Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Interview with DI of Random Thoughts... Do or Di

A while back, I was asked by Jill of Creating My Way to Success to host the American leg of the Creating Success Around the World Bloghop! Of course I said "YES!" and the day has finally come where I get to share with all of you some fantastic talents America has to offer!

This is a blog hop tour that will introduce you to some wonderfully creative people from all around the world. Every Wednesday (Wednesday Australia time, Tuesday USA time), the hosts around the world will be sharing creativity from their corner of the globe. I will be hosting for the month of February, so, without further ado, I bring you a lady I am constantly amazed by. Her sewing skills and eye for color are marvelous and her quilts are to die for! Meet Di, from Yorba Linda, California!

1. Who you are? Tell us about yourself, where you blog, what you like, about your hobbies, etc.

My name is Diane Stanley and I have been blogging  at www.randomthoughtsdoordi.blogspot.com, for about 18 months. I started my blog as a way for our children, friends and family to follow my husband and I on our trip through the Brittany region of France in 2010. After returning home, I began searching for other blogs that might spark my interest and when I found quilting blogs my love of all things sewing bloomed. I blog mostly about sewing but include bits about family, photography, gardening, travel and cooking in my blog, thus the word "random" is a part of the name of my blog.

I have been sewing since I was a child and only quilting for about 9 years. Some of the hobbies I have enjoyed in the past and present are traveling, cross stitch, gardening, photography, baking, and scrap book making. I have recently switched to digital scrapbooking but find that my love of sewing occupies most of my time.

I have been married to Mr. Romance for nearly 40 years and we love traveling together, wine tasting and trying new restaurants. We have 4 sons, all grown. Two are married and those two have blessed us with 8 grandchildren, 4 boys and 4 girls. My greatest joy is when we can all be together. Until this past August, my mom lived with us. She had a hip fracture and decided she really liked living in a senior environment, so now we are empty nesters.

My family, my pride and joy!

2. What do you create?

I really enjoy sewing quilts and small gift items. Last year I discovered bag making and I am hooked. I have made many market bags, fancy purses, but my favorites are the clutch style purse.

a few of the quilts I made in 2011

some of the small items I made in 2011

3. Why do you create?

I create mostly for self-satisfaction. I love the feeling I get when I complete a project. I'll admit it, I am a compliment junkie, too. I just love it when someone says, "wow, you made that? It's beautiful". I enjoy giving handmade gifts but have realized that you must only give handmade to people who will appreciate what you have made for them. Some people think because it is handmade you are giving them an inexpensive gift. This is so not true. Sewing is an expensive hobby...especially if you love collecting fabric like I do.

4. Do you sell your creations? If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?

I do not sell the things I make because I really don't think someone could afford to pay me for my time. So instead I choose to gift the things I make to friends and family who I know will appreciate them.

5. What mistakes have you made or lessons have you learned?

I have made a lot of mistakes in my 50 years of sewing. They mostly stem back to not reading the instructions all the way through before I start making the item. I always think I know more than the pattern writer, but that is so not true. I can always learn more and continue to try to slow down and learn a new thing every year. This year I am re-learning to knit. I learned to knit a long time ago and made several things over 30 years ago but then never picked up the needles again. This is a fun hobby and it is transportable, so I like that I can always have a project to work on while traveling or even watching TV.

6. What, to you, is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?

I have always told my boys that success is not measured by how popular you are or how much money you make. Instead, I have told them to find something they love and to do it well. So if I am going to practice what I preach I would say that success, for me, is finding a craft, hobby, passion that I have and learning all I can about it and doing it well. So yes, I would say I am a success. But my greatest success has not been a craft or hobby, it has been my marriage (40 years this June) and raising 4 sons who have become incredibly bright, helpful, loving and caring men.

7. So what's next?

I want to learn to Free Motion Quilt. I have given it a try and I am really bad at it. Since I started quilting I have only quilted a few of my own quilts, and that is just with straight lines. The long arm quilter is so expensive that I am determined to learn. I received a new Bernina 820 for Christmas. This machine has a longer arm and wider throat, so it will make the quilting a lot less cumbersome.

I also want to become a better paper piecer. I have recently started to learn English Paper Piecing and I love it.

Thanks to Danny for allowing me this opportunity to give you a little peak into my crafty life.


A huge thank you to Di for taking the time to be interviewed for this hop. To see who the other hosts are interviewing on their continent, click on the buttons below!

If you are interested in being interviewed for Creating Success Around the World, leave me a comment on this post. Feel free to link up your blog or a creation you are especially proud of and meet some other crafters from around the globe!



  1. Great interview Danny - I love Di and am very proud to call her one of my best bloggy buddies. She is super talented and a wonderful friend!

  2. Thanks for introducing us to Di - those pictures are amazing of the things she has made - and she sounds like quite a lady! I'm off to check out her blog!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. Great interview! Di makes beautiful quilts!


  4. I know, right? Di is awesome!

  5. Danny, thank you for the interview feature. I look forward to meeting you.

  6. Di is a real star; love her to bits x

  7. Aww, Di's such a fab lady, can't wait to meet you both in October

  8. Di's my sister and I loved reading the interview! In our family, she's known as "our Martha Stewart"!


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