Sunday, August 17, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

My sweet and talented friend Sarah of Berry Barn Designs was kind enough to ask me to be one of the next stops on the Around the World Blog Hop, a chance for artists of all kinds to talk about how they approach the creative process. Consider this your own free backstage pass to what goes on here at Fabric Mutt...

Look for the Craft Book Month Blog Hop and Quilter's Mixology Blog Hop, both coming in September!

What am I working on?

I've been a busy girl lately, trying to stay ahead of upcoming deadlines. At the moment I'm scheduled to be in four different blog hops next month, and that means a lot of sewing! Two of my projects come from the brilliant books you see above, both of which I highly recommend to you. I'm planning to write up a tutorial for my Tiger Tracks Satchel, and I have a few fun little projects on my "when I have time" list. I've also put in a bit of work on my book which is heading into the final editing stages this fall before it's released in the spring. I can hardly wait to share it with you!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I'm the queen of the quick finish! When I'm trying to juggle housework, homeschooling our three girls, sewing deadlines, family activities, and daily errands, there's nothing more valuable to me than a project that I can make in a day or two. When I can work on something a little more complex, it's always a treat, but I've learned to make peace with the reality of my time limits for now.

Inspiration is everywhere! Right now I'm loving the colors and graphic design elements in this row of old books that are sitting on the top shelf of my desk.

Why do I create what I do?

It's so interesting to look back on how my work has changed over the past few years. There are always going to be new patterns, designers, and color schemes that influence what I'm doing. I spend a good amount of time each month looking at design trends in a number of areas besides sewing -- fashion, graphic design, interior decorating -- and it's been a great learning process for me. I've seen my tastes swing back and forth between modern and traditional, landing somewhere in the middle. I've also really come to value simplicity in design.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- there's nothing more important than to make what you love. I think it's great to challenge yourself every now and again by trying something new, but it's a mistake to try to be something you aren't. The longer I sew, the more clearly I understand what I really love to make and the less likely I am to jump on a bandwagon that isn't for me. Of course, I can still appreciate the talent and thought that have gone into a project, even if it isn't something I would make myself. That's the beauty of this online creative community. Mostly I'm just incredibly grateful to have the chance to not only sew projects that make my heart sing, but to share them with people who care to hear about them. This blog has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

1. Patchwork Pouch, 2. Everyday Party Quilt, 3. Plain & Fancy Mini Quilt, 4. Katie Jump Rope Pillow, 5. Summer, 6. Nursery Versery Apron

How does my creative process work?

It depends on what I'm making. I've become really interested in how bags and other accessories are put together. I love to walk through the purse section of a department store and spend time looking at seams and taking photographs of interesting shapes. I'm sure the salespeople think I'm crazy, but I find it absolutely fascinating. I always get ideas for things I'd like to experiment with in bag patterns of my own.

I often sit down with graph paper and colored pencils to sketch out ideas before I start sewing, but sometimes I just throw all caution to the wind and start working without a definite plan in mind. I usually make notes when I'm creating a new pattern so that I can recreate the project if I want to write up a tutorial later on. Of course, once in a while -- say in the case of a certain previously mentioned satchel -- I get too excited and don't stop to write down measurements...

Heather Ross fabric is always a good idea...

When it comes to quilts, there are projects that I make to showcase fabric, and then there are fabrics I use because they let the pattern shine. I'm a stickler for getting things just right when it comes to design elements in any project I make. I'm not devastated if a pair of blocks don't match up perfectly or if my seams aren't pressed exactly right, but if I choose the wrong print for a quilt binding, it's going to haunt me every time I look at it. I probably spend more time on project design than on anything else, but I don't mind because it's definitely my favorite part of the process.

One of my current "little projects" in process -- a box bag featuring Denyse Schmidt's fantastic new Hadley collection

I hope you've enjoyed a little peek behind the curtain at how my creativity works. I've asked two of my oldest and dearest blogging friends to share with you next Monday. Beth is the amazing woman behind Plum and June, a blog which has done so much to promote and connect new sewing bloggers all over the world with her annual New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop. She always inspires me with her fearless sewing and her incredibly stunning photography (just look at this post to see what I mean). Becca writes a lovely, witty journal of her sewing adventures at Bryan House Quilts. She has a great eye for color and more patience with half square triangles than I will ever have. Mostly, though, I just desperately want her Nikki Tote Bag. Both of these ladies have been a huge encouragement to me in my own sewing journey, and I can't wait to see what the year ahead holds for them.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. great post Heidi! You really are the queen of beautiful small finishes, but you have made some very sweet quilts too :-)

  2. So fun to hear more about your process Heidi!

  3. This was an interesting post to read while drinking my tea this morning. I always like learning about other people and how they approach they creative projects while juggling life.

  4. I loved reading your blog in this blog hop, Heidi! You are so creative, and I love all of your projects ! And very generous with your tutorials and patterns! Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Enjoyed your post and appreciate your sharing!

  6. I am here from the Around the World blog hop, came from Mara's blog. I too am posting for this blog hop today, so indeed it's a small world! I'm glad to have found your blog and I am your newest follower.

  7. What a great sneak peek into your life, still excited to see what your book is going to be like.

  8. I'm also excited to see your book, Heidi! I can't believe how much sewing you get done even while homeschooling and working on a text - you must be very efficient. And thanks for the very important reminder about sewing what you love. I'm coming to the point that I need to tape this up on the wall as a daily reminder to keep me focused on my goals : )

  9. Nice to hear from you Heidi. Lovely projects too

  10. Great reading! Ha, I despise HSTs! But I can't quit them...

    I so wanted that Globe, I saw it at Target, but couldn't pull the trigger. Cause I don't *need* it. :)

  11. Choosing the wrong binding gives me nightmares. I just did it on my last quilt, but luckily I'm not keeping it, and I know the recipient will love it regardless, but I know what you mean.

    I'm so glad Sarah pointed me in your way!!!

  12. nice collections. Thanks for the great post about the fabric. Apparel Fabrics

  13. Wonderful fabrics and thanks for the tips!


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