Saturday, December 28, 2013

Answering Sew Mama Sew's Reflections & Predictions Q's 2013

I know its the height of the holidays and there are many of you how probably still have a house full of guest that are hanging around until the new year passes, and I am going to guess that the last thing you are doing... is blog reading. So let me get you up to speed! Whether you do or do not follow Sew Mama Sew listen up! Sew Mama Sew is running their annual Reflections + Predictions series. They have chosen 10 of the top people that stood out in 2013 and asked these folks about their thoughts. The good folks at Sew Mama Sew also asked average folks like you and me to chime in too and link your post in the comments section of any of the Reflections + Predictions post on their site. They said that they swear that they will read what you have to say, so hey... why not give it a go!

Looking back what trends stand out?

As far as style: Chevrons, herringbone, and hombre (yes, that is the correct spelling). Lots of color! Less grey as the year went on. Yay! [a little dose of sarcasm in that "Yay!"]

Ombre sidekicker

The scrappy trip around the world was a smash hit, and even though I did not participate in the event I came up with a version on my own with this rag quilt. 

Trip around the world baby

The biggest trend I noticed was the blend of modern and traditional. Whether they are aware of it or not Julie Herman (Jaybird Quilts), Virginia Findley Wolf, and the three lovely ladies Katie Clark Blakesley, Faith Jones, and Lee Heinrich who are behind the newly released book Vintage Quilt Revival started tying that divide between modern and traditional quilters. A lot of folks started to drop the labels that defined themselves as modern or traditional quilters (I, myself included) and started calling ourselves/themselves quilters. This accrued more so after the 2013 QuiltCon quilt show where many quilters who defined themselves as "modern" quilters no longer felt that they were after the whole uproar from the judges "negative" comments left on their quilt's entry sheets. Not to mention after the show many folks looked back onto the Modern Quilt Guild's (MQG) website and found that the MQG changed their definition of what defines someone as a modern quilter and heads rolled over the change.

Picture 2451.1
    Quilt samples for sale at Red Rooster Quilts, Dublin, Ohio (Columbus)

Another large trend I noticed were a lot of folks started self publishing more, teaching and or writing books.

Was there a personal or industry high point?

I would have to say being asked to appear in Moda Bake Shop's spring ad. It was everywhere and I was thrilled not only to be in it but to be in the company of so many talented quilters. There is no lie that all these ladies are very talented!

Moda's 2013 ad.

What did you make that you were most proud of?

On the small scale, I actually tackled hand stitching a cathedral window block. I have always loved this block, even before I became a quilter.

Cathedral Windows

My biggest high and I believe this is why I was asked to be the the bake shop ad is because of this quilt...

MIdwest Crossings 9

It nearly kicked my butt because I was putting it together around the holidays 2012 (such a bad idea) but I persevered and was thrilled over the reception over it. Even though it was not a modern design, it has received more love from other quilters who have seen it in person and online.

I am super proud that this was the second large quilt I free-motion quilted on my home machine.

Finished Quilting

Take a closer look at the quilting!!!

 the Quilt spoke

Here is the proof of it that it was quilted on a home machine!

Its the Weekend!

I not only entered it in the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival for Quilt Photography but I also entered it into a local show. I did not win any prizes from either show but it did make it into the local paper.

My Quilt made the local newspaper! 

Photo from the show...

Picture 2353.1

Who's work inspired you or awed you?

For a moment I was going to say that there really was not any one who inspired me. After reading Virginia Finley Wolf's interview with Sew Mama Sew (Reflections + Predictions) where Virginia says:

The surprise “high point” was winning QuiltCon. “Double Edged Love” grew out of some very personal issues I was dealing with at the time. It was a “turning point” quilt in my work. I had so many light bulb moments happening while making that quilt; I knew there was more to be done with it. By that I mean making more DWR quilts (Double Wedding Ring). QuiltCon was not even on my radar, so that was a double surprise. Having Lisa Sipes quilt it was the icing on the cake. “Double Edged Love” is the quilt I am most proud of.

