Where did your creativity come from?

I pop in and out of my blog as sometimes I feel like writing and sometimes I don’t and I guess that is how creativity works….right? I am married to a very accurate, has to be symmetrical but has a great pair of hands man. You would think that someone who is considered to have a great pair of hands would think themselves ‘creative’ but I don’t think he ever thinks himself creative. Why? Why not? Answer from him ‘I just don’t’ Ugghh that is not really an answer now is it?

Where did your creativity come from and why are you creative..or why do you consider yourself creative? How come he doesn’t consider himself creative? I know you can’t answer that but I’m interested in the background of creative people and why they consider themselves creative. Do I consider myself creative? It took a few years of practicing and learning before I could consider myself creative. I didn’t think I could consider myself creative before I had actually felt good at what and where my creativity lied. I do believe you can be creative before you have actually gotten good at what you are doing though. In fact a lot of artists find the process of the end product the most creative part of the process of the end product if that makes any sense.

The better I get the more creative I become because I am starting to get to know what works and what doesn’t and I can get to the end product quicker now.

I am so glad I am back blogging whether people read it or not I like that it feeds into my creativity so always  a good thing when I blog.

 

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Never improv without finishing UFO’s at the same time

So I haven’t blogged in ages. I don’t really know why. I guess sometimes you want to be creating and other times you don’t but mostly I have been creating lately and not much else. I probably shouldn’t say creating, more like practicing. I have wanted to hone my skills lately. I have always wanted to do curved piecing so I am practicing a lot of this. I have also decided to get started on my UFO’s. This part of quilting I don’t really like. Sometimes when you start a project you are into it and you think you are going to be able to finish but half way through if you never see another y seam or certain block again it wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I have some UFO’s about 5 years! That is really long for me, compared to some quilters I would still be considered a newbie. I have also been designing some of my own quilt patterns but I don’t use EQ or even graph paper (note to self, invest in some graph paper!) I have been designing them as I make them if that makes sense. I am strip piecing, paper piecing adding a touch of improv here and there. Its been a bit of a mess really but I am really enjoying the freedom.

I have to say though I was really surprised with how good if felt to finish up a UFO. There is certainly a feeling of freedom in doing this which I guess I am craving at the moment. So if you are looking for me I am finishing UFO’s one day and the next I am creating twice as many but loving every minute of it.

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Working for yourself by yourself……your thoughts

I knew when I had 4 kids I wasn’t going to be in the workforce for a good few years so I decided to work for myself. Simple, right?

Most of the time it suits as you can work around picking up kids and dropping off kids, cooking dinner and cleaning the house. I mean lets face it, those of us that do housework on a regular basis, be it men or women know that you could do housework 24 hours a day and still find something to do around the house. So you really need to prioritize when you work for yourself so you fit in enough time to get the work done.

I like to divide my work time between making quilts, cushions, bags etc and working on my longarm. The extra bit of time in the evening I get goes into blogging and trying to sell my work on my etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadeInIrelandQuilts?ref=hdr_shop_menu  I really need to put more time into SEO (search engine optimization) but really I would love to pay someone to do this for me as I don’t like sitting in front of the computer for long as I get restless. My guess is most creative types are a bit like this. Another reality is I am not very good at taking photos of my wares but I am getting better all the time (well I think I am anyway)

The tricky part for me anyway is doing the work you don’t want to do and sometimes even trickier is doing the work you do want to do! Let me explain. If you were in the workforce you would have a workload and certain times to do said work and either a boss or a team around you pushing you to meet the expected targets or work. When you work for  yourself you can’t give yourself the kick up the arse  you sometimes need to get your arse in gear.

Another downside to working on  your own is not being able to bitch and moan about said work. I am working on a piece for a customer at the moment and it is so frustrating I could scream! All I can do is give out to myself which really isn’t the same now is it? When you work with other people  and you complain about a certain job you have to do, they give you sympathy or better yet even help you get the job done. The first thing I would do if I won the lotto is hire a personal assistant! I’m sure some people also feel a little bit lonely when they work for themselves. I on the other hand don’t get the time to feel lonely but maybe if I am still working for myself and the kids are all older and leaving the nest, maybe then is when I will re-join the workforce but I imagine that is really tough after being away from it for years.

The other thing I really wasn’t prepared for was the amount of extra work you have to do to work for yourself and it sometimes feels like you are crazy to even be doing this. When I worked for companies in the past I got paid for the hours of work I did but that is not the case now.

Having said all that I wouldn’t have it any other way (well actually I would like to give myself a good raise, ha!) I get to stay at home with the kids and that is what is important to me at the moment. Sometimes I worry about the future of my work but then what is the point. I keep having to tell myself to just put the head down and also one of my favorite quotes which is from Finding Nemo when Dory said – Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

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Barmy for Batiks!

