Monday, September 1, 2014

Tag, I’m It!

Have you encountered—or participated in—the Around the World Blog Hop that’s been circulating online yet? Chelsea over at Patch the Giraffe tagged me last week, so here I am with my answers to the getting-to-know-me questions and two blogs I’ve, in turn, tagged for next week’s installment.

What am I working on?

I generally have two or three quilts and a small project or two in the works at a time. And although I refer to myself more often as a quilter than as a general sewist, I recently realized that those small non-quilt projects are particularly important to me. The faster, more frequent payoffs sustain my momentum and help me tackle the bigger quilting projects.

Clockwise from top left: Farmer’s Market quilt, purge pouches,
a rainbow pencil roll, and a Noodlehead tote

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work straddles the line between the old and the new, vintage and modern. (Heck, even my house reflects that: it’s Crate & Barrel meets antique shop around here.) I can summarize my impetus for delving into quilting in two words: Denyse Schmidt.

A unique quality I have is the fact that I’m the new kid on the quilt block. In my life before parenthood, I was in publishing, and my colleagues and I were always excited when a new hire started. This person had “fresh eyes”—an unjaded perspective that wasn’t sullied by too much exposure to the work at hand.

I’ve been quilting less than 18 months; I’m on quilt #11. I’ve decided I need to work on more of my own designs before experience starts to undermine my own newbie perspective on things. In many ways right now, I don’t know the typical way to piece certain designs or perfect certain quilting skills. I don’t know what’s possible—or not. I see that quality as a positive. It’s time to leverage it, girl!

Why do I create what I do?

I was hardwired to create. Without an outlet like quilting, I wouldn’t feel like a whole person. Honestly, it is that simple.

Park Bench hexies, blogged about here

How does my creative process work?

A project for me almost always starts with a challenge. Can I piece a top like that? How can I use those scraps of fabric? Can I capture that person’s style—as well as my own aesthetic—in a single quilt?

The interesting part of my creative process, which has only come to light since I started blogging, is the importance of writing about my quilty adventures. Somehow, documenting my projects in both pictures and words has become a necessary final step. It’s how I reflect on my personal triumphs and ponder the I-wishes and if-I-could-do-it-agains.

Alicia Paulson’s Jane Market Bag, blogged about here

Who are the next stops on the blog hop?

OK, it’s time to pass the baton on to two other bloggers. I fancy that the three of us are members of an elite quilting club whose members bring only little boys into the world. (And they have me beat: I have two little guys and they each have three!)

Kim at Leland Ave Studios: I started keeping tabs on Kim as soon as I encountered her Carnelian & Iron quilt, and it was following her blog that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start my own. Her work trends more modern than mine in a way that nudges me out of my comfort zone in a good, good way. Some of my favorite projects of hers are the recently unveiled Diamonds in the Deep quilt and her Qypsy Wife quilt, the thought of which makes me curl up in fetal postion (what a huge undertaking!).

Audrey at Hot Pink Quilts: Truly, the name says it all: Audrey is not afraid of color. (Like any good New Englander, I am!) A woman after my own heart, she continually strives to further hone her technical skills … on her 60-year-old Singer. Let me direct you to two of her amazing quilts: her quilt for her third sweet baby boy and her latest iteration of Jaybird Quilts’ Northern Lights pattern.

I encourage you to check both of those blogs out. Time reading those women’s adventures at the sewing machine is time well spent. : )


  1. Yay such a great post! I can't believe you have made so many quilts in such a short time ... woot woot.

  2. Such a great post, Michelle! I especially loved where you said you were "hardwired to create"! I totally get that! You have been so incredibly productive over the past 18 months, I can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Only great things are ahead, I'm sure! Thanks for the tag!

  3. Great post! it is so nice to learn more about you. You have made a lot of quilts in such a short time. I agree with you Denyse Schmidt is one of my favorite designers too.


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