Friday, April 15, 2011

Etsy ... loving it

So here's the deal ... I've become absolutely obsessed with etsy.  At first I was incredibly hesitant to join.  It seemed like I would never be able to find myself in such a huge market with so many REAL artists.  I still don't see it as a giant potential money maker - I've been on there since January and I've sold two quilts thus far, so it's not a complete waste of time, but truth be told, I'm not in it for the money.

Here's what I've learned to love about etsy ... it's full of artists who care about their craft, and want to know how to make themselves, their shops, and their products better.  It pushes me to improve, to produce, to TRY something new, and I like that.  in fact, I like it a lot.

I like that people care.  I like that there's passion out there to develop and grow.  I've been very disconnected from all of that for most of my quilting life, just by nature of the fact that my mother and I were very isolated.  W didn't know any other quilters.  It's not exactly a popular pastime for girls in their 20s these days I guess.  But in etsy I found a community of artists who not only care, but appreciate the time, effort, skill, and love that goes into the work.

It's awesome =)

So that's my blurb for the day.  I've been so busy lately that most of my quilting projects have fallen by the wayside lately.  So instead of trying to muscle through something big, I've been concentrating on little things that I can finish quickly.  Right now I'm stockpiling mug rugs.  This past week has been filled with first attempts and I'll be posting pics soon =)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Problem Solved

So I've been waiting for days now to actually publish this post.

My fast-approaching deadline for Pria's baby quilt got postponed when she phoned to tell her shower-host that her kids were both sick and she wasn't going to make it.  So after rushing to finish, I suddenly found myself with a week of waiting before I could give her this:
After all of the hem-ing and haw-ing I'd finally settled on the spiral pattern.  I switched in a few brighter squares and used some of the more vibrant colors for the borders and voila ... a quilt that's both bright and colorful for Pria and appropriate for the baby =)

I finally saw her in church yesterday and ran to the car to grab the gift bag that's been sitting in my back seat.  She was so happy when she opened it that she actually cried.  The upside of pregnancy hormones I guess =)  Yay for another successful baby quilt =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Deadlines fast approaching

Here's the thing I don't understand - why do my friends always seem to get pregnant in batches?  I've got two girlfriends who are within a month or so of having their babies, and I have been putting off their quilts for ages, and am now up against a serious deadline or two.

So naturally, instead of making anything resembling real progress on either of their quilts, I find myself pulling out and finishing old ones that have been sitting out for months - like this green and lavender log cabin - which, while pretty, isn't really right for either of them

I guess part of the problem is a serious lack of motivation and inspiration.
One of them is having a boy ... and I cannot, for the life of me, find an attention-grabbing pattern or an inspirational fabric to get me on my way in that department.  I have another month or so for her though.

The real problem is with my other friend, Pria, who's been my close friend forever, but has never managed to get a quilt out of me, even though she's on her third baby.  As a result I have put all sorts of unnecessary pressure on myself to come up with something spectacular ... which has rendered me completely incapable of making a decision.  Her shower is tomorrow, and I have procrastinated myself into a pretty corner.

I'd started working on this:
It's the pastel baby-girl version of the spiral pattern I'd recently made in blue and yellow.  I don't know, maybe it's just that I've already done this one twice, but I'm just not feeling it.  I mean it's cute, but I feel like it needs a little something MORE.  She's an art teacher and LOVES color - so baby pinks and greens just feels inadequate somehow.

And then I remembered that I had THIS quilt top hidden away:
But the more I look at it, the less appropriate it feels for a BABY.  It seems a little bold, a little sophisticated for a nursery.  And while I'm sure that Pria would drool over it, I'm afraid it might just be too much.

So there you go ... on the one hand, I want something MORE, and on the other I've got something that's TOO MUCH, and the only thing I have finished is a completely unrelated and irrelevant side quilt.  But one way or another, something has to be done by the shower tomorrow night.  I am not showing up without SOMETHING in my hand.  lol - I guess I'm going to be busy tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Thank You Quilt

So at the beginning of the year my mother came up from Texas for a visit.  While she was staying with me, she had a few friends stop by to pick her up, and as often as she had opportunity she'd show off my quilts (which I keep draped over the "unused" chair in my living room) ... how very "mom-like" of her to make her friends say nice things about her kids' hobbies =)

Anyway, one of her friends, Mrs. F. ooh-ed and aah-ed over everything my mom showed her, and then they ran off to lunch.  When my mom got back she had a present from Mrs. F to me ... a bag full of yards of beautiful blue and yellow fabrics!  She'd bought them for a project that never happened and wanted to pass them on to someone who'd appreciate them.

Inspired by a quilt I saw on etsy, and absolutely drooling over the colors I immediately set to work making her a "thank you" quilt ...

This is the mini practice quilt that I made to work out all the kinks

It was also my first sale on etsy =)

And here is the full sized version that I'm giving her to say thanks.  I'm dropping it off to her tomorrow, so needless to say I'm a tiny bit excited.

I'm also so obsessed with this particular pattern that I'm making another one - this time a crib quilt for a friend who's expecting a girl.  I just started cutting today, and her shower's in two weeks, so wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Old Baby Quilts =)

I guess a good place to get started would be by posting some of my work - and since I've been in a bit of a baby-quilt phase for the past few years (seriously ... I can't begin to describe how many people I know who've had babies recently!) that seems like as good a category as any.

So without any further ado, here's a few of my favorite baby quilts from the past:

This is one of my favorite quilts - a four patch with a Joseph's coat border that I made for one of my girlfriends who was having a baby boy

This baby girl quilt just melts my heart ever time I see it.  It's a card trick in peach and green on a white background, and I personally think it's one of the prettiest quilts I ever made.  It just sold on etsy, and I'm shipping it off in the morning.  I'm almost reluctant to let it go =(

This was made almost as a sister-quilt to the one above.  I guess it's just the fabric combination that gets me with these.  Anyway, I just sold this one to a woman who's adopting her first baby in a couple of months!  Knowing that it's going to someone who'll love it as much as I do certainly makes it easier to let go!  

This one went to a woman from my church who was having a baby girl.  It's a double irish chain in royal purple and a matching floral.  It's not so baby-ish but it makes me happy nonetheless!

This baby boy's quilt wen to a friend's brother in law when he had his first son.  It wasn't really as bright as this picture suggests, but it was pretty fun nonetheless!

... So that's it for now.  I'll see you all again soon!

And so it begins ...

So I've finally jumped in to the quilting blogosphere, and I'm feeling the tiniest bit overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong, I love blogging, and I love quilting too.  But there's such an incredible wealth of information, ideas, and inspiration out there that I'm a little concerned that I'm going to get overwhelmed and end up working 15 quilts at once!

But here goes nothing!