 When I made “Double Edged Love” I had so many ideas come up about the relationship between myself and my grandmother’s work, where I’m from, and where I am now. They are truly full circle moments for me…
I remembered how surprised I was when in the middle of all the negative hype that came from the QuiltCon show Virginia's quilt was chosen best in show. I personally believe that Virginia's quilt was the most positive thing that came out of that show. Here is a quilt that has so much going on, and yet this quilt ties modern and traditional together. Its ingenious!  I will go on to say that I do not know what issues Virginia was dealing with but I can sense that one issue might be the divide between modern and traditional quilting. I also find myself in that divide. I used to struggle with both sides and when I threw in the towel and mentally told both sides to go take a hike, I felt so liberated! I was free of labels, and it felt good to just be a quilter. To me it feels good to make or create something even when it does not jive with what is in or even trending, so as long as I have a good time making it, what does it matter to anyone how savvy it is!  --"Savvy!!!" [immatating Caption Jack Sparrow]

What was your favorite fabric collection or print?

I loved Shelbourne Falls by Denyse Schmidt but then I really fell in love with Denyse's Florence line too. I also love April Showers Bonnie and Camille, Downton Abbey by Kathy Hall, and both of Carolyn Friedlander's lines.

You you have a book, pattern or class from this past year you would recommend?

I have been a fan of Julie Herman's work for a very long time and I would recommend any of her patterns. She is not only designing larger quilts but she also has a Little Jaybird line for anyone who is only interested in making smaller quilts.

What are your thoughts on social media? How is it going for you? What you love or hate?

I have a love/hate for social media! For me, if I did not have it, my blog would not be read. I graced over the issue of  it in my September blog post: Let's discuss it: Defining it, Naming it , and Branding it  feel free to read the full post if you want but the part I discuss about social media is posted below.
Another part of branding your name is being involved in social media, which I am awful at it! I am what is called a blog dumper. I live for my blog more that I do for social media and post all my blog post to my social media and that is it. I do not really get involved in social media. Its not that I am not social I just always feel awkward being there. Especially running a page. Its like talking to yourself, and when you do get a bite or like, retweet, etc. its like and ego boost. Yay, I must be doing something right to deserve that Like! Sorry about the little dose of sarcasm.  Anyway, social media if you do get involved with it will boost not only you, your blog but also your brand. Since social media is pretty much has become 100%  a part of our daily lives, I am sure ya'll are aware of the power it will hold to either help or hurt you. Does it mean you have to be on every single source of social media? Yes and no! Yes, because it makes you more connected to everyone and more available. It does help that you are available to the public, that way if someone does not want to follow your blog by going to your site or in a reader site they can follow you through their choice of social media to see what you have been up to. That is why I have kept my social media around so that if someone has a question or wants to get a hold of me I am there. As for saying no, no you do not have to be on every single social medium out there to brand yourself. You can choose to be where you feel the most comfortable and still do well. If you think about it when social media first appeared around 2005 everyone was on MySpace. Well, I should say all the kids were on it, then came the parents. Once the parents moved in the kids moved out to Facebook. Then the parental migration happened on Facebook and the kids moved to Twitter. Now a days the parental and child migration has seized to the most part and everyone now goes to the most current trending and favorable social media. Right now that happens to be Instagram. Personally I am not on it, because I do not have the means to be on it. My daughter and my nieces tried it and hated it. Yep, I heard directly out of three teenagers mouths of -- "This is so stupid!" in regards to Instagram. Which only proves to me that you don't have to be every where to get noticed. Word of mouth travels just as well too!
I used to feel bad for having older kids when everyone else had babies and toddlers to sew for and post about it. But thank God I have teenagers and a twenty something who keep in tabs on what they feel is hip and cool. Yes, I am considered a minority for not being on Instagram do to no cell phone or fancy hand held  glued to my hand 24/7. My husband and I chatted about this one night at the dinner table, and he has a point. We really do not need one because we are either at home or in his case at work. Plus I do not want the relationship that my sister has with her kids. My sister and her kids don't even talk to each other anymore, they text or social media each other, and they are sitting right next to each other! Mind blowing right?!?!? No, not really. To be honest I really thought social media would have blown over by now, but here we are nearly ten, yes, ten years later, and it is still here and bigger and stronger than ever. Its amazing, to think when I was a kid I used to dream of something like social media because I hated living in my small Ohio town with small closed minded mentalities. I thought it would be awesome to connect with others in different parts of the country or even the world. And yet, here it is in the form of social media. How do I handle it? Not very well. Its not that I say stupid things to get attention, I am just not there, and you literately have to practically live on social media these days to get noticed or even to get your blog read. As I wrote in my post pick a medium your are comfortable on and do your worst at it or be your best.

