HAPPY MONDAY! I'm sure we all can use some "Monday Motivation" today! Here at AGF, we started a new way to feature our inspiring makers' work that allows them to also win our fabrics, but THE BEST PART is that we all get to know a little more about you! We encouraged makers to post their sewing projects using our fabrics via their social media using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday, so we could see how talented you are and the amazing work you all do! Once we decide on the winner for the month, the maker receives a feature here on our AGF Blog AND of course...they win A 20-PIECE FQ BUNDLE of our fabric, based on their personal preference.
With that, I'm excited to introduce our first AGF MAKER MONDAY FEATURE to you, "Tracy Martin." She's an incredible quilter based out of San Diego, California who specializes in creating personalized, modern baby quilts! Let's get to know Tracy a little a better and hear her sewing story!
Fabric Featured: Meadow Collection by Leah Duncan
Fabric Featured: "Foraged Garland Peony" from Gathered Fabrics by Bonnie Christine
Fabric Featured: Loved to Pieces Collection by Mister Domestic
Fabric Featured: Bijoux Collection by Bari J.
Hi Tracy! Congratulations on being our first "AGF Maker Monday" feature! Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into quilting?
Hi there, thank you for having me here today! I’m Tracy the one-woman show that is "TracyBug Creative." I'm a wife and a mom of three school-age children. Prior to having children, social work occupied my time. Long before that, when I was 13 my Great-Aunt Mildred came for an Easter visit. She was working on a hand-quilting project. I must have asked her a million questions. A retired schoolteacher she asked if I would like to learn to quilt. My heart jumped at the idea!
We made tentative plans for me to visit her that coming summer. A few weeks later, a carefully packed shoe box arrived. Inside she had tucked away a quilt kit with tiny notes pinned on various parts to sew and pages of handwritten instructions to get started. I was hooked! That summer I visited her. My uncle made me a small frame, and Aunt Mildred sat by my side showing me the way. I’ve worked on that project little bits at a time ever since. When my youngest was due I got a sewing machine for my birthday. The first quilt I finished was a baby quilt for her. As I wanted to learn new things, I searched the internet for resources, followed bloggers, watched videos, and took online classes while my babies slept.
What are you inspired by?
Color and shape bring beauty and meaning to the world. Interesting patterns, bright and bold colors and soft muted tones always draw me in. Likewise, I’m inspired by stories. The people and the journey behind designs and quilts add a dimension without which a quilt is really just a thing.
Describe your design style in three words.
Bright, Fun, Modern.
When did you start creating personalized, modern quilts for kids? How many have you made?
In 2011, I added the personalized modern quilts to my shop. I have made approximately 400 of them.
How do you stay motivated with your sewing projects?
Looking at new fabric lines, following designers on their journey, and hearing my customer stories all excite me. I especially love how AGF designers share their process and inspiration. My customers each specifically choose their quilt fabrics. This allows me to connect with them and learn a bit about their story. They share things such as how the parents wanted this baby for so long, maybe the close friendship they have with the mother, or how this is their first grandchild. These quilts are not just a textile but become part of a baby’s story. Participating in that is an honor. As I sew, I whisper prayers for the baby and the home it is going to. Human connection keeps us all going.
Any words of advice to those new to quilting or who are interested in starting?
We were all "new" once. No one started sewing and produced his or her best work from the get-go. Keep practicing and you will get there! Also, while you are at it, use the beautiful fabric. It will inspire you, cover mistakes, and you will smile more while you do it. Be gentle with how you speak to yourself in the process. If you are new, be encouraging, kind, and compassionate with yourself like you would a five-year-old learning to read. Lastly, don’t be afraid to learn the rules and then break as many as you would like to develop your own style and creative voice.
5 things you can't live without.
1.My Juki sewing machine (she’s my third arm!)
2. My seam ripper ;)
3. A fresh cup of iced coffee
4. A photo of my family
5. Of course beautiful, beautiful fabric.
Where can other makers' find your work?
You can find me telling quilt stories and sharing creative ramblings on Instagram @tracybugcreative
My Etsy shop is www.tracybugcreative.etsy.com and my blog is tracybugcreative.com
Since Tracy LOVES "warm colors," we curated this 20-piece bundle for her as her prize! :)
Thanks so much Tracy and to all you makers who have been posting away! It's incredibly inspiring to see what you all make and how you add your personal stories and styles to your projects.
We'll be picking a winner and announcing them via the blog next month.
In the meantime, keep posting and sharing your beautiful handmade things with us using the hashtag #AGFMakerMonday for a chance to win.
Good luck and keep creating!