Interviewed by Leah Day

I had a super fun time being interviewed by Leah Day on her Quilting Friends podcast last week, and it went public today so I wanted to share the link and the experience with you!  We had a great conversation about quilting, creativity, passion and balancing things in our crafty lives.  Some of it was practical and some of it was philosophical.  All of it was a surreal experience for me 🙂  She is just as sweet in person (well, on video call!) as she appears to be and I’m happy to have met her and made a new quilting friend!

You can go straight to the podcast on her Youtube channel by clicking the image below, and you can read more about the podcast in the show notes here: Be Open to Your Creativity

Advertisements

Majesty – the silk quilt

I’m not good at naming quilts (we’ve been down this path before) but when I started this project and decided it was going to be something quite different than other things I’ve made I knew it needed a special name.  The fabric itself inspired me to come up with a name befitting the luxury that comes to mind when I think of silk, so this quilt was  called “Majesty” before the first stitch.  I was thinking of the things I’ve seen in movies about royalty; you know, those huge carved headboards and canopies with the fancy bedding? You admire it and then wonder who launders it!

I did a little planning ahead of time, only in the sense that I “planned” to do more of a traditional style whole cloth quilt (medallion in the centre, fancy borders, symmetry etc.) so it was more of an overall concept than a calculated design.  We know that for me, the plan evolves along the way!  Certainly that’s what happened here.

I started at the top centre, where I wanted to make a statement, and of course there were always going to be lots and lots of feathers, so that part flowed nicely.  I didn’t really have to do a lot of measuring until I happily finished one side and realized that I would then have to duplicate it to the best of my ability on the other! LOL  It was a challenge.  After laying down the foundation I went back in and added fillers, and then used this process throughout.

IMG_6416watermark_06-11-2018_02-30-43PM

IMG_6438IMG_6490IMG_6439IMG_6448

For most of the quilt, I just picked one area at a time to focus on, keeping in mind that I was going for the illusion of a plan 🙂 I generally baste the whole quilt at the beginning so I can later roll it back and forth whenever I want to, and for this one that method proved very helpful, especially if I couldn’t quite remember something I had already stitched and wanted to repeat HAHA

IMG_6491IMG_6565IMG_6574

I built the structure I wanted in each area, stitched it out and filled it in, and eventually it all came together.  Not without a few mistakes and ripped stitches, mind you, but overall it was a very satisfying finish.

watermark_28-11-2018_11-45-45AMwatermark_28-11-2018_11-44-34AMIMGP2483

And yes, I did have a little bit of that “do I keep this one or not?” going on in my head.  I designed this quilt for a couple of specific purposes, neither of which was to adorn something in my own house.  But again, as I worked on it and later held it in my lap while hand stitching the binding I wondered about whether or not I should keep it.  It is so soft and feels luxurious!

The truth is that this is probably the best work I’ve done in my quilting thus far.  I’m both very proud of it as an achievement of my goal, and humbled by it as a reminder that I’m blessed to have found this thing called machine quilting – or did it find me? – that brings me so much joy and gives me so many opportunities to grow and share.  This quilt represents some important things to me.

But aside from the philosophical aspects, it also made more clear to me the truth about what “makes my soul shine”: my process, what I do and why I do it, and the importance of knowing those things in my art and crafting life.

When I finished the binding, still feeling just a little bit of doubt as to whether or not I would part with it, I spread it out on my bed and stood back to look at it.  I was immediately detached from it.  I saw it for what it was and appreciated all of it, and at the same time I knew it was just fine to let it go because the process was over.

I know I mention it often, but I feel I cannot stress enough the value of knowing what your personal process is and allowing yourself to appreciate it!

If you would like a serious peek into some of the work I did on this one, check out the first video below.

If you would like a peek into what happens when things don’t go the way you hope they will, check out the second video below.

If you would like a peek into my real life goofy fun, check out the third video with my Happy Dance!

Wishing you all a great weekend!

 

 

A Personal Perspective

When my Facebook page hit 500 likes recently, I did a video over there with some personal insights and a lot of gratitude.  While the giveaway mentioned is now closed, the rest of the video does have material that might be of general interest to others who follow my quilting life, so I wanted to share it with you as well.

A little goofiness, a little philosophy, and hopefully some perspective that will be helpful all around.  Enjoy!  And thanks for tagging along on this wonderful ride…

Share the Crafting Love

IMG_5333

I needed to write this post today because I was recently reminded by my own words of something that I try to pass on to others when I teach classes, and that is to think about “the process”.  I’ve written before about the importance of identifying our own personal processes in crafting and spending time doing what we love, not what we think we should be doing instead.  You can read more about that here.  Clearly, even I need reminders!

So the other day I was thinking about how I wanted a new blanket ladder for staging my quilt photos.  I’ve used a little bunk bed one that dates back to before I was born and it could have been painted but I wanted a more rustic looking one – stained and worn rather than painted – and because that one is mahogany, even if I stripped it the chances of getting it to be anything other than a shade of red or burgundy were next to nothing.

I finally decided one day last week that I could make one myself, using a simple pattern; I have the necessary tools and skills!  The weather had cooled to the point where I could actually work outside without dying, and I was motivated to get in the car and head for the store to buy a piece of 2X2.  Between my driveway and main street (in my town that is about 30 seconds) the following went through my mind:

  • I just have to buy a 16ft. piece, ask them to cut it into three pieces for me to fit in my car and I can do the rest.
  • I have the screws so it will be together in no time.
  • I’ll have to stain it.
  • I’ll have to clear coat it.
  • I’m tired…why am I doing this again?
  • Turn around, go home, and message Sara.

Sara is a teenager I know who paints and stains and distresses and refinishes wood furniture.  And she loves doing it.  (Their Facebook page is called “Making Beautiful Things“) She has refinished an end table for me and recently redid my old rocking chair (I was always going to do that one myself too!) and I know she will do a good job when I ask for something.

IMG_5335

I’ve worked with wood and refinishing in the past and I enjoyed it tremendously.  I might again at any time.  But this was not that time.  I had quilting projects I wanted to work on and having a new ladder was poking at my brain daily;  I thought that because I COULD make my own, I SHOULD make my own.  Can anyone else relate? HAHA  As creative people, I think it’s a common thing we do to ourselves.

But you see, I was not feeling the build-a-ladder love.

So I came home, messaged Sara, and it was delivered to my house this afternoon, less than one week later.  Not only did I get just what I wanted and needed but I avoided my potential frustration and supported another maker who loves her process!

And I got to thinking that really, it makes so much more sense for me to do what I love and allow myself to forego things that I can easily have someone else do for me.  In the end, it’s a win for both of us 🙂

Thanks, Sara!