2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

This summer, I am thrilled to have joined up with a group of amazing new quilt bloggers for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

The hosts this year are:

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I am so happy to be a member of Cheryl’s group, The New Bees.

New Bee Button

I really encourage you to stop by the other New Bees members who are posting this week:

I started blogging in December of 2014 and the first quilt that I shared, Petals in the Wind (Low Volume Fail, Pastel Win!), is still one of my favorites.  This quilt has been accepted into the American Quilter’s Society shows in Syracuse, Grand Rapids, and Chattanooga this year.

Petals in the Wind

Petals in the Wind

Modern Log Cabin is the first quilt that I made after I returned to quilting last year.  It is a “potholder” style quilt that reverses from grey to blue.  This quilt was exhibited at the AQS show in Paducah earlier this year and will also be in the Modern Quilt categories at Grand Rapids and Chattanooga.

Modern Log Cabin

Modern Log Cabin

My pet project for 2015 is to make 50 mini quilts over the course of the year.  So far, I have completed 23/50.  Mini Quilt Mania gives me a format to experiment with a variety of quilting techniques without having to commit to a large project- it’s like keeping a sketchbook!  Details about this project as well as a full list of the mini quilts can be found in the Mini Quilt Mania post.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

π, pi, PIE!

π, pi, PIE!

Embellished Spring

Embellished Spring

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini Quilt

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

Fruit Crush

Fruit Crush

May Flower

May Flower

Yellow Rays

Yellow Rays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve seen a bit of my work, would you like to hear how I got here?

How did you learn to sew?  My Mom started teaching me to sew before I was even in Kindergarten, so the details are a little hazy.  My first quilt was completed when I was about eight, and once I was old enough for 4-H,  I did sewing projects every year for the next decade.  As I grew older, I moved away from quilting and toward clothing construction.  Quilting by hand was just so painfully slow, and after finishing one twin sized quilt, I was done.  In high school I did make a couple of machine quilted jackets that I received student awards for at the American Quilter’s Society Fashion Show in Paducah.

What did you do then?  I went off to college to get a BFA, and since I could sew, I was assigned to do my work-study job in the costume shop of the Drama Department.  I ended up double majoring in Painting and Theatre Design and Technology and later went on to earn an MFA in Scenic Design.  I have worked with many theaters over the years, including ten seasons with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and have worked at a few universities as well.

What has Theatre taught you about sewing?  I am pretty sure I can sew almost anything at this point.  I have created custom patterns and constructed clothing for almost every historical period, sewn stage curtains and drapes, done upholstery, and devised stage props ranging from drawstring bags to a 25′ long pleated, cylindrical (and very phallic), pink velour pillow with tassels at the ends.  Knowing that something very specific has to be created within a certain time frame means  there is little time to worry about messing it up- at some point you just have to dive in and make it happen.  You also become really adept at solving the “challenges” that seem to develop with each project.  This is excellent preparation for devising quilt patterns!

How did you return to quilting?  I was at a job where I wasn’t required to sew a lot, and I thought that maybe I would sew something for myself.  I wandered into a locally owned shop and was stunned to see all the new quilting fabrics.  Pair that selection with fact that machine quilting is now far more acceptable (even expected!), and I was hooked!

Quilting Tip:  Every once in awhile create your own challenge.  Limit it to a small, quick project like a mini quilt or simple bag.  Restrict parameters  so once you start so you will have already limited the choices you have because sometimes having infinite options can really slow us down.  I like to preselect a project, color scheme, and time frame.  An example could be:  One weekend to create a quilted bag using only the colors of black, white, grey, and green using fabrics and supplies already on hand. These small projects can force us to think creatively and can help improve our problem solving “toolbox” for other larger projects.

Blogging Tip:  At the beginning of the year  I created a eight inch square mini quilt that I have used as a background image for all blog “signage” that I have needed.  It provides a consistent element within the blog, and I always have an image available for posts that don’t have a feature quilt picture.

Random Facts:

  • Right now I do freelance work.  Most recently, I worked as a draper (costume pattern maker) for the Summer Nutmeg Series of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.  If you would like to see photos, please check out their Instagram at https://instagram.com/ctrepertorytheatre/  This summer we did Les Mis, Peter Pan, and Xanadu.  The metallic silk chiffon dresses for Xanadu are especially fun- so shiny!
  • I have traveled to 29 US states and lived in Ohio, Missouri, Utah, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Indiana
  • My favorite food is a pretty even tie between pizza, saag paneer, and any sweet baked good
  • Growing up I raised chickens (mostly White Plymouth Rocks)
  • When I sew I almost always watch Netflix (Downton Abby is a favorite) or listen to a podcast (I’ve been catching up on Modern Sewciety)
  • My most commonly requested baked good is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

I have been thinking a lot about gathering inspiration for quilt designs and color schemes and will probably be writing a post on this soon.  What are your thoughts?  Where do you find your inspiration?  Do you tend to be more inspired by quilt related items (books, magazines, quilt shows, etc.)?  Or do you tend to draw more inspiration from seemingly unrelated sources (art, nature, architecture, etc.)?  Is it a combination of these?

Thank you so much for coming by, and I hope to have you visit again!

22 thoughts on “2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

  1. Deb Chimes says:

    Hi Cassandra, you are one very talented sewer/quilter with all that you have made! I really love your Modern Log Cabin Quilt and your idea of making 50 mini quilts this year – wow! I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Mostly I gather my inspiration from quilt related items but have just recently started taking photos of other things in hopes to one day convert these ideas into quilts!

  2. Carla says:

    You can tell just how long you have been sewing and your depth of experience from photos of your work, and I know that if I saw it up close I would see more to admire.
    I hadn’t seen Petals in the Wind on your blog before. It is beautiful. If I didn’t know it was yours, I would have guessed it was a professional Japanese quilter’s work because of the detail and subtle but perfectly blended colours.

