My bloggy buddy - Gene Black - Quilter, Weaver, Artist in Alabama - HERE -
Has asked me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop - HERE - ;))
All I had to do was answer four questions -
And I was so honored that he would ask me -
That I said YES!! - ;))
Yeah - I KNOW -
I have never participated in a blog hop before -
I don't DO "Hops" -
But I liked the part where I didn’t have to MAKE anything -
By a certain date -
Since I don’t DO deadlines very well anymore -
My Life tends to get in the way - ;))
All I had to do was -
Just answer four questions -
- What am I currently working on?
- How does my work differ from others in its genre?
- Why do I write/create what I do?
- How does my writing/creating process work?
And I can do that - ;))
Left-Handed people are always being told to
"Just reverse it" -
So it should come as no surprise -
That I "just reversed" -
The order of my last two answers - ;))
I also tried REALLY hard to condense it -
And failed miserably - ;))
I even considered splitting it up -
FOUR questions - FOUR posts -
And decided that I would leave it up to YOU -
To read in sections if YOU want to -
Because - "It is what it is" - ;))
And if you're looking for answers -
That are "short and sweet" -
You've come to the WRONG place - ;))
So grab a cup of coffee -
And get comfortable -
This is going to be a LOOOONG post - ;))
Here we go - ;))
1. What am I currently working on?
When Gene asked me to participate - I was trying to get my version of Bonnie Hunter's 2012 Mystery quilt - EASY STREET - off my design wall in the hallway. I took a slight detour when I swapped some colors mid-mystery and then added my own border - so I call mine - Easy Street Detour Around The World - and it tied in perfectly with the name of this particular Blog Hop. Bonnie is about to come out with her 2014 Mystery so it had been “in progress” on and off - mostly off - for two years - and I needed the room for other stuff - ;))
Now that I have finished that - I want/need to get my scraps under control - and then there are a bunch of Squirrels that I want to play with. Recently I deleted all of my old UFO pages and combined them into a new one called UFOs/Projects/Squirrels. Squirrels are what I call distractions - new projects - and shiny objects. I got it from the movie UP. In the movie - the dog - whose name is Dug - was always getting distracted by a squirrel - and shouting out Squirrel!!. So when I get distracted - which is quite often - I don’t shout - but I call them Squirrels. And I see Squirrels - EVERYWHERE!! - ;))
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
First - I am A LEFT-HANDED QUILTER - ;))
I made a button - on my right sidebar - for other Left-Handed Quilters to add to their blogs. I have a list of Left-Handed Quilter blogs on my Left sidebar as a handy reference for other Left-Handed Quilters. And I recently split up my Left-Handed Quilting (LHQ) page/tab into separate pages/tabs - to make it easier to find my posts and tutorials - ;))
My tutorials are posted in LEFTISH and include this little blurb -
============Second - I am a S-L-O-W P-O-K-E quilter - ;))
Note - these instructions are written in LEFTISH.
If you are right-handed - just reverse the directions.
I ENJOY the process and I don’t care how long it takes me to make any particular thing. I am NOT one of those who must make a quilt in a weekend or in a week or in a month. To me a quilt takes as long as it takes - ;))
Third - I also don’t mind having a bunch of UFOs - ;))
I made another button - on my right sidebar - Queen of UFORIA - where UFOs Reside In Abundance. Since I am in no hurry to finish any particular project - and I get bored easily - I like having a variety of projects from which to choose - depending on my mood on any given day - ;))
Fourth - I don’t care if I ever FINISH anything - ;))
I ENJOY working on my projects - and some of them have become old friends through the years. My QJ - Floral Applique (see the page/tab at the top of my blog) is a good example. I worked on those blocks for many years - and I kind of miss not having them to work on any more. And it is SO expensive to have my quilt tops “quilted” that I either have to perfect my FMQ skills or leave them as tops for someone else to quilt long after I am gone. Doesn’t matter to me though - I had FUN making the top!! - ;))
Fifth - I am a bit of a rebel in that I don't think that I need anyone's "permission" to do it MY way - ;))
I try to do my best - but I know that I will never be "perfect" - so I don't mind annoying the "quilt police" when I cut off a point - or press things the "wrong" way - or paper-piece with the fabric on TOP of the printed paper. You can do it their way if you want - but I do what works for ME - and I don't need their permission any more than they need mine - ;)) I assemble my quilts in "chunks" - not in "rows" - and I add my sashings as I go along. And who says that I Foundation Paper Piece backwards? If you have ever instinctively Foundation Paper Pieced something - without first reading the instructions - thinking that you remembered how - and then checked the instructions to find that you did it "backwards" - you know what I mean - so what if your instincts are right and THEIR way is backwards? - ;))
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
