Monday, September 29, 2014

My Stop on the Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to my Around the World Blog Hop post. I was fortunate to be nominated by a Linda of The Road to Oklahoma.  Linda has ping ponged between Oklahoma and Texas her adult life and she actually resides in Texas. I have enjoyed getting to know her through her blog. She shares her beautiful family, her sweet spirit and her quilting adventures on her blog and my visits to her page always leave me smiling. 

My post is a bit wordy so I'm going to introduce my hop invites at the beginning instead of the end. I'll probably lose too many of you and I want to make sure you get a chance to visit their great sites.

Marie is a member of my quilt guild. She blogs at Quilting by Marie. Marie always has several quilts to share at our meetings and they range from simple and sweet to complex and wowza! She has a heart for charity and a beautiful smile. Oh, and I can't forget, she's pretty much a celebrity to me because she's been published in quilting magazines!

Next I'd like to introduce you to Zenia at A Quilted Passion. She's one of those quilters who have drawn me in and I made me want to go back and read her blog from post one to present. I love her sense of color and adventurous style. I can't get over her adorable grandson and their pillow case project.
And lastly I have Momiji Studios. I first saw her post on the Sew Canadian Tour of sewing spaces. I was struck by the Swiss Army Knife efficiency she created in her tiny space. Plus, I think we may have the same Ikea shopping list! You have to visit her site and see how she dyes her own fabric. I know she will have something to write for question number two!

All of these lovely ladies will be joining the hop next Monday, October 6th. I can't wait to see who they introduce.

Now for my Q & A:

1. What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

I am currently working on a quilt that is a wedding present for a young man who has been good friends with my boys for years. It is of my own design but it is so simple that I am pretty sure it has been done before. the front and back are completely pieced and ready to load on my grace frame. 

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

I can't say I'm that unique. I am pretty new at being a "Modern Quilter" (MQ) and I am still developing my style. I have only been aware of MQ since December of 2012. Before that I had had a desire to quilt but I just wasn't motivated by the fabrics and patterns I saw in any quilt shops I had visited. They were full of beautiful and amazing projects but they just were not me. It wasn't until I started an internet search on "Quilting" that I happened upon the modern sites and I must say I was mesmerized. Caught me hook, line and sinker they did!

I guess you could define my aesthetic as "Lee Grant" style. 

I was home sick from middle school in the early 1970's and I caught an episode of the Mike Douglas Show that would leave a strong impression on me. Lee Grant was one of the guest and she was so beautiful with her tussled hair style. I found her so gracious and real. I really didn't know much about her since I hadn't seen her in film or on TV and all the other guests and host had this uncomfortable attitude towards her like they were afraid of saying something. Even with that heaviness you could tell she had stolen their hearts. Years later I would realize it was because she had been blacklisted and was just emerging back into public life.

They had a segment with a little seven year old boy who was a championship ironer on the show. Lee's interaction with him was precious and who knew ironing was a competitive sport? To this day his process runs through my brain every time I attack a wrinkled shirt.

My observation of that day that beauty could be tussled and imperfect has defined my style since. I always rough up my hair after I get it styled. Sometimes I even do it in front of the stylist. That is always how I approach my crafting arts. Quilting is no different. I like it a bit raw and imperfect. Not a fan of FMQ feathers and perfect points. Like Lee, I don't take offense when I can tell others are a bit uncomfortable or put off with my final product. 

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I write for several reasons. 

I am a transplant to the South and my family is spread between , Georgia, Washington State, California, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, soon to be North Carolina. It is a way for me to share with the people I care about. My in-laws in PA include several incredibly talented quilters. My sister in TN, soon to be NC, has been inspired by my adventure and is embarking on her own. I am so excited for her. She's going to visit in early October and we are going to have our own little retreat in my new sewing space.

