Happy Thursday lovely quilty peeps and welcome to the I Quilt linky party! I’m so sorry that I didn’t post last week. I ended up spending four hours on Wednesday evening at the Doctor with my daughter and then a number of sleepless nights listening to her wheeze. Nothing like starting a new school to introduce you to a whole round of germs!
Image used with permission from Hilary Florence.
This week I am going to talk about my sanity which is probably a bit of a reflection of the last week or month or year or so But first up I want to feature the ever lovely Hilary from Hilary Florence Quilting Workshop. A couple of weeks back Hilary linked up a black and white quilt she was working on. Hilary is a kindred spirit, she doesn’t mark her quilting and she embraces the wonk As much as I love my Intelliquilter (computer guided quilt thingy for the longarm) it completely removes the imperfection and personality that comes with free motion quilting. I love the little bumps that occurred when a child called my name or I decided to try something new mid-quilting. I think we should all embrace these little pieces of our personalities that make their way into our quilts. Mind you, looking at Hilary’s work it’s pretty close to perfect!!! Just beautiful stuff Hilary! You’ve totally inspired me, I can’t wait to see where you take this quilt. Thank you for sharing. Quilting with black thread on a white whole cloth deserves a round of applause so pop over and check out her work
Image used with permission from Hilary Florence.
I often find myself telling people how I got into quilting. I’ve always sewn but quilting is something that I’ve really only been doing for two years or so. I now find myself at a time in my life where I’m struggling to keep up with all of the demands that come with having a young family but quilting is something that I just won’t let go of. Can’t let go of. Quilting takes me to another place, my happy place. It balances me, re-energizes me and fills me with confidence.
I quilt for my sanity. I quilt to be happy. Quilting is SO much more than just thread and fabric.
This week I’ve been working on a BEAUTIFUL quilt from Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts in Japan. It’s both a pleasure and a privilege.
As always I just jumped in with an incomplete plan and had fun. Moments of doubt crept in mid-quilt, but when I pushed on and enjoyed the process trusting that I KNOW how to do this. I KNOW that I’m good at this.
Three days a week I go to my day job, I question my productivity, I question my abilities, my confidence is lacking and I feel like I’m wasting everyone’s time. I NEED to quilt on the other days for my sanity. Who would have thought that a bit of thread, cloth and sewing machine could keep a girl sane? Does quilting keep you sane? Does it take you to a happy place? Do you trust yourself and go with the flow? Do you enjoy the process? Why do YOU quilt?
Now let’s get linking Please try to visit three other linkers and share your quilting process. Don’t forget to share the love and add a link to my blog or the I Quilt button to your post or sidebar
Welcome to I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins, your weekly quilty linky party. I was so focused on remaining bubbly and happy and all things positive at work today, that I came home and completely forgot that it was Thursday! So here I am, a little late in the evening, but here nonetheless!
As always, I ask that you please visit three or so other linkers (share the love people!) and add a link and/or my button to your post/side bar. The reason that I started the I Quilt linky was to give back to the great online community that we have. I want to provide a place where we can get together, share our quilting process, our lessons learnt, successes and things we might do differently next time Immaculate photos of beautiful quilts are great eye candy, but the process is what gets me really excited. Thank you for sharing your process and for spreading the quilting love
Image used with permission by Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals.
This week I am featuring the amazingly talented Karen from Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals. Last week Karen shared an absolutely stunning table runner. Karen’s free motion feathers are stunning, there is no doubting that, but what I love most about this piece is that it came from a visit to a Fiber Festival. Now this really warms my heart, because last week when I showed one of my quilts, it was a thread embroiderer that came up and was super excited. I love that whilst we may choose one field of art or craft, we can still appreciate the work, skill and expertise that goes into another. Karen added wool felt flowers and three dimensional cotton flowers to her table runner. Karen, I LOVE your creativity! Mixed mediums are so much fun and I love experimentation can take us to whole new realms of creativity. Please pop over and visit Karen, I especially love her recent cardinal piece and all the FMQ, just beautiful!!
