Friday, January 29, 2016

Sister Sampler Quilts Blog Hop/The Name Game Special Edition: Gen X Quilters

I'm a fan of sampler quilts, so I have been a fan of AnneMarie Chany for a long time. She takes traditional blocks and incorporates them into the most creative settings. When she asked me to be part of a blog hop to get the word out about her new book, Sister Sampler Quilts, I didn't hesitate for a minute to say yes!
If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you may be aware that every other year I make a king-sized quilt for an auction where all the proceeds benefit Third World Relief. I chose AnneMarie's Moccasin pattern for the upcoming auction in April. Isn't this an amazing setting?  I needed the quilt to be larger than the original pattern, so I included some Vice Versa blocks as well.
It's being quilted by my husband's cousin--we work in tandem every other year--and I can hardly wait to get it back!

I totally "borrowed" the fabric selection from Kristi Owens (@71 stitches on Instagram). She graciously gave me the list of fabrics she had selected and I was able to track nearly all of them down and duplicate the quilt she made.

I had originally planned on making the Vice Versa Sampler in shades of blue (before I was totally sidetracked by the Moccasin design!), and without a doubt, this will be made for an upcoming auction.

The premise of Sister Sampler Quilts is that blocks are made in pairs. In Sister's Ten Sampler and Bonfire Sampler, the blocks can be the same (identical twins) or made from different fabrics (sisters).

However, in the Vice Versa Sampler, one block has the lights, darks and backgrounds in the most common location, while the sister block is just the opposite. I LOVE this concept!
Vice Versa blocks, Bear's Paw
I decided that in addition to showing some blocks from AnneMarie's book, it would be fun to have her play The Name Game for her blog, Gen X Quilters. So here we go.
How did you choose the name for your blog?  

Does anyone actually start a blog on a whim?  ​Yes!  I did.  I didn't even really know what blogs were when I sat down at a screen and decided to invent one.  I had looked my cousin-in-law's photography blog as she started a business and decided I wanted to do one too.  So without a single clue, I created a blog called Quilting Chronicles.  I think I only lasted there for a month or 2 while I tried to figure out what a blog was all about.  Somewhere in there I discovered the reason I wanted to begin a blog: To meet other quilters.  I had been sewing alone in my basement for 5 years.  Alone.  Alone.  Alone.  None of my friends quilted, let alone sewed.  Every time I went into a quilt shop, I was the youngest one there by 20, 30, 40 years.  I realized I wanted to meet someone who was in my age group and also enjoyed quilting as much as I did.  At the time, I was a young mom and balanced my hobby between raising babies and growing new ones.  I decided to revamp and called the new blog Gen X Quilters as a desperate call for friends.  :)  I figured that no matter what phase of life you are in - your generation never changes.  And you have an inexplicable bond with those who grew up in the same times as you.  When I am 70, I will still be a Gen Xer, hopefully retired and looking for someone to go on the Quilt Shop Bus Tour.  I have met SO many wonderful people through blogging of all different ages.  And it's pretty clear that true quilters quickly become obsessed.....

Vice Versa blocks, Mosaic No. 5
 Were the other names you considered?  

Since most of the beginning of my blog career was done on a whim, I can't say I spent a lot of time brainstorming on a name.  I'm more of a jump-in-feet-first kind of person.  So I wanted to get writing and sewing right away.
Vice Versa Blocks, Shoofly
 Now that your are recognized by your blog name, are you happy with it?  Or do you wish you could change it to something else?  

Most of the time I'm happy with it.  There are days when I wish I chose a prettier, more flowery name.  Something cuter and feminine.  There are other days where I consider switching to use my own name. 

AnneMarie agreed to some bonus questions too. :)

What is the best piece of quilting advice you have received?

 I found my local long arm quilter in 2010.  From the beginning, she encouraged me.  At that time, modern quilting was getting started, but certainly didn't exist locally for me.  My quilts were always a little bit different from what she normally saw and she encouraged me to pursue something further.  I thought she was crazy.  I don't think I would have had the guts to showcase my work online without her commentary and advice in the back of my head telling me that my sewing was good enough.  I think we naturally doubt ourselves and our abilities.

What is your go-to snack food for quilting?

Ummmmm.  I'm a bit of a loony health nut.  I don't eat while I sew.  What if food got on the fabric?!?!?!?!!?!?  I drink a lot of tea in my studio. :)

Beyond designing, what is your favorite part of making a quilt?  

Hands down, piecing.  I absolutely love to sit at my machine and piece.  There is something about watching the blocks take shape that I just love.  That and the soothing hum of my sewing machine.

I hope you will check out AnneMarie's blog because there is a wealth of information, tutorials, block library.

Also check out her new book. Sister Sampler Quilts is beautifully written, Along with three creative samplers, there are some great tutorials--half square and quarter-square triangles, flying geese, curves, etc. It will make a great addition to your quilting library.

If you have missed any of these posts, there is a lot more inspiration so please check them out.

Monday, January 18  
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters - Introduction
Sara Lawson / Sew Sweetness

Tuesday, January 19 
Leah Day / Free Motion Project
Brenda Ratliff / Just A Bit Frayed

Wednesday, January 20
Faith Jones / Fresh Lemons Quilts
Angela Pingel / Cut To Pieces

Thursday, January 21
Lynne Goldsworthy / Lily's Quilts
Amy Friend / During Quiet Time

Friday, January 22
Christa Watson / Christa Quilts
Violet Craft

Monday, January 25
Lee Heinrich / Freshly Pieced
Melissa Corry / Happy Quilting

Tuesday, January 26
Karen Lewis / Karen Lewis Textiles
Amy Gibson / Stitchery Dickory Dock

Wednesday, January 27
Sherri McConnell / A Quilting Life
Melissa Mortensen / Polka Dot Chair

Thursday, January 28
Heather Valentine / The Sewing Loft

Friday, January 29
Cindy Wiens / Live A Colorful Life/You are HERE!
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters - Wrap Up