- 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!
It's nice to meet you!
posted by Eileen In Stitches , on ,
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:
For fun, I'll leave you with a video of me playing an Irish reel called Maudabawn Chapel.
Please check out the other bloggers in the hop!
Cristy @ www.iloveyousew.com
Patty @ www.walnutstreetquilts.com
Sarah @ www.goer.org/sarah