Image used with permission by Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals.
Thank you all so much for the advice that you shared with me last week on this balancing act that I’m fumbling my way through. I really appreciate it. Being back in the office is a bit crazy, I’ve been gone eight years and am a bit shocked to find that NOTHING has changed. It is a stark contrast to my life that has changed radically during those eight years. I have had three wonderful children, found my passion in quilting, struggled through illness and stress, faced challenges bigger than I imagined possible and come out the other side as a happier, better, nicer, stronger person.
Contemplating the sunshine this afternoon after big storms yesterday <3
Every day I’m at work I feel like my shadow that is eight years past is one step ahead of me. It’s a bit of a mind bend, but it reminds me how important it is to be positive, to be the best me I can be and to not take on shallow or petty mind sets. I often find myself giggling under my breath at myself when I remember the things that used to be all consuming, having a cubicle near a window, chasing a promotion, being regarded as a go-get-er. I am sure that I am way more productive now than I was back then. It’s funny how motherhood has made me a more productive and confident employee. Here I was for all those years with a sense of inadequacy that I was no longer the young professional I once was LOL On the off chance that I ever become a manager I will value highly the skills that parents bring to the workplace!
Me yesterday in a local sculpture garden that we discovered. I love this photo (I spent the day with my husband) but I also don’t really recognise myself. Aging is weird, right?!
In terms of finding balance, quite a few people mentioned setting goals and writing ‘to-do’ lists. I’m a bit scared of the to do list as I will then see how much I have to do LOL But I have been setting myself daily goals and I am super happy that I have been getting a little quilting done on my office days On my studio days I have been trying to get quilting and paperwork done. It’s a struggle to get it all done, but I’m following much of the advice that I was given last week and it is definitely helping Thank you for sharing!!
I’m loving my Intelliquilter (computer guided system) which allows me to quilt on the days that I don’t have time to do custom/free motion work. I love this customer quilt with it’s cool tones and contemporary feel.
Speaking of balancing and quilting, I’m really finding the Intelliquilter (computer guided system for the longarm) is a Godsend. I had thought it would be a means to an ends, but I still find it very rewarding to load a quilt and do an edge to edge pattern after a day at the office. I’m hoping to do more custom/free motion quilting on my studio days. Watch this space
Another computer-guided edge to edge design. I LOVE this backing fabric! I think it would make the perfect full skirt <3
So that’s me in a nutshell (OK, how many of you are picturing that scene from Austin Powers now? ) I have a few secret projects on and great hope to get back to blogging more often than once a week… But in the meantime I will be visiting your blogs, trying to gain some more balance and staring on a new version of my Starry Skies quilt, I can’t wait to share that one!
Now it’s your turn Add your link, visit three or so other linkers and share you quilty process! Big love xxx (Can you tell I’m feeling the love this week? Kinda weird that being back in the office has me super happy LOL)
Can you believe it’s Thursday already?! Welcome to your weekly quilty link-up here at Pretty Bobbins; I Quilt. This link up is all about the quilting process, we want to learn and grow together and my goal is to give something back to the online quilting community. Before I start to talk about my theme this week, I want to remind you to please visit a few other linkers and add the linky button and/or a link to my blog.
Image by Quilty Habit, used with permission
This week I am featuring the very talented Jessica from Quilty Habit. I always love visiting Jessica’s blog, it has a fun, fresh feel to it and her projects are always beautiful! Her profile picture also features her in a scarf with one of my favourite prints, so I feel happy whenever I pop on over Last week Jessica shared a beautiful improv curve mini that she was making for Valentine’s day. If you follow me at all, you will know that I LOVE improv and I LOVE improv curves even more!
Image by Quilty Habit, used with permission
Jessica finished her Valentine’s mini (above) and it’s just gorgeous! Seriously girl, you got everything just right! The colours, the prints, the quilting, everything (even the photography)! Well done, it’s beautiful! I encourage you all to pop over and check it out.
