sewing + quilting confidence grows here, tip by tip

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Let's Get Acquainted

Last week I was asked if I'd like to move forward my 12 November slot on the Plum & June's Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop to Thursday, 11 October and I jumped at the chance - not a hope of me creating a new tutorial by then I thought but I'd just posted one that same evening and maybe not that many would already have seen it so with that sorted here I am.

For anyone who doesn't already know me, I'm Chris, I'm English and I've been living on Manhattan's doorstep since 1 August 2011.  Thank you for visiting my blog and an extra big 'hi' to anyone who's also taking part in the P&J LGA Blog Hop.  Thanks also to Beth, who is Plum & June, for organising what has turned out to be one heck of a fantastic 6 month Blog Hop marathon :)

View From My Roof Garden

Tatty the Havapoo
For 20 years I've been married to my worst enemy, Simon - since this Blog Hop started I've wanted to say that as I can't quite believe just how many quilters are "married to their best friend" ;).  It's Simon's fault that I'm living in America and that I've given up so much to be here.  I admit I've done quite a bit of kicking and screaming along the way but the problem is I kind of like it now and don't want to leave, but let's just keep that between us as there's a lot more mileage yet in him not knowing!

I have one dog, Thatcher (known as Tatty to her friends and named after a woman I have much admiration for - Margaret) and then there's my three children.  The eldest, Jack is 23, he graduated from uni in July and has since completed an intensive teacher training course and last week started teaching English at a school in Seville, Spain. 

In the middle I have Joe who is 22 and he too graduated from uni in July.  He's about to move to live in London as he's an aspiring actor, so if anyone knows of any roles suitable for someone bearing a remarkable resemblance to a young Hugh Grant send me an email.

My youngest is Flicky, she lives here in America with me and today is her 18th birthday.  In England this is a very special and significant birthday as you are now considered an adult in all respects and legally old enough to buy alcohol.  Unfortunately for Flicky we are living in America so she won't be celebrating her big day in quite the same way that all her friends back in England are celebrating theirs.  Still I hope this shout out for her via my blog will to some extent ease her disappointment but somehow I don't think so!!!

These photos were taken in Manhattan Christmas Eve 2011, the last time the five of us were all together

I've just realised that, as is the way in my day to day life, I'm talking on and on about my family and haven't told you anything really about me, so ...

I've been sewing and knitting since I'm too young to remember.  I watched my mum knitting and then when I was about 7 had a go myself in my bedroom.  I made a jumper for my teddy bear, Bruno, using scraps of Mum's left over wool and I remember how shocked she was when I showed her what I'd made as she'd had no idea I'd been watching her and learning.

I have always been artistic and creative but was pushed down a more academic route at school, as we pretty much all were back in those days.  I made my own clothes in my teens and 20s and then made everything for my babies as they were born and finally in 2006 I gave up office based work and went back to college.  Following my creative dreams I studied Art & Design later specialising in Ceramics and then moving into Textile Art


When we moved to the States I booked myself on a quilting course and started quilting 1 year and 6 days ago today and I haven't looked back, I've written more about learning to quilt on my blog post My Very First Ever Quilt.  I started blogging on 28 April this year and you can also find me on Facebook, Ravelry and Pinterest - please come and have a look :)  Hopefully any time now my green card will arrive so I can set up my Etsy shop and start selling my work as my current visa doesn't allow me to earn money.


NYC Metro Modern Quilt Guild
I'm a member of NYC Metro Mod Guild and I'm in their Mod Bee with my Queen Bee month, December, coming up fast.   When I'm not quilting I can often be found at my LQS in Manhattan, searching out fabrics, attending classes and chatting with friends.  I also like to go to the NY Philharmonic Open Rehearsals on Wednesday/Thursday mornings - if you're visiting NYC and love classical music this is a great way of seeing a concert for $18.

i’m going to quiltcon


I'm counting down the days and weeks to QuiltCon, Austin, Texas in February and hope to meet up with lots of you there so I can put faces to all the wonderful people I've met through blogging.  Be sure to let me know if you're going too :)




Here's a quick list of answers to Beth's original suggested questions for the Blog Hop:

Favourite quilting tip(s)
Using 2 small spare pieces of fabric, chain piece on and then off your main fabric piece - it saves thread and the machine foot doesn't have to go up and down as it stays engaged.  That's hard to explain in writing so I'll have to sort out a photo tutorial!!!

Favourite blogging tip(s) 
Don't write long wordy posts - this tip is very tongue in cheek as I'm the world's worst  ;)

Favourite fabric (or wish list fabric)
Currently Aqua La Femme by Melissa Crowley and a Betsey Johnson plaid that I'm using to make a lofty quilt for Flicky to take off to uni with her next September.

Favourite craft book
Piecing, The Piece o' Cake Way by Becky Goldsmith & Linda Jenkins
a 'how to' quilting book recommended by my first quilting teacher the wonderful Christine Janove.

Favourite book (or book you are currently reading)
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Both of my grandads as teenagers fought in the WWI trenches and survived The Somme.  This book gave me my first insight into what shaped them as men and also helped me understand the subsequent impact on their offspring ... my family.

Favourite children's book
Unless he was working, my Dad  read to me every night while I was growing up and every night I asked for the same story - Old Mister Glue-Pot from Tales of Green Hedges by Enid Blyton

Favourite quilting tool
Can't pick one as I have three that I love so much I did tutorials on how to use them.
June Tailor's Shape Plus Cut Ruler and Bloc-Loc and Rotating Cutting Mat

Favourite music to listen to work to
The Wanted, Neon Trees, Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, Katy Perry, Jesse J, Ed Sheeran, Olly Murs, Taio Cruz, oh and better mention One Direction as Flicky and her friend Maud run a fansite about them, Maud and the Dods.

Favourite TV shows to work to
The Great British Bake-Off
Strictly Come Dancing
Project Runway
The Good Wife

Binding
99% of the time I machine sew the front binding and hand sew the back.

If I'd only known 
What amazing, encouraging people are out there sharing the same interests and equally keen to share their knowledge with you too.

Other people on the Blog Hop this week and next:
Tuesday, 9 October: Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy and Foster from Foster Reviews It
Thursday, 11 October: Marit from Sew, love, live
Tuesday, 16 October: Vicki from Quilting Lodge Blog and Liz from Dandelion Daydream



The official theme of the Blog Hop is novelty prints and very, very fortunately the tutorial that I posted last week uses 2 novelty prints - Echino Deer Patchwork in Purple and Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda, so for those who are still awake to finish reading this here is my tutorial: A Laminated Mug Rug

and finally, finally


Happy 18th Birthday Flicky xxx




Follow on Bloglovin







67 comments:

  1. Chrissie, great post, beautiful family! Good luck getting your Etsy shop going. Really happy to have found you via blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cynthia, I hope one day we're on the same continent at the same time and get to meet! :)

      Delete
  2. Happy Birthday to your daughter, sure she will have a great day even although it is not such a big deal in the US. Nice to get to know you better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your birthday wishes for Flicky, I'm think she'll have a good day albeit it a more sober one than she'd have experienced in England! Oh and thanks also for the link to my blog from your latest post :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Chrissie, love your "wordy" post:-) I think your laminated mug rugs are a great idea - the thought of getting coffee all over them has always put me off making any.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Catherine - there's no way I'd be up for all that washing, drying and ironing every time I spilled a drop on them - wipe clean's the way to go! :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Chrissie, it's so nice to know abit more about you. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great post Chrissie! The view from your place is unreal. I can understand why you would want to stay! Love your blog x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gertie, thanks for your lovely comment. My view is amazing, I don't think I'll ever tire of it - this morning's sunrise was particularly stunning and I love the day's when the sun setting makes Manhattan sparkle in pink and gold. :)

      Delete
  6. Wow, I would love to quit my day job and go a different route. I remember growing up that I wanted to learn art or science and my mom insisted I go into business or law. It's great that you could go back to school!

    I am going to Quiltcon too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband and kids have been fantastic Mina, especially given the level of neglect that has entered their lives - there's hardly ever food in the fridge or laundered clothes in the wardrobes but they've supported me throughout, I'm really very lucky :)

      Delete
  7. Wow that quilt is amazing! I want your life! I'd love to go back to college and study something art/textiles related (I studied business and languages, and also spent some time as a TEFL teacher like your son!) and I'd love to live right by NYC! It's my favourite place on earth.

    I've now turned an attractive shade of green so I'd better go before I embarrass myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy, I just had a quick peep at your blog and see that you are in Nottingham which is where my husband is from. I love finding British quilting and crafting bloggers - I feel like I'm getting a kind of network together so I won't be starting from scratch if I come home.

      Thanks for your lovely comments and the follow :)

      Delete
  8. Hi Chrissi, is so nice to learn more about you. How fantastic that your were able to go back to college and study something that interested you. Good luck on setting up your Etsy shop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martha, will be fun to see how things go on Etsy once I'm allowed! Thanks for dropping by and commenting :)

      Delete
  9. Hi Chrissie! I thought your post was hilarious, especially the bit about being married to your worst enemy. My husband keeps moving me all over the States--we've lived in four different states in our four years of marriage--and I've kicked and screamed every time. :)

    Your projects are so lovely, and I think using laminates for a mug rug is so smart! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow 4 in 4, I've done 2 big and 3 small moves in 20 but this is the first move that's taken me a long way from my kids. Flicky will go back to England next September for uni and I'm already dreading it. Occasionally hubbie mentions the possibility of a move to California and I'm like 'What the ****?, I've only just got here and I'm starting to make friends and get a life!!!' Thank goodness I have the quilting and blogging to keep me semi-sane.

      Thanks for commenting and glad you like the laminate idea :)

      Delete
  10. Nice to meet you although I stopped by before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi again Patricia, another birthday celebration on a Blog Hop day and then it's my birthday on Saturday too! Hope you enjoyed your birthday week :)

      Delete
  11. Happy birthday F! I love the fabric which you're using for her quilt, and your view is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah Lou for the birthday wishes :) The fabric is great and the colours actually work together a little better than they appear in the photo - I think the design on 'La Femme' is stunning and I'll piece it across the width so the pattern is vertical on her bed rather than horizontal which will look much better. Thanks for visiting :)

      Delete
  12. Great post Chrissie! I liked hearing more about you and your family and seeing your lovely projects again. I didn't know that about the open rehearsals - I'll have to remember that next time I'm in NYC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Open rehearsals are great and most times the conductor let's them play each piece right through before getting them to go over any bits he's not happy with so almost always you get to hear it just as you would at the full performance. A couple of weeks back we had the first rehearsal of the year which has free entry and while we were queuing we got to meet some of the main players at the Phil and were given bottles of water, chocolates, raffle tickets and a cd of the orchestra - last year the first 200 in the queue were given ipods, it's a good morning :)

      Delete
  13. How lovely to *meet* you on the Hop and learn so much more about you.
    Wow your view is amazing.
    I am on the Hop next week and hoping you will visit then, as I was thinking about a way to say Thank You to Beth for organising this great hop.
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a 'Thank You' sounds like a really great idea Liz, I'll be popping by next week to find out more :)

      Delete
  14. Great post - I love the laminated mug rug tute and happy birthday to your daughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly and we appreciate your birthday wishes too :)

      Delete
  15. Nice to get to know you better! I always wondered if the laminated cloth was easy to sew. Now I will have to give it a try. Great tutorial and idea! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy, yeah give it a go, it's not so bad at all when you use the tissue/baking paper. We both know each other a lot better after this week! :)

      Delete
  16. Awesome blog post, Chrissie!! I smiled the whole way through. It must be nice to look out and see the New York skyline every day :) I love your projects and your blog and will enjoy keeping tabs on what you are up to!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tessa Marie, I love your work too and I am a big Tim Gunn fan also! Thanks for dropping by :)

      Delete
  17. "For 20 years I've been married to my worst enemy, Simon - since this Blog Hop started I've wanted to say that as I can't quite believe just how many quilters are "married to their best friend" ;)"

    This alone was enough for me to follow you. Quiltblogland does get a little rainbows and sunshine, doesn't it? I've noticed this on Wheel of Fortune too--no one who appears on Wheel is married to a lazy, inconsiderate slob, they're all married to "the most amazing man/woman in the world!!!" I've always wanted to see someone get on that show and say they're trapped in a boring marriage to a dude with some major middle aged spread, just to see what Pat Sajak would say.

    Anyway. I liked your post. :) I live in New York too, but in the upstate part that is far, far away from all of the wonderful resources of NYC. I haven't been to NYC since I started quilting, so I'm hoping to fix that in the next year or so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly how I felt, so I just had to go for it! Thanks for the follow and don't leave it too long before you make that trip down here :)

      Delete
  18. now I usually try to comment on something specific and not say "how nice" .. but I'm expereincing an information overload there's too much for my tired brain to pick from. So I will leave real comments again on the smaller posts. Oh but it was nice to get to know more about you, things besides "makes nice quilts" ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Leo, you do make me smile - I'm sorry if I've tired you out with my post, I think that's must be how my husband feels when he's in the same room as my daughter and I while we're endlessly chatting! :)

      Delete
  19. Great post and lovely to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by Susan and for commenting :)

      Delete
  20. Haha, I had to laugh when you said don't write long wordy posts :)))) I am totally not following that rule for sure! :) Happy Birthday to dear Flicky, I know how She feels because Chris was celebrating his 18th bday here with us in June and he couldn't drink either... I didn't know about the Wed/Thurs morning concerts! Very nice to meet you! :) Again! :D XO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi again Kati, not sure that we really need to get acquainted! Flicky had a quiet birthday, the three of us went out for a meal to a Cuban restaurant in Hoboken and then she came home and finished her homework (not my idea of how to spend a special birthday :( ). She's at the cinema tonight with her friends, it's all very different to life in England! :)

      Delete
    2. Hey Chrissie, I just read your rant about blogger in my google reader, but the post is not found. Guess everything went back to normal! Someone else was complaining about the same thing, Susan from Canadianabroad. She was really maaaad! :) Hope all is alright now!

      Delete
    3. Hi Kati - everything went back to normal within a couple of minutes so I deleted the post. Of course, now I've learned something else about Blogger ... deleting a post from your blog doesn't delete it from Google Reader, begs the question 'What's the point in having a delete function in Blogger?' Apparently what I could have done was edit the post and remove the header and the text and resaving and then it would just be an empty post - but don't know if that's true. I'm wishing I'd just left the post there for everyone to see now but you can't retrieve it either. Ah well, more lessons learned about this blogging business! :)

      Delete
  21. Hi Chrissy, stopping by from the blog hop! LOL--long wordy posts--yes I have been guilty of that. Love your quilt on your blog banner, the colors are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ginny - that's my Juicebox Sofa Quilt on the banner and it has pride of place on one of my lounge sofas. I love how gentle and calming the colours are, quite a departure for me as I tend to go for bright and in your face normally! Thanks for dropping by :)

      Delete
  22. Chris-- It was great to meet you (see you?) in person at the guild mtg last week, and I wish I would have know we had so much in common-- I also think my husband is my worst enemy! (drags me away from my home country for weeks every year..) but I love him anyway. And like your eldest, I teach ESL, though mainly to native Chinese speakers here in NY, but I did do a stint in Japan on the JET program after college. If your son ever wants to try that route, I highly recommend it. (as a side note, it's where I learned to quilt too).
    Thanks for this great blog post, I feel like I should write something similar myself.. wonder if it's too late to join the blog hop..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jess, it was good to 'meet' you too! I'll mention JET to Jack - he did the teaching course as he thought it would be a way to work his way around the world - never saw him as a teacher if I'm honest but the travel bit doesn't come as a suprise, he's always been my little explorer. At the next guild meeting we must say 'hi' properly :)

      Delete
  23. I envy your view from your roof garden. Its fantastic. I also really like the quilt in your header. Its so beautiful and very nicely displayed with that scenery in the background. Thanks also for your nice tutorial and for sharing on the blog hop. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and Happy birthday to your daughter ofc. ;)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your lovely wishes and comment. I love the quilt in the header - it's my Juice Box Sofa quilt and the colours are so calming and quite a departure from my usual style :)

      Delete
  24. I love this post! It made me giggle! Your family is too cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anna, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

      Delete
  25. Seems you already deleted your post about "blogger gone mad" ... everything's normal here ... It's just sometimes when they move things on their servers or fix a bug that it takes a while to settle everything. But they usually manage to get everything "back to normal" - but yes it's very distressing when all your work is gone without apparent reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leo, yes within a couple of minutes of me posting thankfully everything went back to normal so I deleted the post - you were very quick to have spotted it :)

      Delete
  26. Your quilt is beautiful and the mug rugs super fun! I also pursued a more academic route in college,but I was always drawn to art classes. I can honestly say that I was the only one studying math and physics that always had purple hands from my art classes. And I also love my June Taylor shape cut, makes cutting strips and squares in quantity so easy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn and I can't praise the Shape Cut Plus ruler enough, wish I was on commission for it!

      Delete
  27. Nice to meet you Chrissy! Love the quilt in your header. Happy Birthday to your daughter!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue for you lovely comment and birthday wishes :)

      Delete
  28. Happy Birthday to your daughter and what a great informative post! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion at the River Linky Party Tuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Connie for you birthday wishes and as always for doing such a great job with your Linky Parties :)

      Delete
  29. Hi Chrissy. I am loving the getting acquainted blog hop. It is so interesting hearing everyone's stories about how they got into quilting and for someone who has only been quilting for a year you have accomplished a lot!
    I love your sparkle quilt and you did such a fabulous job with the sampler quilt. Good luck with your etsy shop when you finally get to open it! Will definitely enjoy reading more about your quilting exploits.
    Gillian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gillian for your lovely comments. I'll be following you too! :)

      Delete
  30. Laminated mug rugs - great idea! So nice to hear all about your family :) And Betsey Johnson cashmere plaid - wowzers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Yzo and isn't that Betsey Johnson just to drool over! :)

      Delete
  31. What a wonderful post! I love you list of favorite quilting tools... I've been eyeballing those rotating cutting mats. I imagine they make cutting blocks and pieces so much easier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by, I just love these tools, I don't think you'd be sorry if you invested in any or all of them :)

      Delete
  32. It certainly was nice to get to know you better! Your view from your roof garden is amazing! I don't know how you tear yourself away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jen, that's so nice of you and thanks for the follow too. I love my view so much and you're right, I don't ever want to leave it :)

      Delete

I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley