Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Week #8: Good morning from Alissa

Good morning y'all!

I hope you had a weekend as wonderfully quilty as I did! I was at Quiltcon, and let me tell you...it was amazing! I know last week's quilter, Rene did a fabulous job of sharing Quiltcon and the amazingness that it was...but she's a pro. She knew what classes to take, what was important to see and who to talk to, etc. I'm a newbie. Like....neeeewbie. Like I bought tickets to Quiltcon to have an excuse to travel to Austin and THEN checked to see if there was a MQG in my area! There is (the Orlando MQG which Rene founded), the girls in my guild are amazing, and I've since immersed myself in the wonderful world of quilty goodness BUT...I'm still new. I have a mega ton to learn and while to some the idea of going to a big huge show is daunting, I figured whats the worst? I'll look at some quilts and go eat my way around Austin (btw I still did that too). But it was so much more than that. To be in a place surrounded by so many women (and men) who love the same thing you do, and do the same thing you do is quite overwhelming. There is SO much inspiration everywhere you look, so many things to see and try and touch and watch. It was an amazing place. To any other newbie out there who would even consider going to a huge awesome show like this.....GO. I can't imagine a more inspiring weekend. But here are a few tips and tricks for newbies...

1)Wait until day two to buy anything. If you're going to be there for more than one day, wait until day two to buy anything. I bought fabric at the first booth I stopped in. (I have like zero self control in this department.) While its all fabric I may have bought anyway...its all fabric I could have bought online or at my local fabric shop. I probably should have waited and hit up the super adorable shop that had all imported fabric, or some thread I had never tried, but alas, the money was spent. I still love everything I got, but in the future I'll wait until day two.

2) Take as many classes as you can. Some people like to take one, absorb what you're doing and really get it but....don't. Take as many as you can. It wont be until the next time you're at another quilt show like this that you'll have the chance to be taught by all of the national level teachers. While my guild brings in awesome teachers, to have the range of styles available to you that you do at Quiltcon is something you MUST take advantage of. I took two classes and wish I took four. I still would have had enough time to shop and see some lectures and be social. Pasadena....I'm planning on taking full advantage of you!

3) Talk to everyone you can. Did you know that other quilters, even famous ones are nice?! That's right! We are an awesomely loving and super sweet group of people. So if you see someone that you know from tv, or thats a fabric designer, or a blogger, instagrammer you like....talk to them. They like it. I swear they do. They're there to be seen first of all, so you wont be bothering them (unless they're on a sewing machine or mid bite of food or something), and they like that you like them. They're who they are because people follow them and appreciate their art, so they're happy you are there appreciating them! I met quite a few well known quilters and all because I asked! Before I realized who Cotton + Steel's Rashida Coleman-Hale was, her back was to me and all I saw was amazing hair. I asked if I could touch it (I'm a hair stylist by trade), and of course she obliged, but when she turned around and I saw her name tag....I felt like a ding dong! But guess what? She let me the hair weirdo touch her hair and everything! See? They're nice. Talk to them, ask them any questions you have, take a pic and be proud you talked to someone you admire.

4) Be prepared. And by that I mean make a plan. Plan your classes, plan your lectures, and then plan your way around the show floor. Don't wander around like a lost puppy, you'll miss a whole ton of stuff, I promise. Attack it with a plan so you miss nothing and get the most out of your experience. Plan for a bit of wandering, you want to be able to soak it all in, but have some framework in play. Everything is there at your fingertips, so do a bit of research, make your plan, and attack it with purpose.

I have the day off tomorrow and plan on sewing ALLLLLL day long, so be prepared for some overgramming of projects and most likely another blog post of photos of my Quiltcon experience!

Post by Alissa - Week #8:   Alissa is a hair stylist, photographer, crafter and quilter… Although she's a newbie, she is already proficient and ambitious! She brings her love for color in the salon to her sewing machine, working with bright tones, graphic shapes and modern design. She is also inspired by the bright colors of her home state Florida. You can find her at instagram.com/alissalapinsky/

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week 7: Goodbye from Rene' Creates

