Welcome to my stop on the New Quilt Blogger’s blog hop! If you didn’t know already, this hop is all about meeting quilters that are new to the blogging universe. I’m Rachel – thanks for visiting my site!
Beth at Plum and June asked us to share a bit about ourselves. As I sat here thinking about what I wanted to share with you, I couldn’t help but think about a recent conversation I had with my sister and parents. We were discussing how our recent life events had made us temporarily jobless, and how maybe that should leave us unfulfilled or lacking. But it doesn’t, we have great new marriages with successful husbands that love us and provide for our needs, we love Jesus, and we have time for those things that matter to us. So maybe that’s what you should know about me: I’m happy, I’m loved, I’m thankful, and I am so so blessed. Oh, and I quilt. A lot.
That brings us to why I’m here, and why you’re (hopefully) still reading along. I started quilting at a very young age and its grown into a full-blown addiction. While in elementary school, My mom enrolled me in a sewing class at a little mom-and-pop sewing and vacuum shop, and that is where I learned most of the sewing basics. I made two small quilts those early years, and looking back, both were horrible choices for a young beginner. Can you believe my first quilt was a detailed wall hanging combining paper piecing, appliqué and 3D pieces. It’s a wonder I stuck with it.
I can’t believe this thing has survived, even though its looking a bit rough around the edges!
Things got a little bit busier as I got older, and I only made a few things through high school and college. I moved to Pittsburgh in 2007 to study bioengineering at U Pitt. As an escape from the overly stressful life I was leading, my roommate and I joined a charity quilting group at my local church. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We were a good 40 years younger than most of the other ladies, and I learned so much from those amazing women. Not only did it rekindle my passion for quilting, but also inspired me to be a better woman. I owe a lot to those ladies.
Right after undergrad, my husband, Mike, and I got married and moved to Oklahoma where we were both attending the University of Oklahoma. I worked full-time as a grad student, but this time around, I made quilting a priority, investing lots of time into my hobby. A year after we were married, Mike commissioned into the Air Force with the opportunity to be a pilot and was soon relocated to Columbus, Mississippi. After wrapping up my Masters, I moved out to MS with him. Since then, we’ve moved a few more times, all for continued pilot training. He is now training to be an F16 Viper pilot and I couldn’t be more proud of him!
I love being a military spouse. We just celebrated our third anniversary, and in that time we’ve lived in five different states. The opportunities to visit new areas and meet new people has been truly life changing. However, frequent relocations makes finding and keeping full-time jobs difficult, even with a strong educational background. So for now, I’m putting aside my bioengineering hat and picking up my quiltineering one.
I started blogging as a way to have quilting friends despite my many moves. I have found that reading blogs is one of the best ways to learn new techniques and be inspired. Both the blogging and the added free time have allowed me to grow as a quilter.
I really like to do something different with each new project. That could be anything from trying a new technique, or exploring a new color palette. You’ll see a lot of different styles on this blog!
Here are a few of my recent favorites:
This swoon quilt was a wedding gift to my sister and her new husband! I used Camille Roskelley’s famous swoon pattern with Downton Abbey prints. Want to know more about it? See my previous posts on the finished top, and completed quilt.
This is my version of Jaybird Quilt’s Disco pattern. My Dad asked me to make him this one for his office wall. I machine quilted this one myself using a different pattern in each color’s prism. You can read about it here, here and here.
I’ve made this quilt three times, this version being my most recent which I made for a family friend. It’s an advent calendar where each little house serves as a little pocket for goodies or notes. So cute!
Blogging has especially challenged me to start creating my own designs. I made a goal this year of designing and writing patterns for a few original quilts, and so far, I have three available.
Bubblegum is a very modern quilt made with basic strip piecing techniques. It’s especially bubblicious when made with hot pink!
Ma’am Cave is my favorite of the three. It’s a fun take on a ‘Man Cave’ sign and its great for embellishing a sewing space. I have mine right above my sewing desk!
My most recent pattern is a free mini quilt called Envy. I love the new mini craze and I wanted to make an original one too! You can download it for free on Craftsy here!
If you choose to make any of those quilts, I’d love to see pictures!
So now you know who I am, why I quilt, and what I’ve been working on this year, as well as a taste of what my blog is like so now its my turn to pay it forward! As part of this blog hop, we’ve been asked to share a blogging tip with our readers. The biggest tip that I have is to be involved in the community. Get out there and read what other people are doing. Comment on posts, try new techniques and make new quilting friends. You never know what will happen. This applies to other social media outlets beyond just the blogospere too. I wrote a post a few weeks with my thoughts on why quilter’s should use social media, so if you’re curious – check it out!
You can never have too many helpful tips, so I’m going to give you one more – this one about quilting! Every time you start a new project, make a practice block. I heard one woman call it the “pancake block” since the first pancake is always the least pretty. Use up scrap fabrics from your stash and work out all the kinks first. That way, you wont waste any of your project’s dedicated fabric and you’ll feel more confident as you go on. If you do your own machine quilting, I recommend keeping your test block for some quilting practice too. Win-win!
I’m going to leave you with one question. Do you use the Electric Quilt software? As I’ve been moving forward with more original designs I’m curious if its worth the money and how people like it? Have you used the new mac version? Let me know!
Phew! Long post. I hope I haven’t worn you out. Be sure to check out all the other great blogger’s on the hop and if you feel so inclined, pick a few new bloggers to follow. You just might find that we’re a pretty cool group!
Pam @ Sewing Wilde
Wendy @ Wendy’s Quilts and More
Jan @ The Colorful Fabriholic
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Lin @ Lin’s Quilts
Kate @ Thread Everywhere
Cornelia @ Pieced with Love