Moira McSpadden of The Quilted Snail has tagged me to play in this blog hop. Moira and I met in two online quilt groups, Sunshine and Our Quilting Beehive–the Buzz, a Google group. The latter holds annual Swarms, so we also got to meet F2F. Moira designs blocks, leads Quilt A Longs, and makes some fantastic quilts. Do visit her site.
1. What am I working on? First, let’s agree to omit the box of WIPs and the other box of To-Be-Quilteds. I am planning an ocean-beach themed quilt that is currently in the hunting and gathering stage, soon to be in the drafting stage. I am currently making dolly quilts for my traditional guild’s Christmas project, the Firefighter’s Toy and Joy project. I have this Leader-and-Ender project that is ongoing (based on this tutorial).
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I am not sure it does differ. “My genre” is “eclectic”: I like it all. And I dabble in traditional, modern, and art quilts.
I try to keep my art quilts quilty (i. e., no paint) and my traditional quilts arty in the selection of pattern and color. So when I shift groups, my work could seem different from others in one genre while being ho-hum in the other. I have given myself a challenge that may be different: I want to design modern quilts that use traditional fabrics because I have this 12 tub thing called a stash. I bought up fabric when I was working so I would have it when I retired to a fixed income. I did not plan for the change in fabric design over the years. Another possibly unique act: I do my free motion quilting on a Featherweight.
3. Why do I write/create what I do? I enjoy the processes of designing, piecing (rarely applique), and quilting. So long as I have a photo of a quilt, I can easily part with it. Some go to family, some to friends, some to charity (Wrap a Smile, Quilts Beyond Borders,Wrap Them in Love, and various local guild projects). Some go to friends and family, and maybe someday I’ll sell some. I do keep a couple for myself. I write because I enjoy it. My blog is mostly about quilting design, occasionally about books I have read, travel (local and distant) and my grandson, who happens to be quite photogenic. A blog is better than a traditional quilt journal for a couple reasons. It is easier to link photos to words for documenting quilts. It becomes part of the ongoing contemporary quilters’ dialog. It allows me to learn through comments as well as share with others. Mostly, I value the friendships that spring up through comments that become conversations.
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I have several starting points for quilts: challenges, photos, browsing traditional block possibilities, themes, or sometimes starting with a favorite fabric. The more restrictive a challenge is, the better. When they are too open ended, they aren’t rally a challenge. I think my favorite challenge was a crayon challenge where we reached in a bag and drew out two crayons and had to make a quilt using only those two colors. I groaned when I drew brown and cranberry.
But I was happy with the result. Examples of quilts designed from photos are here and here. I love samplers and started one on a poultry theme. After pulling red,blue and yellow fabrics to unify the various blocks, I searched my various lists of traditional quilt block patterns and started making one of each block that had poultry in the name. It is currently hibernating while I decide what to do with blocks with more than one name. Shall I make duplicates for Hen and Chicks, Duck and Ducklings, and Goose and Goslings when they refer to the same block? Shall I have a consistent color for each type poultry? Let’s see if I can import a photo from Flickr. (Ah the limits of my technical abilities; all I can give you is a link.)
I work in a variety of way as well. Sometimes I draft first. Sometimes I make blocks first. Sometimes there is no block and I make templates: for Weighty Reflections I taped newspaper to get 40 x 60 and made full-size templates. No matter how I start, I allow the design to change as I go. There is something about seeing the design in fabric that jogs ideas in a way that sketching and thinking don’t. I have tried electronic quilt design programs, but I find I spend more time trying to figure out how to draw what I want to make than it would take to pencil it on graph paper. If I could get the basic up, I’d like the ability to view different color ways. Maybe someday.
Now let me pass the baton to Tam of Quiltcharette. She designs some very interesting quilts and posts interesting questions for discussion. You don’t have to wait for September 29, her blog hop day, to visit. Go now.