My "creating process" is probably what the new generation calls "organic". It may start as a "seed" of an idea from something I saw/heard/read - or it may be a technique that I want to try out - or a pattern from a book or on a blog. I like the look of traditional patterns with all of the little itty-bitty pieces - and I can usually draft my own pattern from a photo - most of the units are pretty basic - they're just combined in different ways. I can either sketch it out with a pencil and paper or play around in EQ7. SANTA'S SISTERS came from a Christmas card that I saw once - the idea stuck in my head until I found a way to execute it. One day I was puttering around and came up with my own way of making SUDOKU QUILTS (see the page/tab at the top of my blog). And one time I started with a fat quarter sent to me by a bloggy buddy - played with some "wonky" blocks - and "created" the "Ladies" - finishing the top for Design Wall Monday - 5/9/11 - HERE -
It's STILL just a top - but it was fun trying to make it work!! I have SO many ideas and projects floating around in my head that it is sometimes difficult to settle on just one - and some take me a LONG time to plan out and work through - while others come to me in a flash - it all just depends on my mood or the weather, I guess. Check out my Quilt Journal page/tab at the top of my blog - I have even made quilts from panels intended for children's books - ;))
I am not one of those bloggers who can just sit down at the keyboard and knock out a post or two on the fly. My “writing” tends to be scattered and needs to be sorted out before it gets posted. My “creating” sometimes goes in a number of different directions all at the same time. And sometimes they both just need to “marinate” for a while. My posts tend to be LONG ones and my quilts tend to take me a LONG time - ;))
My Quilt Journal entries are from my scrapbook and have already been written - but I need to re-format them all for presentation on my blog. All BOLD CAPS is OK for a scrapbook but really isn’t suitable for a blog - ;))
My TUSAL posts are set up as a Master/template. I take a new photo each month and change the date and it’s ready to go. Easy peasy - ;))
My Design Wall Monday posts start with the photos that I take as I go along. Then I write my draft - around the photos - and edit it to death before I “schedule” it to “go live” on Monday - ;))
My Left-Handed Quilting Posts/Tutorials and Reviews take a long time to write - photograph - and edit. My Tutorials and some of my other posts tend to be VERY long - because I like to take a lot of photos of my process - and I like to talk. If I do a “Review” on a particular ruler - I like to include a link to a site that sells it - so that my reader is able to read the “official” description and specifications and other reviews if there are any - ;))
It also takes a while for me to get all of the other “links” set up. I try to give my readers the names and blog links of my source(s) and give credit where credit is due - ;))
(I started working on THIS post on Saturday - October 25 - when Gene asked me if I wanted to participate - I have been editing and re-editing it since then. I never consider a post to be a FINAL draft until it is actually POSTED - ;))
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I started quilting as a hobby and stress-reliever from work. My job was VERY repetitive - different clients - but the same chores again and again - every month - every quarter - every year - year after year after year - WITH deadlines!! - ;))
Quilting was a change from that. The basics were the same - but there was a variety in patterns and fabrics and techniques that made it interesting to me. I may get bored working on one project but I have no deadline so I can drop it and pick up something else if I want to. I don’t have to make the same quilt EVER AGAIN if I don’t want to. And I like to say that sewing/quilting gives me something to do and keeps me out of bars at night - the joke is that I don't drink - ;))
I decided to start a blog so that I could share my love of quilting and maybe some pictures of my projects and an occasional rant. Also blogging was a way to share This Is How I Do It with my LEFT-HANDED sister-in-law who was just learning how to quilt. We would email back and forth as I tried to talk/walk her through some of her projects. Those emails developed into my first Left-Handed Quilting tutorials (see the pages/tabs at the top of my blog) - ;))
And I have discussed some other aspects of these questions before -
So - if you're still with me -
Rather than repeat myself -
I will “re-post” it here - ;))
11/15/10 - ABOUT THIS BLOG - AND ME
I am a A Left-Handed Quilter. A couple of months ago I decided to start a blog so that I could share my love of quilting and maybe some pictures of my projects and an occasional rant. I posted for a while and changed the blog name a couple of times. Now I'm here. Welcome to my new and improved blog!!
I am not a professional quilter. I quilt for fun. I am no expert and I am not perfect, but I have won my share of blue ribbons at the local county fair and at a Quilt Show in a near-by town. I have never entered a quilt in a juried show or any type of international competition. Maybe someday.
I made my first quilt out of two sheets and some batting in 1973. I tied it with yarn and bound it with pre-packaged quilt binding. Quilting books and magazines were scarce back then - but I had them all. My first "real" patchwork quilt was for my first nephew in 1976. So I have been quilting for a while now. I love to quilt.
I don't take classes. My left-handedness always gets in the way. I have taken only three classes in my life - not counting Home-Ec classes in seventh grade.
#1 - Hawaiian Applique - 1977
We lived in Hawaii for about five years. My husband called me one day with information on a local Hawaiian quilting class. I figured that if I lived in Hawaii I should learn to either quilt or hula - and I sure as hell wasn't going to learn to hula - so quilting it was.
