Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 New Quilt Bloggers--My Introduction

On May 29th, I stumbled onto a post from Stephanie at Late Night Quilter looking for new quilt bloggers to join the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.  With little time to spare, I completed the online form and submitted my blog for possible selection.  I anxiously waited all weekend to see if I would be chosen...and I was!  Over the past two weeks I have already met so many fantastic bloggers who have opened my eyes to new information that I had no idea existed or of its importance.

The blog hop is being hosted by Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination (my hive leader), Stephanie at Late Night Quilter, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, and Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl.  The official blog hop kicked off last week with 17 new bloggers introducing themselves, giving us all a small glimpse at who they are.  Over the next three weeks the rest of us will do the same.  So without further ado...

Hi.  My name is Tish and I am a quiltaholic.  Even my vehicle says that I am.  My habit is funded by my day job - doing accounting work for a small company.  I love my family very much because they support and enable my addiction.

    (I should probably note that I love them for countless other reasons.)  

This is me and my husband, David.  We have been married for 16 years.  It's important to us that we support each other's interests and share the things we love.  Sometimes we do those activities together and other times, we just yell encouragement from the sidelines.

We are also the proud parents of a teenage daughter...

You can read more about Jenny's Quilt
three dogs...

and a cat.

For the most part I am a self taught quilter.  Before I found quilting, my chosen past time was cross stitching.  Cross stitching was an activity that both my grandmother and I enjoyed doing together.

My change over from cross stitching to quilting happened when I walked into a quilt shop to see how much it would cost to have someone turn a set of my cross stitches into a quilt.  I had no intention of trying quilting. By the time I had left the shop the lady had talked me out of my original idea and convinced me to purchase 20 fat quarters and a Turning Twenty book.  Once I got to the car all I could think was, "What the heck just happened?".  From that day on, I was hooked.  I would love to show you a finished picture, but I have never gotten around to binding it.  Can I consider this my first quilt if it's still not finished? (don't you love the scenic air freshener)

For years now, I have enjoyed picking out fabrics and piecing quilts.  My only machine is a domestic machine, so I never thought that I would take on the task of actually quilting my own tops.  With encouragement from a good friend, my husband and checkbook limitations, I decided to stop whining about how hard free motion quilting is and jump in with both feet.  I've only been seriously FMQ for a little over a year and a half and the more I do, the more I want to do it.

Since I am self taught, one of the most valuable resources I have found are the blogs of other quilters.  Because of those special people who have opened up and put their work out there, I have been able to grow as a quilter.  If not for those bloggers, I'm not sure I would even be at the quilting 101 level.  My goals in starting a blog was to connect with others and hopefully inspire and encourage other quilters in their own goals.  I have found, in general, I am my own worst critic and, consequentially, my biggest road block.  The first step to recovery is admitting the problem.  Once I admitted this to myself, I have found that I stress less about my quilting and have been able to accomplish more.

The name of my blog comes from my crazy childhood fascination with Alice in Wonderland.  In my world the books would be nothing but pictures...of quilting of course.  Maybe it seems silly to some that I still use TishNWonderland as my name for most things, but it's me and I make no apologizes.  I hope to hold on to some of my childlike (good qualities) and be a bit whimsical in this crazy "drag-you-down" adult world.

Now that I have rambled on, I hope your still with me! The last time I counted I think I have seventeen quilt tops that I still need to finish.  In the picture below are three of my UFO's that hope to fly some day.  I keep a sticky note on my desk to remind me.  Do you find yourself overwhelmed by a stack of unfinished projects? Do you leave yourself reminders as well?

Now on to my finished quilts...  Quilting can be an emotional experience.  The story behind this quilt is extremely emotional for me.  I hate to admit it, but I thought about burning it at one point.  Just looking at it made me so upset.  I promise I'm not crazy.  I call it the Death Quilt.  Do you have any quilts that you have an emotional bond with? 

Read about The Death Quilt.  I promise it has a happy ending.

My favorite things to quilt are miniature quilts.  Since I do all of my quilting on a domestic machine, it is easier to move them around in the smaller throat opening.  My quilting addiction knows no bounds!

Read more about Falling Leaves

Read more about Sunny Lane

Three of my 2015 Aurifil Mystery BOM.  Read more about Flurry, Chubby Churn Dash, March, Secret Garden, and Spring Tiles

My quilting advice is two little tricks I use when I'm FMQ:

1) If you are having trouble with hand/foot speed coordination, try setting your speed control to slow or medium.  Then you can put your foot all the way to the floor and just worry about how fast to move your hands around.

