I've been on "take it easy" mode, doctor's orders, until further notice.
Discovering whole new worlds through my iPad in the meantime, and decided to go back to some old loves and passions, that have lain dormant for too long...
Things have been really up in the air. So many changes, an uncertain future. Makes for exciting times, and exciting prospects. It's been brewing for a while now, and as a result of a series of fortunate and unfortunate events, I decided it was time to really work on finding my own voice in my quilting. Instead of one foot in the box, step out of it completely and just go for it.
Funny that when you actually make a decision, things begin to change, things begin to happen.
Cool things, exciting things! No idea to where they'll go, and perhaps I'll make horrible things, strange things, things that may make me say " what was I thinking?" but you know it's part of the process, it's just a piece of fabric. We're not talking world peace here. At some point, things will settle down and my voice will emerge. For now, it's great to take a ride on this unknown road...
One of the cool things that happened is my collaboration with Jovita. With a wink and a tease, and knowing that I have an hour and a half to start running before she's at my front door to give me a whack , I can say that we have a few things in common. First, we're both Americans living in Europe, I live in Holland, she in Belgium. We have apples in common. She's from Washington State, their official fruit is the apple. I'm from the Big Apple. We're both ex-pats. We both love fresh cornbread. We both share a passion for quilting. But that's where the similarities end, and the fun begins.
We are very different. Very different. Good different. Like peanut butter and jelly, honey and mustard, tomato and basil. Two very different flavors that make a great combination. We fire off ideas and images that leave us both with more ideas and heads spinning.
Fast forward to me telling Jovita how I have to manage to make a sampler quilt for a beginner's patchwork course I'll be giving this coming September. I know I want to make something different, want to move away from obedient blocks standing neatly in a row....
Really? Jovita says, explaining that she too is wanting to design something for her students, and perhaps a mystery BOM! Really? I say, and before we knew it we were collaborating on a design together! Hours on Skype. Lots of drafts, yes, no and maybes, but we came up with something, well actually, two things.
Remember I said we were different? So are the projects! I had to design with absolute beginner's in mind, Jovita didn't, having the freedom to change the purpose of the quilt design. You can see that it's a collaboration, yet it is different. That's the cool part, and the fun part to work together and still maintain your own voice.
Here's a sneak peek of my first block:
She's making hers in three ( yes, an overachiever..wink!) versions, I'll stick to my one.
My friend Els has been kind/crazy enough to be the guinea pig and make this quilt as well, offering critiques and questions that will help me to edit my lesson plan and if necessary edit the design.
She's fearless, will try new things, flying through the assignments, and doing great stuff!
Mixing things up, using different fabrics, experimenting with color, new friendships, absorbing ideas and trying out new things, and not being afraid - and who cares what "they" think? Not bad things to come out of uncertain times, are they?
Looking forward to starting another collaboration soon, but more on that later.....
Got to get back to the sewing table. There's lots to be done, and little time to get it all done in!
It's a beautiful sunny day here,
ps: anyone know how to get my "Followers" gadget back? tried removing and replacing it, checked out forums, but nothing...Help!
My greatest concern with this Double Wedding Ring project is that after all the tracing, cutting, pinning, and sewing this thing will lie flat.....
It is! Phew!
I was asked about the fact that I hadn't ironed anything yet. Before taking the photograph I gave this piece a light pressing, to see if it really was flat and although the jury isn't out yet, for now, I've decided to let the pieces fall where they may.
When stitching the melons to the large background sections, I've found it easier that they are not pressed because I can easily manipulate all those seams in one direction or another depending on how the melon lays.
Six interlocking rings are complete, and many more to go.
Just musing how I'm going to continue - work in lengths, row by row? work in chunks?
I've been working on them steadily, completing a melon (and sometimes two) everyday. Once in a while I stop to prepare the pieces and make packs, but there hasn't passed a day that I wasn't working on some aspect of this quilt.
Here's my melons' temporary abode. Kept safe and dry from tea, a constant clear and present danger in the sewing room. The pets I don't need to worry about, they know better than to even look in the direction of quilt fabric!
I love making this by hand, and focusing on the process. It takes my mind off the few thousand pieces that are being sewn by hand, one stitch at a time.
...and yes, I plan on quilting it by hand too.
40 out of 112 to go. Now that doesn't sound too bad, does it?
Didn't spend as much time as I normally do there, but then again, there's lots going on at the "homestead" that needs my attention, so priorities, priorities. Did get some lovely little fat quarters for a new project, to be started as soon as I get this sewing room tydied....
Decided to complete making 112 packs in total for the Double Wedding Ring. There are 15 more to go. One pack (a very small zip lock bag) contains the pieces for the arc and the corner stones which will form the melon. I was making them and then sewing them, but I got tired of doing that. Too much energy to pull all the bits of fabric. This way the packs can be stored neatly, and I can put the fabrics away, making my sewing room a bit neater!
About 140 fabrics I counted that I used- didn't think it was that much, and then I didn't count the ones that were used in the beginning.
It's just nice to be able to sit and sew, and think it will go much faster this way.
Anyway, time to go watch a movie with Mr. B.stitches, complete with munchies.....
