Earlier this week, I saw an Instagram post by @mgjbtx_quilts that absolutely resonated with me. The post’s bold graphic stated, “Here’s to Those Who Inspire Us and Don’t Even Know It.” I plan to post on Instagram and will tag the people who have been so inspiring to me in my quilting/blogging journey that started 4 1/2 years ago. But I knew that I needed to write a blog post as well that can include a few more details.
I first need to recognize some of my mentors who helped me learn about quilt blogging when I joined a New Quilt Bloggers Group in 2015. Being a member of this group also stretched my quilting and design skills as we were encouraged to write online tutorials about blocks that we designed that eventually were sewn into quilts by our mentors to donate to charities. A big shout-out goes to:
After I started to acquire elementary quilting skills through taking a Beginner’s Quilting Class in October 2014 at my local quilt store, ThreadBear, I spent hundreds of hours online reading quilting tutorials and then in 2016, I was lucky enough to take classes at QuiltCon from Jeni Baker and Amy Smart. Their websites are listed below:
Online Quilting Bees
I also joined two online quilting bees in 2016, Stash Bee and The Bee Hive. Alyce Blyth is the creator of The Bee Hive, and she designed 13 of the 25 block tutorials and asked other talented quilters to design the other 12 blocks. The beauty of the all these blocks is that they create wonderful secondary designs when the blocks are sewn together. I participated in The Bee Hive again in 2018 as well as this year, and my piecing skills have improved immensely from sewing many of the Bee Hive blocks.
Back in 2016 was when I first started paper piecing when a few Bee Hive queen bees chose paper-pieced blocks. I hated paper piecing at first, and it totally STRESSED me out! But my swarm-mate and friend, Linda, at @sew4sanity gave me a lot of encouragement and pointers which helped me get the blocks made. I turned a major corner in my opinion of paper piecing when I decided to try making the free LOVE pillow pattern by Diane of From Blank Pages. I had read several paper piecing tutorials by then, and I took my time, and by the time I finished the pillow, I kinda sorta liked paper piecing. But the project that made me a paper piecing convert was the Summer Sampler 2017. This sampler quilt program with weekly block tutorials was organized by Lee Heinrich, Faith Jones, and Katie Blakesley (who also co-wrote one of my favorite quilting books, Vintage Quilt Revival). They designed many of the blocks, but other quilters also designed some of the blocks. I learned about using a basting stitch to ensure that paper-pieced sections were properly aligned from Holly of Bijou Lovely who designed the Celestial Star block for the Summer Sampler 2017. And Lee shared a post about piecing tricky angles. Both of these tips immensely improved my paper piecing and gave me the confidence to try more intermediate paper piecing patterns designed by Kid Giddy, The Tartankiwi, and Lillyella. Most recently I read this very informative Instagram post by Emily @lemonyquilts on using an inexpensive light tablet for intricate paper piecing and have used one a few times with my current Vertices project.
I have learned so much from other quilters about color. These days I’m really drawn to transparency and color gradient designs, but many other palettes are also pleasing to my eye. Just this past week I finished binding my Meadowland quilt with its rich palette of teal, turquoise, mustard, navy, and dark/light grey. Here are some of my favorite color masters:
These days I do very little of my own quilting except for pillows, placemats, and table runners. I have a few longarm quilters that I enjoy collaborating with who are listed below, but I want to give special recognition to my friend, Roseanne, at Home Sewn By Us who did such an awesome job free motion quilting my Random Intention quilt in January. And recently Roseanne posted a great tutorial for spiral quilting using a walking foot that I may just have to try someday. In addition to ThreadBear, who have superbly quilted many of my projects, I have been thrilled with the quilting results of these longarm quilters:
As all quilters know, binding is the last task we have to do before we have a totally finished project (or facing which I have yet to try). I haven’t had much success with machine binding my quilts, so I’m in the hand-stitching camp of quilt binders, after I machine-stitch the binding to the front of my quilt. I have a favorite binding tutorial that I always refer to when joining my binding strips at the end. I have even taken screen shots of the pictures in case my internet is down when I’m at this crucial step! I have not taken the time to properly thank Megan@ Canoe Ridge Creations. So thank you, Megan! Her Double Fold Binding Tutorial can be found on her home page.
Actually there is an optional final task after binding has been affixed, and that is photographing the quilt. I’ve taken some decent shots of my quilts, but I dream of sending one of finished quilts to Kitty of Night Quilter.
There are many other people out there who have encouraged, supported, and inspired me in my quilting journey. I really appreciate the generous spirit of the world-wide quilting community, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.