Ruth asked me to take part in the Around the World blog hop. I don’t normally like these things but seeing as I like her, here are my answers…
1. What am I working on?
I’ve done absolutely nothing on my Finish Along list, so I guess I’m not working on any of THAT, but I had a play with a jelly roll on Sunday morning after being ill in the night and having clever ideas as a result (anyone else get this?). So this will probably be my next project when I have some sewing time. Maybe tonight?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It probably doesn’t, but I don’t like rules. Rules are for schools. I don’t like that something seemingly has to be classed as either traditional or modern by quilt police on either side. I don’t like that brown and batiks are the bad guys of the moment but feedsack repro prints (which I love by the way) and Liberty fabrics are somehow fresh and “on trend” despite their roots being just as historically placed. I can get behind ‘contemporary’ as it just means I made it now, which is true. Anyway blah blah you’ve heard all this before….
I have noticed a bit of a theme starting to emerge and that is I like to make things that relate to me culturally. That sounds like I’m being artsy and arrogant, but what I mean is I like making stuff that is to do with entertainment of my time. I’ve made a quilt block in the shape of a floppy disk, I made the famously redundant Billy Bass, an iPhone inspired cushion and I’ve featured Stephen Fry and David Bowie on quilts. I’d quite like to make a CD-ROM quilt and also if I’m going to make another celebrity quilt I’m pretty certain it will be Annie Lennox next. No hard hitting “proper art” relating to real news issues will come from me I can assure you on that, though I think Jacquie Gering does it wonderfully.
There are many many exceptions though to these rules, as explained in….
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I also like making animal quilts, mostly because they usually turn out right so I’m comfortable making them. I need to make a bear one for OH soon actually, I have promised. What happened was, I made the moose and it got promoted from the designated wall to the living room and now the designated wall is still quilt naked….
I make stuff that is designed as patterns so needs to be more commercial in design, fabric choices, etc. Yeah I’m a sell out My quilting habit is funded by the sale of my patterns to magazines, and more recently, within my Craftsy shop. So I have to take this into account and that’s why a lot of my quilts don’t actually fit in with what I said over the previous two paragraphs.
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I take photos as I work on my new designs and make barely legible notes of measurements, sometimes on the table (or the wall) itself if I’ve got no paper to hand. Then if I pitch the end result to a magazine, all I need to do is use the pictures and notes as a memory guide It amazingly always works.
Whilst I’m talking about my thoughts on design and stuff, it falls in neatly with a meme doing the rounds that I saw on Molli Sparkles’ blog yesterday…
- I am scared of Y seams and mess them up every time I am brave enough to try them again.
- I seriously do not have the time for hand quilting, hand applique, hand anything. The machine is king in this house. Actually I don’t think that’s really a secret. I only break this rule to avoid machine Y seams!
- I don’t get the hype around Anna Maria Horner’s designs- I liked some of True Colors and the daisy-type print in Pretty Potent but the rest, no thanks. I own the ones I like. I do admire her FU attitude to traditional colour combinations though, Alison Glass is also amazing at this.
- I think brown and neon colours are a pretty awesome combination.
- I don’t ever bury my thread ends. I just snip them off and nothing has fallen apart yet.
- I think some notions, fabric ranges, magazines, etc are overrated, and my cynical side says this is due to a very well created marketing campaign, but I’m not completely sold (Clover wonder clips, Cotton + Steel and Aurifil amongst others, I’m looking at you, you marketing geniuses).
- Sometimes I use polyester batting. Bowie quilt is a case in point.
- I just can’t make a quilt entirely from solids, and I’m not even sorry. Solids (and shot cottons) are a bit boring for me, I need my fabrics to be exciting too. Closest I got was Wallander and that was pretty boring.
- I have never used a twin needle.
- If I pucker up my quilt backs when quilting I just whack a label over it, sometimes the labels are VERY big.