For those of you who have been around here for a while, this post is a part of Benita's Quilter's Meet and Greet over at her new blog, Benita Skinner's Creative Space. Benita has been quilting for a long time and is the creative force behind Victoriana Quilt Designs as well as other ventures, and now she has a blog, too!
To celebrate her blogging debut, Benita organized this Meet and Greet for quilt bloggers and followers to find new friends, new projects, and new blogs to visit. You can find the whole list of participants over at Benita's post HERE. While you're there, you'll notice that she has a great grand prize to give away, so be sure to check it out and register for that.
So, I'm Mari, the Academic Quilter. The "quilter" part is self-explanatory, but what about the "academic" part? In my non-quilty life I'm a college professor and spend a lot of my time with books, papers, and library databases. You can see why I can't wait to get home and touch some pretty fabric, cut it up, and make something lovely. I learned to sew as a child, so this has been producing happiness for me for quite a long time.
Benita said to "show you around," so here is a picture of my sewing space:
I call this "the nest" and I love it. It works so well for me. True fact: I have a really hard time working (on anything) while facing a wall. I need to see out into the room! And don't worry-- it is always much messier. I cleaned up just to take the picture!
And because I know you'll ask, here's a picture of my fabric stash:
Yep, that's all of it, except for the scraps, which are in the closet in small bins. I love having it all out here so I can see it and use it, plus I like to keep it small. Anything bigger than this would overwhelm me and I would find it really stifling.
As for my quilting philosophy, it's basically this: make anything you want, using any fabrics you like, with any methods that make sense to you, in any colors you really love. Use fabric from a quilt store, a big box store, a thrift store, old clothes, or anything you have. Use the tools you have or buy the newest thing, whichever works best for you. There are no rules! Make what makes you happy!
I like a lot of different things, but I really consider myself a traditional quilter with a 21st century twist, and I love making traditional blocks, especially the ones with complex piecing and those that have been "neglected." I always want to reclaim some of those blocks and get them out of the books and into the quilts.
In addition to my interest in traditional blocks, I have recently discovered that I enjoy free piecing (making things without a pattern or measuring), like the series of churches that I've been working on slowly.
And I do like making scrap quilts, which really appeals to my frugal nature. Fabric is expensive--use every piece! I guess I really just like all kinds of piecing, and I love looking at all kinds of quilts, from traditional to modern to downright odd. They're all so pretty!
If you look at the top of this page, ^^ you'll find some links to pages on the blog. For the last few years I've had a quilt along to make a scrap quilt over the course of 10-12 months. You'll find the quilts and links to all of the tutorials and instructions for the different quilts on those tabs. We're coming near the end of this year's quilt, but it's never too late to start! I've already started to plan for another quilt for next year, too.
Also on a tab at the top is a series of posts called Spring Cleaning, which I wrote to show how I cleared out tons of junk and made my sewing room work for me. You might find some things there helpful as well.
So, that's the grand tour! In case you're interested, here are a few links to the older posts associated with the pictures in this post. Feel free to comment on old posts if you feel so inclined-- I'll answer if there's a way to reach you!
Joyful, joyful, joyful!
All dolled up
A church in winter
An old fashioned finish
Flinging some strings
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the tour and will come back again. If you make any of the blocks or quilts from this site, I'd love to see pictures, too. Thanks to Benita for arranging this, and best wishes for a fun blogging career. Be sure and go back over to her site and register for the give away and check out some other blogs. Blogs are the new magazines, so be sure to check out several!
Shared at Let's Be Social and on Benita's new blog, Benita Skinner's Creative Space.