A couple of weeks ago, the fabulous and very talented Alida (also known as TweLoQ), one of my fellow designers over at Fandom In Stitches, nominated me for a pass-it-on style Around the World Blog Tour.
You can see her post here.
I left this post a little longer than I intended because of illness and other pressing obligations, but I’m here now to share and encourage you to Pass It On! You don’t have to be nominated to play, just answer the questions below and feature three bloggers you enjoy!
Alida is a generous and prolific designer. She’s been a huge help over at Fandom In Stitches, where she is a regular contributor and one of our writers.
I love her patterns and fabric choices and you never know what she’s going to work on next! She’s created everything from a fantastic Sword in the Stone quilt design to very elegant Stephen King embroidered blocks.
And now, a little about me:
1. What am I working on & where can you find me?
Oh, I’m always working on 12 things at once! My current personal WIPs are a crochet blanket for The Linus Connection, the non-profit I volunteer for, and slow progress doing some handwork on my Princess Bride quilt, created from a Fandom In Stitches event that I organized with several other designers (including Alida!) from earlier this year.
I design quilt patterns, and am always drawing, updating, tweaking or piecing something. You can find lots of them, both free or for sale, right here on Sewhooked or in my Craftsy shop.
The first day of each month during 2014, you’ll find me hosting Paper Piecing Vintage, my entirely paper pieced block of the month.
Every Tuesday, I post Talk To Me Tuesday, a crafty video blog, where I talk about what I’m working on, fun events I’m hosting or participating in, and ask you to talk back to me. The TTMT community lives on Livejournal.
I’m the owner, a designer and primary editor over at Fandom In Stitches, my fandom-themed quilt pattern website. I’m always writing, updating, tweaking or something for FiS. Currently, I’m organizing a Design Challenge for our community. It posts today, you should go check it out!
2. How is my work different?
My background is in drawing, and I am a lifelong doodler. When I first dabbled in design, I found that my drawing background transitioned very naturally to paper pieced patterns and even easier to embroidery, a skill I learned later. I prefer to have imagery in my quilts, which I include whenever I can. See The Project of Doom (above).
I’m primarily a quilt designer, though I dabble in pretty much anything that grabs my interest. I prefer to focus on quirky and fun things that I love (like Harry Potter!) and I draw all of my own patterns from scratch. More about that below
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I create because I can’t do anything else. I’ve been both writing and creating my entire life and having a way to easily share what I do makes it even more compelling. Anything that inspires me drives me to create. If I didn’t create, I would probably explode!
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
My brain never turns off and a lot of my design work begins as doodles. I draw everything myself from scratch, occasionally (but rarely) using a photo as inspiration. My process for designing quilt-related patterns has evolved into a kind of crazy list of things, which I’ll try to boil down for my favorite techniques to design in.
For paper pieced patterns:
Whether I’m designing a pattern that will be free or for sale, or one that happens to be for publication, I always start with a sketch or idea and I tackle them all exactly the same way. After sketching, I then draw the pattern in EQ7. For those patterns I publish myself, once my design is properly patternized, I export a blank copy of the pattern (no colors, numbers, text, etc.) to a PDF file. EQ will do a lot of things for you, including numbering patterns, but I really like my patterns to have a specific style, so I color and number everything myself using an ancient version of Photoshop that I just happen to be very comfortable using.
For embroidery patterns:
Again, I start with an idea, and that is often inspired by quotes or favorite characters. That turns into a sketch, which I will generally scan and then prettify using Inkscape so that it’s a clean, printable image that I can share. I love drawing embroidery patterns, which I’ve been doing for much less time than paper pieced patterns. They feel very uncomplicated and zen to create.
For any patterns I design:
If I’m testing the pattern myself, I print it out and and then make the design in fabric, adjusting and editing as I go.
Next, it’s time for photography! Since I photograph everything myself, often that means I’ll be crawling around on my hands and knees or hanging off of a ladder in my backyard to get just the right shot!
Once I have everything I need for a pattern document: pattern, photos, diagrams, etc., I use a spiffy template I created in LibreOffice Write to create a pattern document. I save my patterns at all stages (from EQ to Photoshop to Write) so that if an error turns up, I can go back and correct it with minimum hassle. For many patterns, I test them myself and they go off to a pattern tester before being posted online. In case there is no one available to test for me, I’ll run though the whole thing a few times on paper just to make sure it works the way I intend’
5. Three Creators I Enjoy
According to the guidelines of the Blog Hop, I’m to tag three bloggers you may want to know and pass Blog Hop torch to them. I’ve decided to tag some of my favorite people, and I hope you enjoy giving them a visit!
Julia Makes Stuff is the blog of my best friend, Jewells. She does it all: works full time, is an involved mom, makes blankets for charity, creates handcrafted gifts for those she cares about and participates in Talk To Me Tuesday. Visit her blog and give her some love!
Next I want to recognize Michelle Thompson, designer extraordinaire. Michelle is another Fandom In Stitches designer, and with a little help from the of Fandom In Stitches Pattern Testers, she is one of the most prolific designers on the site. Nobody does faces like Michelle! Check out her blog here.
Last, but certainly not least, is Francesca of Swink Girls Quilts. Francesca is one of the three long arm quilters that make up Swink Girls Quilts. Not only does she do beautiful custom work, but she goes out of her way to do charitable work, too. She recently used her expertise to finish a quilt made by the Fandom In Stitches community for a kiddo named Mikey. You can read more about her efforts here.
Want to win an awesome prize? Stop by the Sewhooked flickr group and share photos of your quilt blocks & projects made from Sewhooked patterns, including Paper Piecing Vintage or any other pattern (fandom or non, free or for sale) designed by me. With each photo you share (one entry per project), you will be entered to win your choice of THREE individual block patterns ($2.95 or less each) from my Craftsy Shop! Click on the banner to go Sewhooked flickr group. Winner to be announced November 3, 2014!
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Thank, Jen! I have read an around-the-world blog post on almost every blog that I follow…I’m so happy to get tagged! Your work is awesome and you are such an asset to the (online) quilting and fandom communities!
My pleasure! It’s been a joy to read all the Around-The-World posts and I was happy to get to tag you! ❤
Thanks for the nice words! And thanks for sharing your design process, it’s always useful and inspiring to hear how other people come up with their wonderful creations!!
My pleasure! Writing about my design process always makes me stop and think about the way I do things, which is never a bad thing. 🙂