2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop | Getting to know me, getting to know all about me

Welcome to Week 4 of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!

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Quilt Collection

It is nice to meet you. My name is Hannah. Let me first introduce you to some of my quilts.

Quilt no.1 2012.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 collection 2scrap quilts

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. 

Crazy Scrap Quilt

scrappy housetops quilt baby

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.

scrappy baby housetops quilt

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!

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Tips

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.

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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?

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Please head over to check out the other week 4 bloggers!

Susan @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts

Amista @ Hilltop Custom Designs

Janice @ Color, Creating, and Quilting!

Thank you to our 2016 New Quilt Blogger Hosts: Yvonne @QuiltingJetgirl, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

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36 thoughts on “2016 New Quilt Bloggers Hop | Getting to know me, getting to know all about me

  1. What a year you’ve had! My first quilt was made entirely of polyester fabric as well and backed with polar fleece. Quilting has taught me a lot about colour and design which I’ve used in other areas like garden design and home decorating and then those things have fed back into my quilting.

    1. Thanks for commenting Sue! It has been an exciting year, yes. I’m glad to hear of a fellow polyesterian! And how interesting that it feeds into your garden design. I’m always amazed when my mum says things about the colour of the plants in her garden before they even flower. I’m useless and just think, well, it is brown and green at the moment. Good enough.

  2. Holy OMG you have been busy. I hope your sewing machine catches up with you soon, because a woman only needs so many pairs of socks in sandal loving Portland. Great post. Enjoy your day.

  3. Hannah, Great meeting you! So happy the you are all set with the job and home and your happy in Portland. Great looking quilts. As for waiting for you sewing machine….check local thrift shops, this may be less expensive than shipping! Hugs, Heide

    1. Nice to meet you too Heide 🙂 That is a good idea about the shipping costs but I’m pretty attached to my Bernina 🙂 To go off of that though, Bernina sewing machines are practically half the price in the UK than they are in the states…just a thought. 😉

  4. A very honest and at times thought provoking post. The UK’s loss is the USA’s gain. I love the quote from Dr Seuss, so true. Here’s hoping your sewing machine arrives soon.
    Smiles
    Kate

  5. I really enjoyed reading about your journey and process. Congratulations on the move and getting settled in; Portland is an amazing town and full of wonderful quilters. I would definitely not be the same person without quilting, and it is something I try to meditate on frequently, because if for some reason it should come to pass that I could not quilt, then I don’t want to loose my identity because quilting is such a large part of who I am right now. Ah, philosophical circles can be fun loops. 🙂

    1. Thank you Yvonne. Yes I just found out that one of my favourite quilt bloggers is in Portland, so that only solidifies the choice I made! Oh gosh, ever since we learnt about the artist Chuck Close in high school I began worrying about my hands becoming paralysed. But he still painted by using his mouth, so maybe we shouldn’t worry too much. Maybe its important to appreciate the big things that happen in our life away from the fabric before it is all we have got to rest our happiness on. I am not looking forward to old age, if you can’t tell. 🙂 Thank you again for hosting, it has been fun and helpful 🙂

  6. Welcome to the USA Hannah! Your photography is beautiful! I love the lighting in the first couple of photos. I have to have a creative outlet so I would be doing more crafts & decorating if I wasn’t quilting – or I’d be a very grumpy person!

  7. Great post! Your photos are the best and their unique perspectives show your personality. I’m always quoting that funny doctor, too. A nice vintage Singer could fill the gap if you have to wait too long for your Bernina. I’d loan you one if you were a wee bit closer. Without quilting? I shudder to think. Quilting allows me to create and play with color (colour 😉 and create beautiful things for folks to enjoy.

    1. Okay so I’m not silly to think about filling the gap with a little temp? It is nice of you to offer, if only we were closer! Thankyou for the good words on the photography, I am really turning my efforts in on that department and enjoy it so much! I think I hit a dark spot on the whole question – I didn’t think I would wake up to discussing paralysis or vision loss, but yes it is a scary thought to not be a maker of things, or a decider of colour! 🙂

  8. The quilts are great, so glad you found a place to call home 🙂 I’ve heard a lot of great things about Portland. As far is if I think I would be the same person.. that’s so hard for me to answer! Ive always been creative in one way or another. However, I can tell you that without kids I probably would never have become a quilter. They are the whole reason I started. 🙂

  9. Wow, Amista, that’s a huge year you went through! It’s been wonderful to connect with you through the group, and I look forward to staying connected. Your cat is adorable – he looks like he enjoys having conversations, too!

  10. Poly\cotton…my first quilt too! Left overs from all the kids clothes I had made! Hey, we have to learn on something! So nice to meet you and glad you are enjoying living in the USA. If we lived closer, I would loan you a machine…can’t imagine not having one nearby!

  11. So glad you are happy where you landed! I started quilting when I desperately needed a hobby. I have dabbled in some sort of craft or other for as long as I can remember; I assume I would still be dabbling if I hadn’t found quilting and fallen for it.

  12. Wonderful post Hannah! Your quilting style and blogging voice are so very genuine and its refreshing to take it all in. I would be a cranky mess if I did not have some sort of creative outlet and at this point cannot see myself taking up any other art form. Happy quilting and USA-living.

  13. Wow, Hannah! Really great post. I hope that sometime when I’m through Portland (or if you come north) we can meet up and chat quilty things. To answer your question, I am definitely a different person because of my quilting (and general DIY attitude). I find myself observing the world around me more. I spread joy through making one-of-a-kind things for the people I care about. It’s like magic, the way you can give someone joy by making them a thing. It’s just fabric and thread but the thought, attention, and love behind it is what matters.

  14. Hannah, so nice to meet you. I love your voice and sense of humor. As for your question – a good one I might add – the answer is unequivocally “NO.” I would not the be same person at all. Quilting is not a hobby for me,- it’s a passion, an outlet, and a way to express myself. I love it more than food, and when I don’t get to do it because of real like, crabby cakes happen. I’m lucky enough to have the time in my life right now to explore myself as an artist, and it is pure joy. Welcome to the US, too. Hope you like our little country. Portland is the bomb. I could live there, if I didn’t live here. What job do you have, btw? Just curious. Feel like I’ve made a new friend!

    1. Hi Carrie, what lovely comments, thankyou so much for getting in touch. I guess my answer to my own question is in part very similar to yours – I think you learn about yourself when you make things and explore artistically. I sometimes think I might be really ignorant of many things if I hadn’t began quilting! and yes Portland is amazing! I love it. I got a job at a health food store, as a cashier. I’m really enjoying it, it’s really different to other places that I have worked at. And my diet has improved! Tofu all the days of the week! Living like a queen… well. I will check out your blog tomorrow Carrie – it was nice to meet you 🙂

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