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Thursday
Feb072013

Quilting Classes

Over the past five months, I've been teaching beginning quilting to enthusiastic sewists at Modern Domestic. It's such a joy to teach people who are initially fearful of the quilting process, that there is nothing to fear! The smiles as they leave the final session with their finished quilt are so priceless! 

Here's a peek of this joyous occasion! 

 

Wednesday
Jan302013

QuiltCon Linky Party

The Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a little link party, so that we can all get to know each other before the big event! I'll admit, I'm a little skeptical of getting to know everyone, as I think there are hundreds if not thousand(s) of people going to be there, but it's always fun to play along!

 

 

 

 First, they asked to post a pic of yourself, so here I am... and five things that you may not know about me. 

1) Throughout my whole childhood, (K-HS graduation) my parents home schooled me. Whenever I tell people this they are always so shocked as I don't fit whatever home schooled mold they have in their head. I like to think of this as a good thing! ;) But for however much I hated it during those teen years,  now looking back I'm so thankful for it.

2) When my husband and I were married seven years ago, we didn't care a lick about furniture and design...my how times have changed! Check out our business, Remnant

3) I have run 3 half-marathons and one full marathon in Santa Barbara.

4) I quit my secure job teaching fifth grade in Menlo Park, CA to peruse the dream of the 90's in Portland, OR. ;) 

5) It was my dream to be like Martha Stewart, growing up my mom and I would watch her orginial show (the good one) everyday. We viewed it as one of my "classes." 

 

 

 

I look forward to meeting lots of you at QuiltCon! 

Tuesday
Jan292013

QuiltCon Charity Quilt

First off, thanks for the feedback on my honesty post! You guys are the best! ;) 

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Throughout January, I've been sewing up a storm! This charity quilt top is just one of the projects I finished.  Quilt Con is less than a month away, but months ago, people from all over the world submitted blocks as part of the QuiltCon challenge. With the leftover blocks, guilds were given blocks to then make quilts for Austin Children's Shelter. There are enough quilts being made for each child to receive their own! I volunteered to piece together the blocks into a twin size quilt. Other friends from PMQG, pieced the back, quilted it, and bound it.

Above are the blocks that I recieved. I had a hard time at first deciding on how to piece all of these blocks together. At first I thought that gray would be the best to use as the background. But as I thought about a little girl or boy receiving this, gray didn't seem like the right fit. Not too cheerful! Also, there were two blocks that didn't seem to go as well with the rest. I decided that each block should have a gray border, once I added this to the two "outsider" blocks, it really made a big difference in making the whole quilt cohesive.

Next decision, what to use to piece the blocks. Honestly, I was trying to use what I had on hand rather than make another trip to the fabric store. After taking inventory of my solids, I had quite a bit of blue. All of a sudden it clicked, Starry Night! That would be the name and concept for this quilt.  

I laid out the arrangement of the blocks that I liked and started to improvisational piece together the blues. However, I choose too dark of a blue and it was starting to stand out too much. When looking at it, your eye is drawn too much to the dark blue. I posted a few pics on Instagram and got advice from my quilting pals and they all agreed. Sometimes your seam ripper can be your friend. :)

I really enjoyed improv piecing this top together. It was also amazing that this came out to just the right size, and I had just the right amount of fabric! 

Here's a finished pic of the final quilt, I really hope that this quilt makes some little guy feel extra special and loved! Don't you just love the back that Susan and Anne made?!

This quilt has inspired me to do lots more improv piecing...I love how you don't know exactly what it will look like in the end, but it often is better than you imagined. What do you like about improv piecing?

Monday
Jan282013

Honestly,

Wow, where to being? This is officially the longest break I've taken from this blog, and it wasn't intentional. However, lots of change has been happening and I've been mulling for the past three months what to do about this blog.

Let me explain: 

Back in Dec. 2010 when I started Joy of all Crafts, I was looking for a creative outlet from being a school teacher and enjoyed reading many design and craft blogs. The more I read blogs, the more I thought, "I can do this!" When starting, I knew it wouldn't take off (popularity/traffic wise) at least right away, I had so much to learn: writing, has never been my strong suit, so much technology to learn, domains, website hosting, blogging platforms, photography, Photoshop and much more. Slowly, I began hacking away at these, I took classes, read lots of tutorials, read books, I learned lots of skills that I value.

Once my husband and I moved to Portland in July 2011, I knew that I wanted to try and blog professionally. At least enough to make some kind of income. I tried really hard to post five days a week, be on all social media platforms, to really grow my readership. I created many DIY projects specifically for this blog and because it was lots of fun creating projects and sharing them here. It really led to me becoming so involved with quilting and PMQG. But spending many, many hours, creating the project, gathering supplies, taking pictures, writing, and editing the post and pictures, could never pay the rent. The blog grew, but never enough to feel like I could really reach out to companies. I went to Alt, learned lots, make lots of connections, but as the year went on (2012), I realized I didn't want to be yet another craft blog and have to blog about some product to get any sort of payment (I do know there are other ways to earn income, but this is the majority of how bloggers make money though sponsored posts. Read this transparent article by Nicole from Making It Lovely, if your interest is peaked). At this point, I've had the opportunity to work with many sponsors through Clever Girls (an ad agency I was accepted into), but nothing clicked enough with what I feel my "brand" is to make it worth it. 