What do you predict for 2014? (It could be related to style, social media, manufacturing, etc.)

Even though I still love to blog, I see a lot of folks dropping off and sticking to the short form media of social media. I say this because there is a huge gratification in getting noticed, and lets face it blogging takes a lot of time. I do see a lot of video tutorials popping up thanks to Creative Bug, Craftsy, Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co., and Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop. I have even considered it myself and I do believe more folks are going to stop writing and start sticking to the more visual leaning. The only downside to all of this is that y'all better be prepared to put in subtitles or write out the whole video for the hearing impaired. Just a food for thought to take in consideration the hearing impaired. I mention this because there was a designer who did their whole tutorial via video and they were raked over the coals from someone who was deaf and others complained that the person mumbled through out the entire tutorial. Just say'in!

Style wise. I have been leaning towards more color. I have going through Pinterest and pinning a lot of photographs with various amounts of color in them for inspiration. I think we will be putting the grey to rest and seeing more Amish type of quilts with black in the sashings and background. We will also be seeing other colors popping in like red and navy blue just to name a few. I honestly believe it will be anything goes this year as far as color wise. As for prints, I am not particularly leaning on any one thing right now. For the last few years we have seen and demanded large bold genomic prints, and even though I have had my fill of them, I don't think they will be going away anytime soon.

Who do you think will be the rising of 2014?

That is hard for me to say because I really have not been following as closely to the who is who like I used to. Honestly, I have been doing my own thing and dealing with my family more. However, it will be interesting to see who is the next "rock star" in the year to come.

Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any project or life changing goals you would like to share?

I am hoping to become published in a few magazines but before I can do that I have to get busy in creating something clever to get there. I am just going to continue on doing my own thing. I plan on keeping the blog more quilt worthy and less mama drama, which so far I have been on pretty good behavior about doing so. I see it this way, since there are so many folks starting to drop off like flies in the blogging world I had better put my butting gear and start being more informative. People are not going to come to you because you have the cutest kids on the planet and want to hear you chat about them all day. People want to come to you for your knowledge, and what informative, educational information you can give them so that they can become better quilters. So don't be what my kids call a "Troll on the internet!" Basically a "troll" is someone who throws their opinions around with no intellect behind it. Believe me, that one hit me hard when that was brought up at the dinner table.  

Is there anything else about the sewing industry you like to talk about? (It could be good or bad, but hopefully constructive)

Let's talk about attitude and product pushing! There is nothing wrong with introducing a new product on to the market. But what has made my stomach turn in the past two years is when certain popular "rock stars" in this industry receive a product (sometimes a very expensive product) before its even released and rub it in people's faces. Then they have the gull to write; "Are you jealous?"  My first thought, --Ah, no, I am not jealous! But can I backhand you into the next century for writing that? Seriously!!! What a twit!

Its been five years now since the recession effected everyone's lives, and there are many people still feeling and living that nightmare. As for the rest of us we have adapted to a new normal of budgeting and living off one income. So the last thing that is needed is some idiot running around rubbing a product in people's faces that will be obsolete before it even hits the market and asking if they are jealous over it.

As far as attitude goes, I have seen my share of bad ones here just as much as I have seen good ones. I get that there are folks out there at rather be hanging around others who are like minded, and have the same taste. Not a problem. However, there is still this great divide among quilters. Now that there is more of a younger generation of quilters in this industry than there ever used to be (thanks to the recession of course). Both sides of the great divide need to start coming together. Drop the labels and the bad attitudes and start looking at both sides of the fence through each other's eyes. It will be amazing what both sides will learn from each other with open minds. For God's sake we are all quilters and excuse the pun but we are all here for the love of quilting. I am saying this because not only did the older quilters learn things from me, but I learned some things from them as well. Just say'n!

Anyway that is all I have for now. I'll be back to get some more writing done, some for the new year a head and some for the end of the year. Thanks for stopping by!


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