Getting back to my theme this week of balance. Now, this isn’t strictly quilting but it is integral to me as a quilter, if you know what I mean
As you know, I’ve recently been running around my new home town of Canberra asking the local quilting stores if they’d hand out my business cards for longarm quilting. I also offered myself as a teacher. Well, two stores, Addicted to Fabric and Hobby Sew, have signed me up for a number of classes including free motion quilting, piecing (with a focus on modern styles), foundation paper piecing, cushions, my starry skies quilt, table runners, and possibly a few other things. (Details to follow, I’d love some local friendly faces to come along!) At the same time I have had my first few customer quilts AND I have returned to my day job part time!
I’m super excited to be teaching, seriously, I can talk for hours and hours about quilting and I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm with students and offer some fresh, modern techniques and ideas. My big dream is to be a full time longarmer and on my days at home I will working towards this as well as fitting in teaching and teaching preparations (samples people, I have samples coming out my ears!). I then spend three days a week at the office (today was my first official day, I did go in about a month ago for a planning day). Every day I drop my kids at school, and two days a week I collect them (from two different schools).
I am feeling overwhelmed, excited, overwhelmed, anxious, overwhelmed and… Well you get the idea I feel like I’m over committed, I feel like I have too many equally important priorities pulling me in different directions. I am living in chaos and I need to reign it all in and feel in control. BUT, I am doing all of this so that I can live my dream of being a longarm quilter. So I’m not complaining, I don’t resent the hard work. I’m just sharing this journey Balance is something that I am craving. I want to quilt and piece. I want to teach and quilt. I want to be with my babies and have an income. I don’t necessarily want to don a suit three days a week but I do want that income (and it’s kinda fun to dress up).
When I quilt I am pedantic about tension, I want that perfect balance between top and bobbin thread. I take my time setting everything up, I test threads, I don’t let myself panic or worry. I focus on getting the perfect balance and then I quilt knowing that my quilting will be beautiful, I will enjoy the process and I will feel relaxed and energised. Right now there is no balance in my life. It’s all GO GO GO!!!
How do you find balance? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear your advice. This whole working mum, starting a business, teaching and quilting for others is new to me! I feel comfortable and confident in each of these roles, but trying to do them all at once is a challenge!! Share your wisdom lovely quilters And I promise that next week there will be lots of quilty photos Oh, and speaking of balance… I’ve realised that I can no longer visit all the linkers, I just don’t have time, so I’m visiting half a dozen or so each week from now on. Thanks so much for understanding, I just need to seek that balance
Welcome to I Quilt, a weekly linky party all about quilting, here at Pretty Bobbins. I have to say, I am still in shock by all the amazing linkers last week! Thirtynine fabulous quilters linked up and yes, once again I am still getting through all the blog posts… I hope y’all visiting a few other linkers too, there’s nothing like quilty comment love <3 Don’t forget to add a link to my blog or the linky button to your post or sidebar
Image used with permission by katyquilts
This week I’m featuring the very talented Katy of KatyQuilts. Katy shared a practice piece that she was working on. Katy, I love you for sharing this! All too often we see the polished, perfect, errorless final product. But this linky is about process and we all experience tension issues, design imperfections and quilters block at some point! Thanks so much for sharing Katy! I think your feathers are beautiful, but if they’re your practice piece then I can’t wait to see where you end up! Oh! I’ve just checked out Katy’s post this week, make sure you pop over! Great stuff!
Image used with permission from katyquilts
Katy’s post got me thinking about how it’s important to look at the entire quilt, not just elements of the quilting design in isolation.
This week I’ve been working on my very first customer quilt and I’ve been super critical of myself and spent ages working out the design. As always I just jumped in and I didn’t mark anything other than the points. I did use my straight ruler and whilst I still need a lot of practice, I’m happy with where I’m at.
My customer asked me to incorporate the art deco style arum lily so I went to town creating art deco designs for the whole quilt. I also incorporated the recipient’s name and I LOVE how it turned out (I did mark the letters first)!
