Welcome to my blog…come along on my quilty journey with me!
I’ve always been drawn to the idea of having my own blog. But for years I thought to myself, “what would it be about?”, “who would want to read it?”. I actually created one years ago that I thought would be about cooking and DIY projects because I am always creating and DIY-ing around the house. Friends and family were always telling me to use my creative talents to start some sort of a business. But I never published that blog. It didn’t feel quite right, and to be honest, it just felt a little overwhelming; like “where do I even begin?”
Fast-forward to 2013 when I decided I was going to make my first born nephew a quilt from scratch. I assumed I’d be able to wing it on my own because I had sewn with both my grandmas growing up. I had just inherited my maternal grandmother’s Singer sewing machine from the 1950’s, and figured that’s all I needed to start this quilting thing. But, I quickly found out that it wasn’t quite that easy. There was math involved to ensure all the blocks matched up, and seam allowances to ensure the quilt didn’t fall apart, basting and so much more! After exploring Pinterest, I found so many quilters and patterns and beautiful quilts! I started following along with some of my favorite quilters. I quickly fell in love with all the creative beauty, endless possibilities and the idea of making something special with my own two hands.
My first quilt for my first nephew, Brandon
I love that quilting requires me to use both my left and right brain. My previous career was in the accounting world where I worked as a public accountant utilizing my CPA license that took me quite a while to attain, and is still to-date, one of my biggest accomplishments. With quilting, math and critical thinking is required, which gets easier the more you practice and hone your skills. I appreciate that aspect of it because it keeps my left-brain busy. It’s a constant challenge, and that excites me!
My favorite part is the creative aspect and think that is where I shine. Planning, specifically designing, a quilt is my absolute favorite part! I love choosing the fabrics and patterns for all my quilts. I try to match each quilt I make to its recipient. Sometimes I chose a style that I think matches the receiver’s personality, other times I match the fabrics or colors to the nursery its going in.
I can literally browse fabric online for hours! Its so fun to mix and match prints across collections and incorporate different textures of fabrics to create a completely new look. And I’m always finding fabrics that I must get to add to my current (and growing) fabric stash. The best part is when I see fabric arrive in my mailbox, and I literally squeal with glee!!
Some fun textures I’ve used recently
I’m not so sure that first quilt of mine has held up. But since that first one in 2013, I have made 65 quilts! As well as: pillows, baby lovey blankets, bibs, burp cloths, zipper pouches, tote bags, placemats, PJ pants, hair bows and headbands, tutus, pot holders, curtains, crib sheets, crib skirts and bumpers, laundry hamper linings, Christmas stockings, advent calendars and more!
When I look back over the past 5 years since I started my quilty journey, I surprise myself with how much I’ve learned and made. One of my favorite parts along the way has been all the special requests I get that require me to try something new. It’s so rewarding after I complete a new project and can say “I did that!” And, surprisingly, I’ve been able to complete each special request that has come my way: t-shirt quilts, baby onesie quilts, a tote bag out of a mink fur coat, making quilts out of duvet covers, crib skirts, old baby blankets and even gymnastics ribbons!
Some of my *non-quilt* projects
In 2017, I decided to start an etsy shop to sell baby lovey blankets. This seemed much more approachable and achievable at the time than making quilts for sale or writing quilt patterns (which I hope to be able to do some day). I also liked the idea of using my fabric stash from past quilts to make smaller, more manageable projects that would allow me to produce some income to subsidize this quilting habit of mine. I learned fairly early on that making quilts is not cheap! There’s a lot that goes into each one, and since I try to make each and every one unique, there’s not a lot of bulk buying of fabric or scaling that I can do. To give you an idea of what one quilt consists of:
- Fabric for the front – I like to mix and match as many prints as possible because I find all the different prints and textures give the quilt more interest and depth
- Fabric for the back – I tend to use minky fabrics so my quilts are super snuggly, but these fabrics tend to be more expensive than your typical quilting cotton
- Batting in between the two layers
- Binding fabric – the finishing edge around the quilt
- My quilting label
- Thread – I’ll change up the color of the quilting thread to match the colors of each quilt since this thread is visible
- Sewing needles – I’m still learning about all the needles out there, but I typically alternate between universal needles and quilting needles
- Basting spray– I highly recommend this brand. Since I started using basting spray, my machine quilting has improved dramatically
- Starch for ironing as I go to make everything lay nice and flat. I love the smell of this peaches & cream spray
- The Pattern – I haven’t really created any of my own patterns, so I purchase a lot of other quilters’ patterns or use tutorials shared by my favorite quilters
- And then there are the notions! Don’t even get me started on the notions; they are endless! Their job is to make everything easier, and they do, but there are so many and they quickly add up! My every day notions are my quilting scissors, olfa 24″x36″ cutting mat, olfa rotary cutter and blade refills, Fiskars 6.5″x 24″ ruler and my clover marking tool (which I use to manually apply indents on the quilt top in whatever pattern I chose to quilt on it. I couldn’t machine quilt without it! It makes it so easy for me to quilt in straight lines and it doesn’t leave a permanent mark)
But now I’ve digressed…I think my point was to show how much I’ve invested into this and highlight how much my quilty knowledge and skill set grew in 2017. By the end of that year, I was feeling confident enough to make commissioned quilts for friends and family. It was around this time that I started connecting with a lot of modern quilters on Instagram, who inspire me daily. There are so many wonderful quilters, pattern makers, and even fabric designers out there! And their work is astounding! I hope to share more about my favorites in the coming months. The quilting community is such a wonderful and inviting one, and its because of all of these quilters and what they share in this community that I’ve become even remotely capable of pursuing this quilting thing.
By early 2018, I had made a few quilts to sell in my Etsy shop and I started seeing some interest in the items I had for sale. I began thinking about starting a blog to put myself out there even more and see where this quilty road may lead. It took a whole year of self-encouragement, research, more growth and hard work to actually get it started. But I finally did it. I created this website all by myself!
I could not have done it, however, without the tools and tips I picked up from Emily Dennis’ blog, Quilty Love, where she so generously shares her business advice on a regular basis. Without her showing how it could be done, I don’t think I’d have ever been able to figure it out on my own, or have been brave enough to try! And so here we are at the start of 2019. I have a website, a blog, and a shop, and have listed some of my handmade items for sale. And I’m excited to share even more with you in the future!
some of my shop items
It’s all still overwhelming and daunting. I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing with this whole blog thing. But I like the idea! And I love a new challenge! I’ve enjoyed the journey that’s gotten me here tremendously and have found a new creative passion. I get all giddy just thinking of what may be in store for me as I continue to grow and push myself forward. I have lots of quilty dreams you guys!! So, I thank you for reading this and I hope you come back to visit often. I would love for you to follow along with me on my quilty journey.