The 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop: The Sewcial Network
This spring, I signed up to participate in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop run by Quilting JetGirl and LateNightQuilter. There are 17 of us who will be posting about our dreams, projects, lessons learned, favorite stuff and more. As one of the relatively new quilt bloggers, I always want to improve my blogging skills and post quality information. Through our members Facebook page, I’ve already learned a lot about having a successful blog. I discovered things that I was doing well, and things I can definitely improve on.
At the end of this post, I’ve put links to my Hop partners who are posting this week.
Some Facts About Me….
For those of you who don’t know me, here are a few facts about me:
- I started quilting over 20 years ago. I am self-taught originally but then met and joined the African American Quilters of Baltimore [AAQB] and they taught me many of the basics about making a quality quilt. Their annual show is in August 2016–check out their site for details.
- When I started quilting, I knew nothing and I used patterns from magazines and books — but then I got really bored and started making my own designs. This was back in the day when traditional quilters were just…puzzled…by anyone who wanted to change things up. So, I became an artquilter and started exhibiting and selling my work. Fortunately , my AAQB sisters were very welcoming and wanted to learn about artquilting and they continued to challenge me to improve my skills.
- I just published my first book, Madly Modern Quilts: Patterns and Techniques to Inspire Your Quilting Creativity. Click HERE to purchase
and I’m offering a 20% discount until June 27th. Here’s the code: C2RW2QQL to use at checkout.It is also available at Amazon (but you can’t use the discount code on the Amazon site).
Improvisational rail fence project from my book, Madly Modern Quilts.
Detail of project from Madly Modern Quilts. This quilt is a great variation on the 4 patch block project also in the book.
Being a Modern Quilter
I was a modern quilter waaaay before the community found itself thanks to Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr. Just a few short years ago, the clever and resourceful founders of the Modern Quilt Guild started an organization that is supporting our movement. I am so totally at home in this world!
Disclaimer–I’m on the Board of Directors of MQG and I co-founded the Sarasota Modern Quilt Guild.
From my earliest quilting days, 20th Century abstract art has influenced and inspired me. Back in the 1990’s, I began experimenting with negative space, asymmetry and other elements of what we now call the modern quilt movement. Angularity #1 [pictured below] is from a series of quilts I designed about 15 years ago. It–and others from this series–is the inspiration for a new series of quilts that I started working on over a year ago. Some of these quilts will appear in my forthcoming book–Madly Modern Quilts 2: Fibonacci and More. Look for that book in early 2017.
I LOVE CURVES!!
I LOVE CURVES!! I especially love free hand cut improvisational curves. I use my rotary cutter because scissors tire my hands too quickly (a bit of arthritis). But, I can use my rotary cutter to make the most wonderful eccentric curved shapes. I love curves in all sizes and shapes. Like these!!
Some Favorite Tools
My favorite tools are my walking foot and quarter-inch piecing foot. Ha! You thought I’d say seam ripper or rotary cutter? Well I love them too, but these two feet make it possible for me to piece more accurately and to quilt smaller projects at home, on my own.
My quarter inch foot keeps my seams more precise and accurate when that’s important. And, it’s also really helpful when I piece curves.
I know that free motion quilting is not [ever] going to be part of my skill set. I love to make eccentric, improvisational quilting lines with lots of randomness and my walking foot allows me to do that with relative ease. You can see examples of my walking foot quilting here. And, I’ve posted examples below. I sometimes mark long straigh lines with masking tape. Most of the time, I don’t mark because I’m going for a more fluid, organic and eccentric look to my quilting. You can also see that I like to add big stitch hand quilting using No. 5 or No. 8 perle thread (an embroidery thread).
And a Random Fact…
I totally, completely love movies like the Fast & Furious series. I know…it’s a shocker. I like movies with fast cars, lots of action, robots that act human, stuff blowing up. I mentioned my not-at all-secret pleasure to a (younger) friend recently and she said, “I totally didn’t see that coming!” In my youth, the first ‘adult’ books I read were all science fiction and fantasy–so Blade Runner tops my list of classic sci-fi movies.
When I’m in a gentler mood, I also really like good animation films like Ratatouille, The Box Trolls, UP, Finding Nemo, Coraline, A Monster in Paris, The Nightmare Before Christmas…..
My Favorite Books…
My favorite novels are Cane by Jean Toomer and The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. One is an old classic and one is a new classic.
Otherwise, I’m all about good murder mysteries with deep character development and real ‘whodunit’ plots. I don’t like torture books or ‘stalker/women in peril’ kind of stuff.
I really hate to free motion quilt on a sit down machine. It is just too tiring for me. I’ve tried long-arm machines—-better but not really fun for me. So I send my larger quilts (over about 40 inches square) and a check$$ to my talented longarm quilter buddies and let them do their magic. They’re happy–I’m happy–the quilt is done. Quilt by Check$$$ for the Win!!
Quilting Tip for Curved Piecing
There are so many tips that changed my ability to make quilts faster, cheaper and better. And, since I mentioned curved piecing, here are a couple of tips I’ve found helpful when I make curved blocks with or without templates:
- Don’t starch the fabric before you cut and piece an improvisational curve. You actually need a little bit of give in the fabric so that you can iron it nice a flat.
- Sew slow. Repeat…sew very slow. I set the speed control on my machine to ‘very slow’ because I’m naturally a speed demon.
- Clean your machine before you start–especially the bobbin case. Dust and lint will cause the machine to hiccup and that really gets in your way when you’re sewing a steep curve.
- Use a regular stitch length. Tight stitches will actually do more harm–and probably create permanent puckers.
- Use good quality fabric like the wonderful fabrics you can find in your local quilt shop and online. I threw away some cheap stuff I was using because I couldn’t get it to behave properly. No sense wasting time with bad fabric.
- PRACTICE…PRACTICE…PRACTICE! The first few will be awful. The next few will be better. Then, you’ll piece an awful one. It happens. Freehand curves are all unique.
- Love the Curve!
My New Quilt Bloggers Hop Partners This Week
Please visit my New Quilt Bloggers partners at their sites this week. Click the link to go visit and get to know them.
Anne at Said With Love
Beth at Plaid and Paisley
Jennifer at RV Quilting
Quilty Questions –Comment to Enter the GiveAway
My Questions: Answer ANY of these questions–your choice!
- What kind of modern quilt pattern would you like to see published
- What kind of modern quilt workshop would you like to attend? It could be about a technique or anything else that comes to mind when you think of modern quilting.
- What is your favorite 2 color combination in a quilt? In other words, what 2 colors do you like to see paired up?
If you comment below, you have a chance to win some fabric if you live in the USA. On June 30th at 9 a.m. Eastern, I’ll pick 3 random winners and send each of you a mystery packet of 5″ charm squares of prints and two fat quarters of Moda Grunge! Comments closed for this drawing.
Thanks so much for visiting, and Happy Quilting!