Welcome to Week 4 of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!
It is nice to meet you. My name is Hannah. Let me first introduce you to some of my quilts.
Quilt no.1 2012. I unfortunately do not have a photograph of the first quilt I made. It is ugly and badly made but it’s still my favourite to get cosy with! Evidence of chocolate eating can be found throughout. I’ve always meant to give her a photo-shoot, but you know sometimes the best things are kept private…like comfy underwear.
Quilt no.2. 2014 is a testament of the hearts capability to love the things we think we shouldn’t; it’s made entirely out of that cold heartless fabric we call polyester right to it’s very core. I love it to pieces and it is already falling apart, a bit. This crazy quilt was the last quilt I made on my first sewing machine I bought. I honestly don’t know how I did it without committing some sort of murder. Not even a little animal! My first sewing machine lasted me 4 years and it said ‘Argos Value Sewing Machine’ on the white box it came in. I wasn’t convinced I was going to like sewing when I bought it, which is a strange thought to me now as it became a really big part of my life. Can you remember hating textiles in school? I can’t even remember my teacher’s name, just that she was pregnant and shouted about bobbins a lot. She taught us how to make a beanbag and I just despised it. Oh, if my 13 year old self could see me now! It’s ten years on and I think drawstring bags are just the best.
Quilt no.3 2015 is a quilt that instantly sparks memories of the time I was making it. In my final year of university I was writing my dissertation on quiltmaking and I wasn’t meant to really be quilting. I’m really good at procrastinating though, so I made a handful of small quilts while I wrote that paper. The paper turned out okay but I think the quilts are better! I made them as a tribute to the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, a small quiltmaking subculture of african american women. The quilt block is referred to as House Tops, among other names I can’t remember… again, the paper was a pass.
I am so pleased to be a part of this blog hop, and I feel genuine affection for all the people who I have connected with through my first year. I know I haven’t been number one when it comes to blogging lately, but I have plenty of excuses…
I did a major move from the UK to the USA last month.
Then I was homeless and jobless for a while.
Then I got a bit homesick and did a lot of running.
Then I got a home and a job!
So that is me. I’m now a proud resident of Portland. I’ve got a bank account and everything! It’s official that I live here, and I re-soak in that glory everyday. (I’m sure where you live is great too, but I just love Portland.) I somehow managed to get a job at my favourite grocery store, which I am so happy about. Now all I need is for my sewing machine to be shipped all the way and back into my arms! For now, I’m keeping up with the creativity by knitting, and printmaking at a studio I rent. And having conversations with the house cat. YAY!
My blogging tip is pretty basic and you have probably heard it too many times. Be yourself! If you find a blog that is exactly the same as yours, you’re probably not being yourself as much as you could be. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grow, just make sure your going in the right direction. I still self evaluate and find ideas I’ve written down and think, whoa that’s not me at all! Dr Seuss says, There is no one alive who is youer than you. And if you can’t trust a doctor who rhymes, who else is there?
The quilting tip I would like to give you is to go and look at quilts. My understanding of quilt design was one of complete bafflement until I began to get up close and personal to quilts on displays. I just didn’t understand hand quilting or free motion quilting and couldn’t find any photographs that gave me enough information for me to visually decipher. I’m a need to see it to believe it type of person. At the first quilt exhibition I went to I stood near this quilt for about ten minutes and the invigilator who had been watching me from across the room shouted over at me ‘You must be interested in the hand quilting then!’ I shouted ‘Yes!’ and then she came over and we talked normally for a while. My point being that when you go outside and stand near quilts, you end up learning whether you like it or not.
Looking at these quilts I decided to share with you today has been a gentle reminder that you can achieve things, even when life isn’t set up for it. You might not have the best sewing machine. But you can do it. You might not have quilting cottons. But you can still do it. Illness. Essays. Overtime. University. Grandparents. Moving house. More illness. New job. Budgeting. This is just describing one year. And I still did it. I still made quilts.
Crafting makes us who we are, but stronger. We have that inner voice telling us exciting things like ‘google freezer paper and quilting, it’ll be fun!’ And mostly it is fun, but I cannot deny that it is stressful as fuck. Acting on our creativity is brave. It challenges us to think retrospectively as well as strategically, and makes us recognise and value our uniqueness. We create our own footholds. I don’t want to use yours! It tells me to believe in myself and that I’ve got this DIY shit down.
My question to you is if you think you would be the same person you are now if you didn’t become a quilter? What does it tell you about yourself?
Please head over to check out the other week 4 bloggers!
Susan @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Amista @ Hilltop Custom Designs
Janice @ Color, Creating, and Quilting!