Hope you are enjoying your Sunday afternoon.....
My fingers have been moving all that time, but now they've come to a stop because there is no more to sew and many more pieces need to be prepared so I can continue my quest for finishing this Double Wedding Ring quilt. While I've fallen into a rhythm making these packets and sewing at least one melon every night, other projects have been silently waiting for my attention.
I'll get to them, I haven't forgotten them, just want to get some good headway on this. Ever have that?
In the column of my blog I've been noting how many melons I've made out of the 112 that are needed. 35 is the current number. A few days work and then I'll have enough packets to work on for a while. It's a bit tedious to have to stop and do this, but it's also a nice break, and well, necessary.
In the meantime, I've been quietly collecting fabrics to make the Trick or Treat basket quilt, and searching for certain kinds of fabrics for future projects, and also have three baby quilts to make! So while I make lists, sketch drawings, and make calculations, mull things over while sipping tea, my fingers keep moving on this Double Wedding Ring.....
Another good thing while sewing, I'm catching up on movies and shows missed - finally saw all the Twilight movies, and episodes I missed from Stargate Atlantis and Sanctuary.....:-)
I've plopped down on the couch, ready to wind down the weekend with a hot cup of Earl Grey with, but not before I write a quick post about Bloggerday at Atelier Quiltgebeuren.
This time the guest bloggers were Jeanneke of The Building Houses from Scraps fame, and Jovita known from the Got Dots Quilt. Simply by asking fellow readers on their blog if they would like to join in with making these projects, the quilt-a-longs went viral!
I've been steadily working on my dots, and having so much fun with them, and now I'll be preparing to build a few houses as well. Not sure if I'll do them by hand (although that is my preference), or try my hand at foundation piecing, but I will get stuck in. If you are interested, check out the button on the right with the house, and perhaps you'd like to join? Hurry, the patterns are only available until the 16th of this month.....
Similarly, if you'd like to try your hand at dots, just check out the Got Dots button and check out Jovita's blog. The patterns for both projects are free.
Jeanneke had her hands full with her Building Houses from Scraps workshop, showing the ladies tip and tricks to achieve a successful build...
Busy cutting templates.......
Jovita is showing how she makes every block perfect. That's her quilt so far...she's making a second version of this quilt as well with bright candy colors!
I really enjoyed watching Jovita's technique for making perfectly round dots.
Jeanneke's little house.......
Diana's mom working on her hexagon quilt.......
Willy demonstrated her star templates......
I picked up some lovely pieces of fabric for my Double Wedding Ring, which I will blog about soon. During a brief quiet moment, my quilting buddy in crime, Diana, offered to cut the fabric in strips so I cut cross-cut them later at home. Oh, yes please and thank you, I said, and with the enthusiasm of a Labrador, she cut ALL of my FQs!!! There went my plan for a little bit for the quilt and a little bit for the stash......ach well, I didn't tell her HOW to cut them, just figured she wouldn't do it all.....so it is my own silly fault! LOL!!!
You do realize that these fabrics will always remind me of this story, in every quilt they end up in.....
So if your quilting buddy ever asks.....you know what to do....lol!
A funny ending to a fun day! A birthday party in the evening, a day playing squash with family and friends have made this just a very satisfying weekend!
I'm signing out now, ready for that last hot thee. I hope you are enjoying or will enjoy your Sunday evening and have a great and inspiring week!
The New Year is here, and I haven't counted the quilts finished or made a list of projects to work on or complete in 2012. To me, it's not very important. My love of quilting, to learn more, improve my skills and have just plain fun making something pleasing to the eye, and warm for the body is what I've been focusing on, and wil continue to work on this year.
Having more fun taking care of myself is something else I will be focusing on this year. It'll take a bit more time away from my quilting, but in the long run it will be worth it. It began in the fall with with longer and sturdier walks with the dog, re-joining a fitness club to get stronger. All that sitting around stitching is fine and well, but not very good for overall health. One day I went with Mr. Betweenstitches to the Squash club to use their fitness facilities, and asked him if he wouldn't mind letting me have a go in the glass box? The result is that I have become the latest card carrying member of the Squash Club, and love that Mr. Betweenstitches is teaching me to play the game. I love learning something new - it just wides my perspective, brings new focus and energy!
What better way to ring in the New Year than together with friends "camping" out in the eastern part of Holland! The 1st day of the year was spent quilting, laughing, teasing, eating, and enjoying each other's company. Back home, it's time for me to focus and finish up a little sample quilt and prepare for the presentation of my workshops during the Open House at the Quiltgebeuren this coming Friday and Saturday.
These Dresden Plates are what I'm working on and will be part of a workshop I'll be teaching in the near future...
They're so much fun to make, and I've used only scraps and stash to make them.
At least they are much more cheery than the terrible storm raging outside right now!
I'll do my best to write a bit more often, and would like to, but I've been trying to keep away a bit more from the computer so I can get more handwork done and do other things as well. - I'm sure you know what I mean about all the time you can lose surfing the internet!
In the meantime, I'm going to grabe needle and thread and get going on those happy little plates!