Quilting the lillies was kind of death by nerves. I started with the bottom two leaves, then the stem, then the petals, back down to the bottom and then the curly bits up the sides. I honestly was not a fan but once I’d finished the first lilly and stood back and looked at it in context, rather than isolation, I actually loved it and am really proud of my efforts.
I’ve said before, and I will continue to say, please don’t worry about achieving perfect quilting. If you aim for perfect, every little error will erode your confidence and you won’t be able to appreciate the big picture. Whenever I quilt I work on an area or specific aspect of the design and then I stand back, re-evaluate the quilt and only then do I come up with the design for the next stage of quilting. I try not to worry about the little errors, rather, I focus on the whole design, how the next stage of quilting will improve on what I just did.
I love to quilt and I firmly believe it should be a fun, enjoyable experience. Sure, quilting my first customer quilt was terrifying, but once I forgot the nerves I had a great time!
So here’s to imperfect quilting, to having fun and to not worrying about every single mistake!
P.S. I have to apologise about image quality and tardiness of this post. My laptop is officially dead and I’m working on my husband’s itty bitty 10″ laptop.
Hello my lovely quilting friends and welcome to I Quilt linky party at Pretty Bobbins! We had lots of new linkers last week and I apologise that I am still getting around to visiting everyone. I will get there! Please remember to add the linky button (found at top left) and/or a link to my blog and to visit 3 other linkers. We all love comments!
I haven’t organised myself to feature a quilter this week, I will be back on board next week, I’m sorry! This week what I have been doing is visiting local Canberra quilt stores and introducing myself. Wow, that has been an adventure! We are super lucky in Canberra to have a big quilting culture and I think the Canberra Quilters (the local quilt guild) is possibly the longest running quilt guild in Australia. Don’t quote me on that but they have a great reputation and have been around the traps since way back They haven’t had a meeting since I arrived in Canberra but I am looking forward to going along next Thursday.
Of course taking a queen size quilt to handquilt at a guild meeting is the best idea in summer!
As part of being a professional longarm quilter I feel it is important to introduce myself to the local groups. Last Thursday evening I attended the Canberra Modern Quilt Guild meeting and had a hoot! They are such a lovely, enthusiastic, talented group of quilters. I shared two quilts and I must say I really appreciated the positive feedback I received. Thank you lovely ladies xxx It was also rather hilarious to have to ask everyone what their blog or IG name is because I don’t necessarily know their real names!
But back to this week. What I can take away from this week is the belief that I want this dream bad! I’m passionate, enthusiastic, committed, talented, kind, generous and possibly somewhat naive and sensitive. Driving from one end of Canberra to the other, quilts in hand and business cards on offer I was somewhat taken aback at the reception that I received. I was told that I would “never teach in this town without being accredited”, “we already have a longarmer, the owner isn’t in, but don’t come back because she won’t take your cards”, “you need to offer a discount to get any of our customers”, “wow! that’s a bit out there.”, “leave your cards over there” without even getting up to shake my hand. It was soul destroying. But after coming home and licking my wounds for an afternoon I realised that I want this, I want this dream, I am going to get there and I am going to do it with a smile on my face, in the knowledge that my quilting is awesome, my style is up there, my passion and enthusiasm is evident and contagious. Building a business takes time, belief in yourself and a thick skin. How much do I want it? I want it with every fiber of my being!
The other big positive that I want to share with you is that I will be teaching later this year at a local quilt store! I’m super excited to have the opportunity to teach others to machine quilt, to gain confidence and to get on board this fun, addictive hobby If you’re local keep an eye out for more information closer to May The world needs more quilters!
So, with all this waffle (which is completely quilting focused!), I ask you, what is it that drives you to quilt? Are you committed to charity quilting? Do you quilt for your kids or grandkids? Is quilting your escape? Why do you quilt and how do you overcome those mental hurdles when someone discourages you?
