Monday, December 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Tour

Good morning friends!  Today I've been asked by Ms. Amy Smart from the blog, Diary of a Quilter to participate in the Around the World Blog Tour.  I just love Amy and I think it's fun getting to know some of the people behind the blogs I love, so I said "yes!"

Top left: Andy   Top right: Amy
Middle: Me!

Amy lives just down the street from me in a neighboring town.  I remember the day we first ran into each other at our local Wal-Mart.  She approached me (I think) and asked if I was Amber and didn't I have a blog?  I really think she was the first person I ever met that also had a blog and also liked quilting!  We've gotten to know each other over the years and she is such an inspiration to me!  Here we are (with our other roommate, Andy Knowlton of the blog, A Bright Corner) at the International Quilt Market a few months ago.

If you don't know Amy she is pretty much the sweetest, most thoughtful person you'll ever meet!  And if this is any indication, she gave Andy and I a little package of goodies for being her roommates at Quilt Market.  Who doesn't love Hi-Chews and Washi Tape?  #bestroommateeveraward

Oh, and did I mention she is super talented and recently published her first book?  These are just a few of the quilts from Fabulously Fast Quilts.  They're all gorgeous but I'm especially in love with the pink and black one below (second from the left).

Amy asked if I'd tell you a little bit about myself.  So here I go!

Hello.  I'm Amber.  I was born in Anaheim, California.  When I was 8 years old I moved to Vancouver, Washington where I was raised.  I moved to Utah in 1997 and married my husband in 1998.  My mother is a really good seamstress but I never really had a desire to sew until after I got married.  My husband was traveling a lot and I needed a hobby to fill my time.  I was living near my grandmother who was an avid quilter so one day I spontaneously asked her if she would teach me how to quilt.  I drew up a sketch of what I wanted and it ended up taking me 3 years to finish - LOL!  But after that, I was hooked!

So I started quilting in 1999, started blogging in 2008 and published my first quilt pattern in 2009.  My little pattern business (Gigi's Thimble) is named after my grandmother.  2014 was a big year for me because I published my first book called, Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics.

I think that title captures my style perfectly.  Influenced by grandmother who taught me how to quilt but loving the modern fabrics of today.  I just can't help but combine the two!  

My favorite part of the quilt-making process is fabric selection and I LOVE scrappy quilts!  This classic orange peel mini quilt is one of my favorite completed projects from 2014.  And see, it's a design that's been around forever, but the low volume + bright fabric combo is so popular on blogs and Instagram right now.

I've been so busy finishing things now that the book is over but I did manage to start a few new projects recently.  

Mercury Paper Piecing Block 

A "Plus Quilt" for my husband.   

And I need to give more attention to my Pineapple Block Quilt that I started earlier this year.  I'm planning some fun applique for the borders.

My design process usually starts with a spark of inspiration.  Then I usually just dive in and start playing around with fabrics and making blocks.  Graph paper is my friend and I do use a quilting computer software program called EQ7 a little bit too.  But nothing beats seeing the actual blocks to tell you how a quilt needs to come together.  

One of my new patterns from 2014 called Cross Stitch

I design because I enjoy the process of trying to come up with something unique - an alternative layout or putting colors in a different place to completely change the look of the quilt.  I've come to really love the math side of designing, as well as, trying to write patterns that are clear and concise.

A few random facts about me:
1. I have two kids (a boy and a girl) and a dog named Molly.
2. I looooove soccer.  It's my other favorite hobby.  I'm a total soccer mom and even enjoyed a short stint of playing indoor soccer, myself, a couple of years ago (which would have given anyone that knows me well - the biggest laugh).
3. I'm all about treats.  Dessert everyday is a must.
4. I'm a runner (gotta work off those dessert calories :)  I've done a couple of half marathons and am thinking of attempting a full marathon in 2015.
5. The ocean freaks me out - especially whales.

So friends, that's enough about me!  I think I'll stop talking your ear off now but I do want to tag my friend Amanda Herring from the blog, The Quilted Fish to continue the Around the World Blog Tour.

I met Amanda when we were both asked to teach at a local quilt retreat.  We met for lunch and I knew I had a lot I could learn from her.  She encouraged me to go to the International Quilt Market a few years ago when it was in Salt Lake City.  She's been a great mentor to me and if I can ever have even a tenth of her creativity and skills I will be a happy woman.  

Amanda began designing quilting patterns in 2008 under the name The Quilted Fish.  In 2010 she started designing fabric for Riley Blake Designs, and to date has ten fabric lines with them.  Amanda loves to create new things, but is even more passionate about helping others see their creative potential.  Her goal is to make the world a better place, one creative person at a time.  Stop by The Quilted Fish next week to learn more about Amanda.

~ Amber


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

love the quilts that you show - I do not buy many books but this looks like one that I would purchase

Victoria said...

Very pleased to see your pineapple quilt. You have done so much on it!! And now some applique...hmmm, that really apeals to me.

Ashley Calder said...

So nice to read a bit about you! I just found your blog today so it was a great introduction. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pineapple quilt.. and your plus quilt.. and well, all of them!

LynCC said...

It's fun to learn more about you. :) LOVE your pineapple quilt in progress, as well as the cross stitch quilt!