Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Monday 8 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Kathy, of Kathy's Quilts, asking if I'd be interested in participating in this blog hop. No one seems to know where or when it started, but it sure has been fun reading the posts of those who have already participated. Kathy's post is here. It's a really fun way to get to see how various quilters' minds and creative methods work. So today is my turn to talk about the four questions that are the foundation of this blog hop.

What am I working on? I never work on just one thing at a time. I tend not to do small or easy projects, so I often need to take a break from one project and work on another to keep things fresh and keep from getting bored, or burnt out on just one project. Doesn't that sound so reasonable and rational?  The truth is closer to a bad case of quilters A.D.D. along with a quilter's disease called start-itis.  Both are under control at the moment, but can flare up again without much provocation. I have more UFO's than I care to count, stored in a dark place under the stairs. I tried to get a picture of it, but it's way too dark and scary for publication. Some of those UFO's are listed on my right hand side bar, and it is encouraging to see that I've finished the piecing on five out of ten of them. My most current project that I'm working on is a Blooming Nine Patch, inspired by Teresa's quilt here. Our fabric choices are quite different, but I love the way this one is developing.

I'm  also working on a + & x blocks project, although I must say it has been ageing in its box for the past couple of months.  I just got it out again to take a picture of it. I think it might be getting close to being worked on again.Come to think about it, it was Teresa again and her Happy Dance squares that got me started on this one. I decided though, that I was going to use fabrics in this project that are completely out of my normal style and colours range. A few months ago Gail, who blogs at The Cozy Quilter, went for a trip up to the Ottawa area, where the shop Mad about Patchwork is located. I gave her a budget, and asked her to pick out fabrics for me that were "outside of my box" Those fabrics, along with a selection of blacks and whites, are what this quilt will be made out of, and it just got named....... "Outside my Box". It's bright and wild, and quite outside of my comfort zone, and also quite a bit of fun. I have a quilt on my machine which is one of my UFO's.
This is Meteor Shower a design by Judy Martin. It's getting very simple all over quilting so that the colours and the designs of the stars will be the star attraction. (Sorry about the pun, I couldn't resist.) And the last current project, which is defined by being worked on in the last 3 or 4 months, is a McKenna Ryan design. This is just the beginning of a much bigger project called True Nature using fusible web applique.

Question number two..... how does my work differ from others of its genre? I'm not sure that I do differ much from others. I like a wide range of quilting techniques, from regular piecing, to hand applique, to hand piecing...... I'm itching to start an English Paper piecing project...... Then there is the fusible applique stuff like the mountain scene above, with all its tiny pieces that add the details. I have a love/hate relationship with paper piecing, loving the fantastic points and detail it provides, hating the actual paper removing process. Cynthia England's stuff is fabulous. I have a couple of her patterns, and even a kit for a waterfall scene that is on my to-do list.

 When I first started up my long arm quilting business, I decided on the name Eagles' Wings Quilts, based on one of my most favourite scripture verses, found on the header of my blog. Around that same time, about 9 or 10 years ago now, I saw this wall hanging in a magazine that specialised in paper piecing. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the magazine, and it has since gone out of publication, so I can't give a source for this pattern. Anyway, the whole point of this story was to show an example of some of the paper piecing I have done.This is a close up of the eye and beak. For a long time, this hung in my studio above my long arm. I have a new studio now, and haven't gotten around to getting anything hung there yet, other than one of my husband's paintings. I suppose one way my work does differ from others is that I do have the wonderful opportunity to have my own long arm machine, so that gives me much more flexibility in the ways I can finish the quilts that I make, rather than having to quilt by hand or on my domestic machine, both of which I did before investing in the Millenium. And, of course, I love being able to quilt for others, as well.

All right, now to question number three........ Why do I write and create the way I do? I first started writing this blog back in January of 2010. It's original purpose was to be first and foremost, a way of keeping a very dear friend of mine, Susan, who lives in Alberta, in touch with what I was up to. We were doing email and facebook, but she would often ask me about what I was doing, or what I was working on, and there wasn't really any way in those two formats that would work to show her what I was up to. I had, at the time, no real idea of how blogging worked, or how extensive the blogging world was. I'm not sure I even realised how public it was. So, when I'm writing, I'm not really writing, so much as talking, in my head and through my fingers, to a very dear friend. And over the years, through this blog, and more recently through the guild, I have met some other wonderful friends. So, now I not only talk to Susan, but lots of other good friends as well. I've been told that my writing on the blog sounds very much like me, which I guess is a good thing.
As for why I create...... because I have to, it's part of who I am and what I do. I have no talent for painting or drawing, so instead,  my paints are the fabrics I use, to create quilts, rather than paintings or drawings. I'm not sure if I would qualify myself as a traditional quilter but I'm certainly not a modern one. I tend to mostly use designs and patterns that other people have done. Anyone who has read my blog for long knows that I am a huge Judy Martin fan. My inspiration usually comes from books or patterns I have seen, or projects I have run across during blog hopping. I have done some designing, but most of it has been in the Electric Quilt software program.  I'm currently taking baby steps into writing patterns. I did one for our guild as a mystery a couple of years ago, and last year I wrote up the instructions for the London Roads block that our guild has since put together into a quilt and is using as a fund raiser. I am hoping to get some fabric requirements and instructions for setting this quilt together written up. The pattern should be available for purchase at the quilt show in October, with the proceeds going to the guild.
I also put together, using the ideas from the program committee,  this year's mystery row by row quilt for the guild, again using Electric Quilt, and I'll be writing up some of the instructions for it, along with a couple of other ladies on the program committee.

So, that's me....... a very long winded post, a lot longer than I thought it would be. I'm tagging 2 very special people to continue on with the blog hopping through the blogosphere. They will be doing their posts on Sept. 15th

Jacqui blogs at Treadle Quilts. I met her through joining The London Friendship Quilters Guild. She makes beautiful quilts on her treadle machine, and quilts most of them herself. She and her husband also find and restore antique sewing machines. She has a lovely studio in the lower level of their home where she also teaches quilting, and thus spreads the addiction.

Debbie blogs at And Sew Forth. She makes stunning quilts out of some of the most beautiful and unusual batiks I have ever seen. She is a self admitted Bucilla Christmas stocking addict. Maybe she'll post a picture or two of her collection of stockings if we ask nicely enough. But even more interesting than that is where she lives. In the summer she hangs out in their home in the wilds of Alaska where it is nothing unusual to have a moose or a bear come pay a visit in their yard. During the winter, she lives in their apartment in the city of Paris, France.

Thanks so much for visiting. Since it's also Design Wall Monday, and I have pictures of what's currently on my wall,  I'm going to link this up with Patchwork Times.


  1. Awesome blog post Cathy! I'm so glad that I got to know you through the guild and program committee and blogging :-). I enjoyed reading about what you're up to. I will ponder some ideas for next week's post :-).

    Hugs, Jacqui

  2. I can't even imagine how many hours it took you to paper piece that eagle! It's stunning and very inspiring! I too get tired of having to remove the paper, but it's a necessary evil I suppose.

    All of your work is amazing and I'm glad to be able to read what you are up to on the blog. :)


I love reading all your comments, and am grateful for each one. I try very hard to answer them all, but lately I haven’t quite been able to answer all of them.