Saturday, June 06, 2009

Catching Up On Blog Links

I have over 300 blogs in my Bloglines subscription list. They are divided into Family Blogs, Stitchery Blogs, Designer/Shop Blogs, Life and Home Blogs, two folders of blogs of members of on-line groups I belong to, and then a ton of quilting blogs. With so many blogs I generally read all the new entries first and mark the ones I want to comment on later or entries that inspire me to write a blog entry. Sometimes I get behind on making comments and the ideas I want to write about get lost in the list.

I decided this afternoon is a good time to get caught up on two of the entries that have inspired me to write a blog entry. Hopefully you'll indulge me and keep reading.

I've had Jodi's My Creative Journey bookmarked since she wrote it over a month ago. Over the last several months I've been giving a lot of thought to my own creative journey. My Irish grandmother, Dema, taught me many needle arts when I was growing up. I was lucky she lived with us until I was 6 years old. Then she married the widower across the street from us and moved over there. She was always close by.
Dema was always making something - sewing clothes or quilts, needlepoint, beading, or crocheting. I remember making quilts with her using a 4-inch cardboard template, tracing each square and then cutting it out carefully. Our quilts were always tied, never quilted. My first quilt was a red, yellow and blue calico 4-patch quilt for my first born (I was a very young mother).

Our needlepoint projects were done on plastic canvas with yarn. I had a book called 97 Needlepoint Alphabets that I loved to use. I needlepointed my niece's name on squares of plastic canvas and made a wall hanging for her. She is now 26 years old and I think she still has it!

Somewhere my grandma learned beading. She made wonderful bead mats. I am honored to have two of them. Here is a blue and yellow one I have and keep on a table in my home. I made beaded mats too, but unfortunately the box they were in ended up in the trash during one of our Navy moves.
I made many projects with my grandma until my first DH and I moved away when he enlisted in the Navy. For a few years I didn't make any creative projects.

When we were living in Norfolk in the late 80's and early 90's I started cross stitching. Here are four Paula Vaughan projects I stitched then. They need to be cleaned up and mounted so I can properly display them. Little did I know then that quilting would become an important part of my creative life.
When I left my husband my creative endeavors took a back seat to supporting myself and my son. It wasn't until the summer of 2004 when I saw a quilt on DH's aunt's bed that I thought I would like to start quilting again. I took an on-line quilt course from Quilt University and the rest is history.

Somewhere in my upbringing I was taught that you could only do one creative activity at a time - if you quilted, then you only quilted. If you crocheted, then you only crocheted. I've tried to figure out where I learned this behavior and I've often struggled with the concept. When I started quilting again I gave away my overflowing box of DMC floss because "quilters don't do cross stitch or embroidery". Boy was I wrong! When I discovered Australian designers combine stitching and quilting I was in heaven. Now I have a wonderful collection of Presencia Finca floss and a growing selection of projects on my To Do list.

Two weeks ago the crochet bug bit me and you've seen the results - a baptism afghan and a pair of Red Sox for Mr. E. Mary Grace at Hooked on Needles wrote about her daughter starting her own Babette afghan. I checked out the afghan, fell in love with it and bought the pattern. Now, I have no yarn stash, but I think that having to shop for yarn on our upcoming vacation will be lots of fun!

So now I have to think about rearranging my studio. It is currently set up for sewing, but I need to make room for yarn, for embroidery and for scrapbooking (another new endeavor).

You know what? I think I've finally accepted the fact that I can be creative in more than one medium if I want to be. Who's going to stop me?

Tell me, do you work in more than one medium? Do you have a favorite medium? How do you decide what to work on? Are you driven by deadlines? Or do you let your Creative Muse lead you?

I'll answer these questions in an upcoming post.

Sweet P


Darlene said...

I do enjoy a variety of different things but they all involve a textile. I haven't crocheted in many, many years but have been thinking about doing a bit recently. I'm very passionate about quilting but I also enjoy hand embroidery (actually I enjoy many types of handwork) I was an avid counted x-stitcher for over 20 years (even owned a shop for almost 6 years)and Paula Vaughn designs were a major passion of mine. I've done all that you show and more. Thank you for sharing, Paula!

Fiesta said...

Lovely, lovely post Paula.
right now I only quilt and do some occasional sewing. I machine embroidered and sometimes I make a stitchery but I do not enjoy that as much since I do not know many stitches.
I no longer make scrap books and no more crocheting or crosstitch, They are crafts of the past for me.
But I have crafted since I was pregnant with my son 23 years ago. I taught myself to sew maternity clothes.
I do garden extensively too.

