and this is my family - Husband of 17 years K and our nearly-10-year-old daughter G:
being silly, something we do very well
I am lucky enough to live in Naramata, British Columbia. It's a village of fewer than 2,000 people nestled on the Naramata Bench in one of Canada's fruit- and wine-producing regions, the Okanagan Valley.
As you can see, we're on the side of a lake, and it's a big tourist destination because our summer weather is hot and dry.
We moved to Naramata from Vancouver just over a year ago. After living for nearly 25 years in Vancouver, we grew tired of the traffic and the astronomical cost of living and decided to take a different approach to life. We couldn't be happier.
I quit my job in the financial services industry and now I work part time in a local quilt shop as a designer, teacher and retail associate. I also work from home as a training and development consultant. My husband was a stay at home dad in Vancouver and he also works part time here in the area.
I began quilting in 2000, shortly after I got married. My husband is the one who encouraged me to look for a beginner's class because I spent a lot of time looking at and admiring quilts in museums and at shows but I was too intimidated to try it myself. But boy am I glad I did. I knew from the first minute of that first class that this was going to be my thing.
This is my first quilt - the classic beginner's sampler with one large scale fabric plus some blenders.
I even free motion quilted it all by myself on my tiny Bernina 145.
Yikes, amirite? But you know what? That was the start of something, and you gotta start somewhere.
Baby quilts for nieces and nephews happened in due course, as did a quilt for my husband's 40th birthday (2 years late).
I subscribed to quilting magazines, I read books about quilting, I could spend a whole weekend at a quilt retreat and come home and sew some more. It consumed all of my free time! Eventually, though, I got to the point where I was reading about quilting but becoming overwhelmed by all the projects I wanted to do so I didn't start anything.
Thankfully, I was able to give myself a good talking to, and came to my senses. Every quilt is just a whole bunch of seams that are sewn one at a time, right? Well, I said to myself, just commit to 20 minutes a day of sewing something. Anything. But sew. Eventually you'll get something done.
One of my first modern quilts
I was right! I did get lots done, aided as well by the explosion of the online world of modern quilting. I found Flickr and the myriad active quilt groups it hosted (RIP, old Flickr). I also found quilt blogs and started my own as a way to keep myself accountable by journalling my progress.
It's not an exaggeration to say that blogging and sharing online changed my life! I found Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild online and attended the first meeting in mid-2010. I met dear friends in person and via blogging (and blogging friends became in-person friends too). I participated in Flickr quilt swaps, virtual bees and met many of my online friends at the inaugural QuiltCon in Austin.
These two quilts won honourable mention at QuiltCon 2013.
Though I don't do many swaps anymore and online bees have fallen a little out of fashion, I still belong to a virtual quilt bee with 9 other incredible quilters, called Bee Sewcial. We work in solids only and we piece improvisationally based on that month's prompt and colour story.
Winter is my first quilt finished with Bee Sewcial blocks. The prompt was "abstract minimalist winter landscapes in shades of grey." Did my bee mates deliver or what? I love this quilt, and I will be submitting it to QuiltCon 2018 show.
Winter, a Bee Sewcial Collaboration
I like to have lots of projects on the go, in varying degrees of complexity because I never know what I want to work on at any given time.
Here's a sampling of some of my favourite quilts from over the years:
I'm extremely fortunate to be able to have a completely separate studio to work in - we finished the 450 square foot space over our detached 2-car garage just for my quilting. (Truth be told that space was what sold us on this house. Good thing we like the rest of it!)
I love participating in the Finish A Long, and I'm so happy to be a host as well. We motivate each other to get our beautiful projects finished so we can move along to the next thing that makes us happy, yes? Yes.
Thanks for visiting with me!
Lovely meeting you here, Felicity!
I will write a post myself again soon, I promise! - Sandra