Friday, July 13, 2012

Keepin it Real: Tina from Little Blue Cottage

Next up in the interview series is Tina from Little Blue Cottage.  I met Tina at my guild's (Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild) sew day.  Tina is a member of the South Bay Modern Quilt Guild and Tina and Karen from Capitola Quilter joined us for our sew day.  I instantly fell in love with Tina.  She has a great sense of humor and was so nice and so friendly.  Since that sew day I have been following Tina's blog.  And it was her handprint tree quilt that inspired my handprint mother's day tote.    Without further ado, I bring you Tina.

Amazing purple quilt.

What is the most ridiculous thing you have done in the name of quilting/sewing?

Ha!  There are many to choose from actually.   When I first started sewing, like so many of us, I got obsessed with Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt.  I had a good amount in my stash, but naturally I wanted more.  I imagined bolts of it sitting around in small shops accross the country.  So, I got on the phone and starting calling shops that were listed on the Freespirit website which indicated that they carried Freespirit fabrics.  I talked for a long time to many shop workers who happened to answer my call, and I went to great lengths to describe the fabrics, spelling Denyse Schmidt's name, emailing pictures and whatever else I could think of to find my FMF jackpot.  In the end, I found one shop in Massachusetts that had 7-8 bolts and quite a bit left.  After ordering as much as I could afford, I blogged about it and the shop owner actually took a picture with each bolt labeled for easy ordering.  She was cleaned out in a couple of days.  I had the best time on the phone with all these women who I know thought I was insane, and in part they are right.  But this is easily the craziest thing I've done in the name of quilting.

How much time, on average, do you devote to blogging a week? Sewing/Quilting?

I am such a tempermental blogger.  My goal is always to be posting more, but I seem to put it down toward the bottom of my list of priorities.  I really want to figure out how bloggers like Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts and others are such prolific quilters, along with being faithful bloggers, as well as being great moms and keeping their homes lovely.  I do sew quilte a bit typically.  As soon as the kids are in bed, I hop on the machine and try to sew at least an hour, but usually 2-3.

I would kill for these!

 If you had a magical quilting/sewing assistant, what would you delegate?
I think that desigining a quilt is the fun part and piecing is enjoyable as well.  Improv piecing is big fun.  The acutal quilting is often what I want to have someone else do, and I often do.  Once a quilt top is finished, I really want to be onto the next quilt, so I sometimes delegate that part to a professional quilter.  I do hope to have a longarm set up in my life some day and I think I will enjoy that very much.  

What is your favorite social media tool?

I am kind of a facebook addict; I love seeing everyone's pictures and the funny things people post.   I really have tried to like Twitter, but we don't really understand each other.  Flickr is my next favorite.  I've found such great internet and quilty friendships there and that's wonderful.  Instagram is probably my next venture.

Tutorial for fun tic tac toe game!

What is your favorite type of post to read on other blogs?
I love seeing the process of people's quilts because it's a great reminder that quilts don't just happen.   They take a long time to make (for most of us... ;)  It's easy to see someone's beautiful blog, with a quilt that appeared out of nowhere and feel bad that we ourselves didn't wake up to a freshly made quilt that we made in 2 or 3 days.  I like it when blogs show a bit of the underbelly of their lives and that not everything is perfect.  I like when quilters show the mistakes they've made in their piecing or that they're frustrated with their binding skills or something like that.  It's reassuring for me.

What is your favorite sewing tool?
I'm not super gadgety, so I'd have to say that my Rowenta iron with the pointy front tip is pretty awesome for pressing seams open.  I'm a recent convert to pressing my seams open and so my iron has become even more instrumental to me as a quilting tool.  Besides that, I'd have to say (although not a tool per se) that having a diet pepsi and having law and order playing on my ipad are pretty crucial to enjoyable sewing for me. ;)

Stunning HST quilt.

What is the nicest thing a reader has ever done for you?

Easily the nicest thing a reader has done for me was early on in my sewing and blogging days, I started a quilting bee and Katy from Monkey Do was in my bee.  As a thank you (before we even started sewing) for organizing the bee, Katy sent me a meter of Liberty lawn.  I just about fell over when that arrived, and then I held it to my cheek and I probably even kissed it a little.  She is a generous and fun person, and I was lucky enough to meet up with her twice.  

What is your fabric buying style?

When I first started sewing, I was drawn in by the Kawaii Japanese prints, and Echino, and the like.  I still love these prints, but as I have developed as a quilter, I have become most interested in what I call "modern solids".  This is my favorite catagory of fabric to buy and what I get when stashing.  I'm thinking of Alexander Henry's "heath" print, Moda's cross-wovens, and other screen prints.  I love shot cottons.  By having a lot of these fabrics, when  line like Lotta Jansdotter's "Echo" comes along, I have a built in solid to work with and to play with.  I also buy lots of Kona and Cotton Couture.

Look at this FMF and 1/4 inch straight line quilting

How do you support your fabric buying habit?

When there's a bit of extra money, that's when I buy.  I am a SAHM now, but am considering a part time job in the fall so that I can really indulge!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you. 

In my 20's I went to culinary school in San Francisco and went on to be a pastry chef and I did that until I got married and had kids.  It's interesting when I find similarities in baking and quilting. 

Finally, show us your stash*!!!

So many goodies in there!

Oooh lovely solids.
*These pictures are a little old, as Tina is in the process of moving, so her sewing equipment and fabric is all packed up, the horror!

Thanks Tina.  Hope you enjoyed this interview.  

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