Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to my little corner of the blogging world! Nina, a wonderfully, talented Norwegian quilter tagged me to answer some questions for you. They go along with this 'creative' blog hop currently making the rounds around the globe. This was after Debra (she of the gorgeous pictures blog) tagged me back in July and well, you know how my July and August went. 

1.What Quilting thing am I working on?

Wowsers, do I have a lot going on around here! Never content with project monogamy, I tend to bury myself in enough projects to induce eye twitches in the more practical minded. I believe every project deserves the very best from me and that often takes time. Time to simmer. Time to breathe. Time to talk. And really, the best use of my time during the 'down time' is for me to work on something else entirely. Which often gives me an answer to a /question/dilemma/problem on yet another quilt--and around and around we go.... 

This is my Pickle Dish/Wedding ring quilt, started approximately two years ago. I just recently pulled it out again to start sewing the background fabric onto the melons. Apparently it involves ironing with starch, pulling the foundation paper off the melons and carefully lining up and pinning all the bits. It's gonna take awhile 'cuz I'm definitely not a fan of tearing off foundation papers.
Pickle Dish/Wedding Ring
This next quilt (Geese Tracks) is actually almost finished. A little more applique work on the border and wallah! I will be back here exclaiming over a finished quilt top. I am so very glad I forced myself through the I-really-don't-have-a-clue-what-I'm-trying-to-do-here pains that I kept experiencing with this project. It's starting to feel very exciting in terms of being better than I ever planned or dreamed. Always a good feeling.
Geese Tracks
The lovely little blocks below are a result of following along with Wendy's Basket Galore BOM. After I persevered through some terribly complicated piecing efforts, I wanted to make sure this quilt had a little distraction from my ahem.. (minor!) mistakes. And also that it reflected how special I really think the baskets are. There are still four flower blocks I need to get figured out and sewn together before things can move along toward a completed quilt top.
Red/Green flower blocks and Basket Galore BOM blocks
This orange and blue quilt is made from partial St. Paul blocks. I liked the simplicity of leaving out the added piecing and was really looking for an excuse to use up some of these fabrics. I loved seeing them all stacked together but didn't know quite what to do with them as a whole. It still needs a border added, but so far the quilt is not being very communicative. Talks will resume later.
My St. Paul quilt
I started making these cactus basket blocks after completely blowing the piecing on one of the Basket Galore blocks. I could not believe how badly I had bungled that little 8" block! Being the stubborn sort that I am, I immediately started making plans to 'better learn' a proper technique (in this case, hand piecing). Somehow it morphed into making 13 of these blocks, making other blocks to play along, and now I'm waiting on a pattern from Karen before I move on. I'm seeing applique added onto the quilt top and other fun stuff in this quilts future.
Cactus Basket quilt
Okay, this quilt is still obviously in its infancy but I have most definitely committed to making it. Check out our blog over at Quilt Like an Eagle if you want to play along. By July of next year, each of us on the list intend to proudly display a completed eagle quilt! You are going to be so jealous....
My Eagle quilt
My Sunburst quilt is very much a long term project. The main part of the quilt is going to be entirely appliqued and each step is, quite frankly, a bit mind boggling in our present state of controlled chaos. Mostly because I over-think everything I'm sure. It's a blessing and curse.
The Sunburst quilt
I almost didn't include this UFQ because it's been so very long since I've done anything with it. The thing is, I rarely truly abandon any project and I don't intend to leave this one behind either. The rare times that I actually take the time to reacquaint myself with this project, I always melt at the colors and style. It could be a really great quilt right? That's why I keep it on my UFQ list. It helps keep me accountable.
Random Sampler quilt
2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I'm reminded of the comic where there are hundreds of penguins and the one is dressed sort of clownish--definitely standing out from the crowd--saying 'I just wanna be me'. Everyone of us out here in the big bad quilting world is doing our level best to make quilts that appeal to ME. When other people like them too, that's just bonus! I used to make quilts in a kind of whimsical fashion, making quilts for gifting, from patterns that caught my attention and for other various reasons such as including myself in a group challenge with friends. At some point I realized that I had gotten very far from my original intention--which was to make quilts that were deeply satisfying to ME. Through a lot of trial and error, I have slowly, slowly learned how to include the important elements that make me fall in love with my quilts{often many times over} throughout the process of making. Are they different from other peoples quilts? Sometimes I think yes. Other times, eh.. not so much! And yes, I still include myself in challenges etc. but only when it also coincides with something I'm currently trying to learn/make or do.

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

I write because I wanted to have a journal of what was being made and the journey it takes to get there. So many of my quilts have an 'emotional' start or maybe an unexpected detour. Then there are the oh-my-goodness-I've-ruined-this-quilt! type of hurdles to get through. After awhile the details start to blur together and I didn't want to forget about those important moments. So mind boggling during the making, but really kind of funny later.