I am saying goodbye for now.  This week has just flown by as I knew it would.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures I posted on Instagram and Twitter from QuiltCon 2015!  Posting details of the event here on the blog here during the week just didn't happen.  The full schedule of lectures, workshop, meetings and social gatherings did not leave much time for anything else other than eating and sleeping.  Not to mention there was just too many pictures !  If you missed it, you can search Instagram for the hashtag #52QgoestoQuiltCon and see photos from Week 7 and QuiltCon2015.
got my cowboy boots on
Alison Glass's Modern Applique class
class with Katy Jones
embroidery class with Alison Glass
Improv workshop with Gee's Bend Quilters

experiencing QuiltCon with my sister
dinner with my online quilting bee
Even though my week was all about QuiltCon, I hope you know you don't have to attend a national quilting conference or retreat far from home (though those are both fun) to be a part of this incredible quilting community.  Meeting with your local quilt guild, sewing with friends, joining an online swap, participating in quilting bees, and taking a quilting class are all good ways to participate.  If you don't have a local quilt guild, consider starting one or joining the Modern Quilt Guild as an individual member.  Invite a friend over and teach them to make a simple nine patch block if they don't know how to quilt.  They will quickly become hooked.  Join Instagram and find a few new quilting blogs to follow.  If you're on social media, don't just lurk; leave a comment and start a conversation.  You never know what friendships may form.  Get involved; share your tips, knowledge, questions, and enthusiasm.  We all can learn from one another!

making new friends - Vicky aka houseofduke1 on IG
soon to be new quilter excited to be at QuiltCon
dinner with the Canadians - "I love grits!"
I hope this week has given some indication of how much I love this quilting community and why I wanted to participate in the 52 Quilters project.  I appreciate all the "likes",  kind comments and fun interaction on my Instagram posts.  It has been a blast!  I am thankful for the friendships and connections I have made over the years and the chance to see again/meet for the first time these special people.
MQG Region 4 Charity Quilt
my block bottom corner - Geese in the Round quilted by Caitlin for Wish Circle of do.Good Stitches charity bee 
our OrlandoMQG charity challenge quilt
Tomorrow I attend the Modern Quilt Guild Leadership Conference which should be informative and a bit more relaxing for me then the previous five days.  I am looking forward to learning from and meeting other guild leaders from around the world.  I won't be posting about that here as my shift is up tonight, but I welcome Quilter #8 and look forward to following the adventures of the 52Quilters.
last night of QuiltCon - dinner with friends



Post by Rene - Week #7:   When she’s not in Montana or Washington visiting her grandson, Rene’ is a quilt designer, quilt maker, blogger, Instagrammer, wife and mom to three living in Orlando, Florida. She founded the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild in March, 2010, served two terms as President and now enjoys serving on the guild’s board. You can find her at  www.renecreates.com and on most social media platforms as ReneCreates.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week #7: Quilter #7 Rene' Martinez a.k.a. Rene' Creates

Quilter #7

Name: Rene' Martinez

Location:  Orlando, Florida, USA
I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, went to Florida State University for college, graduated, got married and moved to Orlando where my husband grew up.  Almost ten years ago we fell in love with the peaceful, scenic beauty of Montana and now spend most of our vacations there.  Our only grandchild lives in Washington so I find myself there quite a bit too.  If you don't live in the States you may not realize that Seattle, Washington is about as far as you can go from Orlando, Florida and still be in the continental US!

Who I Am and What I do:  I have been married to my husband for 30 years.  We have two sons, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, and one grandson.  I was a CPA back in the day, but now I am happy with more creative pursuits.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends, making quilts, taking pictures (occasionally of people!), reading, and retreating with my quilting friends.  I founded the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild with three other amazing ladies in March 2010, and I continue to enjoy being a part of this fantastic group.

Why I Quilt:  I can't remember when I actually decided I wanted to quilt, but there has always been something that has fascinated me about the idea of cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again.  When my youngest started preschool, I took a quilting class.  I made my first quilt, then a few more, but it wasn't until I discovered quilt blogs in 2009 that I really became obsessed with quilting.  I couldn't believe there were so many people out there enjoying the same passion!

I love to quilt because it keeps me sane; creating is extremely therapeutic.  I love being a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend, but I also like being Rene' and having a purpose/goal/identity that is mine alone.  Quilt making provides that personal sense of accomplishment and achievement.  The end product usually results in a gift or charitable donation, and it is a wonderful feeling to wrap someone in a quilt made with love.

My Favorite Quilt:

This heart quilt is one of my favorites.  I made this for my husband last summer to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  The design was inspired from a Pandora window display.  You can read more about this quilt here.

This spiderweb quilt is one I kept for myself and made with the help of my Mid-Century Modern Bee friends.  You can read more about this quilt here on my blog where you can also find other quilt projects I am working on.

Where You Can Find Me:

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/ReneCreates
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/ReneCreates
Blog:  www.renecreates.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/ReneCreates

I want to thank Chris for organizing this 52 Quilters project!  I am excited to be a part of this "social experiment" and interested to see where it leads.  I will be attending QuiltCon later this week, so look for posts live from Austin!  Please leave a comment with any questions, suggestions for content or to just say hi!

