Welcome to Quilting is in My Blood
Hi, I’m Mary, and I’m still a relatively new quilter who NEEDS a positive outlet like quilting to counterbalance the sometimes very difficult (though often rewarding) work I do as a mental health therapist. I preach self-care to all my clients, and for many years, making mosaics was how I decompressed from hard, draining days. If you want to know more about my mosaic work, check out my quilting in glass post. Now that I’ve been bitten by the quilting bug, my mosaic supplies are gathering dust, and my fabric stash and quilting supplies are taking over!
The title of my blog is to honor my mother, Cleo, who was equally passionate about quilting. I’m sure I disappointed her that I had no interest in quilting while she was alive (and groaned when we had to stop at ANOTHER fabric store), but I’m definitely making up for lost time. Earlier this year, my sister sent me a couple of her unfinished quilt tops along with some of her fabric stash, and I look forward to finishing these quilts to share with other family members who love my mom’s quilting as much as I do.
I’m thrilled to participating in the New Quilt Bloggers group hosted by Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl@Meadow Mist Designs, and Terri Ann@Childlike Fascination. They all have been fantastic blogging mentors, and you should take a few minutes to check out their quilts. These women know what they are doing! There are over 70 of us new bloggers partipating, so we’ve been broken up into four different hives led by the four hosts which provides a greater level of support. I am fortunate to have Cheryl as my hive leader, and I’m learning even more from her by participating in her Midnight Mystery Quilt-a-long.
I’ve been quilting for almost nine months. The first quilt I completed in March ’15 was for my modern cowgirl friend (positives and lessons learned blogged about here).
In April ’15, I finished my second quilt AFTER I had my first quilting meltdown (blogged about here).
The quilt I feel the best about is my Everyday Quilt. It was my first quilting project started in Oct ’14 but not completed until May ’15. It’s the only quilt I’ve kept so far (blogged about here).
I tell my friend at work, Beverly, who is an accomplished quilter that I’m not in Quilt Kindergarten any more. I suppose Confident Beginner is the best classification for me. I’m even taking a seven-evening beginner quilt class at my local quilt store, Threadbear, partly to support a friend who wants to learn how to quilt (and I don’t want to teach her!) and partly to fill in some of my own gaps since much of my quilt education has been trying a variety of tutorials online. The same day that I signed up for the class at Threadbear, I registered for an intermediate quilting class that will start at the end of August at the local community college. I did email the instructor to make sure I’d understood her correctly when I met her last fall that she welcomes quilters of all proficiency levels.
I’m also EXTREMELY excited about going to QuiltCon in February, but I may have signed up for too many workshops. I plan to take Thursday during the day to go some lectures before my first workshop, and Friday is a light day, but then there’s Saturday and Sunday morning:). I’d love to know who else is going.
I do have some interests besides quilting–honest I do!
My favorite vacation spot is Kauai. I went there last year with my family, and I often think of the saturated colors in Kauai which were such a contrast to the muted colors of the northern New Mexico high desert where I live.
Books over Movies: I tend to read more than watch movies but on my vacation last month, I really enjoyed watching The Book Thief. I belong to a women’s book group, and we read the book a couple years ago. I thought the movie did the book justice which in my opinion is unusual.
Something unusual about me is that I am a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan and not just because they have won three World Series championships in the last five years. I’ve been going to games in San Francisco for fifty years. I remember seeing Willie Mays and Willie McCovey play, and I saw Hank Aaron hit one of his 755 home runs. I regularly watch games on my iPad on MLB TV and am as much of a fan of the Giants’ TV announcers, Kruk and Kuip, as I am of the players. I usually have a game on when I’m quilting and look up when I hear the roar of the crowd or the announcers sounding excited.
A blogging tip I’d like to share from my limited blogging experience is to copy and paste the codes for your blog buttons in a separate electronic file. I’ve written an email to myself that I keep in draft form, and I keep adding the code for buttons as I add buttons to my blog. The reason I do this is because when I switched from one Word Press theme to another, I lost all my blog buttons and had to start from scratch gathering the button codes.
I just learned a really cool quilting tip from Ann, the owner at Threadbear. She taught me how to use two rulers to rotary cut fabric if you have your cutting table against a wall like I have at home. How I was taught to cut my fabric with a rotary cutter is to fold the fabric in half and square up the right edge of the fabric, then walk around the table, and place the ruler down to start cutting strips of fabric. But if you can’t walk around your table and you want to cut for example a two-inch wide strip of fabric, you line up your ruler two-inches from the right side of the fabric:
Then you place your long ruler right against the short ruler:
And then carefully pull away the short ruler, and you are ready to cut your two-inch strip without having to walk around your cutting table or flipping around the material.
