It's nice to meet you!


Hello! I'm Eileen, and I'm excited to be part of the 2015 New Quilters Blog Hop. I'm fortunate enough to have a day job that allows me to be creative, doing illustration and freelance art for various clients in NYC. I mainly work in children's media including card games and comics. I've always loved to play with blocks of color and patterning; last year I illustrated and published a book of fashion art that got me interested in fabric patterns and prints.

Since I grew up with a grandmother who lovingly made us all quilts, it wasn't a very big jump from there to learning to sew myself!

I began my first quilt in the fall of 2014, and it's been an interesting learning curve to say the least! I'm very grateful for the internet as a whole and the quilt blogging community for all the invaluable advice and support I've received already. Without all of the great tutorials that are out there, I suspect I'd have given up midway through my first (regrettably queen sized, as I don't do things by halves) quilt.

I started blogging to keep a record of what I'd made, and also to connect to other quilters since it's not a community I have much access to offline. NYC is great and we do have some incredible fabric shops, but quilting is not the most common hobby here!

I haven't made many quilts yet, but I can see how much I've improved already - mainly in speed and confidence as I learn shortcuts from other bloggers. These are the quilts I've finished thus far:

It is incredibly satisfying to be able to see myself improving! I'm becoming more comfortable not only with basics but also with experimenting already Sewing feels almost like meditation to me - I can just sink into the zone when I'm working with fabric.

One of the most useful tools I've found since I started blogging was the Pin It! extension for my browser - if you use Chrome, this extension gives you a little button to automatically pin an image to your Pinterest boards whenever you hover over it. This lets me quickly add pins even if a blogger's website doesn't have a built in Pinterest button on their images. I've also started tagging my photos in Adobe Lightroom, which I use to edit them; this allows me to search my photos as if I'm using blog tags and quickly find anything I need on my computer.

The biggest tip I have about quilting, though, is that sometimes you just need to trust yourself and go with it.

I had bought a fat quarter pack of Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent line when I fell in love with the fabric, and then I spent a few weeks staring at it every time I walked by my sewing table. We all know how it goes: you impulse buy some fabric, swearing you'll save it until the perfect project falls out of the sky into your lap... and then it sits there while you can't properly use or enjoy it.

I realized that what I loved most about this particular fabric was the large scale prints, and that I wanted to be able to look at it and use it every day - so one night I walked by it, turned back around, pulled it all off the shelf and just started slicing into it. I cut large half square triangles to keep the pattern as intact as possible.

It wasn't big enough to be a lap quilt and I'd run out of fabric, so I whipped up a border with some grey solid I had on hand and used the few remaining scraps to make flying geese. The small amount of scrap forced me to get creative, and I enjoy the partial border more than I would have a symmetrical full border of geese, so it worked out!

Do you have fabric sitting in storage that's too precious to cut into? Have you ever changed your mind about a pattern or design part way through and worked what you'd already made into a finished quilt you're even happier with? Or are you the sort of quilter who's happiest if you plan everything out ahead of time?

Some final trivia about me:
  • I love reading, but can't stand audiobooks - I can't focus unless I'm looking at it! I envy those of you who can listen to audiobooks while you sew. I do, however, watch detective shows from behind the sewing machine. My favorite classic detective is Poirot.
  • I read a lot of comics due to my day job. If you've never read comics or graphic novels but are curious, I highly recommend Shaun Tan's "The Arrival." It's a gorgeous, wordless sepia-toned story about an immigrant's life arriving in a new town - a fantasy version of Ellis Island.
  • My dream vacation involves going to Ireland again, and I'm making it happen later this summer! I've been playing traditional Irish folk music on the fiddle for the last 20 years, so I'm going to be traveling to a lot of small towns to play music and study with a violin maker. I can't wait!
For fun, I'll leave you with a video of me playing an Irish reel called Maudabawn Chapel.

I'm part of the New Bees group headed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. Our other hosts this year are Terri Ann of Childlike FascinationYvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, and Stephanie of Late Night Quilter.

