This week we're featuring Jennifer Houlden, a blogger and quilt maker who runs the Quilts by Jen website. On the main site, Jennifer posts patterns for you to purchase and workshops that she offers. On her blog, Jennifer hosts features such as Stitch Along Sundays, and discusses projects she’s working on. We asked Jennifer some questions and here is what she had to say.
Can you tell us a little bit about your blog and when you started it?
While living in the Australian Outback a few years ago I started the blog and took on a 30-day challenge, which I completed and then continued writing. But when I returned to Canada a couple of months later, I let it go. It took me over a year to get back to it and when I did it was a weekly post called Technique Tuesday. That was in September 2012. At the end of December 2012, I was challenged to write daily throughout 2013. I took up the challenge and never missed a day. I themed each day of the week to make it easier to write and keep the momentum going. The blog itself is an informative quilting blog with lots of how-to posts, reviews on tools, stories about quilts, a series on color, ideas to blast the stash, art quilt challenges and free motion quilting motifs. Now that 2013 is over, I am only blogging every other day.
What is one of your favorite projects you've ever made?
Some of my favourite projects that I have ever made are my Bargello Flowers. I have a sunflower and a dahlia to present. I love the technique of Bargello and how the colours flow from light to dark with so much movement in the designs. I wondered if I could put this to use for flowers and so gave it a try. Each petal is cut from the Bargello and has movement within each petal from the texture of the fabrics, colour and placement of each. I love the overall look of each of these pieces. Adding interesting borders and quilting to each makes the pieces stand out. The patterns and classes have become very popular.
Where do you find inspiration for your creative projects?
I find inspiration for my quilts and designs everywhere. I especially love nature and gain a lot of inspiration from the outside world in the plants, flowers, trees and landscape. I also like the lines of architecture and buildings. Colours are what catch my eye, especially bright, bold ones — flowers, a painted building, graffiti and so on. I often use my husband's and father-in-law's photos to create my artwork from and now also my own photos. Inspiration is everywhere — you just have to have a wide open view of the world around you.
Describe your personal style in 3 words.
Bright, bold, and innovative