Happy quilting, happy linking and thank you, thank you, thank you for being lovely and encouraging to each other! We need more of that in our community both online and in real life
Welcome to I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins! It’s been a while since the last link-up and I hope to see you all back linking up with me on a weekly basis. Please remember that this linky party is about the quilting process. Everything from sketching your quilting designs to lessons you learnt stitching it all together. If you love quilting, this is the place to be
All dressed up in handmade and ready for work!
Ironically, as I restart the I Quilt linky party I am also returning to my ‘day job’ for the first time in eight years! This afternoon was my first day back and I was a nervous wreck on the way to the office. I actually had a great time and am really looking forward to working in an interesting area with some really nice, friendly people. Yay! I will still be taking quilts, so please pop over to my longarm quilting website if you’re interested in that
This week I thought I would talk about how I am finding quilting on my longarm This week I have been working on a quilt for my bed – the only bed in our house that doesn’t have a quilt made by me on it! I made the top (above) a few months ago and put it aside to quilt on my longarm.
One difference between a domestic and longarm quilting machine is that you don’t need to baste your quilt. I was looking forward to this as I don’t particularly love crawling around on my knees and poking myself with pins. What I didn’t realise is that the tension is so much better whilst quilting on a longarm as the frame holds everything nice and firmly (in the above photo I am “floating my quilt top”, which means that the batting and top are hanging free and the back is “loaded”/wound onto the take-up rollers). Seriously, I was pinching myself admiring the lovely texture of my SLQ (below), sure the work isn’t perfect as this was my first time using a ruler, but wow, look how smooth that quilt is!
I used a variety of fabric in this quilt top, voile, linen blend and quilter’s cottons. Whilst the voile definitely wasn’t as forgiving as the cotton if I needed to unpick… It really quilted up lovely (the teal border below is a lovely voile.)
I have to say that Angela Walters is a bit of a idol of mine. I’ve read her a number of times saying that if a customer gives her freedom to do whatever quilt design she would like, she always goes with feathers. I really wasn’t sure how to quilt the large outer borders of this quilt and I didn’t want to overpower the beautiful Anna-Maria Horner print (from her Loulouthi line). Feathers in a lovely soft Aurifil thread (2000 in 50wt) have done the job quite nicely I probably went a bit overboard, but I do love to quilt and I really did fall in love with my longarm whilst quilting this beast
Now it’s your turn! What have you been quilting this week? Have you ever swapped machines and had a different quilting experience? Do you have a fall-back design that you use to quilt busy prints? Add your link below and please remember to visit at least 3 other linkers We all love comments!
Have you missed me? Did you notice my absence? Are you also melting in this crazy heatwave that Australia is currently enduring? What a homecoming!
I often describe myself as overly optimistic. I truly thought that I would continue blogging during our move. Um… that didn’t quite work out! But I’m back and I’m itching to get back to designing, piecing and quilting. The weekly I Quilt linky party will restart from next Thursday 23rd January, I hope you join me But first up, let’s recap.
Last sunrise in Nouméa
Leaving Nouméa was emotional. Like any move it was chaotic, but those three years were more challenging and less enjoyable than many others that I’ve experienced and I really had to face it all as I left. I do dearly miss my friends in Nouméa and oh how I mourn the blue of the lagoon! I’ve swapped our tropical vista for the bush in Canberra (known as ‘Australia’s bush capital’ for a good reason!) and I am loving it.
Sunset from our house in Canberra <3
I feel relaxed, happy, relieved. All those things that don’t usually closely follow an international move. Of course I am very lucky that both my husband and I are on leave and are able to spend the summer holidays with the children and setting up the house. I LOVE our house. Many times a day I gaze lovingly into my husband’s eyes and tell him how much I love this house It feels so right for us. It features classic 1970s mission brown and bright white paint, cathedral ceilings and mostly original fixtures. I am on a serious mid-century modern furniture bender at the moment (my budget being the only thing stopping me from refurnishing the entire house) and am eyeing off second hand sales and thrift stores. Do other people furnish their homes this brightly?
