Sunday, October 19, 2014


Last week I was asked to be tagged for the Around the World Blog Tour by fellow blogger and quilter, Jill at Happy 2 Sew.   She is also a Michigan blogger.  I was a bit scared at first, but when she explained that we only had to answer a few questions, I was delighted to accept her request.

What Am I Currently Working On?  That seems like an easy question, but when I look around my sewing room there are far too many projects in various stages of development.  I can't mention them all, but I'll tell you about a few.
I have a sampler block to finish before the first of the month. 
I need to get this off the frame and attach binding.
Then I need to put this QOV on the frame and quilt it.  The big decision is how to quilt it and what thread to use.
I need to decide how I'm going to finish this Lone Star I want to bind it or do an envelope finish.   Then I have a class on Monday so I’ll be starting a new project!  So much to do and so little time!
How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?  I don't really think my work differs from others.  I'm a great copier.  I see what someone else is doing and I want to copy that.  I think the only thing you can say about my work is that I’m still searching to find what I do best. Sometimes I see a quilt and I know right away who made it.  This person has a special style all her own.  I wish I had that talent.  I love trying new blocks or new techniques or new designs. I love the 30s fabrics and still use them, mostly when I applique.  I also love the clean lines of the new modern quilts that use the clear bright solid colors.  The background on the quilt above was a fun experiment, something I saw someone else do.  I thought of adding the big red flower myself.  Sometimes I think I flit too much...but I love the search.
Why Do I Create What I Do?  I’d say that it is something inside me that seems to scream with joy when I see fabric.   I’ve loved sewing since I was a child.  My mother taught me on her treadle sewing machine.  I took Home Ec. in school and enjoyed the sewing classes (cooking, not so much).  I do have one big problem….I’m not a good finisher. and I can't wait to start a new project.  I am trying to become better at piecing, but I do find that making the same block over and over bores me, so I tend to be drawn to applique. I adore big bright flowers, patterns with different flowers in each block. Why do I create what I do… maybe it has something to do with that inner drive, the desire to make something, see it develop, know that I created that.  When I think about it I think both my parents were the same way, creators.  My mother loved to crochet.  My father built boats as a hobby.  I don’t actually know why I create, I just know I have to.
How Does My Creative Process Work?  I have thought about that. Sometimes I’ll be inspired by a fellow blogger.  When I asked Cynthia of Ahhh…Quilting to create a pattern for her lovely watermelon quilt she asked me to be a pattern tester.  I was thrilled!
Sometimes I’m inspired  by other teachers, like when I took this week long workshop from Mary Lou Weidman and was inspired to create this semi original design.

Teachers at the Attic Window Quilt Shop are a great inspiration.  I think every time Lee Anne teaches a bag class I have to take it. And I can't go on without mentioning other inspiring teachers at the shop such as Chris, and Vickie S., and Vickie D., and Marilyn, and Jill and new teacher Diana.
My grandchildren inspire me.  One look at this pattern and I knew I had to make this for my great grandson.

Sometimes I see a quilt on Pinterest or at the shop or at a quilt show and think I’d love to make that. Sometimes I find a fabric that I love and think that I’ll make something from that.  I really didn’t know about my actual process until  recently when I started a new project for my Grandson.  As I think about it, I think I followed the steps to creation:

  • PREPARATION. I have the fabrics.  I know I want to make a quilt for my grandson who is attending Michigan State University.  Now what?  I perused the internet and Pinterest looking for inspiration.  Is there a pattern for a Michigan State University quilt?  After seeing dozens of quilts and getting lots of ideas, I allowed my sub-conscious to go to work. 

  • INCUBATION.  I slept on the ideas and let my mind churn.  I even started to draft a plan in my mind and later on paper and became frightfully aware that I am terrible at math and figuring things out.
  • INSIGHT. They call this the Aha moment. They say this moment usually comes when you are doing some kind of low-level physical activity.  That was true for me.  Only when I got down to sewing a block did I realize…this is not going to work.  
  • EVALUATION. I made one 9 patch, evaluated that block and thought, Ugh!  This is too dark!  True to form it was ½” short for the 9 ½” block I wanted to make.  I had to rip and then readjust my seams.  Later I decided to add some applique, which I liked much better.  No surprise there, huh?
  •  ELABORATION is the last stage of my process. This is where Edison said that it’s “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.   This is when I put in the hard work.  First I have to go shopping and get some additional fabrics that will lighten things up.  Then I have to decide if I want to make nine-patch blocks or large 9” blocks of each fabric.  And I need to make three more applique blocks.  I’ll be busy with that perspiration part!

This has been fun.  It has made me stop and think about things.  Thanks to Jill for tagging me.  Be sure to stop by and visit Jill and see her wonderful pictures, and read about the Bates Motel.  You might want to also visit Fabric Therapy (link on Jill’s blog).  I wish I were that organized. 

For next Monday's (October 27, 2014) Around the World Blog Tour, it is a pleasure to introduce you to Lynn of Alamosa Quilters.  I've been following Lynn's blog for a long time (see sidebar). I always look forward to seeing what Lynn is doing.  She is one inspiring lady.

Until Next Time, 
Stay Creative,


Allie said...

We sound an awful lot alike, Caroll - lol!!! Loved reading this post! And of course seeing all of your wonderful projects!

Lynn said...

WOW, Caroll, your Lone Star is fabulous!

Jill said...

The cheerful 'Hi' wallhanging is a perfect way to welcome quilters to your Tour post. I also have too many projects in various stages. Lol. Have you considered having the pretty Lone Star professionally quilted, then all you have to do is bind and it's finished. I sometimes sketch ideas. Go Spartans. Thanks for participating!

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.