Please check out the other bloggers in the hop!


  1. Hi Eileen, what a great introduction post! You are one talented lass - illustrator, quilter, musician and I'm sure much more. I try not to be too precious about fabric and am usually pretty happy to cut it up! Maybe it's that I haven't yet found that perfect fabric?

  2. Your quilts so far are great! Your Walk Through The Woods quilt is just beautiful.

    I have an entire, untouched bundle of Bliss by Bonnie and Camille. I tend to sometimes not make what others are, but what the fabric suggests to me, and I just haven't got the right thing for it yet.

    Thank you so much for your tip on Pin It!

    I'm in Ireland; perhaps when you are over you'll be near me!

  3. I have more fabric in storage that I just love than I would like to admit. The fear of using it and messing it up is too terrifying. I have finally started breaking the cycle and using them, little by little. I love your Halloween Mini.

  4. So wonderful to get to know you better, Eileen! I live in a small town and feel pretty isolated from other quilters, and I love that having a blog makes me feel connected to others, too. I am so excited for you to be heading back to Ireland later this summer. :)

  5. Wow great quilting start! I love Anna Marie Horner fabrics...I just bought some fat quarters of hers but afraid to start cutting!!!

  6. I am amazed with how much information you squeezed into this post and it was interesting all the way through!! Can't say that I've ever made a quilt that did require some improvisation on my part😉 I am a stash and it is only because I don't want to mess up ruin beautiful fabric and also that I wait and wait for the perfect quilt plan!!

    1. Oh! I forgot to say that your quilts are beautiful!!

  7. You are so right about trusting yourself and pushing forward! I've noticed that concept also works in terms of finishing something that seems to not be meeting your expectations or concept visions as you're working on it. Sometimes I get disappointed in what I see emerging. But almost always I fall back in love with it all over again when it's finished. Pretty cool how that happens! I love the offset flying geese border!

  8. Such sage advice from a new quilter. " trust yourself and go with it". I sometimes have a plan, but don't always follow it.

  9. What a wonderful post! I loved learning more about you, your tips, and watching your violin performance!

  10. Eileen, it was so much fun to read about all of your many talents and interests! I'm so intrigued by your violin-playing trip to Ireland! I hope you post more about both of your hobbies! I checked out your portfolio, and it was really interesting to see how your illustrations could be translated to fiber. I love your photo of your quilt in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens! Such a good idea! We take our kids to the Brooklyn Museum of Art all the time! Great post!

  11. Hello and nice to meet you! It was great to hear you used that Pretty Potent fabric that you were stashing, it worked out so well, I really like the borders!

  12. Definitely trust your instincts - great advice! Hope you have a wonderful trip, studying with a violin maker sounds brilliant!

  13. I loved getting to know more about you Eileen! You are one talented lady! I'm listening to you play as I type this, gotta say I just LOVE the dress you're wearing in the video. What a unique and personable touch to share this with us. I've loved seeing every one of your quilts, and it's so nice to see them again; still think Walk Through the Woods is my fave. BUT I also LOVE that black and white ship's wheel with the tallships and the lacy swirls! Pinned it to my Art board...I think you should make that into fabric on Spoonflower, just sayin'. I, too have a hard time with audio books, although I found that the more I tried the better they became. I used to drive a fairly long distance to work. And I opened my library page, am putting that book on hold! I love Hugo, although it did have writing too.

  14. Eileen, it was really fun reading about you. Your work is great, I wouldn't even know you are a newbie if it wasn't for reading it. And I do have some precious fabric waiting for the right project, some C&S, some Birch Organics, but I am trying to work them into my projects. Lastly, you play great! Have fun on your trip!


  15. Your Halloween Mini Swap quilt is wonderful. As for your question about having sitting in storage that's too precious to cut into, I love the Downton Abbey Egyptian collection and have two sets of charms, a fat quarter bundle along with yardage of a couple prints, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I just love the colors and the designs. They are definitely going into something special. Who knows what or when!?! I really enjoyed hearing you play Maudabawn Chapel. It speaks to my own Irish heritage.