2) When I am using thread that matches my fabric and I'm trying to put a dense filler in a small space, I will mark lines I do not want to run over with a marking pen so that I can see them better.

Hopefully, just as Alice and her journey, you have made it safely to the end of my blog.  This seems like the longest post I have ever written, or possibly I went a little overboard with pictures.  I just wanted to give everyone a small glance into my world.  I hope you will take the time to visit my fellow Social Swarmers and get to know them.

Wanda @ Wanda's Life Samper
Brianna @ The Iron and Needle
Sandra @ The Bias Edge

Also do not forget last weeks Swarmers...

Shayna @ Wife Mother Creator
Francine @ Mocha Wild Child 
Jane @ Twiggy and Opal
Robyn @ Hoops and Thimbles

and don't forget to visit our fearless hive leaders.  Links for all of the other hop participants can be found on their pages.  Plus they have some pretty awesome giveaways going on as well.  And everyone loves a great giveaway ;)

Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination
Stephanie at Late Night Quilter
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl

Quilting has helped me to find my voice and confidence.  I hope that you will join me for my future adventures.  I have a few ideas for future projects.  Maybe if I get brave enough I will try hosting a Quiltaholic Support Group Linky Party.  Not so much that we help each other overcome our quilting and fabric addictions, but that we can help support each other when we are stuck on a certain project or just give advice.  So, I must ask, are you a quiltaholic too?


Eleanor said...

Hi Tish,

you have some absolutely beautiful quilts here! I have a quilt top I help my mum to make - she had just finished treatment for breast cancer and needed to thrash away on something for a while. I haven't quilted it yet for her because it does make me remember that time, though I think I'll do it soon - I had thought of leaving it until 5 years were up and we could say she was in remission, but that feels a bit like counting down. It's probably one of the quilts/quilt tops I've made that I have the most emotional connection to. Your Death Quilt is beautiful, but must always have a bittersweet element for you.

Definitely another quiltaholic! I'm a little scared to admit how much I think about quilting! So nice to know I am not alone - there's loads of us!

Robyn said...

I really enjoyed reading your introductory post! And for the record, my husband would never where a shirt like that in a million years. You're lucky! Half the time he just tries to feign interest out of marital obligation, other times he actually is interested… but it only last a few minutes and then he is off to watch TV or wage some virtual war with his online gaming buddies. Although, the funny thing is… he is the one that taught me how to use my first sewing machine! (he sold them back in the day, when he worked at Sears)

Cross stitching was also the only sewing experience I had before quilting, although I had only dabbled in it from time to time and it had been many years since I touched a needle when I began quilting. The only quilting class I have attended was the one that came with a BOM I did last year, other than that I am self taught as well. The internet is a wonderful source of information! That class that came with the BOM did provide some very valuable lessons though, and I really wish I could find some more classes to level up my skills. Unfortunately, all the local classes seem to be for beginners, and I want something challenging.

Those quilt shop folks can be a tricky breed! I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into a shop, steadfast in my determination that I will not buy a single thing that isn’t necessary for one of the projects I already have in flight only to walk out with a bag full of things. Of course, it honestly isn’t that hard to convince me to stray… I am weak in the face of all that lovely fabric. I want to make all the things!

As for UFOs… 17? Now I don’t feel so bad! My goal this year was to finish all my UFOs before starting something else… which lasted until May and now I have one more project in flight and one more up on the shelves waiting for me next to a pile of other things I haven’t even started yet. To keep myself on track, I first tried a notebook and then a dry erase board in my sewing room with a list of everything in progress. I still have the white board up on the wall, with sections for the various stages of completion. What is really working for me though… I created a work table page a couple months ago on my own blog, with a monthly list of goals. I find it has really helped keep things moving! That, and joining A Lovely Year of Finishes has helped too.

I don’t have any really emotional quilts so far, although I do feel a bit of a bond with the quilt that my daughter has taken over. Somehow seeing her cuddled up with it just warms my heart. Hopefully, I will never have a Death Quilt of my own… but, it really is a lovely quilt and I am glad it got a pardon and avoided a fiery execution. In fact, I may risk making one of these for myself if I can find the pattern. One day. After I get some of these UFOs knocked out!

Robyn said...

ugh... typos! Oh well. And I forgot to say my blog is hoopsandthimbles, if you didn't know that already :)

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

I love the way you describe your relationship with your husband and the support that you provide one another!! :) I totally have pieces of paper scattered around with notes about my WIPs, but the most important list sits by my computer keyboard reminding me to get up and get sewing!! It is so lovely to get to know you better, and I am glad you are part of the blog hop!

Terri Ann @ said...

