Until the age of 32 I had never used a sewing machine. During the summer of 2013 I was was pregnant with my daughter and having trouble finding maternity pants that were the right length for me, which is an ongoing theme in life… but when you are pregnant your shopping choices are much more limited. For some reason I got it in my head that I would buy a sewing machine so that I could hem my own pants. After purchasing the machine I decided to see what else there was in the world of sewing, and happened upon a quilt pattern that would be just perfect for the nursery. As it turns out I absolutely hate (and stink at) hemming pants, but I fell in love with quilting and have never looked back.
Back then I was writing posts about my sewing on our family blog, MillerLife.net. If you care to hop over there you can become better acquainted with me and my past sewing. The sewing posts were beginning to take over MillerLife.net though, and I also felt I had to hold back because most people that read it were probably just looking for baby updates. So, last fall Hoops & Thimbles was born. I suppose I should have gone with a more quilting oriented name, but I decided to have it match my Etsy shop’s name (even though there isn’t much there!). When I chose the Etsy shop’s name it was mostly a matter of trying to find something that wasn’t already taken, and at the time I was going through a hand work phase.
This blog is still finding its way, so I would love to hear feedback from any and every one. What sorts of things would you like to see here? Do you like the format? Is it confusing that the blog posts aren’t on the home page? I really hope that one day this blog will be able to help others on their own forays into the vast and wonderful world of quilting. I share my triumphs and mistakes, and try to share tips and tricks as I learn them. My hopes are that one day I will have tutorials of my own, and maybe even make some of my own designs.
My piecing work has improved greatly since that first quilt, and the quilting is coming along as well. That first quilt I made was just a stitch in the ditch, but I was brave enough to try free motion quilting on the second quilt I made. That quilt was the Basket Lattice by Sheri Pape Designs, which I finished in August 2013 just before my daughter was born. I really love that quilt; I just try to ignore the horrible quilting on it. My daughter also loves the quilt, and has claimed it as her own.
Recently I finished quilting another quilt, Flower Patch, on a long arm that I rented locally. Hopefully you can see a bit of improvement since then! I haven’t put binding on this one yet, but I should have another finish under my belt pretty soon. And it is about time for this quilt! If I remember correctly, Flower Patch would have been the fourth quilt I started piecing back in November 2013. However, I put it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a couple months ago. The black in the quilt photographs horribly, please forgive it. If I was doing this quilt over again though, I would have not included the black fabrics from the jelly roll and layer cake I used to make the quilt.
After finishing the Basket Lattice quilt, I was a little hesitant about quilting. I loved piecing, but quilting was intimidating and hard! During that time I completed a second quilt for my daughter, and was the lucky recipient of an embroidery machine as a Christmas gift right around the same time. It was then that I got the bright idea to try quilting in the hoop, and the result can be seen below. The results were pretty good, but it is way too time consuming for me. Since then I have been pretty much sticking to straight lines. Now that I am feeling more comfortable with the long arm though, I should be plowing through more quilts!
Okay, now that all the quilty stuff is out of the way… more about me personally as I would love to get to know all of you and make some new friends! These days I don’t have much time for reading or doing anything that isn’t toddler or sewing related, but I try to listen to audio books while I sew when I can find something good to listen to. My poor Nook is laying in the closet neglected, I am not sure I have even turned it on in the past year. My favorite book series is the Dresden Files, but I love reading just about anything. Suggestions are always welcome! I haven’t found anything good to read (or listen to) lately.
Some other facts:
- I have been to Japan four times and love it there
- The last movie I watched was The Kingsman
- I live in North Carolina, born and raised
- I love cooking and canning, although I haven’t had much time for it lately
- I am a night person, which is good since it is the only time I have to quilt
And finally, I am not sure I am qualified to hand out blogging tips to my fellow ‘New Bloggers’ Blog Hop participants… so I will give the best quilting tip I know. Be forgiving of yourself. This was something I had to set in my mind from day one, as I am a perfectionist. I believe there have been terms such as “OCD” used to describe me in the past. And, the lady at the long arm rental place delicately called me “up tight” about my quilting recently because I am quick to point out all the things that are wrong with my work rather than what is right. From day one I had to tell myself that every quilt, every stitch, every mistake was a learning experience. It is okay that my quilts are not perfect, because I am learning. However, now that I am approaching the two year mark for quilting it is becoming harder to go easy on myself!
Enough about me… go check out some of the other great new bloggers that are posting this week!
- Jayne of Twiggy and Opal (Instagram @twiggyandopal)
- Shayna of Wife. Mom Creator. (Instagram @shaynashipley)
- Francine of MochaWildChild (Instagram @mochawildchild)
And check out the lovely folks that are hosting this blog hop as well:
- Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
- Stephanie at Late Night Quilter
- Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination
- Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl