An actual craft post, yay!

Sewing and crafting has been slow. Really slow. The first trimester exhaustion and nausea that inhibited my crafting abilities has yet to dissipate, even though I am now at 19 weeks, and so almost halfway through this pregnancy.

When I first fell pregnant, the plan was to just take a crafting break for a few months because I assumed this pregnancy would be like the other two and I would start bouncing back at around 13 weeks. That has yet to happen, and I don’t want to go this whole time in a crafting funk, so I’m trying to adapt and just work more slowly through projects (something I didn’t even think was possible, as I am possibly the Slowest Craft Ever).

Cross stitch has been a nice, easy, fairly mindless thing to do when I want to sit and do nothing (which is all the time), but also do *something*.

I’ve been working on this adorable little sampler from last year at Cloudsfactory. I started it last August, so I’ve been working on it a year and I’m still only in May. Like I said, slowest crafter ever.

I also started a little Halloween wall hanging in the Cotton + Steel Spellbound line, which is probably the only Halloween fabric I have ever liked. I figured since hubby and I actually own a home now and I sew, I should like, make pretty stuff for it. I’ve been “working” on these for about two months now, and all I have to show for it are just two blocks. Seriously. Sewing is hard when you can’t brain.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/91936282@N00/20526445639/in/datetaken/

I started a queen sized quilt way back in March and haven’t worked on it since I got pregnant, but I need to get back to it. It was originally from a quilt a long hosted by Modern Handcraft. I am only about two blocks into it because SCE (see above). I’m using neutral Kona solids with the Shimmer line, by Jennifer Sampou. It’s supposed to be dwarfy.

I’ll end the post here with some deep thoughts, brought to you by DMX:

A year in review – thoughts on using Instagram for quilt inspiration (part one – the good)

It’s been about a year since I first discovered Instagram as a great way to network and meet other amazing quilters. I’ll have to credit Molli Sparkles with being the first quilter I followed, and from his page, the three or so hundred I now follow. I think the easiest way for me to work through my thoughts on this would be a simple pro/con list, because I do have a fair few of both.

Pros:
1)This one is easy, really. Getting to “meet” amazing quilt artists from all over the world and being able to expose myself to a huge variety of quilts and styles. I’ve mostly followed the modern crowd, but I do have a few more traditional quilters on me feed as well.

2)The fabrics! I would have never, ever known about some of the amazing lines of fabrics that have come out this year or in the past. This has been a bit of a double edged sword (as you’ll see in the cons list), but overall it’s been quiet positive. I’ve learned about some great shops, both larger internet ones, small etsy shops, and my local modern quilt shop.

(Denise Schmidt fabrics are  my jam, yo)

3)The quilts, duh – Of course, amazing quilters using amazing fabrics are going to make some killer quilts. I confess, I have hundreds of pictures of quilts and quilts in progress saved on my phone just to easily refer back to and look at because so many are so gosh darn pretty.

4)Global participation/swaps/trades/etc – I think it’s just awesome that I’ve made some quilt friends from all over the world. I love it. I love thinking about how even though they might be on the literal opposite side of the world, we all share a common interest and spend many of our days sitting at our sewing machine, taking photographs of our work and sharing and commenting. Even better, that some of these people take it upon themselves to organize swaps so that we can gift each other with what I consider basically beautiful pieces of art, created from the heart of someone else for another, regardless of skill level. Through these swaps, I’ve learned how to appreciate fabrics and aesthetics that I might have overlooked as “not my taste” and never thought about again, but by using fabric out of my comfort zone to make something to the taste of my partner, or my receiving something my partner has made for me, I can see fabrics, techniques, everything in a new, refreshing, and inspirational light.

(Minis I’ve received in swaps so far)

5)Branching out – Not only have I really stretched myself this year in quilting, but I’ve also decided to pick up a few other hobbies. Many of the quilters I follow also do embroidery and cross stitching, so I’ve picked up some materials and have started a few projects I’m really excited about, too.

A year long sampler I am so, so, so behind on (this was for 2014)

6) Motivation – I don’t think I have ever sewn so much in such a short span, but this last year I have finished so many quilts, tried so many new techniques, just seen SO MANY new things. Plus, seeing other quilters just crank stuff out so quickly lights a little bit of a fire underneath my rear, so I’m really itching to get to a few unfinished projects that have been languishing so I can post them and call them DONE.