Excuse the shutters and blinds, we’re in the middle of a heatwave…
Whilst I am eternally frustrated that the house isn’t perfectly organised right NOW!! I am happy with the progress that we’re slowly making. Our ‘dumping ground’ (ie. the rumpus room that we put all the stuff in that we didn’t initially know what to do with) has transformed into a
guest room quilt show room.
But I know what you’re really wondering about… Yes, I have a longarm!!!! I won’t bore you with the setup hiccups that we had but I will tell you that’s she’s beautiful, clever, sexy and powerful. She also needs a name… Any suggestions?
I’ve been having fun practicing and working on some charity quilts.
I am open for business but the quilting website is still a work in progress. If you are so inclined you can check it out here Here I am in my studio with my lovely girl (and just for the record, I cannot bring myself to use the term ‘lady cave’, think about it people… ‘man cave’ works, ‘lady cave’ sounds a bit erm… Well, let’s just say I enjoy my STUDIO)
And yes, I make my own clothes so I can blend in with my stash LOL Apparently it’s known as “quilter’s camo”
Thank you for all the lovely messages and support during our move. I have lots of quilts to share that I made just before we left Nouméa but blogging really had to take a backseat whilst we focussed on family. Now that normality is starting to return, expect to see me back to blogging and quilting <3
Big love and happy new year to all you lovely, marvelous quilty folk. Oh, and if you’re in Canberra, give me a hoi! I’m looking forward to joining the modern and local quilt guilds Keep an eye out for me, I’m much more shy in real life
The big day has arrived and I’ll be up at the crack of dawn and on a plane back to Australia in a few hours. I’m an emotional wreck. Even when it is so right to leave, moving is so definitive, so final. It is hard to say goodbye. My last week in Nouméa has been exhausting and I have another big week ahead of me! This time next week I will be falling asleep dreaming of my longarm that will be set up the next day. Exciting!
So I’m very sorry to say that I Quilt Linky Party is taking a break this week. I need to curl up in a corner and lick my wounds. Wipe my tears as I farewell friends and dream of the South Pacific. All that I have learnt and experienced here.
It’s Thursday and time for the I Quilt Linky Party I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week as moving chaos has set in and I am exhausted!
Last week I shared my thoughts on wadding and invited you to also. The lovely Dasha from Patching Pixies wrote a fantastic post on wadding. Seriously, check it out. She raises some important points about selecting your wadding and shares her favourites which I am going to look into. Thanks so much Dasha! I’m totally not one for handquilting (patience is not one of my virtues when it comes to quilting!) but check out this amazing piece of Dasha’s hand-work. LOVE.
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom Dasha, it is a great post, really good info for both newbie quilters and those with a bit more experience who want to know more about options when it comes to that invisible but essential middle layer!
I have been pumping out the quilts the last week. Am trying to avoid burnout and arrange delivery of our shipment, attending end of year school concerts and even packing one child off for his first school camp. I’ve finished three large quilts in two weeks and have almost completed two cot quilts this week. Did I mention I’m losing my mind… At this point I’m going to finish up and
go crawl into my bed cook dinner.
I’d love you to link up your quilting process. Please visit 3 other bloggers (seriously, please do, that’s the fun of linky parties ) and add my button and/or a link in your post. My goal is to share the quilty love. I love reading about your process and I hope you are enjoying visiting the linkers as much as I am! Next week I will be back on board with lots of quilty process. This week I will have to live vicariously through you lovelies xxxx
I blinked and November disappeared! I missed making a collage last month as I was too busy but here for your viewing pleasure (and so I can feel like I achieved something) is my November round-up
Clockwise from top: side two of Bee Quilt, Butterfly quilt (2m square!!), side one of Bee Quilt, quilted table runner, Pirate quilt (over 2m square!!)
I did manage to make three large quilts, and in addition to the above there were a number of cushions and quilted minis that were made and distributed too quickly to photograph! It was that kind of month… I don’t think I’ve blogged any of the above yet *sigh*
I’m linking up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts.