Monday, October 7, 2013

Introductions and Inspirations

Hi, my name is Amber. And I'm fast becoming a quilting addict.

I decided to start this blog to have somewhere to talk about my quilting projects, family, friends, and life in general.

These are my nieces, Evie and Grace. They are my two little peas in a pod, and the inspiration for the name of this blog (more on why below).



They are the cutest, happiest babies I've ever known, and not a single day goes by without me thinking about how much I want to kiss and snuggle those sweet little cheeks.

The problem is I haven't actually met them yet. They live in England, like most of my family, and I live in Denver (my parents and I moved here seventeen years ago when I was 13). So as much as I want to hug them and kiss them, and show them how much Auntie Amber loves them, I can't do it in person and have been trying to come up with some alternative ways to express my affection for them.

As expected, my mum (who is a very proud and happy first-time grandma) and I have sent plenty of care packages to make them the most fashionable little girls around, and my mum has been able to make several trips back over to the UK to visit, but I still feel like I need to do more.

While I was starting the process of moving things around in my house to convert one of my spare rooms into a sewing/art/crafting room I stumbled across some old quilting supplies I had stashed away in boxes, and then it hit me! I could make quilts for Evie and Grace. They would be something that they could keep with them as they grow up, and know how much their auntie loves them every time they snuggle with them.

And so my new found addiction to quilting was born.

I had tried my hand at quilting only a few times before, with fair to middling success. I made a simple patchwork quilt for a friend back when I was in college that turned out pretty good for a first effort, with no direction, and no real idea of what I was doing. A few years later I started another one that I intended to give away as a gift to another friend, but when I realized that I didn't really know what I was doing the project kind of fizzled, and ended up folded up in a box in the bottom of a closet.

Feeling re-inspired by the arrival of my darling nieces and my desire to make quilts for them, and other friends and family, I decided to jump in feet first and really do it up right this time. I started following several quilting blogs and have become addicted to visiting Fat Quarter Shop almost daily to longingly look at new fabrics.

I'm currently in the middle of finishing up my first "real" quilt, which will be a Christmas gift for my mum. I'm making the Baby Lattice Quilt by Amy Smart using two of the Scrumptious charm packs by Bonnie & Camille.

I was really nervous before starting the project. I kept thinking "What if I mess up while cutting the pieces?" "What if the seams are wonky?" and worst of all, "What if she doesn't like it?" And then I remembered how pleased she was with the Jane Austen dresses I had made for to wear to a JASNA convention a few years ago, and the Renaissance Faire costume I made for her, and all the other sewing projects I have done over the years. I figured if I could make those, I could make damn near anything! So I took a deep breath and read (and re-read) the pattern directions and finally cut into the beautiful fabric I had been hoarding for a few weeks. And I am so happy I did. It has made for a few late evenings over the last week between working a full-time job, finishing up my Halloween costume, and doing some freelance web design work for a friend, but my fiancĂ© Kevin has been very understanding of the sewing machine humming away on the dinning table, and is very good about reminding me that I do need to stop to eat once in a while.

I'm excited to have found a new outlet for my creativity and cannot wait to finish up my first quilt... so I can get started on the next one - the Joys of Christmas quilt kit which I plan to send over to my own Nan for Christmas.

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