Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

Hello SewMamaSew giveaway bloghoppers and welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere! If you've never stopped in before, welcome and feel free to take a look around. Returning visitors, thanks so much for stopping in again!

In a nutshell, I'm a modern quilter with an obsession for brights, geometrics, English paper piecing, selvedges, paper piecing and lots and lots of colour! I have a serious case of Quilter's ADHD, which I'm embracing wholeheartedly. My favourite quote is "Creativity is intelligence having fun" - Einstein. My favourite place is my craft room. If you have both cats and quilts on your instagram feed, I will follow you. Chocolate is my favourite food group.

I'm giving away a sweet little bundle of five fat quarters. This fabric collection came from Spotlight (an Australian craft chain store) and features super cute globe trotting gnomes. It's fresh and bright, perfect for travel accessories, I-spys or those with an obsession with garden gnomes.

To go in the draw, simply leave me a comment telling me your dream holiday/vacation destination! I am based in Australia and will ship all over the world.


Edited: This giveaway has now closed and the winner has been notified. Thank you so much to everyone for entering. Having read all the comments I now want to travel the world!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thank You, and an Announcement

Wow, I am floored by the response to my previous post... I knew quilt bloggers were awesome people, but I really really appreciated all the wonderful comments I received. Not just brief comments either, but the kind that take time. I got advice and tips, reassurance that I wasn't alone, and encouragement. And it is so appreciated.

I have been thinking a lot over the last few days over how to make my quilting stress free. I often joke about my Quilters ADHD and I have decided that I'm just going to embrace it. Even if I'm doing something different every night of the week, that's okay. I will need to find some sort of organisational technique to keep things on track, but I am thinking that over at the moment.

Since my last post, I have designed a mini quilt; pressed my solids scraps collection, with a view to cutting for a quilt I've had planned for a couple of years (and I threw out a grocery bag worth of useless scraps in the process); finished cutting the fabric for my mum's quilt (fitting way to spend my Mother's Day quilt group session); worked on an old bee quilt from 2012; basted and cut some more EPP diamonds and tidied my craft room. I've been busy and productive, but it's been stress free and FUN.

I have left my craft room in a state of hot mess... when it started to get overwhelming and I started to overthink it, I stopped. There are quilt tops on the recliner, fabric all over the ironing board, my new vacuum in the middle of the floor... whatever. No pics, because it's too dark and dingy in there right now.

One of the comments on my last post was that the saying "Quilt With No Guilt" should be a blog button. And I've decided she's right. I've got to work through it a bit more but for now, hold the date of the first of June when I'm going to launch the first Quilt With No Guilt Linky Party.

This linky will be open the entire month, and then the next one will begin - there'll be a new linky each month to keep it current, but no pressure to churn out a blog post on a certain day. You'll be able to link anything that concerns fun, guilt free quilting to it - whether it's a finish, what you're working on, talking about your process, playing with a new technique. I envision it being a place where we can form a community where the focus is on having fun while we're being creative, end encourage each other in our creative journeys.

I'm also going to be using the instagram hashtag #quiltwithnoguilt (btw, if you want to track me down on instagram, I'm @wherejanecreates) - feel free to add your pics to the hashtag too :).

And I've just made my first ever button, which you can also grab if you want to be part of the fun!

Where Jane Creates

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Let It Go, Let It Go....

I've been a little under the weather this week, with a particularly severe tension headache kicking me down for  three days.

I actually sucumbed this time and visited the doctor, with the intention of asking for a prescription for stronger drugs as none of the over the counter headache meds seemed to do anything to shift it. I couldn't get into my regular doctor so I saw a new doctor in the practice, and did the whole extended interview session as she got to know me. For the first time ever, I had someone diagnose the type of headache I get and explain why they also affect my neck and upper back so much. Among other things, she explained I need to find ways to relieve my stress and why I didn't need stronger drugs.

I did tell her that I spent a fair bit of time crafting, which I consider stress relief, though she pointed out that both quilting and scrapbooking are intense on the neck and shoulder muscles I'm trying to relax. I didn't even bother to tell her how intense machine quilting could be...

And then when I went home to spend the rest of the day resting, it hit me that there are times - often - that my crafting is stressful.

When I think about why I started quilting and scrapbooking, it's pretty safe to say that adding stress to my already busy life wasn't on the agenda.

I worry about getting the latest batch of photos uploaded and printed, then getting my Project Life pages up to date. Then I worry about finishing the 27 (yep, I said it out loud, for real) quilting WIPs finished. Then I worry about whether I'll ever get to start a new quilt without guilt about the WIPs. I worry about helping my daughter get a quilt finished. I worry about whether there are enough low volumes in the world for my EPP diamonds. I worry about whether ladder stitch will be okay for EPP. I worry about the state of the mending basket. I worry about what I'll blog about next, and replying to blog comments. I worry about not having a goal for the month for ALYOF.

And that was just last week.

Yeah. It's a little crazy.

To reiterate, I'm not a professional blogger, quilter or sewist. This habit doesn't make me money. I have a full time job, and three children and a husband.

I am busy enough that I don't need my hobby to add extra pressure to my life.

I love social media and having a connection to the online quilting world as much as the next person, but honestly, sometimes I find it overwhelming. Sometimes it's hard to compare the show reels of 100 professional quilters who are designing fabrics and writing books and making quilts for market with what little I've achieved during some weeks. It's hard to remember that I will never, ever in my lifetime, even if I live to 200, make all the quilts in my head and on my pinterest board.

So after a bucket load of plans I don't stick to, goals that don't factor in that I have to work, and dreams I simply don't have time for, I'm letting it all go and changing the game.

I'm not linking up any works in progress or finishes this week. I'm not putting anything on top priority for a finish for ALYOF this month.

I might take a little break, I might not. The goal for this month, and hereafter, is to do whatever the hell I want, guilt free.

Whatever I want. When I want to.

I'll play with one project till it gets boring, then move to something else. I'll stop saying can't, have to, wait... I'll stop as soon as my body tells me we've had enough time behind the machine.

I'll stop comparing myself to others.

I'll keep documenting my quilting journey, but stop feeling compelled to finish something then jump straight into the next thing. I'll stop buying new fabric for the sake of it, but also not feel guilty about the size of my stash or new fabric that does happen to enter my home.

I'll play with design and colour and whatever else takes my fancy on any given day. I still want to grow as a quilter, but part of that comes with just doing.

Do you ever feel like this? Do you ever wonder when what you did for fun started to feel like work, even when it's not? Do you even think it's possible to quilt with no guilt?

Photos (since you can't have a post without pictures) are of my completed projects and main WIPs this year... I'm not exactly sitting round doing nothing.

If you've stuck with me this far, I appreciate it. And apologies for putting that Frozen song into your head, but it's rather appropriate, don't you think?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Finish - LEGO Marvel Superhero Cushions

Back in the new year I coaxed Kristy to put together some LEGO Marvel superhero patterns, because she has awesome paper piecing patterning skills and is queen of all things LEGO.

Kristy has patterns for these guys and more of the team (crew? what do you call a bunch of superheroes anyway??) available for free in her Craftsy store if you want to test them out. As far as paper piecing patterns go these ones are fairly simple, I'd rate them a confident beginner to intermediate. The blocks finish at 10 inches so they're pretty manageable.

I quizzed my nephews on their favourite Marvel dudes, then decided their Dad (biggest superhero geek on the planet) needed in on the action two, and created these blocks.

In true fashion, I then stuck them up on the design wall until I realised that the twins' birthday was fast approaching and I needed to get my butt into gear!

First up, I needed to fix my face painting. Funny story, but it turns out that white fabric paint I found in my stash actually dried clear. With glitter in it. Now I love glitter as much as the next girl, but poor Hulk was sparklier than a Twilight vampire, and that would just never do. So I embroidered over Hulk and Wolverine's teeth with perle cotton and all was good with the world.

Then I decided to quilt with a zig-zag, lightning strike kind of pattern that reminds me a little of those comic book captions... I am happy with how it turned out and I hope the boys like it too.

Finally, I finished up with a solid border and I turned each block into a cushion, also in a solid.

Then I photographed them in crappy light because the weather has been blergh and I haven't been home in daylight hours. Now all I need to do is wrap them and post them before the boys birthday!

Linking up with I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins, Paper Piecing Party at Quiet Play, Needle and Thread ThursdayTGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Friday Finish.