Tiinatei from the Tilkkutie blog invited me, and so it is now my turn to answer these four questions:
1. What am I working on?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
What am I working on?
I always have several projects going on at one time. This does not stress me because I know I can finish almost everything I start.
Tractor track blocks quilt – top done, quilt back in progress:
Jigsaw puzzle quilt – appliqueing in progress. The quilt is still in four pieces, waiting for the missing appliques.
Plus blocks quilt – blocks done, top building in progress:
The interesting quilt block quilt – a bunch of blocks ready:
Another quilt project, probably based on a disappearing 9-patch – fabrics pulled.
There are usually some scrap projects going on. Right now, I’ve just finished a zippered pouch, and who knows which other purse or pouch creations are hiding in my heaps of scraps.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Many quilters do embrace colour but I don’t think many are as un-censorious about colours and patterns as I am. I can easily combine a batik with a dainty flower pattern or a feature fabric with something that has a definite 90’s vibe. It is a good thing, too, because I have all kinds of fabrics!
Or actually, I lack one type of fabric: solid colours. I have a few scraps from coloured sheets, and that is about it. I don’t even remember when I would have bought solid fabric, if I ever have!
I’ve noticed that people tend to comment my fabric choices as ”bold” or ”daring”.
I can see why they would say that, but on the other hand, I don’t think that sewing any pieces of fabric together requires particular bravery. I’m always operating on a let’s-see-how-this-will-work mode which might be called improvisational.
I cannot stop being amazed at how a gosh-awfully ugly piece of fabric sewn into a multi-fabric block and into a quilt can be so transformed. I’ve seen the miracle so many times.
During the creation process, I may be looking at the fabric or the block, thinking ”what was I thinking” but later, I see the finished quilt which hides the ugly fabrics and combinations and looks great (even though I say so myself), and I’m thinking ”how did that happen”!
For example, from these ugly-ish block beginnings:
The quilt ”Empress Ramandu” was born:
This is a lovely quilt even if I say so myself. How is it even possible?
Also, I never plan my quilts other than what it comes to basic colour placement in the blocks. I usually pick two colours – any two colours – and perhaps one or two neutrals, and I put blocks together according to colour. For example, green in the middle, then blue, surrounded by an off-white.
Because nearly all my stash is multi-coloured, I’ve had to develop a certain touch for determining which colour to call any fabric.
It’s called decisiveness. I look at a multi-coloured fabric, and if it seems to have quite a lot of a particular colour, I will just decide that it is of that colour. Sometimes I decide on the colour even if the fabric only has a little of the colour in it, just because I like the fabric and want to use it in a project.
Why do I write/create what do?
I sew because I love fabric. I’ve always loved creating colourful things. When I was little, I used to draw outfits for my paper dolls. I never played with them, I just drew clothes for them.
Later, I started sewing clothes for myself. Not because I was particularly good at it, but because I wanted certain things and I could not buy them – either they were too expensive or they did not exist in the shops that were available to me.
I think I took up quilting because it allowed me to work with patterned fabrics even more than when sewing clothes. Also, the pieces are small (except the quilt backs, which are my challenge) so I don’t have to wrangle yards of fabric.
I started a blog for three main reasons. One, I thought I could do it; two, it would allow me to keep track of my projects and also of the measurements and techniques that I’ve used; and three, I also hoped to get an interested audience. My family is so used to my quilts that I don’t get much feedback. I love seeing the number of visitors on my latest post, and I really love reading people’s comments!
How does my writing/creating process work?
As I said earlier, I don’t much plan my creations. I usually plan a sort of a colour scheme and decide on which block I’ll start making, then I’ll pull a bunch of fabrics and start cutting and sewing.
I don’t like to measure and cut a lot of intricate pieces at a time – I’d much rather cut a little and sew a block or a couple of blocks out of those pieces and then cut some more. This is probably because of two things.
One: I have to cut on the floor. There just isn’t enough table space in my sewing area.
Two: I get bored if I have to sew a lot of just one thing at a time.
The most fun part is deciding which fabrics go together and where they go, and just sewing seams like an automaton feels too much like working. Also, when I’m making a quilt, I will make all blocks first, perhaps a few extra, and then I will decide on their layout.
At this point, I can also decide to add a sashing if the blocks put together don’t look quite the way I want. I did this for the Happy Surprise quilt. Here’s how the blocks looked just put together:
And here’s what the quilt top looked like with the sashing solution that I came up with:
I will decide on borders when the blocks are done. There may be several layers of borders and I also decide them on the go. And I’ve been known to come up with something extra for the borders too – like the ”ribbon” that I put on the Spruces’ Whisper quilt border.
Thank you for reading this far!
For the next round of the Around the World Blog Hop, I have invited Töölön Tilkkupaja from Finland.