Now I have a question for you: how important do you think it is to sew a scant quarter-inch seam? I’m still sewing with a quarter-inch presser foot with a guide but am thinking of taking the training wheels off in the future, so I can start developing proficiency with a scant 1/4-inch seam.
Please check out the other bloggers in my hive who are participating in this week’s blog hop:
Shelley@The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Megan@Sew Stitching Cute Quilts
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Wow, look at all your classes! They’re going to be so much fun!
How lovely to have some of your mother’s work, I’m looking forward to seeing how you combine your work with hers.
Well done, Sister! When you lay your life out like that it seems amazingly full and balanced. Good job! Now try to work in some time for breathing!! I didn’t know that the orange and turquoise quilt had its home there with you in Las Vegas.
You are going to be extremely busy taking all those classes. Have fun and enjoy yourself. I sew a scant 1/4” now, might not have been exact when I first started but as they say practice makes perfect.
Wow, I have so much to say in relation to your post that I almost don’t know where to begin! I’ll start with a scant quarter inch seam… I think it is much more important to master a consistent quarter inch seam. Occasionally a scant quarter inch seam is really, really handy (if you can, just nudge your needle to the right one position and sew as normal…), and pattern writers / designers should let you know when they suggest you use a scant seam.
Northern New Mexico? My husband grew up in Albuquerque, and New Mexico was my first introduction to the desert. Now I live on the edge of the Mojave desert and love it, but I am so glad I got a gentle introduction through my in-laws. 🙂
I’ll be at QuiltCon in Pasadena, too! I probably went a bit too light on my workshops this time around, and I plan to be a super volunteer.
And finally (I seem to be working bottom up here), I think it is so exciting that you will be finishing up some of your mom’s quilts. I hope that is enjoyable and a great link back to her.
I’ve changed machines and am working on getting 1/4″ let alone scant on it! Scant is handy from time to time though so I usually move the needle a notch!
You have got a lot of spunk….so many classes! Good for you! I think I don’t pay attention enough to a true 1/4″. Much of my work is improv, so it really doesn’t matter! But, when I do work of other things I don’t always check! My bad!
I agree with Yvonne, a consistent 1/4-inch is more important. I have been quilting for years and still use a specialty 1/4-inch foot with a guide. We all need some kind of guide as you cannot eyeball that 1/4-inch consistently, whether it is a spot on a pressure foot, a piece of tape on the throat plate, or some other kind of mark. I love football as much as you love baseball! And I love to read too.
How exciting to be going to QuiltCon and taking classes with those wonderful ladies! I also never liked sewing/quilting until fairly recently when I was bitten by the quilting bug. What a lovely tribute to your mother.
It’s nice to meet you Mary. I love your orange quilt. I’d agree that a consistent 1/4 inch is most important. I also use a specialty 1/4″ foot with a a guide but on my machine it’s too large so I move the needle to the right one notch and I find that my piecing has improved a lot.
Hi Mary! Nice to meet you! Your work is lovely and I enjoyed reading about your ability to work out a solution and finish that quilt for your daughter. Truthfully, the talk of that quarter inch seam had me intimidated at first, but practice makes all the difference. And I always use my quarter inch pressure foot with guide. Now that I know what it is! Hahaha!
You’ll have such a great time at Quilt Con Mary! I’m popping in to check out what’s going on, but I didn’t sign up for any classes. Next time around, you can be sure I’ll be in as many as possible. I feel like I’m still digesting what I learned at HMQS in May.
I love your use of color. I always enjoy the work of people who can work these things out on their own. I tend to stick within a specific line or color story for just about everything.
Cutting off the ruler is one of the best tips I’ve learned so far. It’s made such a difference, especially now that all my rulers are the same brand. Why can’t everyone get together and decide exactly how long an inch is?
As for the quarter inch seam, I’d say that it’s important for a few reasons. The first being, that many patterns don’t fit together if you don’t get the seams right. And then, of course, it’s important to know whether a designer uses a standard or a scant seam. Secondly, I’ve been told (and this makes a lot sense to me) that smaller seams tend to come apart faster. Honestly, it took me a long time to work the seams out. I don’t use a guide anymore, but I have a very good foot for it.
