I thought today we would take things a little differently. Why not answer some of your questions about ISeeStarsQuilting and of course, me!
Hi, I’m Christen – By day, I am a busy wife, momma, homeschool teacher, taxi driver, wanna-be chef, queen of the dishes and laundry and of a course happy quilter! And by night… well… I’m still all of those things, but it would be super cool if I turned into a vigilante superhero or something…
It kind of sounds exhausting though… I think I do enough vigilante work during the day raising my 2 busy kiddos!
Usually, when I write on my blog, I tell you all about my latest project or share a fun tutorial with you. Sometimes I even take you into the depths of quilting knowledge and we get out learning hats on! Those are fun days 🙂
I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about quilting projects or requests for tutorials on [Fill in the blank].
I seriously LOVE to hear from my readers. Do NOT stop emailing me, OK? Your fun emails are the icing on my cake each week!
I also get a lot of other questions just about me and what I use to sew with etc etc etc… so here goes!
Q&A with Me!
Where did you get your start in sewing?
I do not come from a long line of quilters in my family. My great grandmother quilted, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to learn from her many talents.
My mom always had a sewing machine in our home. She used it to repair clothes and to sew pillow covers. My Mom has always been really amazing and crafty.
She taught me how to use the sewing machine and I did what any young girl would do with it… I made Barbie clothes out of scrap fabric. (Don’t be jealous… They were terrible quality and usually broke when they got up to her hips)
After I got married, I used my sewing machine to make budget home decor items to decorate our little apartment.
When did you start quilting?
I didn’t actually start quilting until after I had my kids.
Raising babies is hard y’all… there isn’t a lot of time left in the day after you take care of everyone else.
This Momma needed something crafty for herself. Not that I don’t like to play nice, but I needed something that I didn’t have to share with everyone… do ya feel me, mommas? I needed something just for me.
I’ll spare you the gritty teary eyed epic meltdown moment and just say that after a really dry art period in my life, I thought I might just lose my mind. It was rough…
We also happened to need blankets for each child about that same time…
None of us like to share cuddle blankets on movie night. Yes, I know I influenced this behavior in my kids. My kids were specific – It had to be a Batman blanket and a Cinderella blanket.
So I went to the internet, looked around for about 10 minutes and decided sure, quilting, why not? I took myself to the fabric store and came home to make their little baby dreams come true.
After that, I made little quilts for my niece and my nephew and then it just kept going…
I became hooked and intrigued by the women who could manipulate fabric into beautiful kaleidoscopes of colors and designs.
How do you organize your scraps?
Haha… I like to sort by colors of the rainbow but other than that.. they’re kind of a mess. But please do what works best for your brain!
I have friends who use a system of size and color and its massive and cryptic… and I have other friends who just use a big bucket at the bottom of a closet.
You can see my whole system in this post Scrap Fabric Storage Ideas.
I’m not really a good quilter… How can I improve my quilting?
Ugh. That just breaks my heart when people tell me that they aren’t good at quilting. So, stop that right now, ok?! If you’re doing your best, you are doing amazing! Do Not stop quilting because you think you’re not good at it.
If you have to take a few quilts and go a little slower, really hone in on your attention to detail and make sure your skills are what the quilt needs, then do it. It will be a slow-go process, but your quilting will be so much better because of it!
So the answer is really just to hyper focus on each task that you do.
How do you quilt straight lines?
Ah ha! Every quilter’s dream. Perfectly straight even lines…. You can read more about my tips and ideas in this post 3 Tricks to sewing Straight Seams.
Do you offer any classes?
Yes! I certainly do! And they are a wonderful way for you to connect and learn!
Because of the time involved in making sure every student understands and is well taken care of, I only open up enrollment a few times a year and spots go quickly…
But if you’re one of the lucky ones who so get in… get ready, it is such a fun group!
Do you teach in-person classes anywhere?
I’m always down for a quilting party! If you’re in the Houston Area, let me know and we can rally up the quilters!
Or if your guild would like me to come talk or give a presentation, contact me.
How did you come up with ISeeStarsQuilting?
I’m OBSESSED with stars. I love them everywhere. If I see something in a store that has stars on it, I want it… even if it is nothing that I need. I just really really like stars. They make me happy.
You know that emoji with the star eyes? That is so totally me!
And I get the same happy feeling in my heart when I’m really in my zone and at my machine making the quilting magic happen.
What advice do you have for a beginner quilter?
This is a loaded question that definitely deserves a whole pot of tea and probably some cookies too because… yum.
I don’t want to completely overwhelm you with ‘you need to always...’ or ‘never do…‘
The truth is, quilters are like cooks: We all have our own opinions and ways of doing things that make things work for us.
I like to quilt fast and strategic. I am a productivity machine in my sewing room.
Is it always perfect? nope. (but you know this if you’ve been hanging around here long enough)
Start with finding one quilt pattern that you really love the look of and work backward from there. Really tune in and study each step and work your little fingers off until you get it right. The improvement in your skills and knowledge will come while you are learning.
And for goodness sakes… if you don’t know something or you’re confused by a phrase… google it. We do not live in a day and age where you have to rough it out there on your own!
What Sewing Machine do you use?
I’m in love with my Janome 3160QDC. I have had her for a few years, and we’re totally besties forever now. (PS – This Janome 4120 QDC is a newer version of my machine, and comes with all the bells and whistles/accessories just a little more money up front.)
I love Janome Machines and the modern feel they have.
What do you love the most about quilting?
I love that I will never ever feel like I have “mastered” quilting.
There is always something new and more challenging that I find to add to the “someday” list.
Do you have a favorite pattern?
Yes, and no… I always get all giddy and excited when I start to work on a quilt but by the time I finish that pattern my eyes are already drawn to the glitter and shine of another pattern to make!
I’ve really been into the clean lines and modern look to the patterns that Emily Dennis creates over at Quilty Love lately.
What is the largest quilt that you have made?
The largest (so far) that I have made a queen sized quilt… and it was a big one. Perhaps someday I’ll make a king-sized one? You never know!
I prefer to work with throw sized quilts because I can make them and then move on quicker. 🙂
Whew! OK… so I tried to wrap my head around the questions that I get asked the most in my emails. If I missed something or you have another question, please feel free to comment down below or email one in to me and I’ll get back with you asap! 🙂 Happy Quilting, my friends!