Saturday, February 12, 2011

Member Spotlight #3

Name: Cara (aka Me? A Mom?)
Flickr Name: Cara {Me? A Mom?}
Area of Town:  South City
Misc: I have three little girls (4, 2.5, and 14 months) who light up my world and make a terrible mess of my house.  Good thing they're so cute!

What brought you to the STLMQG?
---A desire for community. I'm self-taught and for many years I quilted in a bubble. I have a network of fellow modern quilters online but didn't know anyone local. I wanted to meet other local quilters who swoon over the same fabric I do and make beautiful non-traditional quilts.

Do you participate in other guilds or bees?
---I just joined my first online bee -- Sew Beautiful -- through flickr.

When did you start quilting?
---I started quilting in late 2005 as a hand quilter (mostly because machine quilting intimidated me. I hand quilted three baby quilts before I got a walking foot and moved to machine quilting. The majority of my quilting has been done in the past two years.

Why do you quilt?
---Five years ago, at the bewilderment of many, I gave up a great job at a prestigious international PR agency. The long hours and travel had worn me down, but more than that I think I’d just lost my way. I needed to rediscover something besides my job that could light me up without burning me down.

So I resigned without having another job (much less the prospect of a job) lined up. It was probably the most spontaneous (and some would say stupidest) thing I’ve ever done. I lived off some modest savings while I tried to discover what really made me happy.

One day, I went into a fabric store to look around. I’d never sewn but I had fond memories of my mom sewing when I was growing up. Well, my spirits immediately lifted as I took in the row and rows of fabrics. I couldn’t stop touching them. I was drawn to them. I picked up a couple of bolts and took them to the cutting table. When the woman asked how much I wanted, I didn’t even know enough to answer her properly. Um, about this much , I said gesturing with my hands. Heck, I didn’t even know what I was going to do with the material, how should I know how much I wanted?

I took my fabric home and unfolded it and folded it – over and over again. And then I went back to the shop a few days later and bought more. Soon, I’d amassed a small little stash.

Baffled by what I was doing, the practical side of me decided I needed to find a way to put the fabric to use. Quilting seemed like a good way to use it up lots of fabric so I went to the library and checked out four books. Reading those books was like reading a book in Chinese. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. (At that time, there weren’t – or maybe I wasn’t aware of — the amazing modern quilting bloggers.) I persevered and taught myself through trial and error. I made lots of mistakes but loved it.

Nowadays, quilting is my Great Escape. I quilt because it helps me feel centered. I can simultaneously unwind and challenge myself. And it gives me the creative outlet I crave. It may never be my career path but it definitely is my passion.

Ironically, my life has come full circle and I've just rejoined that same prestigious PR firm I left five years ago. This time, though, my career will not define my life. And that's a lesson I hope I can teach my girls many times over.

What was your most recent fabric purchase?
---Oh boy, I fell off the wagon recently and bought a bunch of things but I'm most excited about the new Alexander Henry "Heath" patterns. They were previously only available in home dec weight and now they come in quilting cotton and six wonderful colors.
 What is on your "I want to make this" List?
--- A baby quilt of various improv pieced houses

A really large string quilt
A wonky log cabin
An all-solids quilt
Anna Maria Horner's hide and seek color spectrum quilt
A wonky star quilt
Anything from Boo Davis' Dare to Be Square book
A spiderweb quilt using my collection of vintage sheets
The Single Girl quilt pattern or something equally fun like this 
A quilt-as-you-go quilt
The perfect bag -- still searching for this.

What is something you struggle with?
--- Finding the time to turn my ideas into reality and not getting frustrated when I can't. 

What do you do when you aren't quilting?
--- I'm love to blog, read blogs and connect with other modern quilters online. And, of course, I cherish spending time with my daughters and husband. That pretty much fills my time. Every once in a while, I try to sneak in some sleep. 

Anything else you want to say?
---Someone once told me: If you can’t see the mistake from across the room, no one will really notice it. In the past, I have let many a mistake or imperfection derail my creative process. Now I realize that I’m my greatest critic. Perfection is overrated! And sometimes mistakes teach you the best lessons.

Here are some photos that Cara wanted to share with you

1 comment:

Jackie Russell said...

Thanks for sharing a little about yourself with us. Love following your blog and seeing your work.