Friday, October 24, 2014

The latest Blog Hop post EVER.

I'm finally getting around to completing my Around the World Blog Hop post. If you haven't been keeping up, and let's face it...this blog is very new so I'm about the only person keeping up :) Holly over at Holly Gets Quilty asked me to participate, then my gallbladder decided to revolt and my life ground to a halt for about a week. I'm feeling MUCH better now and ready to move on. Here we go!!

1.What am I working on?

"What am I not working on/" might be a better question. I have an endless number of WIPs, it seems.

See? This is just a small assortment of my WIPs laid out on the work table. Here's a quick run down ranked by how long I've been working (or not working) on the project:

1. Beatles Yellow Submarine art quilt
2. In From the Cold Christmas quilt
3. Texture sampler quilt
4. Rowan's charmed granny square quilt
5. Forest friends baby quilt
6. Black and White Triple Star quilt by ModernInstaBee Hive 16 members
7. Stefanie's wedding quilt (holy crap, that wedding is TOMORROW!!)
8. Space baby quilt
9. Split strip wall quilt
10. 100 quilted 9-patch ornaments
11. #igminiswap quilt
12. #makeadalekmakeafriend quilt
13.  Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival quilt block
14. #fortheloveofjaneswap quilt

I've been busting through the to-do list over the past few days, so hopefully my WIP pile starts shrinking soon.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

That's a really hard question. Does my work differ from others in its genre? Maybe. I'm so new to the quilting/art quilting world that I don't have a good working knowledge of what's out there.  I've been sewing for a little over a year. In that time I've made some freaking awesome things (some of my favorites pictured below). I've also made some really terrible things (those pictures don't see the light of day!!)

I only know what I love. I really love improv quilting. I love the look and feel of raw-edge applique. I like mixing design elements like improv piecing (#slashandsew), raw-edge applique, free motion embroidery/quilting together in one piece. I like really modern subject matter for my quilts. I LOVE creating nerdy themed items.  I like the look of bold text, either on fabric or as a stand-alone design element. I like bright, saturated colors against a low-volume or muted background. I love texture, either in the weave of the fabric or as a result of layering fabric to create a picture (something I like to call fabric architecture).  

I like for it to feel hand made and to celebrate imperfections. You'll probably never see my work win any quilt show awards. My work is all about the process and loving the finished product....NOT having perfectly matched points. My personal quilting motto is Embrace the Wonky!

 I want my work to tell a story, to evoke specific emotions, or bring to mind cherished memories. 

3. Why do I create what I do?

The short answer is Love. I create things that I love.

See that happy face? That's how I want to feel when I create things.

I've made exactly two quilts that I hated. They looked beautiful and the recipients loved them but I hated them. They just didn't speak to me on any level. I hated every step of the process and I resented every minute I put into those projects. After those experiences, I decided that I would have complete creative reign over all of my work, even if I'm working on a commission. I simply refuse to work on anything I don't love. This is my hobby. I have a real life career as a nurse that I'm freaking good at. Quilting and creating are the things I do for fun. I don't want to slave away at something that's not fun during my hobby time. 

4. How does my creative process work?

That really depends on the project. Sometimes I just throw some fabric on the cutting mat and start cutting and sewing with no real direction. Other times I spend LOTS of time thinking about where I want to end up. I carry around a mixed media paper notebook that I can draw or paint in so that I can record ideas as inspiration strikes.

Inspiration comes from everywhere.  I love drawing ideas from graphic designs, traditional and modern fine art, sculpture, etc. I enjoy spending time in nature and I find color inspiration there. My favorite movies, music and video games also provide a jumping off point for quilt ideas. I very rarely look to other quilts for inspiration. I think that if we use other quilts as our design basis it all starts to look the same. 

I love to doodle. Though my drawing ability is marginal, I find that some of my favorite projects originated in a drawing. I will doodle on scrap pieces of paper, then transfer it to my notebook, paint it, and eventually translate it into fabric.

