OK, let's get down to it and get acquainted!
Hello, my name is Jen. I started quilting 3 years ago. I took a beginner class at my local quilt shop and was hooked. I completed 3 of the sampler quilts (baby sized), and promptly stopped quilting for about 6 months. A few more periods of quilting and hiatus followed, then before the holiday season last year, I discovered blogland. It was amazing! Creativity everywhere, cheerful voices, support groups. I decided to start my own blog to chronicle my own projects. I kept my expectations low - sending my words and projects out into the universe was enough for me. Because I wasn't expecting much in return, it has made me so much more appreciative of the extras I have gotten out of the experience. Friendships, advice, FUN! I love it, and I plan on stickin' around.
My quilting "style/personality" can best be summed up as: haphazard. I have quilting ADHD. I am notorious for getting super jazzed about a project or technique, getting partially through a project, and then switching to something different entirely. My list of UFO's is impressive. But, blogging is actually helping me focus. There is nothing like a scheduled quilt along, or a deadline for a blog hop, that can keep you on track. I like to think of it as using peer pressure in your favor. I need that external motivation, not everyone does. Do what works for you, right?
- that whole, "measure twice, cut once" thing has gotten me quite a few times!
- I love re-using clean plastic produce containers to store my fabrics, WIP's, even patterns
- practice, practice, practice (especially things you find difficult)
- take classes
- challenge yourself with something new!
- Join up! Join linky parties, blog hops, and quilt alongs. They are fun, and it is almost guaranteed that you will get at least a friendly "hello" out of it. Who doesn't need an interweb smile? There is something for everyone - Diane at Blank Pages has put together a great list of linky parties for virtually every stage of a project. You don't have to link up to all of them; pick and choose what is best for you.
- Just be yourself
- I still love my Flea Market Fancy so much I haven't cut into it.
- I also just got a bunch of Polka Dot Stitches from Lori Holt at Bee in My Bonnet
- I love my solids too
- pretty much anything on sale - I am totally a compulsive shopper! In fact, the Peak Hour I used for this project was a compulsive/it's on sale buy.
Favorite Craft Book (this is a tough one!):
- Elizabeth Hartman's, Modern Patchwork - I know everyone loves her Practical Guide to Patchwork, so I bought it and DO like it. I just like the patterns in Modern Patchwork more.
- Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson - I can't wait to have some time to start some of these beauties!
Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin - it brings out the romantic in me!
Binding by Hand or Machine:
- When I am making something that I know will reside in my house, like the place mats I do for the Free Motion Challenge, I machine bind those. I also machine bind things that I am in a tremendous hurry to finish (like the Bee Happy charity quilt that was nearly late for the deadline due to all kinds of issues with my old machine)
- But, if I am making a gift and I really want it to look nice, I will take the time to hand bind. Since I mostly make gifts for other people (I still haven't made a quilt for my own bed!), this is fairly often. Enter some of my favorite tools....
Favorite Quilting Tools:
- Kwik Klip - I like to pin any project larger than a place mat. I tend to use spray baste for smaller projects, but I find things still shift a fair amount and for my larger projects the good 'ole safety pin method works best for me. This tool allows me to complete the process so much faster and my fingers aren't sore at the end of the process.
- Clover Wonder clips - when I am hand binding, I like to use these clips to hold the binding in place ahead of where I am stitching. It helps keep things straight.
- The binding tool - Maybe it is my "mommy brain" but making my binding tails come together properly was a huge challenge. I got this tool and now I have no problems, and it requires little THINKING on my part. I got mine here.
What do I wish I knew about blogging before I started? - well, I could still use a little more computer savvy. But, this has been a journey and I am glad I didn't know much going in. Everyday, I am surprised and pleased at something that happens. It makes me happy!
My word, am I long-winded! You guys are probably thinking to yourself, "can we get to the project already?". OK, hold your horses.
My semi-improvisational, stained-glass inspired, novelty print using, kid quilt:
Want to know how I made it? I had to put it in a separate post, because of the long-winded-ness above! Click here to be directed to the tutorial.
Also, don't forget to visit the other participants for this week!
Lina from Smultonbo's Pieceful
Chase from 1/4" mark - I just love her patchwork bucket tutorial
Anna from Pink Padme - she loves quilting so much, she tattooed a block on herself. Now THAT is dedication to one's craft!
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you had fun!