Saturday, December 17, 2016

It's All About the Quilts

  Every year end I write up my goals, resolutions, and dreams for the coming year. As I was pondering this stint, I found a link up with rewards by Yvonne of QuiltingJetGirl. A good omen if I ever saw one! I spent a day ruminating on my goals, not the dreary "lose 10 pounds" kind, but the fun ones, because we know it's all about the quilts.

My not so secret to personal growth as a quilt artist is writing the Daily Pages, ala The Artist's Way. The link is actually to a woman who inspired me to give it a go, someone who found her success through the process. So my first goal is to continue writing the daily morning pages. It cleans the brain gears. It sweeps away the dust bunnies. It tortures the Inner Critic into a whimpering mass of jello. It opens the gates to creation.

Creation is fun.
My next goal is a yearly hope for almost every quilter and creator: to NOT start new projects.  I have whittled down my stack of UFOs, but there are still a whole bunch. One blogger said she would let herself start a new project for every 3 she finished. Maybe it is more realistic to go 1 for 1. If I get a big inspiration how can I not start a new project? It is more about progress than perfection, folks.

Another UFO, DONE!! 
This is a 14 x 24 Tlinget Button Blanket art piece. My inspiration came from the logo of a soul catcher, a symbol for physical and spiritual well being. It was originally created for the U W School of Public Health by Marvin Oliver. I adapted it in colors I love, hand appliqued, machine quilted, and embellished it with antique mother of pearl shank buttons. It is a graduation gift for my daughter, Diane Jensen Donald.  I called Lisa at Huckleberry Patches to brainstorm about the best way to hang this pushme-pullyou. We thought framing, so I called Nels Jensen at Picture This, and made a plan. I will mail this wrapped around a tube and inside a priority mailing tube to him to frame. He told me he is booked 3 weeks into January, and of course I need it today, December 17th, so I replied that my daughter Diane is used to being disappointed. 

So, since I finished this one, do I get to start a new one? 

I have had a goal to write pdf patterns and sell them in my etsy shop. I even bought the Adobe update pdf tool this year, and had a fine tutorial by Diane on using it. Well, I need a refresher course. But I have at least one design, Superhero Undies, that I want to get drawn up. I found this poster on etsy, and wrote to the artist several times with no response. If I give him credit in the pattern, maybe he won't come after me with his copywrite infringement superpower and slap my hands. I have a secret wish to try EQ7. Or maybe that is complicating things? 

Triangles and a couple of appliques. 
I have been working on my FMQ (free motion quilting.) A goal that needs to stay as loose as my shoulders is to practice my FMQ. I find it more useful to just practice on my real projects, rather than mess around with scraps and toss things in the garbage. I will post a photo after Christmas of a project waiting to be quilted this weekend. I need to restate a personal skill I have. When I FMQ, as my hands move the fabric around under the needle, my tongue sticks out and moves in unison with my hands. This is a natural talent, not something I had to learn. I will see about posting a video of this amazing feat.

Of course I will continue with my usual yearly goals, go to yoga 3 days a week, eat healthy, smile lots, connect with others more, comment on every blog I read, and keep sewing every day.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Complete with Fringe

My 13 year old granddaughter, Grace, is asking for a grey and white bedroom do over for Christmas. She will come back from a week at her mama's on Christmas morning to find her fresh, modern bedroom. My contribution is a quilted throw made from a Moda jelly roll of Red Riding Hood fabrics, titled, "A Walk in the Woods." The fabric went from my sister, Pam, to daughter Ainsley, and then to me. I added some scrumptious and fitting Kaffe grey (picnic) basket fabric and grey with aqua shot cotton. The back of the quilt is a repurposed chenille bedspread complete with fringe. The pattern is from Moda Bakeshop, chosen to show off the cute prints and be simple enough to finish in this busy season that included a left total knee replacement 4 weeks ago. (Still waiting to be glad I did that.)

I love how the quilt seems to have windows to the canyon and snow behind it.
The chenille and fringe, and wolves.
Red got distracted by tiny pink birds.
Shot cotton and a cute tag.
Other finishes include two more hand pieced quilt tops to go with the other quilt tops that I completed in November. And, I finished the embroidery on two sets of pillow cases, sewed vintage looking lace on the edges, and sewed french seams inside. The stains still remain to be washed out.

I decided to simply back these long narrow tops and used this tutorial. I chose a soft cotton for the first quilt, and blue flannel for the second quilt. The actual quilting is just enough to hold the two parts together.