I think it depends on the design you are doing whether a scant is important or not. With triangles and diamonds, I find it very helpful. I sew by moving my needle, though, and I know how many mm it takes to get what I need at a particular time. Sewing on the same machine for almost two decades will help with that. =) I enjoyed reading your post, and think your quilts are lovely ones. You have a good sense of color, and that’s one of the most important things!
Hi Mary, such a great introductory post! I feel like I’ve learned so much about you! I love, love, the way the dark and light values play with one another in your Everyday Quilt. And I love that you are not in Quilt Kindergarten anymore. That made me laugh.
As for the “scant” quarter inch, I am not able to offer any help. I am still sewing with my quarter inch seam guide on my foot, and I’m okay with that, so long as all of my seams are consistent. I don’t usually follow patterns, so the scant seam doesn’t often come into play for me. To be honest, I’ve never considered the issue before. So, this has been an interesting topic to ponder! Thanks for a great post!
Thanks for sharing. Good luck and have fun at your quilting classes. I hope to get to QuiltCon 2017 — a little bit closer to Nova Scotia, Canada.
Great post, it was wonderful to learn more about you. I personally think that a scant quarter inch is really important especially when you start making patterns where the blocks have different numbers of seams in the vertical and horizontal directions. If you seam is off you will wind up with rectangular blocks versus square.
Hi Mary, thanks for sharing. I love the way you play with color. Beautiful work! I think a scant 1/4″ is very important, especially when following a pattern. Practice makes perfect, so you will get there. 🙂
hello and nice to meet you. You are on quilting fire! So many quilts in such a short space of time. Your Quiltcon schedule looks great to me, though i’d need a week in bed after it!
Welcome to quilting! Your first projects are really fun. I really love the purples in your second quilt. I admire that your third project had y-seams. I just sewed my first pattern with y-seams in February. Not too bad with 90 degree angles.
I’m very excited about going to QuiltCon as well. We aren’t in any classes together, but I’m taking one of Jeni Baker’s other classes and members of my guild really enjoyed Cristy Fincher’s Paperless Paper Piecing class when she was here recently.
I love your cutting tip. My cutting table is up against the wall in the corner. I’ll definitely be trying this! Unfortunately it’ll be a while, because I just finished up a ton of cutting and have lots of piecing in my future!
Regarding seam allowance, I struggle to get an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance, even with my 1/4″ foot, so I often find myself trimming down sections before piecing the next step. Honestly, I get the “scant 1/4-inch” in theory, but don’t really understand in practice why I’d use it. I wonder if it has to do with how one presses their seams?
I am really impressed with how much you have accomplished in such a short period of time. It looks like you have a great list of classes at QuiltCon! I’m signed up for one workshop, and I’m really looking forward to going to this conference for the first time. As far as a scant quarter inch goes- the more complex the block the more important it is. For simple blocks with very few seams, most of the time a consistent seam allowance is the most important. If you are doing a block with lots of seams, particularly if there are different size pieces coming together in multiple directions, a scant quarter inch seam allowance is really important.
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Hi Mary, great to meet you. I have sewing in my blood because of my Mom. I started my quilt blog after she passed away. I am sure you will have a wonderful time at QuiltCon. You picked some great lectures. I look forward to reading more from your blog.
Wow. I cannot believe how many QuiltCon workshops you got! I’m going too and we should meet up. As for your question, my seam allowance is a scant 1/4 inch. As for your “training wheels”, do what works for you. Martha – fellow 2015 New Quilt Blogger
How nice to finish some of your mom’s quilts! I envy your trip to QuiltCon…one of these days I would love to go! I’m still making sure I have a consistent 1/4″ seam…my new machine is helping me though!
So nice to meet you! I find it interesting that you think your 1/4″ presser foot is “training wheels” Do you really feel like it is a crutch? I love mine and can’t imagine not using it. Hmmm. You’ve made the squirrels in my head start working 🙂
I’m going to quiltcon too! We should meet up 🙂
Gorgeous quilts so far Mary. I adore the rhapsody in blues! You are learning really fast! As I look at your glass work on my wall I see where the geometrics really speak to you in quilt-form. Enjoy that quilt conference too. I am glad you are channeling your mother’s passion too. Thanks for sharing. Linda
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Hi Mary! What a fun introduction post. You’ve come a long way, baby! I can see your modern vibe all along. ~smile~ Roseanne