Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Around the World

Hi everyone! Today is my stop on the Blog Around the World tour, and I was invited to it by my friend Heather Kojan. (hi Heather!)

If you're a new visitor, welcome! I'm Tammie Schaffer, and I live in rural Kansas, about an hour from KC. My husband Troy and I have four kids, preK-4th grade. I also blog over at My Stars, the Kansas City Star Quilt's modern quilt blog. I work a few hours a week at a local fabric shop called Country Fabrics. I'm a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and also the Pieces and Patches Guild in Garnett, KS. (Although I am a terrible member and rarely make it to meetings!)

So here we go, four questions, my answers. Read on, my friend.

What am I working on?

It would be easier to tell you what I'm NOT working on! I have a bunch of UFOs and WIPs.

Top priority will be given to my Modern Maple quilt from last fall, when I ran out of the background and couldn't recall the name to buy more. (I finally matched it in a quilt shop in Humboldt KS!) I have 17 more blocks to make and then I need to piece them all together. I can't wait to have a few hours to sit down and crank this out. It will be sent out for quilting, so I need to get it done before winter comes! I challenged myself to make it only with fabrics from the shop. I needed an excuse to use all the fat quarters I'm always buying from there!

I'm also making a flannel tie for a friend's son who has to dress up on Fridays for football, but doesn't care much for it. Hence the flannel, which she is hoping will ease the sting of grown up clothes. I've never made a tie before, it's going to be interesting to say the least.

I have a birthday cake to make for our son Zach's 7th birthday on Wednesday. I'm thinking I'll make this monster cake, unless he decides on something else soon. We're having a birthday party in a week or so for both Zach & Emma, who will be 10 later this month.

My House/DIY list is endless. I am in the middle of painting trim and doors in all three sons' bedrooms. Emma wants to change the color of her room from a pale aqua to a dark aqua and fuchsia. I told her we would tackle that project next weekend, so it's done before the party. I spent the weekend painting the trim on the outside of the house and working on my flowerbeds.

OK, I really could use a nap now.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have been wondering that myself! I feel sometimes, just like in regular life, that I don't really fit in anywhere. I am not modern enough to be a modern quilter, arty enough to be an art quilter, traditional enough... you get the point. I just say, I am a Quilter. I love handmade quilts, whether they are calico log cabins or improv solids. I don't spend a lot of time trying to fit into a certain niche.

I would say my "style" is based on simple, easy to piece designs, that make the most of your fabric and time. I don't get more than a few minutes at a time most days to play with my fabric. So although there are lots of designs I'd like to try, for now I stick with easily attainable ones. No Dear Jane or Mariner's Compass in my 5 year future! I usually make block based designs, but I'm challenging myself to play around with alternative layouts. And I love me some charm squares.

Why do I write/create what I do?

It makes me a happier person. I just love being able to make things. I always knew I wanted a sewing room and I collected fabric years before I made my first quilt block. It took becoming a stay at home mom to "find" the time I needed to sit down and create on a regular basis. The irony of that, of course, is that I have no free time, and my husband gets very frustrated if I've spent the afternoon sewing instead of, oh, making dinner!

I have found, though, that if I don't spend at least a few minutes a day stitching something, planning something, even just mending something - if I don't get those minutes, I feel grouchy and unfulfilled. I carry an embroidery or crochet project with me, so if I'm sitting at football practice, I can stitch myself into a good mood.

How does my writing/creating process work?

It's very messy, and unorganized. I never measure first. Math and I aren't friends. I just start playing with pieces and adding in until I like the way it's going. I make the backing work out of whatever I have to use - I don't think I've ever bought material with a specific pattern in mind. I start with a general idea, and it grows from there. Even when I do have a pattern, I end up changing it so much that it's irrelevant by the end anyways! It's been a challenge working in the fabric shop, where people want me to tell them exactly how much fabric they will need!

For me the rewarding part is the process, not the product. I love playing with fabric on the design wall. I can zone out to some marathon chain piecing, and when I'm in the right mood, paper piecing is very satisfying. But pushing through to the finish, well, not so much. I need a deadline to make me complete something. Otherwise, there's always tomorrow, and HEY LOOK A SQUIRREL lol.

So that's me in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed this peek and if so, come back and visit soon!  Thanks to Heather for tagging me! I haven't had a chance to ask anyone else to be next, so how about I tag any of you who haven't been asked yet! If you write up a post, come back and tell me in the comments so I can come read it!

Have a great week, GO ROYALS!!


AJ Wu said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm so in awe of quilters like you who can find time for such beautiful pieces with 4 kids! I just had my second and there was a lot of melting down when I realized how much more work 2 kids is over one. Lol. I just want to find some time to make that zippy quilt you designed. =D

craftytammie said...

aww, thanks so much!! It IS a rough transition going from one kid to 2, but I promise it gets easier! Or at least it stops feeling so overwhelming. And trust me, the only way I find time to quilt is by neglecting other things, like cleaning, lol!


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