What a great intro post Tish! It's so wonderful to get to know you better :) I am also a self taught quilters which has made discovering quilt blogs such a valuable experience for me too. Your quilts are all so wonderful, I'm glad you shared your wide variety of work with us in your post. And that shirt your husband has - LOVE THAT!

Wendy said...

Hello and nice to meet you! You really should get those WIPs done as all three are beautiful!

Stitchin At Home said...

A fantastic intro. Quiltaholic Support Group sounds great. Do you also have 12 steps in the program? :)

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Hi tish
I too love Alice in wonderland . I'm fortunate enough to visit Oxford England and there is an Alice shop there . Like yourself I used to cross stitch but I had reached saturation point and moved to quilting . I support my hubby in all his hobbies , we watch a LOT of sport but so far he doesn't do much quilting or knitting . I have got him reading though and the beginning of an interest in genealogy . Lovely to meet you

Stephanie said...

Tish, your quilts are beautiful!!! I used to cross stitch as well but felt uninspired by the patterns so I started looking at quilting. It's fun to read about how each of us arrived to the quilting world.

Brianna said...

Hi Tish! You have some beautiful quilts here. Especially the Death Quilt. I laughed at your cat shaming. I hope it was okay after all that. Sometimes I have to put down a decoy quilt for mine. Also, I love your background - that blue and the map!! I DEFINITELY get overwhelmed by unfinished projects. I make lists, but sometimes if it's on a list I feel like I have to make it and then I feel resentful...ha.

Unknown said...

I'm all in for the Quiltaholic Support Group. Maybe that should be our Sewcial Swarms' next project.

Liz said...

I'm a Quiltaholic too! I love that you advertise this fact on your car (and your husband, lol!)
Your FMQ work is gorgeous, and so very detailed! I'm so glad you overcame your doubts about FMQ-ing on your home machine and went for it, and I'm glad you shared all that eye candy here!

Jayne said...

So many of us are self taught quilters! There is a wealth of information out there to get people started, get people hooked and the inspiration is endless! Your quilts are just beautiful! It is nice to have a family that supports our addiction for sure! Beautiful post Tish, so glad to get to know you!

Ruth said...

Beautiful collection of quilts! Lovely to get to know your blog through the hop!

Unknown said...

I'm so pleased that you don't apologize for being yourself. I love the name of your blog; it's something that makes me thinks of fun and adventure.

Your quilting is amazing! I could never really get the hang of my domestic for that, so it always amazes me when people can do such wonderful things with theirs.

I look forward to following along with your adventures.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Beautiful quilts. Thanks for sharing about yourself. I'll join your support group...sounds like fun.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Beautiful quilts. Thanks for sharing about yourself. I'll join your support group...sounds like fun.

AStrangerView said...

Nice work Tish! You can never go wrong with Alice :) I am still new to FMQ too and it makes me tense and anxious, but I like to improve so I keep doing it. You are doing a lovely job! I am definitely a quiltaholic too. Thanks for sharing.

Deb Chimes said...

Hi Tish, your About Me quote and introduction post had me in stitches (excuse the pun!) Answer to your question re the "Death Quilt" - sometimes my difficult quilts get sent to the "naughty corner" for "time out"! Your fmq is amazing!

Nurdan Kulluk-Rennert said...

What an enjoyable piece to read Tish! I love all the quilts you have made. Beautiful colors and designs! Also, as a self taught quilter, I really appreciate how you brought your quilting to this level. I like the story behind your blog name! Which quilter wouldn't feel like in Wonderland when playing with fabrics and thread anyway?? I am so happy to get to know you better. Keep up the great job you have been doing! Love, Nurdan @Hug-a-bit Quilts

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful introduction and blog post. It was great getting to know you better and see some of your wonderful quilts.

the zen quilter said...

Well, Tish, I think we've all been there - I get so frustrated I sometimes lose my zen, but that's part of the journey, and THANK GOODNESS you didn't burn that beauty. I can see you really go for intricate designs - that takes a lot of patience. Nice to meet you.

Unknown said...

Tish! I LOVE the name of your site and your ability to celebrate childhood! I think you family is utterly awesome in the way you support each other! Your free hand motion quilting is impressive on your domestic machine! I love tiny quilts too and wish I made more of them. I also have several UFO's that need a quilting and some that need to finish being pieced! I keep holding back on the quilting on some of my tops because they are just so special and I am stumped at what to quilt on them. I love your enthusiastic tone that reaches through your writing!

Sarah@123quilt said...

Hi Tish! Great post! It was really nice learning a bit about you and I love your quilting style. I will have to try your tip of using the marking pen to define a "no-go" area.

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