Howdy y’all, and welcome to the week 2 roundup of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! Last week’s line-up of The Sewcial Network participants was fabulous — definitely tough acts to follow.
My story of quilting is one rooted in stubbornness. When I was in junior high I made two throw pillows (featuring Looney Tunes characters; Tweety and Taz to be specific) and one pair of boxer shorts (plaid, obviously, it was 1993) on my mother’s boss Swiss Elna sewing machine. Then nothing. For decades.
Sewing was my mother’s gig — as in, she not only sewed for us when we were kids, but owned and operated a small business making interior decorating stuff for clients. She sewed all the time. I felt the pull, especially when she gifted me with a nice starter machine for Christmas a year or two after I got married. But sewing was my mother’s territory, so I stubbornly abstained.
Until. A good friend of mine was going to have a baby and I was about a week out from throwing her a shower. She made an offhand comment (that was not mean in context), but basically amounted to saying that I am incapable of planning and completing projects in a timely manner.
Oh yeah? Guess who broke out that sewing machine, googled “baby quilt tutorial,” and whipped up not one, but two quilts in that week, even though her apartment got flooded and she had to move into a hotel for half those days? Yeah, this stubborn woman did. (We were such a sight at the hotel. Drenched in sweat and stinky flood waters, we pulled up to a fancy-ass place in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Valet parking only. My husband and I stank. We had two dogs and a cat in tow. And 75% of the luggage cart was taken up by a sewing machine, cutting board, and piles of fabric and batting. We got looks. But when I am determined, I am determined.) Here is that first quilt, in the amazing Strip and Flip baby quilt pattern by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew, flaws and all:
It’s straighter than it looks here in real life. This is laid out on a hotel room bed at 1:30am, minutes after my first finish. ❤
Binding was the toughest part, but the tutorial was great. Still use it to this day.
Backed with minky. Many imperfections.
Progress has been a bit slower since. I am constantly under the forces of inertia, whether that means slow starts or sewing 24/7 until something is done. Here are a couple favorites I have made in the years since:
Carpenter star quilt, a gift for my mother-in-law for Christmas 2014.
Triangle baby quilt I made for kiddo.
Our sweet black lab Chili modeling the baby quilt.
My quilt, my quilt, not my quilt (but it’s pretty, right?).
Christmas carpenter star quilt, 2014. Backed in really luxurious heavy flannel. SO MUCH COZE.
I love making quilts, and my hope (even though it’s been a rockier process than anticipated so far) is that this blog will help keep me accountable to making, and document my progress along the way. I still know almost nothing about the craft of quilting. I still struggle with consistent seams and matching points. I will never be one of the great artisans of quilting. But what I really love is thinking about quilts — their history, their politics, their meaning on both micro and macro levels. Sometimes a quilt means comfort, and that is enough. Sometimes it means much more, and I get goosebumps, and all I can do is obsess over quilt ideas for hours and days and months.
I feel like this post has gone on long enough, but I also want to offer a few items of miscellany:
Blogging tip: Guidelines of blogging are great, but don’t get too caught up in the rules, or it’s easy to lose your own voice and have your progress stifled. Stay creative; stay in love with what you do; be honest.
Quilting tip: See above; replace “blogging” with “quilting.”
Dream Vacation: A tour of Mexico (mainly interior cities) with my husband.
Favorite Book: Oh, there is no such thing as a favorite. If I had to choose one all-time favorite I’d go with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But I really desperately love at least 1,000 books, from young adult to science fiction to mystery to Pulitzer-prize winning fiction to classics to fantasy to poetry and beyond.
Favorite Movie: Also a tough call, but sentimentally I have to go with Lost in Yonkers. I don’t even know anyone else who knows this movie, much less loves it like I do.
Favorite TV Show: At the moment? Game of Thrones. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
Random Personal Fact: I assisted in open-heart surgery when I was 17. Medicine is fun, but social work is my professional passion.
Question: If you’ve made it this far, you earn a gold star! Answer a question in the comments and I’ll be sure to both answer AND drop by your blog this week in return (I always mean to do both these things, but I’ll be extra good this week, promise). Two question choices:
- What three words would you choose to describe yourself as a quilter? I’ve demonstrated here that mine would be stubborn, imperfect, and pensive. Not the sexiest descriptors, but I’m making the most of them, I think.
- If you’re a Game of Thrones fan: What character do you identify with the most and see yourself as? My answer in the comments.