Around the World Blog Hop!

Today is my turn to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop!  This is an apt name for this hop, as I am a Canadian living in Italy and was tagged by Ingrid of Sewing Lab, a Spaniard living in Norway!
If you haven't seen her blog yet, you should definitely go have a look!  Ingrid is very creative, and has some great patterns and tutorials.
The idea of the hop is to answer a few questions about what and how you make, and then tag a few more people to keep it going.  So let's get to it.

1. What am I working on now?
I had a late-August-to-mid-September trip back home to Canada, so I'm just now getting back to work in the sewing room.  I would really like to start selling my quilts, so earlier this summer I was working on a few baby quilts to stock the shop.  I actually sold all three before I got a chance to put them online!  At the moment I have to embroider the names and bind two of them, while the third is still in the piecing stage.  After I get these done, I have a few commissions waiting for me - one twin size and one throw.

(Two of the baby quilts)

In between these I have started a long-term quilt for myself - a Single Girl!  I have long admired this pattern (especially this one by Jolene), so I bit the bullet, bought the pattern, and have been cutting a ton of tiny pieces the last few evenings!  It's going to be done with Anna Maria Horner scraps, (leftover from my winter herringbone quilt), and a low volume background.  I've been waiting a long time to use my low volume stack, and I think this is finally the right quilt.

I also have visions of a flowering snowball quilt dancing in my head!  I just adore this one done by Mary at Molly Flanders, and I think my little girl's big girl bed needs one.  Earlier this summer I bought a gorgeous stack of fabric from Shay with this quilt in mind.

I realize both of these quilts have tricky cutting and piecing, so they do not have deadlines!  I'm going to try and enjoy the process, even if I'm more of a results girl by nature!
Last but not least, I, like most of blogland, fell in love with the new Cotton and Steel lines, especially the semisolids with the small dots and the x's, and the touch of metallic.  Such fabulous colours - my picture doesn't really do them justice.  I have a really good (and original!) idea for these bundles, but it's going to have to wait, at least till I get the commissions done.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a hard one to answer.  I don't think I've been quilting long enough to have a particular aesthetic - it's only been about three and a half years.  I think I'm still trying out different styles, different fabrics, and taking each piece as a separate entity.  It was only after years and years of painting that I realized the little things most of my paintings had in common.  Maybe it's something more easily spotted by an outside observer…
One thing I do know is that I love colour.  While I really admire quilts with a minimalist colour scheme, especially some red & white or black & white traditional designs, I'll probably never make one.  I can't even leave the icing white when I make a cake!

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I guess the simple answer is because it's fun.  I have a million ideas of things I want to make, from quilts to artwork to embroidery to knitting and crochet, and if I didn't make some of these things I think I'd be a very unhappy person!  I enjoy every aspect of the creative process, (except basting - nobody enjoys basting!), from brainstorming and sketching, to piecing and quilting.
Also, I want to be surrounded by beautiful and colourful things!  It gives me great satisfaction to have things that I've made around my house.  When I was thinking about starting quilting I thought "Imagine!  Making an actual blanket!?"  It seemed impossible.
And ever since I had my daughter, making things by hand has taken on new meaning.  In my home I have things my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother made.  They are special to me.  I want my daughter to know how much I love her, and one way to show that is to make her things.  I hope that when she's an adult she will treasure them, and maybe even a grandchild will too!

4. How does my writing/creative process work?
It's varied.  I would say I get "pieces of inspiration" visually, whether it's Pinterest or another blog or something I see in a store, in a magazine, etc.  Then I either draw it, or save the picture on my computer.  I think about it for a while.  I also try to keep things organized with lists.  Sometimes I will have a certain project on my list for a long time, a year or more, before I start actually doing it.  Other times inspiration will strike and I'll be inspired by a picture or some fabric and just start cutting and sewing.  I do feel guilty about straying from my "to do" list but there are times when I cannot NOT start something new.
Being a visual person, even though I have over 200 blogs in my Feedly, I really only open and read the ones that have a great photograph to lure me in.  I even follow some Finnish and Norwegian blogs that I can't read because they take amazing pictures of beautiful things.  Everything beautiful feeds my creativity in some way.

I've actually tagged four amazing women to participate next:

The first is Jess from Sew Crafty Jess, my oldest quilty friend.  This girl does amazing work, participates in swaps, writes Moda tutorials, contributes to quilt books, AND has a full-time job and a baby!  All this in under five years of quilting!

The second is someone whose work has been inspiring me for a long time - Jolene from Blue Elephant Stitches.  If you've made a granny square quilt - then you've been inspired by her too!  She has an amazing eye for putting together fabrics, and makes beautiful quilts, like this favourite of mine.

Lucy, from the aptly-named Lucymade.  Lucy's blog is a recent find, but her Metro Rings quilt is truly amazing (she did that quilting herself!!), and if there was a "Ones to Watch" list in the quilting world - she would be on it!

Last, but not least, Lizzy from LizzyClipsDesign.  Lizzy is new to blogging, but has been quilting for a while, and has some really nice projects under her belt.  Pop over and have a look!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Friday Finish - A Wee Wander Crib Quilt

You know, some of my most favourite quilts are ones that I just start on the spur of the moment, when I "should" be working on other things.  That's how this quilt started.
I had been thinking I needed to make a mid-size quilt between baby and twin that would cover her crib mattress (and mattress height) for when we put her in a toddler bed.  Then one day in August I found a fat quarter bundle of Wee Wander that I'd forgotten about (no I do NOT have too much fabric thank you!) and I was off and running.  I added a few solids, a bit of gingham, a few Michael Miller disco dots, and some Briar Rose strawberries.  I used this pattern again, and in a few days, I had a top!

These bright pinks and oranges were a bit overwhelming in my sewing room, but now that they're off the wall on and her bed they are much easier to live with.

Quilted in wavy lines for the nice, crinkled look, and bound in more of those adorable strawberries.  I had enough blocks left over to make a smaller, 36" square baby quilt which my sister-in-law spied and claimed, and a pillow with some fussy cut pieces for my niece.  Don't ya love it when that happens?

Thanks for coming by for a look!  

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