Monday, 15 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

The 'Around the World' Blog Hop is a hop that's been travelling round Quilty Blogland for a while now. There are a few questions to answer and then you nominate 3 other quilty bloggers to carry on with the Hop in a week's time. I was nominated last week by the wonderful Jo at  Explorations in Stitch. I love reading Jo's blog and really enjoyed her 'Around the World' post. It highlighted 2 of my favourite things about Jo - she loves to create an amazing variety of very different projects; and creating, crafting, making are things that are vital to Jo's well being and happiness, that's something I very much identify with, and I think it enhances everything she makes - it's all done through, and with, love of the making. 

So, the questions... 

1.  What am I working on at the moment?

I'm taking this as being different to just a list of my 'WIPs', I have quite a few of those that are very much not getting worked on at the moment! Here's one that I have been trying to push on with recently though.

After quite a long period of neglect, I've just finished the top for this Vintage Embroidery WIP. It's made from thrifted embroidered napkins and a thrifted pink sheet.

 I wouldn't be surprised if it gets shelved for a while again now - I'm feeling a bit scared of quilting it. Quilting is never my strong point and any mistakes are going to show up really badly on all that plain, pink fabric.

We also have a bit of a love affair going on at the moment with fabric painting. The girls were busy outside last week, transforming some scraps of plain fabric.

Lovely sea blues and greens on a piece of cotton

And scraps of old muslin with whatever different patterns they fancied in some bright colours.

Spraying paint as well as brush work.
I didn't have a plan as to what I could do with it, other than that I quite liked the idea of making something sea related. But then Maria and I were making 'Thank You' cards the other day, and ended up creating this one, teamwork style:

Maria painted wavy lines, then once they were dry I drew on some fish and we both decorated them. It seemed perfect for the fabric. So I cut out lots of fish shapes, from the girls' brightly patterned muslin, and I'm going to raw edge applique them onto a quilt sandwich, then add some more quilting and a quote to turn it into another mini quilt.

Nothing complicated but I'm really liking the look of it already.

And lastly I've got a few hexies on the go. This is quite unusual for me, I don't have a huge amount of patience for paper piecing, but it's starting to feel like 'snuggle-under-a-quilt-on-the-sofa-and-do-some-hand-sewing' time of year in the evenings now. And I don't plan to do too many hexies, so hopefully I won't get fed up with them.  

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As much as I'd like my work to be very individual, I'm sure there are quilters and crafters out there doing similar things. The online crafting world is so immense that I think it is difficult to be truly original, certainly all the time. Hopefully there might be a few pieces of work that I've created that are very much original and individual to me, but I'm not going to try and check just in case that's not true, and it was all out there somewhere already before I arrived on the scene!

My work does differ from a lot of quilters in that I love to use recycled fabric (any regular readers can skip this bit, heard it all before, several times over!). 

I especially love using wools - Wool Flower Quilt
This is something that I'm very passionate about - I love it from an environmental point of view but also I love how it encourages me to be more creative with my work. And so often I just prefer the look and feel of older fabrics, particularly bright vintage prints. 

Sunshine Quilt
I also love the history that used fabric can bring to a piece of work, and it just feels really good to create something new and beautiful from something old and unwanted.

There are other quilters out in the blogisphere who have a similar passion for recycled fabric, and I really enjoy coming across them and seeing their work, but I would love it if more 'mainstream' quilters used recycled fabrics a little more often too.

I also love to use patchwork in lots of different projects, particularly when it comes to making things for my family or involving them in the making.

Rainbow Patchwork Mermaid Tail

A Mouse Picnic

3.  Why do I create what I do?

I find I really need to be creative to preserve my mental health! It helps me be more relaxed, it's my 'me' time. It focuses my mind on positive thoughts rather than dwelling on anything worrying or sad, or on things I can't influence in any way. If I didn't make the ideas that are buzzing around my head then quite possibly my head would explode with idea overload! And, being completely honest, I think part of the reason I'm drawn to making quilts in particular, is that they're something that, hopefully, will still be around when I'm dead and buried. And that's something I find comforting - but in a don't dwell on it, just keep making them kind of way!

4.  How does my creating/writing process work?

It's hard to put my finger on how my creative process works. I have a sketch book, which I try to use to scribble down ideas or drawings, but frequently it's not to hand when I want it urgently so it's full of scraps of paper with ideas on too! As to where the ideas might come from - so many places! Often ideas might be inspired by a piece of fabric or some other thrifted find, or just something I see out and about. I love pictures and illustrations, but I find the written word very inspiring too - books, stories, quotes. And a large proportion of my making is done as presents for people, and I find a lot of ideas come from just thinking about the person I want to make something for, thinking about what they like and what interests them. 

I think the main thing with my creative process, and I believe with anyone's creativity, is that the more I create, the more ideas I have, and the more I want to create.

As for my writing process... Unfortunately that usually happens very late at night (case in point!), and probably suffers for it. Strange how the more tired I get the more long winded I become (case in point again I think!). It would make much more sense to become briefer and more to the point, but that rarely happens! One thing I am very aware of with my writing is that it's always current to my making and to my posting. I know a lot of bloggers are very organised and schedule/write posts in advance. That would be lovely in lots of ways, but it never seems to happen. And part of me prefers the fact that my blogging is very much a spontaneous record of my daily making.

I think that will definitely do. Thank you very much to Jo once again for nominating me. And as for my nominating, so many quilters have already been a part of this that I'm struggling to come up with 3 new names. So, if you're reading this and you haven't taken part so far but would like to, then please consider yourself nominated. And if you do. then please let me know so I can read your post!



  1. Gosh I just love your work, and learning more about your process is wonderful, thank you. How I love seeing your girls out there painting that fabric, it looks like so much fun.

  2. Nice to meet you! I like the way you recycle unwanted items into patchwork. I have a lot of old clothes stored up for just that purpose, but have never got started on it... I feel a new quilt start coming on!

  3. What a great post, so fun getting to 'know' you. Your work is gorgeous and I especially love your upcycled wool quilt xx

  4. Lovely, Sally. I really dig the pink and white star quilt top and love how the embroidered napkins worked in your piecing. I hope you find the courage to go for it and quilt this one soon - it is going to be a fantastic quilt when finished!

  5. I loved reading this post, Sally, and learning more about your creative process. Your work is beautiful, and I so appreciate your desire to used recycled and thrifted materials...I too love the feel of worn fabric. Thank you for sharing with us.

  6. great post, so lovely to read everyone's version of this. and that mermaid tail - just brilliant! x

  7. Wow you have so awesome WIPs. Love that fishy quilt. Must reply to your email too! I'm so slow!!

  8. Thank you for saying such nice things about me and even more so, for showing other bloggers why I nominated you. I really enjoyed your post and the variety of work you showed. Thanks for taking part in the hop.

  9. My fav is the vintage embroidery stars, love!!!

  10. How wonderful! I personally do not know anyone that creates the things you do, so to me, you are a truly unique soul. Every piece you make just sparks my imagination. So wonderful to learn more about your creative process. Thank you for linking back to this.


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