
We've had our battles over tension, but I think she is coming to see the light. Owning a longarm is not like having a domestic. No one tells you how temperamental these machines are. I have felt from time to time that I have jumped way out into the deep end, but my friend Gina B keeps pulling me out. She is an amazing quilter and she has been a huge help to me, both in advice and a shoulder to cry on. You can see her beautiful quilting on her new BLOG.
So what am I working on?
Mostly customer quilts. I just finished the last of six adorable hungry caterpillar baby quilts. My oldest daughter was wondering why I hadn't finished the quilt already (they kept popping up on the frame). I explained that I was quilting six that were the same and she told me I needed a quilt copier, lol.
I've also got a bunch on unpieced chevrons on my design wall. I won a layer cake called Sphere from Owl Orchid Quilts, and this will one day be on my bed. I managed to get the two bottom darker blue rows pieced, but the rest will have to wait. Still, they look pretty and modern on the wall, so no rush.
I have a wall quilt made of HSTs that is begging to be quilted. I ended up hanging it over another quilt so I can see it better. I look at it for a few minutes every day and ponder. I want something amazing in that gray space, but it hasn't come to me yet.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm not sure that it does. I tend to like modern quilts, well slightly modern, for myself. I also love art quilts. I like to have my quilts hanging on the walls rather than on the beds. I really like realism in art and love recreating that in quilts.
This is one of my favorites. I made it for my cousin as a wedding present from the photo on her wedding invitation. It turned out that she actually said her vows in that very spot!
Why do I create what I do?
Who knows why people are drawn to certain things. I can't seem to help myself. I've found myself taking photos of wallpaper and rugs at doctor's offices because they look like they would make interesting quilting designs. I find myself in my studio most of the time when I should be doing dishes, feeding my family, or doing laundry. My husband has to come in and drag me out!
How does my creative process work?
I pin a lot of stuff on Pinterest. Every time I see a quilting design I like or a neat quilt, it goes onto one of my boards. I cut photos out of magazine and put them in binders as well.
When a quilt comes to me, the quilter lets me know if they'd like edge to edge or custom work. I have all of my pantos traced and in a binder. I can take them out and lay them on the quilt to get a good idea of which one looks the best.
I also have a great design board for tracing on. I got it in the window section at Home Depot. It is somewhere around 18 x 24. I put masking tape around the edges so I don't mark over the edge by accident. I always use a wet erase marker so none of the residue that you find with dry erase markers gets blown onto a quilt. It is a great way to audition quilt designs without having to pick out actual quilting. Sometimes a design seems good in my head, but it doesn't look right when traced over the quilt. No problem! Simply wipe it off with a damp rag or paper towel and try again.
I try to quilt what looks best on each individual quilt. Some busier fabric doesn't lend itself well to particular designs. I also try to combine different combinations, like circular quilting with straight lines. Contrasts always look more interesting.
And I'm not afraid to try out unusual designs. One quilter asked me to quilt cell phones on certain blocks! I found an old schematic online and used that as a template. Basically, if you can draw it, you can quilt it.
As part of the blog hop, I am tagging Amy at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures for next week. You really should check her out. She does all her amazing quilting on a domestic and is full of great tips. She also has a ton of cool videos on her blog, which are really helpful for anyone who wants to develop their free motion skills.