I tried to prepare for the class by cutting out the pattern and turning under the edges and basting them all down - like my books showed. When I got to class, the Hawaiian ladies laughed at the "haole" - very politely, of course - but they still laughed at me. Hawaiian applique is all "needle-turned" applique. They showed me how to do it their way - but my left-handedness still got in the way. I have at least ten Hawaiian applique pillows and wallhangings in my UFO pile. They are all cut and basted - but not sewn.
#2 - Hawaiian Applique - again - 1985
This time I attended a class in Burbank - it was offered in conjunction with some quilt show - I don't remember exactly when - a long time ago. Anyway, we split off into teams of two and it was my job to press the fabric before we were to fold and cut it. The damn iron and ironing board were set up backwards! And the sewing - again - my left-handedness got in my way. One of those - all you have to do is reverse it classes. Yeah, right! That one is in my UFO pile, too.
#3 - Floral Applique - 1995 - (What is it with me and hand applique classes?)
This time I took a series of classes from a little German lady who had made the most gorgeous quilt I had ever seen!! It was at a local quilt show and I literally stopped in my tracks!! Her color shading and workmanship were incredible!! Anyway, when I heard that she was teaching classes, I signed up immediately.
The first block had a leaf - long and skinny - curved to the left. She showed us how to start at the bottom of the leaf and sew up the right side on the outside curve of the leaf. We were to stop at the point on the top so she could show us how to turn it before we sewed down the left side and inside curve. Great!! I started my leaf at the bottom - went up the left side and hit the inside curve first. I showed her my problem and she said, "Oh, you are left-handed! I cannot help you." Terrific! I had been there before; I told her "Never mind, I'll figure it out myself. Show me how you do your colors." I learned everything she could teach me about how she chose her colors - how she shaded her roses - everything except how to sew the block. Those blocks are at the very top of my UFO pile. (I did manage to figure out the applique sewing stuff on my own and that is going to be one gorgeous quilt when I get it done!! Stay tuned. I'll show you when I get there.)
EDIT UPDATE - These blocks are now together and the top is now a flimsy - check out the page/tab on top - QJ - Floral Applique - for the photos and stories.
So, anyway, I don't take classes. I buy books. I have a lot of books. I love books. I read every single one of them from cover to cover. What I don't like are the pictures in the books. They are usually "right-handed". And they usually say stupid things like - "If you are left-handed - just reverse it." We all know it isn't that simple. But it is a right-handed world - so we try to adapt. I do my best to figure it out - and then I do what works for me.
My sister-in-law is new to quilting. She and I share the same birthday - I am exactly five years older than she/her. I married her brother three weeks after she married her husband - over thirty years ago. She is also left-handed. She is taking some quilting classes and we email back and forth all the time. I try to help when she gets stuck on something. When I told her my blog name problem and mentioned a couple of new names, she said -
"I'm partial to "A Left-Handed Quilter" because it is definitely something that makes you (us) unique. I hope you can include the left handed idea in your blog name somehow. There are plenty of left handed quilters out there (supposedly one in ten) and we always need help with quilting challenges. In my class this summer, there were three lefties in our group of ten. We all just had to quietly sit there trying to translate how to execute the cutting and sewing of each block in our "backwards" brains. There was really no sense asking questions of our "right-handed" teacher; because unless you are left handed,, you just don't get the questions, It's like speaking a foreign language! It would have been great for me to have been able to tell the other southpaws to just go to your blog! You could post some of those great instructions you wrote for me and reduce the global confusion once and for all!"
I hadn't really thought about doing a "Left-handed" blog - I was just looking for a new name. But I understood exactly what she was talking about - and I think she's right - we all need a "Left-handed" blog - so - that's what I'm going to do.
I'm a very visual person. I like someone to show me how they do it - and then I can figure out what will work for me. So I can try to do the same for you - do some tutorials and try to explain how I do things and then show you how I do it. Now that I have figured out how to add pictures to my blog - I can take photos to show you what I'm talking about. (See, my two previous attempts at blogging actually taught me some stuff - yay!!)
I also want to be perfectly clear - there is always more than one way to do things. I'm not saying that my way is the easiest - or the best - or anything. But maybe, just maybe - it will help you. I certainly hope so.
Then maybe I can get other bloggers to share their tips and tricks and I can make a list of their blogs for reference. Maybe we can all help each other. Wouldn't that be great? The possibilities are endless.
And because doing things left-handed really is like speaking a foreign language - I am creating a new language. I am going to write my instructions in what I like to call - "LEFTISH" - and (I've always wanted to say this) - "If you are right-handed - just reverse it."
So THANK YOU GENE!! -
For asking me to participate -
In the Around The World Blog Hop -
And for asking me these questions -
And giving me the opportunity to address them again - ;))
Now it’s my turn -
I would like to “tag” the following blogger -
As my Around the World Blog Hop Nominee -
One of my LEFT-Handed bloggy buddies - Sherry -
Her blog is - Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc. - HERE - ;))
I love the fact that Quilting is truly global -
And that this hop takes us Around The World - ;))
Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -