Where have I been? It may seem as though I dropped off the face of the earth since last summer, but no worries, I’m still here. And I hope to be around quilting a little more.
Here’s a short-story-long of what’s been going on…
After learning about modern quilting last spring I quickly became a fan. My only prior experience with quilting was making a rag quilt in 2005 for Mallory to use as a playmat (pictured below).
After making that quilt, I never imagined I’d make another quilt because it was a lot of work and, since I can be a perfectionist, not something I thought I could enjoy since I figured I’d be worrying about whether my seams matched up correctly.
Quilting found me again last year when I was searching online for decorating ideas for the girls’ playroom and my craft room. Somehow I found my way to Jessica Levitt’s blog Juicy Bits and I spotted her Stacks of Sweets quilt (pictured below).
In this quilt I saw that a quilt could be a little wonky and not have to line up but still look pretty fabulous. Maybe quilting was something I could try again and enjoy more this time? I also liked that her quilt used such a mix of fabrics; nothing boring about the colors, design or layout of the fabrics. This quilt looked nothing like the picture I had in my head of what (traditional) quilts were supposed to look like.
So then I started reading and researching all things quilts and discovered the niche of modern quilting. After oogling so many gorgeous non-traditional quilts, I knew I had to make one of my own. Some of the very first quilts I favorited on flickr are pictured and linked below.
I basically taught myself to quilt by reading and watching online tutorials (many thanks goes out to all the bloggers that share that kind of information). I quickly figured out that working on quilts was a way for me to get some me time and I really enjoyed almost every aspect of the quilting process… from fabric selection, to determining the design (I’m not much into following patterns, I like to do my own thing but usually there’s an inspiration piece that I base my design off of), to cutting fabric, to piecing, and then quilting (only free motion at this point). Each step is short enough and the steps vary enough to keep my interest. There are a couple steps in the process that I don’t love (basting and binding) but honestly they aren’t that bad.
I spent every spare moment I had in April, May and part of June thinking about and working on my quilts. I started ten quilts/quilting projects and completed three of them during that time; of the remaining seven WIPs, I finished four of the tops in the spring (still waiting to be finished) and then the other three projects were completely finished by September. I think that’s pretty good production considering I was entertaining a three year old and one year old at the time.
Then…. my interest and time spent quilting completely stopped because I found out I was pregnant on Father’s Day. While we’ve always thought we’d have a third child, we just weren’t planning on it happening so soon.
The news of the pregnancy completely turned my world upside down. The idea of having another baby coupled with the nausea and fatigue from the pregnancy made me completely lose interest in anything quilt related. I almost even resented the idea of quilting because I felt like it would be ages before I could do it again (I even quit reading quilting blogs and quit looking for updates in the main flickr pool I watch). When on earth would I get any free time to quilt with 3 under the age of 4?!? I had big plans and many quilts to make. I bought fabric that was destined to be turned into certain quilts (mostly Christmas gifts). All of those ideas and plans went out the window once I was pregnant. It was like I couldn’t focus on anything else. And now my fabric sits, just waiting to be cut into pieces and turned into pretty quilts. This is what is in my stash that was supposed to be a quilt of some sort last year:
- Wonderland by Momo (quilt kit)
- Far Far Away by Heather Ross (Dacha colorway)
- Mendocino by Heather Ross (Brackish colorway)
- Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt (I have a little of each of the non-overtly flowery designs)
- Nest by Tula Pink (all I could get my hands on!)
- Freshcut by Heather Bailey (not sure of the colorway)
- some Alexander Henry: Juicy (lemons), Apples & Pears, Starling, Kleo/Bangle Dot
- various Heather Ross Munki prints
As the year went on, I came to accept that our family was growing and slowly became interested in quilting again. I didn’t have the energy to quilt but I began planning quilts in my head and drawing my designs on paper. I even ordered two half yard bundles (in two colorways, fiesta and new day) of Denyse Schmidt’s new line Hope Valley — I’m now anxiously awaiting its arrival!
And now, ironically, as I get closer to the due date for this baby girl (less than 5 weeks away), I really want to start working on the quilts from my head. BUT there are so many other things that I need to get done before the baby arrives, two of which are quilts that were supposed to be a Christmas gifts and are almost done.
I am hoping, by some chance, that I will be able to start new quilts in the near future even after this baby (who has no name yet) is born. Goodness knows I’ll need some me time more than ever in the next couple of months (years?).