  3. Eleanor says:

    Wow! Your Petals in the Wind quilt is just amazing. As Carla says, there’s a real Japanese feel to it. I really love your idea of the mini quilts and will be looking closer!

  4. I love a good saag paneer and naan – I just learned how to make naan at home actually (nom nom nom). :) I find inspiration in all kinds of places, but I do find that I use my surroundings and imagery (photographs) the most. Sometimes I can be inspired by color or fabric, too. I hope the blog hop has been a good experience for you.

  5. Rochelle says:

    I was surprised to see you as a new blogger because I’ve been following you for several months. But I recognize your talent and feel inspired by it. Inspiration for me comes from books and magazines and sometimes (but very rarely) a bolt of inspiration. Mostly I can take a pattern and work it but designing my own project is a whole different story and one I am working on much harder this year.

  6. Hi Cassandra, it’s great to meet you. I really like your Modern Log Cabin and your mini series. To have all the minis as your portfolio of learned stitching techniques is a wonderful idea. I have sewn many things over the years as well. I used to sew huge window valances, sink skirts and other decorative items for a restaurant franchise chain that my sister’s father inlaw started and their family ran. The windows could be upwards of 20 feet window depending on going into a readymade store front or a new build. My brother inlaw had some choice words from my first attempt as I made two panels to fit the 20 foot window. It took forever to wiggle the curtain rod through that. Needless to say, I learned to divide the window into more curtain panels. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  7. Anne Beier says:

    Petals in the Wind is so beautiful. It makes me think of a summer breeze coming off Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. I also love your idea about testing out ideas on something small like a mini-quilt – Great Advice!!

    Inspirations for me comes mainly from nature and places we travel to. However, all the sources you mentioned above play a big hand in the process for me. I designed 6 quilts that I haven’t begun yet, (fear – silly, huh?), that were inspired by architecture I saw while on vacation in Italy last year. Any suggestions on how to get over that are always welcome.

    Last year I participated in the New Bloggers Blog Hop. I met so many wonderful quilt bloggers and learned so much. I hope you find it as fulfilling as I did. Most of all, have fun.
    Best,
    Anne

  8. Hi Cassandra: Part of me is completely jealous. I always wanted to go in to costume design, and even spent some time in the wardrobe department of Opera Australia. It turns out that I was just not that great at making clothes. I’m not sure why. I’d love to take it up again, but I’ve got too many quilting projects to get through at the moment.

    As for inspiration, I’m still at an early point in this journey, so I make other people’s patterns. I’ve got a few of my own that I’ve sketched out and would like to try when I have the time. I’m very drawn to the geometric, and love Art Deco design.

  9. Jayne Willis says:

    So many beautiful quilts! Mini’s are a great way to try something new, practice FMQ or having a quick finish! Thank you for sharing your journey! Inspiration is every where! Looking out a window, walking down the street or even in the grocery store! You just have to open yourself up and take it in!

  10. Lisa says:

    Wow! I am awed by your level of experience and expertise. Your quilts are incredible. I’m sure I can learn lots and lots from you. I love your creative challenges idea. I think I get most of my inspiration from books and magazines but lately I’ve been recording ideas in a notebook from my trips into Toronto….markings on trucks…modern buildings etc. Haven’t done anything with them yet.

  11. Sarah says:

    Petals in the Wind is gorgeous! Also, I love your quilting tip. I think it’s a great idea I will definitely try to challenge myself more. It was nice learning a bit more about you!

  12. Kim S. says:

    Wow! Cassandra! You are so incredibly talented! I am so amazed at the depth of your skill and knowledge in every aspect of sewing. I think the mini project is just brilliant! I’m in love with so many that you showcased in this post (in addition to your larger quilts), and as soon as I finish writing this, I can’t wait to go check out your entire mini mania collection! So nice to have met you through the blog hop. Can’t wait to see what else you are working on!

  13. Sarah Goer says:

    I love the variety in your mini quilts. As a former math teacher, I especially love your Pi/Pie quilt. I agree that mini quilts are such a nice size for trying something new. I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to stretch myself on many of my mini swap quilts. I love your quilting tip and if I didn’t have a million WIPs at the moment, I’d totally start something new as a challenge to myself. 😉 Oh. My. Gosh. Those cupcakes sound amazing! I like geometric designs, so I tend to develop my quilt blocks from sketching on graph paper. I’d like to start trying to take more direct inspiration from the world around me. I’ve been snapping photos lately of non-quilt world things that I think could be great inspiration.

  14. Hello Cassandra! So great to meet you. I was part of last year’s new bloggers hop and loved it. You and I have SO much in common that it’s almost scary. I, too, have a background in theatre and spent time in the costume shop. I went on to get my MFA in technical design and production – specifically stage management. Where did you go to school, if I may ask? I saw that you listed Ohio as living previously and wonder if we went to one of the same schools. Looking forward to seeing more of your work/blog in the future!

  15. I love your work and your tips. Thanks for sharing! I love a new challenge! I find inspiration in pretty much everything but I draw a lot from art. I love works from Matisse, Calder, E.Kelly but also try to look into my own culture and Brazilian artists.

  16. Mary says:

    Hi Cassandra, I’m sorry to be so late responding to your blog hop post. I am in awe of your extensive sewing/quilting experience. Your goal of 50 mini quilts in one year makes my head spin. I think my favorites of photos of your work that you shared are the modern log cabin and the winter trees. Because I’m so new to quilting, my inspiration tends to be quilting blogs (like yours!) and a lot of Pinterest pins. I look forward to seeing more of your inspiring work. Mary

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