  16. Hi Eileen!
    We are big fans of Pirot, and Miss Marple. What a great photo of you and Wendy (and her quilt!) in the park under that georgeousl tree.
    Patty @Walnut Street Quilts

  17. My good friend has a dream of going to Ireland for her 60th Birthday and so we have 3 years to plan it... it's been a dream of hers for some time. We are hoping to make it there, maybe you can come with us! :o) You do have 3 years to prep! hehe. The biggest thing I related to you was why you started blogging. Personally mine was the same reason and for some reason it shifted, without me knowing what it shifted to. Weird, I know... I don't even understand it. I've found my balance which was something of my goals or "resolutions" so in turn, I think it will all flourish on it's own but I have had to really force myself to accept that I was no longer having fun writing about what I was doing... yet I was becoming frustrated that I wasn't documenting what I had done because I love when I can look back and feel confident that I AM growing my skill, etc. I think your work is great and the one catching my eye the most right now is the Walk Into the Woods! Lately I'm drawn to lots of color with simple design, even if a lot of it. I look forward to getting to know you more in the upcoming future!

    *Stopping by from the 2015 New Blogger Blog Hop – New Bee’s

  18. Hi Eileen! Lovely to meet you.

    I had a really similar experience learning to quilt. There were a few shops in Boston, but they very rarely ran classes on quilts I actually wanted to make. I took a few for technique, and then a group of us splintered off and had our own meet ups, which was great fun, but there was always more talking than quilting going on. It was more like therapy with fabric than anything else. That was about a year in though, because that's when I finally bought a car. I definitely would have been lost without the internet. Books are great, and I own many of them, but I love how a lot of bloggers, and even professional designers, will actually respond to you online. I've asked so many people for help with their patterns, tutorial, and products. Everyone's lovely out here in quilt-land.

    I'm completely jealous of your day job. It sounds incredible. Illustration is a talent I wish I had, but it didn't develop naturally, and there was no one around to teach me. Oh well, I'm happy that I can sew, and that I'm learning to machine quilt, and... well, if it involves thread and a needle/and or sewing machine, I can usually figure it out eventually.

    Thank you for sharing a little of yourself with us.

  19. I just had an experience changing a design in the middle of the project. I had made several improve blocks and stitched them together in a basic four patch, but it seemed too safe and mediocre. I sliced strips in varying widths and sewed them back together. It gave the new block movement it didn't have before. You have to trust yourself.

  20. Of course, I'm hoarding fabric for just the right project LOL At least that's what I keep telling myself. Enjoy your trip.

  21. Wonderful to meet you! I have fabric stacked that I cannot cut up....yet! I think we all do! I always change up a design mid point, its one of the many things I like about quilting! No rules!

  22. Your AMH quilt is gorgeous. I especially love the geese in the border. I definitely have some stacks of fabric that I'm hoarding. Your fiddling is fantastic and I'm so jealous that you are spending time in Ireland with a luthier. I've always wanted to learn from one.

  23. Hi Eileen, love your personal style - you look great in that bold lipstick. Sounds like you are an all-around creative junkie, like me! I have saved fabrics for years at a time, just looking for the right inspiration for them, or feeling like they are too nice to cut into, but I'm over that now - if I don't use it, why have it? So every once in a while I go through my fabrics and pull some and put them on the wall for inspiration - it seems to be working so far. It's amazing how quickly quilting can get into one's blood, isn't it? I was hooked after my first quilt, and my mother actually made most of it! I also like how you talk about using the internet to learn - it is such a fantastic tool, isn't it? Don't know how we lived without it. It's nice to meet other quilters, too. See ya around...Carrie (from thezenquilter)

  24. It's so nice to get to know you a bit better, Eileen! I love the approach you took with your AMH quilt. By adapting the border as you worked, I think you ended up with an even more dynamic project. It is so impressive to see all that you have accomplished in such a short period of time.