I fell down the rabbit hole of busy working mom. I am a high school teacher, and after 15 years, I got my dream assignment of teaching World History. Unfortunately, new class = lots of homework (lesson planning) for me, so I haven’t had much time to quilt. We are at the midpoint of the semester so I have finally settled into a routine. The other crimp in my style is my daughter’s figure skating career. She is practicing two solo routines for fall competition, and she is in a group number in November and a holiday show with two weekends of performances in December. I haven’t found a way to sew at the ice rink, but I try to get my grading done there.
I am still working on stars for my True Blue 92 quilt:
This beauty, pieced by my mom from a Judy Niemeyer pattern, is on my longarm. I am doing lots of custom filler designs so it is taking a while.
And the biggest news of all, three years in the making… My first book!
Self-published through CreateSpace, an Amazon affiliate. Purchase here, or search the title “Monochromatic Quilts” on Amazon.
Blogger and Sewing Designer Abby Glassenberg is hosting a series of interviews around this question, and it was the theme of the day for the #sewphotohop on Instagram today (organized by @houseofpinheiro).
Day 6 – The Pattern that changed my life
I considered highlighting my first quilt, but then I decided that this quilt set the course for my creative business.
The pattern in Nancy Chong’s Crumb Quilt. I took her class at Quilt Camp in the Pines back in 2005. (She is better known for Hawaiian applique…visit her website here.) She even complimented me on my fabric and color selection!
I had the good fortune to teach her methods when I got home from camp. But the life-changing aspect of this quilt was the quilting. I had an idea for the quilting design – circular Chinese symbols in the focus squares and something watery to fill the rest of the quilt. (Hopefully you can click on this picture to see the gold thread on the back of the quilt.)
This was the last quilt I quilted on my domestic machine, and it really cemented my desire for a longarm! I remember feeling like I could not see where I was going with my stitching, and I was so sore from pushing the quilt around. Thanks to a supportive husband, I got my wish for a longarm back in 2006. What an amazing journey!
I finished a Quilt of Valor, pieced with some of the Moda Stars*. I enjoy putting sine waves in the borders, so I tried to interlock two of them, like a strand of DNA. I quilted these free-hand, with no marking, so they are a bit uneven. In this section, I lost track of my parallel lines, and ended up crossing the stitching lines, which gives an effect of twisting ribbon. I found a mantra that helped me keep things lines up…deep right or deep left.
That helped me think about where the outer wave was going, and I could come back and stitch the inside wave. Once I used the mantra, it was much easier to finish the design.
About the Moda Stars – in Spring 2011, the Moda fabric company published a pattern for a star block and asked quilters to send blocks to them, which Moda staff would piece into quilt tops for our returning soldiers. They were hoping for maybe 1,000 blocks…and ended up with 10 times that amount! So the call went out for volunteers from each state to take the extra blocks and make quilts for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. In July, I received the 200 stars for Arizona. With the help of other quilters, I have about half the quilts made. QOV will be the primary focus of my quilting in 2012.