I lived in the US for almost 4 years. Arizona to be more precise. I learned alot about different lines of quilting cottons while I was there and I am very thankful for that. Here in Ireland there really are not that many Local Quilt Shops, in fact there are none that I know of in Dublin City Centre which is bustling with the usual stores you would expect in a city. A surprising fact to all of the lovely quilters I used to speak to in my LQS.

When I do come across fabrics here in Dublin, I rarely if ever come across Batiks. Why is this? Are batiks more expensive than ordinary quilting cottons? All I know is that I used to find that they were more expensive in the LQS in Arizona but the quilters went barmy for them! $11.95 a yard and they would buy in bulk. At first I didn’t see the appeal but as time went on and I became a more confident quilter and got better with color placements, I started to see the appeal of batiks. You can get such a vast array of colors and in a way that gave it an appearance of texture even. I have only ever made one quilt in Batiks and that quilt got into AQS in Phoenix.

I’m almost home from Phoenix a year now and in that time I have seen batiks evolve into modern quilting society which really batiks were not favored by modern quilters.

I plan on making a modern quilt from batiks but first I have to find the modern batiks I have seen online.

batik modern batiks

Not too bad for a 1st year back in Ireland! Of course my New Year resolution is to put more effort into blogging as I’m sure is a lot of people’s resolution lol

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 310 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How can you not have a stash of fabric?

stash

I have been so busy on my longarm the last few weeks. I had to get all my quilts ready for the Christmas fairs here in Dublin City and I am quilting the international Modern Quilters Guild charity challenge quilt. I just love quilting but sometimes I really miss piecing in between quilting. I found myself going in to just look and feel my fabric after dinner this evening. (is that weird?) It got me thinking about stashing fabric.

I know I have ‘enough’ fabric at the moment. I’ve seen some fab fab fab deals on fabric over the black Friday, and Christmas sales and I really really wanted to buy it all. The fabrics on offer nowadays are just so luscious and silky and graphic that it is so hard to not buy!

I store my fabrics by color with solids separate. It occurred to me that I don’t have very much of one line. I have 3 yards of a certain line but should I not have 1 yard cuts of a certain line? Is it better to have a lot of pre-cuts? The only pre-cuts I have in my stash are about 30 fq’s from different lines and collections. I don’t own any charm packs or jelly rolls etc. I just didn’t find them good value but I saw some fabulous deals on pre-cuts over the past few weeks that made me seriously re-consider their value.

Some people that quilt don’t have stashes? I find this hard to believe but I have heard they do indeed exist. They see their next project and they purchase only for this and then move on to the next project. I am not in any way knocking this system but I personally think I would find this system expensive. Then again these people would say the same about my hoarding of fabric lol.

I am the type of quilter that thinks of maybe 5 different projects at the one time so I just couldn’t buy fabric for the project I am working on because I am generally working on quite a few different ones. Some people only want to concentrate on one project and that is perfectly fine for them but I have started maybe 5 different projects and that is the best way for me to remember exactly what I was thinking when I was thinking it. Some might say you could write down your ideas and then come back to it later but I am very visual and having a half started project is a much better way for me to remember what I was thinking of when I was thinking it….if that makes any sense.

How do you like to stash? or god forbid, tell me about how you don’t stash! I would love to hear about it.

Modern Quilt Guild Charity Quilt

I can’t seem to figure out how to regram from my Samsung Mini S3 as that phone doesn’t have a snapshot feature for Instagram. There are so many restrictions with this phone and I thought it was a good phone. How and ever…I am a member of the Modern Quilt Guild which is an international guild. I love everything about modern quilting and quilts.

Myself and I think 4 other ladies from around the world have made 2 sections each to make a modern quilt for QuiltCon which is the biggest modern quilting conference and show in the world and held in Houston Texas. We had to use certain colors but we could decide on what fabrics to use and what design to make.

I will be quilting this beauty and depending on when I get to me and how much time we have left to quilt it I will post pictures of this quilt when it is finished.

The ladies agreed that I could pick the charity to donate this quilt to so I am going to pick the Jack and Jill Foundation but I’m not sure if I should try to sell it on my online store (https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/MadeInIrelandQuilts?ref=hdr) and then donate the funds or whether I should just telephone them and donate it for a charity raffle. Maybe if I can get it quilted and bound before Christmas there will be a Christmas raffle. I will phone them tomorrow about it.

Anyway, I am very proud of how this quilt looks and it just shows you what can be accomplished with people you have never even met before!

Well done ladies!

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