Earlier this year, I joined a group called the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. The criteria for joining included being a new quilt blogger. At the time of my application I was still deciding on my website design and content, so I was definitely new! Fortunately the organizers had faith in me and accepted my application. We new bloggers were divided into four groups and assigned a week to talk about ourselves and our quilting and sewing, and this is my week.
I’m from the US but a few years ago, I moved to Europe to live with my husband. We’re in Germany – so now you know why my blog is available in English and German! – but we’re planning to move to Ireland soon.
I’ve been sewing since Christmas 2008, when my boyfriend bought me a sewing machine. By that New Year’s Eve I had sewn a bathrobe, an apron, a short sleeve button up shirt, and a pair of trouser shorts.
Quilting entered my life after I bought my second machine at the end of 2014. I had a lot of fond memories of the quilts my grandmother would make for everyone in our family. It really appealed to me as a craft where I could express myself and create functional items like the ones my grandmother made. The machine (a Janome Horizon 7700) had all the right functions for piecing and free-motion quilting, so I decided to give it a try.
My first quilt was made for our friends’ child, who was turning 4. At the time, he liked to sing a song that went “Wer hat Angst vor Dracula?” (“Who’s afraid of Dracula?”), which I thought was super adorable. He clearly wasn’t afraid: he was utterly unfazed no matter how hard I tried to convince him that I am actually Dracula! Anyway, I went with the gothic lit monster theme and made him a Frankenstein quilt. Being that it was my first quilt, it was a good thing it was for a 4 year old.
My second quilt was also wisely gifted — I gave it to my mother. Who else would be so accepting of the tucks and crooked seams? Her quilt was based on a pattern from Modern One-Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Jasperson Whiting, and it was a lot of fun to make. I used my Janome and quilting templates from Westalee for the quilting. My goal was to have it finished by the time she came to visit last Christmas, but I had to ask a family friend for some help with the binding. I started at one end and she at the other and in an afternoon we were done and left with a finished quilt and many fond memories.
Since then I have made my own take on Christa Watson’s “Modern X” quilt (which hasn’t been quilted yet) and an original design called “I’m OK”, which was made one block per day through the month of April, with each block using different techniques. I’m finishing “I’m OK” with hand quilting. It’s my first time hand quilting, so I’m not sure how it will come out, but I do plan on submitting it for QuiltCon 2017, just for the experience.
After watching a documentary called The True Cost I started to question what I could do to lessen my impact on the world. Most quilters, myself included, enjoy a privilege — even if that is just the privilege of time for a craft — that we can wield in a way to lessen the suffering of the world around us. My main goal with The Concerned Craft is to raise awareness about the environmental and social impact of our fiber crafts.
Further digging lead me to the blog My Plastic-Free Life and the work of Beth Terry, which has inspired personal changes outside of my fiber crafts. I plan on documenting that journey separately in a blog called The Concerned Life in the near future.
In addition to quilting I also enjoy knitting, crocheting, counted cross stitch, weaving, fashion design, and pattern drafting, and in every case, I’m taking the time to see how I can make changes to ensure that I’m being ethical, environmental and engaged as I create.
My advice to quilt bloggers (as a seasoned blogger of two months…) is to set a schedule for yourself. I aim to upload new content every Wednesday, and even though it may cause me a bit of stress from time to time, I do better knowing there’s a goal.
My advice to quilters would be to give up on perfectionism. Perfectionism is an ego-driven pursuit of outside approval. That approval stops being relevant when you realize that you are good enough already, no approval needed.
- I have a degree in anthropology
- I have been a vegetarian for 18 years
- I used to be a designer and maker of latex fetish clothes
- I was a drag queen for three years
- I have a rare genetic form of osteoporosis that I discovered after fracturing two vertebrae last yearast year
Fellow Blog Hoppers
Thank you so much to the organizers of the Blog Hop, Yvonne from Quilting JetGirl, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. They have some great giveaways going on over at their blogs so be sure to check those out.
Also, please check out the other quilters scheduled for this week:
And if you’re looking to discover other great new quilt bloggers, here’s a list of the quilters from the past three weeks who participated in the Blog Hop:
Amanda @ Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.
Paige @ Quilted Blooms
Tish @ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Melva @ Melva Loves Scraps
Carrie @ Beri Bee Designs
Carole @ Carole Lyles Shaw
Anne @ Said with Love
Beth @ Plaid and Paisley
Jennifer @ RV Quilting
Sharon @ Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Amanda @ This Mom Quilts
Laurel @ Quilts by Laurel
Marla @ Penny Lane Quilts
Do you now or have you ever used organic fabric or fibers in your fiber crafts?
If not, what has been the reason (availability, cost, etc.)?
Considering your current practices, what do you think is one way you would be willing to reduce your impact on the world?