Post by Rene - Week #7:   When she’s not in Montana or Washington visiting her grandson, Rene’ is a quilt designer, quilt maker, blogger, Instagrammer, wife and mom to three living in Orlando, Florida. She founded the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild in March, 2010, served two terms as President and now enjoys serving on the guild’s board. You can find her at  www.renecreates.com and on most social media platforms as ReneCreates.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 6: Joanna Kent Signing Off

So my week on this project is drawing to a close.

It's been fun!

I hope you have enjoyed the things I have posted and talked out and that I have maybe given you an insight into my world as someone who is not only a quilter, but also someone who works in the quilting industry. Our world is a very specialised one and those not in it may wonder what is so fascinating about cutting fabric up and sewing it back together again!

But it is a world I love being a part of and I couldn't imagine it any other way. Can you imagine walking around and not noticing or being inspired by the world we live in; whether it's the colours of a wonderful sunset, a flower or a wrought iron gate. It must be a very dull way of living!

A big thank you to everyone who has liked and commented on my posts over the last seven days. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram or my blog. And good luck to quilter #7!

I'll leave you with a gratuitous kitten photo when we first saw our little bundles of mischief!


Post by Joanna - Week #6:   Joanna is the editor of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine, a quilter and the owner of the online quilt shop, The Crafty Quilter. If that wasn't enough, she's also an allotmenteer and single mum! You can find Joanna at  http://www.myquiltsetal.blogspot.co.uk/ or shop The Crafty Quilter here:  http://www.craftyquilter.co.uk/

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week #6: Quilter #6 Joanna Kent

Wow we're already in the second month of this project and this week its my turn to be in the spotlight!

So who am I?

My name is Joanna Kent and I live in a small market town in the county of Hertfordshire which is about 40 miles north of London in the UK. I'm a single mum, by choice, having decided after 16 years of marriage that there had to be more to life than being with someone who was unsupportive and whom I was no longer in love with............or maybe I just had a midlife crisis? I was 40 the year I left after all. I have one teenage son and we live in our little house in our little town, with three very naughty and nosey kittens.

I've been quilting since I was 18 having been inspired by a quilt show I visited and I have to say I haven't looked back since, nor done any other craft since then.

I run my own online quilt shop selling fabrics and threads. I am also the editor of the UK's longest running patchwork magazine called British Patchwork & Quilting. This year sees our 30th anniversary which is quite exciting.

Why do I quilt?

I've been quilting for so long now, I can't remember a time when I didn't quilt. I can't imagine going through this life not being inspired by something I see in the world or by a certain fabric or pattern. There is a certain satisfaction in creating something that you can touch and stroke and which gives you comfort. Its hard to put into words what being a quilter means to me. Its my whole life.

My favourite quilt

I have a couple of quilts that I am really proud of. One was accepted in Paducah in 2001 the year my son was born and as I was 6 months pregnant I was unable to go and see it hanging at the show. I'll see if I can dig out a photo for instagram as I don't seem to have one on my pc.
My other fave quilt is one called Curvy Nine Patch.

The quilt uses hand dyed cottons and is actually hand appliqued wonky squares rather than pieced. It won third prize in the traditional quilts category at the European Quilt Championships in Holland in around 2004 I think.

Until recently I made most of my quilt by hand but necessity has made me teach myself to machine quilt and I also machine piece most of my quilts now. I particularly like using pre-cuts packs from Hoffman Fabrics.

This quilt is called Strip Race Interrupted. I love the colours in this one.

Where you can find me:

Instagram: Joanna_kent
Twitter: @joannakent
Blog: www.myquiltsetal.blogspot.co.uk
Website: www.craftyquilter.co.uk

I hope you enjoy my week on @52quilters!

Post by Joanna - Week #6:   Joanna is the editor of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine, a quilter and the owner of the online quilt shop, The Crafty Quilter. If that wasn't enough, she's also an allotmenteer and single mum! You can find Joanna at  http://www.myquiltsetal.blogspot.co.uk/ or shop The Crafty Quilter here:  http://www.craftyquilter.co.uk/

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week #5: Quilter #5 Kirsten Smith of Lovespun Studio

Hi there, 52 Quilter friends! I am SO thrilled to here pirating the 52 Quilters blog, Instagram and Twitter feeds this week. A HUGE thank you to Chris for the invitation. Of course, I already feel like I'm behind the 8 ball a bit because our Monday started here in snowy Lafayette, Indiana, with a 2 hour school delay-- which equated to something like a 4 hour blog delay. What can I say, sometimes life just doesn't go exactly as planned, so I roll with the punches.

I am Kirsten Smith, wife of almost 12 years to the love-of-my-life, Jeremy, {I'm not even trying to be all gushy-- it's one of the good kinda real-life things}. We have two kiddos-- a 10-year-old son who loves to draw, act, play Minecraft and create with Legos and an 8-year-old daughter who enjoys, singing, playing on her Kindle, crafting & sewing.  My background is in corporate communications and public relations, but I left that world back in 2008 to focus on my family and our home for a while. While I've missed the corporate world in many ways, I wouldn't trade those early "mommy years" for the world! Now that both kids are in school during the days, I've dusted back off my working mojo and even melded it with my love of all things fabric.

Because I'm quite possibly insane, I am currently running two businesses as well as attempting to find the time to blog over at www.lovespunstudio.com. I can't do it all and do it all with excellence, so often the blog is the thing that gets pushed to the side. I'm totally OK with that. You have to give yourself permission not to do it all!

My first business is my Lovespun Studio shop. My shop has become mostly known for my Zippy! Organizer Wallets, which are cash-budgeting friendly {especially for those doing the Dave Ramsey system! It just so happens that Sari Ditty, Week #2 quilter makes something similar too-- we totally didn't plan that! Hi Sari!} I do most of my sales through Facebook rather than Etsy or my website, but you can find them both places. If I'm honest with you all, I'll just stop and admit right now that I feel like a quilty imposter. I don't love the act of sewing nearly as much as I love pulling different patterns and colors of fabric together. That's what really makes my heart pitter-patter. My handmade shop always seems to come in second place for me to my other business, which I absolutely adore: A Happy Trip.

A Happy Trip is my travel planning and consulting business. I specialize in cruises, all-inclusive resorts and all of the MANY Disney destinations. After investing hours upon hours upon HOURS researching and planning for our own family vacations, my husband finally said, "You really should do this for other people too!" What a brilliant idea it was-- because I couldn't possibly love helping people plan and book their perfect trips any more. What makes most people break out in hives due to stress is loads of fun for this nerdy researcher/planner/organizer girl!

The only full-size quilt that I've tackled thus far!

But back to stitchy talk. I used to decorate in neutral colors and keep things fairly plain and boring until around 2009 when I found myself drawn to blogs like Diary of A Quilter and Tanya Whelan and Jeni Baker's In Color Order and I realized that color makes my heart sing. It made me happy, and I wanted to spend all day looking at blogs filled with amazing fabric. So not only did I go buy a sewing machine off of Craigslist and start stitching, but I brought color into my home and into our life as well. I could never go back!

My favorite quilter is KelbySews! We had a chance to meet at a workshop once, and I won a quilt that she made. Her color and style is impeccable.

I hope that I get to know a few of you and make some new friends this week! You can find me ALL OVER the Internet! Right now I'm crushing on Japanese fabrics-- which I use for my wallets, so you might see a lot of that this week!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lovespunstudio
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kirstencsmith
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lovespunstudio AND www.facebook.com/ahappytrip
Website/Blog: www.lovespunstudio.com AND www.ahappytrip.com

Post by Kirsten - Week #5:  Kirsten is the owner of two businesses, Lovespun Studio, featuring the Zippy! Organizer Wallets other handmade accessories, and A Happy Trip, planning & coordinating incredible vacations and getaways for her clients! Kirsten shares her heart, her life and her passion for sewing and her advocacy against human trafficking via Lovespun Studio at http://www.lovespunstudio.com

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Week 4: Signing off with Quilts From The Attic

Well, that's all gone very quickly hasn't it! It seems like only moments ago I was receiving my log in information and preparing to kick of my week here at 52 Quilters! Now, it's almost midnight and I've raised my glass to the next custodian of this very special project.  I've had so much fun being part of this unique and innovative experiment. I have to admit that I was a little anxious about what to post. Would I be interesting enough? Would people care about what I had to say. I quickly realised that these were the same feelings I had when I ventured out on my quilting journey some two years ago. So I dosed myself with a spoonful of the same medicine I took back then; just be me, because everyone else is taken.

If you take anything away from the time you've spent with me here, let it be not to be afraid to do what you want to do with your own creativity. During my early quilting days my output was very much dictated by what I saw others doing. I daren't design my own quilt for fear of failure. I copied what had come before and stayed close to the path of "safety in reproduction". I'm lucky that the place I now find myself is very exciting and allows me to be me. So run with scissors, make mistakes and become intimate with your seam ripper. The worst that could happen is something unexpected takes the place of something familiar. 

Thank you for tagging along with me this week. I'm excited to see where the project ends up and hope you'll all come and see what's going over at Quilts From The Attic. Happy sewing!

Post by Nicholas - Week #4:  Nicholas is a quilter based in Cardiff, Wales. He runs a blog called Quilts from the Attic from which he shares his modern male-made quilts. Follow him on instagram @quiltsfromtheattic or visit him at https://quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com