Meanwhile, my husband, Chris, and I have been really focusing on growing our business, Remnant. Over the past year, I've taught myself how to upholster furniture and we are now both able to work full-time as vendors in this vintage city of Portland. We are still in the beginning growing pains of launching our small business, but every month things become more clear for how we are to make a living doing what we love. Over the past three months, it became clear to Chris and I that I needed to use the skills I learned from Joy of all Crafts and apply them to Remnant. At the time, Chris had his PDX Picker blog, and I had this blog, but it made more sense to merge his blog to Remnant and for myself to contribute to this and manage our Remnant blog. 

All of a sudden, it felt like all of the work I did for this blog was worth it. I have never wanted to be a quitter, however, I honestly felt like I had quit on making this blog my priority and my income. But now, I can take everything that I've learned and apply it to our business. It's such a blessing to use the skills I learned in blogging. It's also been a different and good process working together on our blog, rather than it being a solo venture.

If you've gotten this far, you're probably prepared for me to say that I will no longer blogging here. However, that isn't my plan or how I feel. Instead, there will be more of shift in how and what I blog about. First and foremost, I will continue to share all of my crafty endeavors, which currently seems to consist of a lot of quilting, sewing and knitting. But the shift is instead of doing something just to create content and have something to blog about, I will only be posting about projects that I would do whether or not I had a blog. However, there many be an occasional tutorial or pattern. Secondly, I've long been wanting this space to truly be a place where I can share my thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams, and simply life! Before, I felt hesitant to, that people wouldn't want to read about my life (even though I had lots of wise people tell me this wasn't true, it's still how I felt). These are the top two criteria that will shape the content of this blog. 

To sum up, I'm so thankful for the many, many people who stop by here and spend some of their precious time here. I've loved all of the relationships that have developed though and because of this blog. I hope that this continues and that in response I may continue to inspire you to create, as I find there is so much joy in making things yourself! But most of all, I want to be honest and share and be myself here. :) 

It makes me think, ... Why do you read blogs? What keeps you going back to the same blog or stop visiting? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

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PS - I know there are many of you who have encouraged me with upholstery and our business. I'd love it if you checked out our blog! We post weekly bios on Mid Century designers, we are hosting a Mid-Century link up party every Monday, lots of before and afters of our projects and new arrivals to the shop. 

Mid Century Mondays

Mid Century Designers

 

Monday
Dec312012

2012 in Review

Here are some of my personal highlights and a few of my favorite blog posts from 2012! 
January: Attending Alt Summit really helped me understand so much more about blogging, even though I realized that blogging as a career probably isn't in my path, but I learned so much even as a future business owner and ultimately helps to grow our business. Also, I got to meet and interview Emily Henderson! Definitely a big highlight of 2012! 
 
February: I started working at Collage and was constantly inspired by the amazing selection of supplies and ephemera 
In March, I was thrilled to contribute a diy project to Design Sponge, celebrated my 28th birthday, and began collecting CathrineHolm dishware. 
In April, I was able to visit back home and a few guest bloggers dropped in! 
In May we finalized our plans and named our business, Remnant. We kicked off this year's Portland Flea season and have been vending each month since! Also, I finished my first big upholstery project, that really kicked off all of my future upholstery projects. 
Favorite Crewel embroidery find! 
Inspired mid-century design, I made this quilt, Retro Modern Shapes, for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. 
In June, I was featured on HGTV.com illustrating neon trend in home decor. A lovely friend, Kate, allowed me to use her gorgeous home as a set. 
My mom came and visited Portland, and I started teaching quilting classes at Modern Domestic. 
In July, I visited Sisters, OR for the Outdoor Quilt Show, and enjoyed seeing my quilt along with many others hung all around town. I stayed in an amazing home with great friends and woke up to this view! 
Throughout the summer months, August especially, I went to as many garage sales as possible, here are a few of my favorite finds:
Being featured in the Oregonian daily newspaper was especially exciting! 
Visiting Seattle with all of my PMQG quilting friends and enjoying some amazing weather was a trip I won't easily forget! Here's Susan and I traveling across the weather from Vashon Island to West Seattle. 
In September, PMQG was contacted to do a super early morning TV interview! It was fun to be a part of it and experience a little behind the scenes action. 
I made this block for the QuiltCon Block Challenge, over 500 blocks were received and mine was chosen to be the quilt that they will be raffling off at QuiltCon. I'm still very honored! 
Here it is in the quilt: 
In October, I embarked on a new adventure: sewing clothes! 

Made these leather necklaces with a little tutorial: 
In November, we were thrilled to the max to be renting space in the new vintage shop in town, Vintage Design Collective.
I finished quilting this baby quilt for a special friend:  
In December, we also started renting space in a second vintage shop in Portland, Hawthorne Vintage! And I finished this Eames-inspired quilt for our bed and to enter into QuiltCon (which got accepted! As well as my retro modern shapes quilt!) 
It's truly been an amazing year. Thanks so much for following me on this journey. In the next year, I will use this blog to share my life and creative processes. If you're interested in our business, Remnant, Chris and I will be blogging together and sharing our before and afters, new projects and products, vintage finds (and a link party), mid-century designers, and tips on how to restore your own furniture. I hope to see you there, too!