Anne said...

What wonderful memories of your grandmother. I have several Paula Vaughan x-stitch patterns, but only ever got around to stitching one with a spinning wheel for my mum who was a spinner and weaver.

I have several different crafts on the go at the same time. I have always sewn and embroidered and these are my main focus. I also knit a little, but I'm slow at that and I never got into crochet. In the past I have smocked, x-stitched, dabbled in machine embroidery and now my passion is quilting especially since taking a years leave of absence from a Psychology degree.

Have to have something to keep me busy plus patchwork and quilting are so much more fun than textbooks on psychology. Everything has its season.

~Bren~ said...

What gorgeosu cross stitch need to frame those quickly!
I admire those who can do more than one craft. I have tunnel vision and I think since I hand quilt, there is no time to do anything else. I can embroidery, but prefer not to. I can not crochet or knit...I've tried both. I would LOVE to learn dress making, but it scares me to death.
Make sure you show us your yarn stash when you are get it going! I do love yarns.

Niki :-) said...

thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers for my 13 y.o. son. :) niki

Quilter Kathy said...

Great post Paula!
I am obsessed by quilting but I also love beading, hand embroidery and painting fabric.

DebMc said...

What a terrific post!

First, what a wonderful heritage your Grandmother gave you. Precious, precious.

Second, YAY! that someone else sees that we can be creative in more than one way. Me, I'm so restless that one medium isn't enough for me. I may never be as good at one because I don't focus exclusively, be it. Life is more interesting that way.

Rhonda said...

Hi Paula, what a great stories that you've shared. Grandmas are the best for making memories.

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Hey Paula! Thanks for the link over to Elizabeth's Babette yarn choices. She's been spending all her free time crocheting, now that she has graduated from high school.

I can't imagine where anyone would get the odd notion that you can only do one type of creative thing. How very limiting! Of course you know that I do lots of different things because you've popped into my website a few times. I think that we are so much more creative if we have many different methods to explore and enjoy (and share with others). And I think doing more than one type of creative thing makes us better at each one.

Now make room for that yarn and have FUN FUN FUN shopping for it! Where do you think you'll go to look for yarn? Local shops or online? Make sure you show us what you got!


Carolyn said...

I've always done embroidery, crewel, needlepoint, counted cross stitch, etc. Embroidery is the one needle art I've gone back to recently. Of course, I quilt, knit and crochet...I just wish I had time to do all of them. When I was in college I worked at two craft stores and taught macrame, crochet, needlepoint, crewel, calligraphy, counted cross stitch and all sorts of other crafts. I don't do much of any of them now, since I became a quilter!

Paula said...

I tend to work in spurts of different creative mediums. Right now, I've been sewing, but I also knit and paint and sometimes scrapbook. I'm just learning to quilt and love to embroidery. Goodness sakes, there's just not enough time in the day because I love to read and garden and bake and take long walks and and and.....

Anonymous said...

Hi! I love your cross stitches!! They are gorgeous! They'll be great once they are framed and on display! I started with cross stitch.... I think that's why I love stitching so much. I like sewing... but I LOVE stitching!

Libby said...

I've had a long crafting journey moving from one thing to another until I landed on quilting. Still I dabble in many of the things I tried along the way particularly embroidery and painting.

Mad about Craft said...

I started off knitting, I then learnt to crochet, next came cross stich and tapestry. I continued to knit and do cross stitch, the later being my favorite for years and years. I now card make, scrapbook and quilt.
Quilting is the latest craft for me to have a go at. I've wanted to learn to quilt for years so I'm now realising a dream.
I continue to knit and am doing a little cross stitch again after not doing any for ages.
I love crafting and will have a go at most things, I've dabbled in beadwork, caligraphy, box making, toy making and glass painting.

If you enjoy different things you should keep having a go.

Jodi@SimplyThisThat n.. said...

i love reading about the creative journey's of others. thanks for sharing. ooxx`jodi

Lori in South Dakota said...

I too had a grandmother nearby and used those cardboard templates! She always told me quilting, crocheting, embroidery etc were "pass times" and were made to be picked up and put down as you felt like, they were not a "job" to be done from start to finish. So when I put one project down and play with another, I think about what she said.

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