I create what I do because it's important. To my sanity. And to the well being of my immediate family! I'm a much nicer person when I'm involving myself in creating and I'm not the least bit ashamed to say so. I can't even fully explain what it does to soothe the ragged edges of what life does to us just by being a full participant. Playing with fabric and color is incredibly rewarding don't you think? And how wonderful to pour ourselves into something beautiful, then fold it up and give it to a special someone.

4.  How does my writing/creating process work?

I write when I have something to take a picture of. If I can take a picture (of whatever progress I've made) and not feel like I'm 'reaching' to find something to say, then I just go for it. I used to worry that I'd run out of things to say about quilting, but so far that hasn't happened! It must be true love.

My creative process is almost always about DOING. That is absolutely key for me. I keep a lot of projects going so I don't get bored or stuck on any one phase. Apparently I have a low threshold for both of those particular problems and I discovered a long time ago that I can seriously jump through three (or more) quilt projects in one day lickety split--making up really good excuses for why I can't work on any one of them. Having more than three UFQ's makes it much more likely that I'll cue in to my little avoidance issue and finally settle down with something. It does take actual progress to get to a finish and sometimes that progress is quite tedious ie; easily avoidable.

I make time to get in the quilt room almost daily (even if it's only for 15 minutes). I allow myself permission to play with fabric if that's really all I feel there is to give on that day. I try to remember that there's always something to learn. Always! Why not learn before it's vitally important to the outcome of any one quilt?

Occasionally I make a new list about the things that I LOVE to see in a quilt, whether it be a particular block, color, style or feeling. This helps keep me a little more focused and if I get to feeling like I'm just recycling old stale ideas? I find time to lay out every single quilt top waiting in the drawers. Some times I have to do the same thing with my finished quilts--sort of like shaking off the blues. By viewing one quilt after another I can usually see that my quilts are ever evolving and changing, even if it's a subtle thing. It helps tremendously to see that I'm moving forward, ever progressing toward a more personalized style. {See, now I'm being that clownish penguin I talked about earlier!}

The other important thing about my creative process is that I try very hard to make time to include slow quilting in and amongst all the other quilting I do. I always have a quilt in the hoop. And I always have a hand work bag prepped and ready to go. These two things make sure that no matter what is going on in our busy, crazy life, I can also choose to pick up a needle and thread at a moments notice. I sometimes stitch when I have company, in the car, at the basketball game or even when I'm helping out a sick friend or family member. This 'lost' time then becomes cherished time because the outcome (in quilty terms) doesn't matter any longer and I'm able to keep my hands busy and thus enjoy the moment.

Okay, enough with this endless post about me! In order to keep this Blog Hop moving I chose to tag two other talented ladies who each agreed to write a post next Monday the 22nd. Interestingly enough, I met both of these gals through the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

First off, I'd like you to meet Anne who has a fascinating way of making the kind of quilts that I'd love to own. I am always intrigued by her 'process' and her fearlessness in admitting to changing her quilting/sewing plans. Then there is Diane who is one of the most enthusiastic quilters I know. She is the reason I dared to start my Pickle Dish quilt even though I was so apprehensive about it, that I chewed all my fingernails off for steps 1, 2, 3 and now 4. For some reason she thinks Pickle Dish quilts are EASY and they are NOT. lol  So... please go check out these ladies wonderful blogs now and then, hopefully next Monday too. I know you won't regret it.


  1. :( My turn is next week and I wanted to nominate you....bouuuuuuuuuuuh !

  2. So you're blaming me for the pickle dish, eh? Well, one day you will thank me, and I will be here waiting to say...I told you!! LOL
    You inspire me constantly and I am thankful that you share your quilting journey, it sure is fun to follow along with your adventures with fabric.

  3. A great read, Audrey! :)

    Oh that eagle whatever possessed me to buy a pattern with 13 applique flower blocks. On the second one now :)

  4. Your pickle dish is one of my faves Audrey. I totally agree that some quilts have to simmer for a while and I love that about your approach to quilting.

    Your basket galore blocks are so beautiful. Baskets are one of your signature styles I think and you do them so well.

    Loved hearing more about your thoughts on quilting and how it works for and inspires you. A fantastic post.

  5. I enjoyed reading more about your quilts and creativity.

  6. What an inspiring line up of quilts. I love that you are always hand quilting away as well. Thanks for telling us about your work :)

  7. Cuantos y maravillosos trabajos,
    estaré atenta para ver como avanzan

  8. Loved reading your process and feelings on your quilts.

  9. you have so many things going on all the time - it is always nice to see what you are working on.

  10. It was great to get to know more about you and your quilts!

  11. This has been such great series. I love reading each quilter's process. It's such a nice way to connect with everybody - thanks!

  12. What a great post, Audrey, I love following your quilting projects!


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