At the beginning of my first maternity leave, my mother-in-law came with me to the fabric store to pick up more burp cloth materials. I had never seen a rotary cutter before and certainly didn't have a cutting mat. She slid them across the counter without any preamble, basically gifting me my quilting start. Those first burp cloths were a bit lopsided... I see her point now.
When you're on maternity leave, the bulk of your time is spent holding things, or feeding said things, and you find that you only have one hand free - for months on end. Instead of reading my Kindle app on my phone, it occurred to me that I could dedicate my time to learning something. Sure, maybe I should have chosen to learn Mandarin, but I didn't. I chose quilting. I watched hours and hours of quilting tutorials. The next day with a few minutes here and there, I would attempt what I had learned the night before and then would go back to my one-handed tutorial watching and blog reading to figure out where I went wrong. You all warned me that quilting addiction was real. Well, you were right.
What started out as a way to share my projects and get community input turned into an opportunity to showcase the amazing work I was being inspired by - and my feature account on Instagram, Builtaquilt, was born. Always drawn to the colorful and modern, I tend to fixate on the quilts made with solids, and am continuously blown away by what our quilting community is doing in that space. As a full-time working mom - I'm in product management on a retail web team - my spare time has virtually become no spare time, but Builtaquilt has kept my passion for this creative outlet alive and on fire.