Speaking of fabric, that's a really fun part of the process. I like to run my hands over the fabric and feel its texture. I pull together color stories and sit them in the window for a few days to see if I love the way they look in different kinds of light. I like to play with scale and value and contrast. 

Unless I am working with a specific pattern, I don't really measure when I cut. I do however make sure I use good piecing technique. Modern quilting doesn't mean it's not quality quilting. Also, it should be noted that Wonky and Poor Technique are NOT the same things. Those 1/4 inch seams are important y'all.

My quilting tends to be simple and graphic. I don't do lots of swirls and feathers. I like simple, doodle-like quilting, asymmetry, and easy back ground repeats that make the central design pop.  

And that's it for the Blog Hop questions. Thank you for letting me share a little about the what, why, and how of my creations. It was fun attempting to put my process into words and I just may have gained a deeper understanding of my own art in the process.

As I fell out of rotation due to illness, I don't know that I can still nominate bloggers to continue to blog hop. I will, however, link you guys up to some people whose work I genuinely admire.

Kristi over at Schnitzel & Boo is a legend. I love her creations and her ideas about what makes for great crafting. Her #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap was the first swap I ever participated in and I believe it made me a better quilter.

Nick is the mastermind behind Quilts From the Attic. He makes amazing things and is super transparent with his process. He celebrates his victories and is honest about his struggles. I love watching him document his process on IG (@quiltsfromtheattic). If you're not following him already you should fix that problem immediately. 

Paul over at Evildemondevildog Quilts is my one of my new favorite IG personalities. He is warm and generous and crazy talented. He takes modern traditional to a new level and has some seriously enviable EQ skills.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Gallbladder Tried to Ruin My Life

I was supposed to participate in this awesome Around the World Blog Hop last week at the invitation of Holly over at Holly Gets Quilty. Unfortunately, I ended up in the emergency room in the wee hours of Monday morning, was admitted to the hospital, and ended up having my gallbladder removed that afternoon. Needless to say, blogging didn't happen last week.

Feeling miserable at home the morning after surgery

I was not a happy camper. Not only did I miss out on a super fun blogging opportunity, but I also missed out on seeing the great Sir Paul McCartney in concert (again). AND, I was even given strict "NO SEWING" rules. It. Was. Not. Fun.

My surgeon said that my gallbladder looked like it hadn't worked in months and he was surprised that I wasn't sick all the time. I guess it's a blessing that I never really felt bad before Sunday evening. I spent most of the first two post-op days sleeping. Since then I've been mostly pain free but more tired than usual. In the past two days I've been feeling much better and have gotten my sewjo back. 

I've decided to go ahead and complete the Blog Hop post in the next few days. I've asked some of my IG sewing idols to consider being next in my small circle of the Blog Hop. Hopefully I'll have a new post and some good news in a few days. 

See ya soon!

Monday, October 6, 2014

So, What is Rae's Making It?

I've been thinking about actually putting effort into this blog for a while now. Since getting #makeadalekmakeafriend off the ground I've wanted to keep a better record of the things in my life that are dear to my heart, make me crazy, give me hope, or inspire me. The problem comes when I try to decide how to brand it. Am I a craft blogger? A mommy blogger? A nurse blogger? Do I have to confine myself to one topic, one facet of my life, one thing I find interesting?

The answer is a resounding "No!!". I plan on writing about the things that are important to me in the moment. I plan on being real and honest. I don't live a perfect suburban life with clean dishes, made beds or children who are always well behaved. Hell, sometimes I'm not well behaved.  Every day I get up. Every day I do my best. Sometimes I have a plan. Sometimes I make it up as I go along. Every day I'm making it.

That's where the branding comes in. 'Rae's Making It' isn't just a statement about my love of creating things. It's a statement about how I'm getting through this life. Here you'll be able to follow along as I attempt to make beautiful things. You'll read about my parenting successes and failures. You'll see my dirty floors. You'll see me rant about systematic abuse in the emergency department with one breath and marvel at the opportunity to provide grace to patients and families with the next.

I hope you'll make this journey with me. It's always nice to know that I'm not the only one making it up as I go along.

Rae :)