My next interviewee is Lynne from LilysQuilts. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the FQ Retreat, and ‘collared’ her about getting her interview done. So, gap a cuppa & make yourself comfy….
My next interviewee is Cindy, aka Fluffy Sheep Quilting. She was nominated by Hadley (aka FlyingBlindOnARocketCycle) as a possible participant in my mini series. Thanks to both Hadley for nominating, and Cindy for participating. So grab a drink, pull up a chair and let’s see what Cindy has to tell us…..
Help! Help! I have a monster that has taken over my quilting space!
For those of you who I have not already met, I am Cindy. It’s so nice to meet you! I blog semi-regularly over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting and have just opened a shop also called Fluffy Sheep Quilting. I started quilting less than three years ago and blogging over a year ago, but you would never know it. They have become absolutely central to my life and happiness. I tend to be drawn to modern quilts, because I love their bold colors and geometric patterns, but I could just as easily be entertained by a traditional quilt.
You’re not here to chat about modern vs traditional quilting, though. You want to hear about my monster! I call her Community Quilt and I absolutely love her through and through.
I was struck by how fantastic the quilting community was when I just started quilting and blogging. How great folks were at freely giving suggestions to new quilters, teaching new techniques and supporting one another. So, I wanted to make a quilt that honored that spirit.
I started requesting scrap donations back in spring of 2011 from quilters in blog land. I wanted a physical way to link each and every one of us, so I decided on a scrappy Irish Chain-type pattern that would allow for each person in the community to donate fabric from projects they were currently working on and I could combine them into one piece. And what do you know, but piles and piles of fabric started to arrive.
Oh, goodness! Time to start piecing! This pattern called for 1,330 little two inch squares of prints with 512 little background rectangles. What!?!? Anyway, I just started to dig in and piece. It came together faster than I thought it would!
Until there were more blocks than I knew what to do with. After some fiddling around, I found an arrangement that made me happy.
Up to this point I was expecting a finished quilt of 82×82 inches. I just had to add the borders and layer it. Easy peasy. But that’s where this project took it’s monstrous turn. I miss calculated how many blocks I needed for the border. Instead of making enough for one…I made enough for two! After all of the time it took to cut the little tiny squares and piece them, you better believe I was going to use that double border! Still, this enlarged the top by a further 7 inches a side! Eeek! I now have a top that measures 96×96 and is truly a monster. What was I thinking?
And here the story takes a sad turn. I love this quilt. Love every little stinkin’ piece of it. But the quilting is just killing me! I am having trouble manipulating it under my machine. Trouble finding a pattern that compliments the piecing. Trouble in general. And now she sits in a small pile in my quilting space.
However, the spectacular Trudi of Quilting Prolifically has just offered to help me design a pattern that might suit and then to quilt it for me. Thank goodness!
I love this quilt and I want to see it finished. I just need help. Would I make another monster? Not on your life. Still, I am entirely glad that I made this one so I can now appreciate massive bed-sized quilts when I see them. (I agree with Cindy… Trying something just once can make us appreciate someone else’s hard work!)
Liz, thanks so much for letting me share my tale. For your readers quilting a monster right now, I wish you the best of luck and much happiness with your creation! I know you’re working incredibly hard on it and I am sure every bit of effort will pay off in the end.
It’s been a pleasure to have Cindy take part, as I enjoyed following her quilty adventures in Ireland. (Not exactly a country I would associate with quilting, boy am I wrong! I love the Irish Chain pattern. Maybe I will feature it in my next quilty history post.)
My second interview in this mini-series is with Helen. Thank you Helen for being a willing interviewee.
Liz: So tell us a little about how you started quilting
Helen: I started quilting five or six years ago when I was first off work due to sickness (I have CFS/ME) and after a few months I’d got to the stage where I felt like doing something that I could pick up for a few minutes at a time and easily put down when I became too tired to continue. I was having trouble concentrating when reading/watching telly, etc. but I wanted to have something to do that would be fairly simple but satisfying. Up until then my only experiences of patchwork were my mam making some EPP hexagon pincushions for a school fayre (she spent hours making them and they were sold for a very small amount of money and she was so cheesed off she didn’t make any more!) and machine piecing a couple of simple cushion covers about ten years ago (using some plastic templates and a couple of FQs I’d bought from my LQS) and although I enjoyed the process I didn’t carry on. (Had I looked on-line and found some quilting blogs I suspect it may have been a different story!) Fast forward a few years and I realised that hand piecing could be the thing I was looking for – I’d always enjoyed embroidery and other hand sewing so I was fairly confident of my sewing skills and I realised that I could just do a few minutes and then put it down for a while without losing my place whereas knitting or crochet would need more concentration (and you can’t really stop knitting in the middle of a row, at least I can’t, without dropping stitches or losing my place in the pattern!). I was soon hooked and it came a pleasant surprise to discover that on the days I wasn’t well enough to sew I could flick through a quilting book or magazine or even just play with the fabric or think about future projects whilst lying in bed/on the settee – perfect! I don’t know how to describe my style, I’m not even sure I have one so I’ll leave it up to others to decide! I do know that I tend to like small pieces/blocks and traditional patterns made with modern fabric and also enjoy improv/liberated piecing – I’ve no idea what sort of quilter that makes me!
First of all I would like to all of you who have entered my blogaversary giveaway. I will be picking 2 winners next Monday, so keep tuned in!
Secondly, I have had the first of my interviews back. The subject of these interviews are those rogues (aka monsters) that we end up with, either by accident or by design. I have decided to call this series, A Gallery of Rogues. To me (and this is a personal opinion!) a rogue/monster is a quilt that is 90 x 90 inches or larger, and with this mind I emailed a select group of friends asking they would be willing to take part, and thankfully they were 😀
My first interviewee is Sheila Donnachie, known to almost all of us as the bluepatch quilter. Thank you, Sheila, for a taking a few moments out of a busy schedule to answer a few questions…..
Liz : Please tell us a little about how you came to be a quilter and how you would describe your style.
Liz: What inspired you to make your ‘monster’?
Sheila: I started this with no great plan to make such a big quilt. The central portion of the quilt was featured in an Australian magazine I had and I loved the big, stupid looking teddies. I had never really used a lot of applique on quilts until this one and had fun using faux suede for the teddies’ bodies.
Cindy, aka Fluffy Sheep Quilting, is having a giveaway to celebrate her 1st year blogaversary. She is giving away 5 fat quarters by Monaluna for birch Fabrics, you just need to go here to help her celebrate! Out of the fabrics shown on her post, my favourite is the woodland print but the one with the scooters (Vespas?) is also cute.
In 2 months it will be my own 1 year blogaversary (April 29th in fact! £$*!*£!! I was thinking it was in May!) 😮 Yikes! Where has that time gone? Well, it’s not for another 7 weeks, so I have plenty of time to think of something giveaway wise.
Also, Fat Quarterly still has spaces at their retreat in London (June 2 & 3), just click here for more info. I cannot wait to meet my quilty blogger friends, though I have already met Jo Bearpaw and Trudi. This will be the first time I will have been with other like-minded (should it be ‘obsessive’ !?!) people. I wish I could go to a class or be part of a group, but that is not possible at the moment 😦 The online community that I have found via blogs and Flickr is okay, but it cannot truely replace physical human interaction.