Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Fall 2011

So, Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival. 
Since I noticed this event this morning and this afternoon I finish the quilt below, it seemed like a perfect thing to take part in.

Amy asks participants to:
 "Share one quilt, and it’s story.  Why you made it, why it is special to you, what you learned about quilting/yourself while making it."

Wow, I'm gonna actually have to think about this stuff...
Why'd I make it...I enjoy solids, wonky/improv shapes and bright colors. This one started with me just playing around with greens and that odd print in the center.  I was really digging what was developing, so I just kept going.  You can see the print in the 'center' of the blocks provided my colors and something to unify the blocks.  Why is it special...Heck, I'm still new at this, everything I finish is special to me! But seriously, because of the things I mentioned above, the colors and wonky factor.  I like just diving in and experimenting, especially when it turns out well :)  What did I learn...Ha, I learned fleece is not a bad option for a batting!  I used black fleece for the batting on this because I was afraid of the regular cotton batting poking through. Other than being a bit stretchy, it worked great.  I also did the binding in a different way for me.  I don't know what it is called when you do this, but I made the backing a bit larger and wrapped over the top to create the binding. I know purists will be up in arms about that, but oh well. The quilt's not going to be in a big competition and the whole point is to try new things and learn from them.  So, "Quilt Police" you'll just have to deal with me:)

Thanks for visiting my blog, I'm still trying to get the hang of these things, quilting and blogging.
I don't post that often because to be honest, when I have the time, usually I'd rather be working on a quilt than trying to figure out what to say about them.  If you have the time, please check out some of my other posts, my last post was part of the Men Quilt Too! online show and has a little bit more about me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Men Quilt Too!

 Welcome. My name is Jay Martin and I'm a relatively new quilter.  When I saw discussions about the Men Quilt Too! online show hosted by Thearica Burroughs at Pigtales and Quilts, I was excited to take part.  Now, after seeing the talent and workmanship of the men who've already submitted for the show, I am a bit intimidated, but what the heck, they all started somewhere too right?  Plus, it might be beneficial to show the various levels of experience and technique of men quilters and the fact there seems to be a lot more of us than people think!

Who am I and how did I end up quilting?

Well, I'm a musician by training and profession and currently live in the D.C. area.  As for the quilting just kinda happened.  Really, it came down to a couple of factors; 1. I need a creative outlet that wasn't related to my 'day job.' 2. My wife is involved in a variety of fabric arts, so she's got a ton of books & magazines and a pretty good fabric stash! So, finally one day after always looking through her books and stuff (just at the pictures, I didn't bother to read anything) I decided I needed to give quilting a try.  She showed me how to use the sewing machine and sent me on my way.  The result of that first attempt is the quilt above.
That was just over a year ago.  (I still haven't read any of the books, I prefer to just dive in and figure it out.)

At some point, I'd really should take a class or get to a workshop and really learn some things, but I'm enjoying the freedom that comes with ignorance:) I do have the benefit of another quilter in the house though, so Angela helps me out when I get stuck and has been a great tutor.  We have also worked together on some quilts and are looking forward to combining our styles and strengths as we both grow as quilters.

Not being active in any quilting groups and the only other quilter I really know is my wife, I look to blogs and Flickr for inspiration and motivation.  There are a couple quilters in particular who's work constantly motivates me Marianne Haak , and Victoria Gertenbach.

What I've been up to:

Gavin's Quilt.

Luke's Quilt. 

Improv 1

Improv 2


Yep, it's a clock.
Okay, not really a quilt, but it is pieced! 

 A couple of WIPS:
This is the top panel of a quilt Angela and I are working on. When completed it will have a large tree of life applique in the center with this panel and its mirror above and below.
Um, not sure where this is going yet....I like it that way.