When I started my journey there wasn't a MQG in the Augusta area and even though I would make a point of telling the sales people in our two local shops about my style and ask if they knew of any other MQs out there I was coming up short. I really wanted to hang out with some like minded quilters. I had started reading a lot of quilting blogs which led to following even more on Bloglovin and I just enjoyed the camaraderie and wanted to be part of it, especially since I didn't have a local community available. 

Sew at Home Mummy's Beautify Your Blog series popped up in April and I figured it was a great opportunity to play along. So I started my blog. Little did I know a local chapter of MQG was being established that same month! Unfortunately, I would have to wait until August to find out about it but now I am getting established in two MQ venues.

I also joined our local traditional guild in January of 2014. I think they enjoy my alternate style for the most part. I know I enjoy seeing all of their projects. 

I create because I can. I have more time now that my kids are grown. I homeschooled them from kindergarden to graduation and now I have a void to fill and quilting is the perfect fit! 

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Writing motivates me to stretch my skills and try new things so I have something to share on my blog. Who wants to read about someone's adventure with the same project over and over again? Not me. I also try to share with others the things that I like them to share with me. I want to see your sewing space, read your machine review, get to know your kids, see your vacay pics and celebrate your finish, book or fabric release.  Sometimes I get so invested in a blogger that I read or scan from their first to last post!

My creating process is still under construction. Sometimes I wing it, others times I follow a slightly modified pattern and I often design my own project from scratch. My goal is always to get a piece that feels relaxed enough that it will be inviting to use. I always give my projects the snuggle hug test. I hope that all the pieces I have gifted get put to use and loved and not stored behind glass. I want them to take part in their owners lives.

Now that I've answered the official questions let me introduce you to myself.

I was transplanted from Washington State to Georgia in 1985. I was an adult at that time but officially  I have now spent the better part of my life in Georgia. I've adapted quite well to everything except the humidity.

I have a terrific husband and a couple of swell grown up boys. 

Now that I am done home schooling my boys I have a new career as the office manger of our family business. Just the hubs and I at the office. We are commercial general contractors and we love to build houses too. This new career kicked into gear at about the same time my quilting addiction grabbed me so I don't have free reign to create as much as I'd like to. But hey, I do get to work with Mr. Fantastic so I can't really complain.

Three members of the family love to bike. One hasn't been bitten by the bug yet. I'm not giving up on him yet. 

Here's my bike. I want to make her a quilted bento bag and complete the bike to quilt fusion.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This may be the best blog post I've ever read. I love what you shared about Lee Grant (boy did that spark some memories - she was one of our favorite actresses - yes she was elegant and gracious and I loved her voice!) and how that random viewing influenced your life. I love that you are not a fan of FMQ feathers and that you embrace "a bit raw and imperfect". Reading this helps quiet the voice in my head that drives me to make perfect points. ;)

    I love the style of quilt you are working on. A few years ago I would have thought it "too modern". I became aware of MQ at the end of 2010, and I strongly resisted it, thinking it was too plain and not as attractive as traditional blocks. Little by little it has grown on me until recently it dawned on me that I am drawn to the clean look of modern and how it showcases the fabrics I love and how it can also incorporate traditional by giving it a fresh spin!

    Thank you for your lovely comments about me and my blog. I am very grateful for the opportunity to get to know you and be "invested" in you as well. :) Looking forward to a report or two about your sister's visit.

  2. Nice to meet you, Gayle! I was also tagged by Linda for today's blog hop and I thought I would stop on over here to meet you. I really enjoyed reading your blog, especially the part about how you met your husband, that is so cool and funny at the same time. I also LOVE your new Singer and think it's awesome that you were able to get it running. I look forward to keeping up with your quilting and biking adventures!

  3. Gayle, thank you so much for the sweet introduction. I've really enjoyed learning more about you. And I have to say, I like your style! All of your quilts are very modern and fresh. You and your sis are going to have a blast during your personal retreat. I'm happy for you. I've done indoor cycling for 10 yrs or so...but have never been on the road. It's definitely something I've wanted to do...I just never have.