Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why do I do it?

This question has been running circles in my brain for the past year amidst a host of other questions. Why do I do it? Why do I love to make quilts? Why am I obsessed with sewing? Why did I give up what my mother would call a good job to make "stuff" for a living?

I'm still looking for the answers. In looking for those answers I have discovered a myriad of interesting things about the care and feeding of Cheryl. Sewing is like air to me. I need it to breathe. Sewing is my language. I use it to survive and communicate. Sewing is how I bonded with my mother as a kid. I have witnessed how humble pieces of cloth can bring tears to the eyes. I make clothes so that my outer appearance is as unique as my inner spirit. I make quilts to capture a whisper of a moment and preserve a little history. I am good at it. I am obsessed with it. I can't be left unattended in a craft shop of any sort. It is how I choose to spend my time and money.

I have a natural aptitude for sewing that I have nurtured my entire life. Every book I have read on crafting, every show I have Tivo-ed and watched a hundred times, every mistake, and every unfinished project has made me into the artist/crafter/hermit that I am today. I have crafted this existence one day at a project at a time.

I used to feel like I had to justify my choice to be an artist to people who have more conventional jobs (that's my own people pleasing baggage hard at work) but no more. I think the answer is much simpler than I would like to admit.

I'm pretty good at it. It makes me happy. That's it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Coming up for air

I have been crazy busy lately. I finally remodeled my sewing room into a workable space where I can find everything and have enough room to get things done. It feels great to be organized. The quilts have been rolling off the machine at a pretty fast clip. I even pulled off a few mini quilting miracles. So I am back and have time to continue working on my website upgrade and I am also working on getting my podcasts rolling again. So stay tuned!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My quilting idol

Yesterday at my quilt guild meeting I had the opportunity to meet a quilting goddess, Sharon Schamber. She was amazingly funny. I really enjoyed myself and seeing her quilts in person brought tears to my eyes. She even let us touch them. Breathtaking. I just don't have the words to describe how awesome it was. I can only hope to be a fraction as awesome as she is at some point in my career. Sharon recently won the $100,00 quilt challenge with her gorgeous quilt Scarlet Serenade. She has won countless quilting honors and shows. I can tell from just hearing her speak that she is a very happy and fulfilled woman.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Grunt work

I'm going to be re-working my website this month and making some samples to be photographed for some advertising I am planning on doing. I feel a little overwhelmed by it all but it has to be done...I just wish it didn't have to be done by me. I am not the best businesswoman on earth, just ask my husband, but I am working on it. I wish I could just do the quilting and some magical gnome from the land of OG would do all the stuff I hate like working on my website, pricing my work, selling, collecting money, etc.
It is difficult to do tedious tasks that don't involve art for me, but I am learning and doing a little bit more every day. My dear husband has been my salesman, financier, and my voice for far too long. I have been leaning on him too much. It's time to be a big girl. Blah. I don't wanna grow up.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mother and Daughter

This quilt was a commission for Christmas. I had quite the time of it trying to get this one done but I think it turned out fairly well. I like that it is a tender moment between a mother and child captured in cloth. Now what could be better than that?

Bridal portrait

I just love the way that this one turned out. I think weddings are such a special occasion and I love being a part of making them even more special. Sometimes I feel like people think that bridal portraits are old fashioned but what a great reminder of how beautiful you looked on one of the most important days of your life. I'm checking this one off as one of my most favorite portraits ever. My Adi quilt would be a close second.

Stitchy background

I am a seamstress first and foremost. Making clothes is my first love. When I was sixteen I made my first quilt and it was interesting to say the least but I was hooked. Two and a half years ago I bought my longarm sewing machine and I took to it like a duck to water. It felt like going from doing things the hard way to doing things the super secret easy way. I think it helped that I like to draw and doodle because that is all that quilting is. Today I am an APQS dealer and know a whole lot about quilting that I didn't know before.
I love making quilted portraiture. I made my first portrait quilt of 50's pinup Bettie Page while my husband was out of town on business and I was bored and wanted to create something different and I have been making them ever since. A friend of mine once called me a frustrated painter and I would probably agree except I work in fiber and thread. I make wedding quilts, signature quilts, t-shirt quilts, baby quilts, and corsets. I am a real Jane of all trades when it comes to fiber. I dye all my own fabric for my portrait quilts and my big project right now is to write a book detailing the techniques I use. I hope to have it finished before the weather breaks. Busy, busy!