Projects in my immediate future….

I’ve been thinking about the kinds of projects I want to work on more for this year.  

I have a few trips planned – all around quilting.  And, the cool thing is that I can chose what I want to work on.

I think I’m getting a good balance of new projects worked on, as well as trying to finish up some UFO’s.  And, I can say that I feel more balanced about what I am accomplishing.  

If I finish up a couple more projects in the next couple of weeks that are well “seasoned”, it will definitely feel like 2017 is heading in a great direction.  

For instance, I am heading to Arizona soon to hang out with a good friend, and do some quilting.  Before I go,  I do want to get the project completed that her and I started in a class for almost a year ago.  

That project isn’t as seasoned as some others, such as the frog quilt I have been working on for the last couple of months in between other things. 

Even though the AZ project is still of a relatively young vintage, it will still be extremely satisfying to complete.  

The list of accomplishments includes a few petal bags completed that I spoke about in my last post.

I’m starting to get more excited about working on the quick curve project I mentioned in my last post.  

I looked at the fabric selection again tonight – this is definitely going to be started this weekend.  I’m really excited.  I haven’t done a “rainbow” array of colour in a quilt for quite awhile.  

I’ll give an update of progress – as it gains traction, and to really think about my process as I complete a quilt.  The past week or so – has been a bit of rumination about the project.  I’ll let you know what the next phase really is all about for me. (And it hopefully won’t be about procrastination.  )

Happy quilting!  What things are you working on these days?

Planning a new project

Happy Sunday Evening!

I have been planning a couple of new projects – One for small gift bags that can quickly go together.  

Another – where I want to try out a new ruler and associated pattern that I just received a couple of weeks ago.

I was thinking if I document how my process goes – and by the way – would love some suggestions as to how you start a project – it would be extremely helpful.  

The gift bags – are planned to be given away to several different friends – so spoiler alert if any of you are at a retreat with me this year – you may receive one of these – or a facsimile of such.  

I am using the pattern on the link Petal Bag.  It is a fun pattern – I have done it before.  I can’t find the bag I did before, but below are the pairs of fabrics that I have chosen to use.  I think they are kind of fun.  I am trying to break further into my stash.  I don’t think this is far enough…. But it’s coming.  

The other new project – a small quilt – I am considering using as a baby quilt.  (See pattern and ruler below).  

I have thought about using a light fabric for the background, and using a rainbow of colours for my rings.  I haven’t decided on what colours to use for the triangles – maybe some bright colours, maybe a couple of greys….  What would you do.

I put my current selection of fabric below.

I have found that taking photos of the fabrics together really help me see them in a different way.  Another way is to look through a door viewer / peephole.  I

Now, I ruminate on my fabric selections.  Doesn’t mean that my first selections aren’t right, but I find it a useful practice.  How do you proceed?  

I was considering using a dark fabric as a background – would be extremely dramatic, but I don’t think I want this to be too dark – especially if it ends up being a baby quilt.  

What do you think?  

Happy quilting in the week ahead!

Most everything in your life, you have allowed to be there.  

A friend of mine has reminded me that most everything in my life I have allowed to be there. This thought then cascades into a million thoughts about choices and results.

I am lucky. Oh so fortunate. I have so many amazing people in my life. And I have the ability and resources to do some really fun and cool things. (The latest cool thing I just finished I cannot post on social media yet, as I am waiting to find out if it is accepted into a group of quilts to be part of a publication…. Still pretty lucky!)

One of the things I have allowed to stay in my life is quilting.  Think you kinda figured that out.  And, even better – I have friends I can quilt and sew with and hang out and it’s such a bonus!  

Other things in my life that I may want to complain about – well, slap myself because I’ve allowed that stuff to be in my life too.   The hardest pill to swallow is one you’ve got to feed yourself when you realize and accept that you indeed have allowed some of the most challenging things into your every day.  I constantly remind myself I have the power to change those things. 

So one of my choices was to spend an evening earlier this week with a good friend choosing fabrics for a project we are both going to work on.   Tula Pink’s Butterfly Quilt pattern. Tula Pink Butterfly

There was a bit of wine involved, and we have a wonderful time visiting.  Paying with fabric was a bonus. 

  I treasure those times. I’ve had some amazing visits with friends in the past few weeks.  Good things I’ve allowed into my life.  What’s the best thing you have allowed into your life?  

Resolution Room

Resolution room. I call the room that the yoga class I took on Thursday night and this morning “Resolution Room”.  It was a great class.  Very full class.  Full of New Years resolutions being fulfilled.  Some of us that have gone to yoga for years. I wouldn’t say I am hard core consistent but I have been practicing yoga for decades.  I appreciated a friend inviting me to the classes in the past few days.

The instructor was great. It was a good class, and I came home and slept well after Thursday’s class. I was glad I went. I was thinking about what it would take to keep those resolutions that starting to gain some form more permanent. What kind of support do people need to help them?  

I will never say that all resolutions should be maintained.  There are many that probably shouldn’t. There are many that probably should, (doing things to improve your health are usually good things). 

One of the great things I learned about the classes I went to in the past few days – I have been doing this for so long that I can actually not just touch my toes but place my palms on the floor!   That’s an achievement for me.  My balance is still off which means that some of my balance in life is still off. Fixing that. And it varies with each class.  But all in all, it has been off for a couple of years.  I’m not exaggerating.  My yoga balance has been off for quite a long time.  

My studio is not going to be my resolution room. It can be my sanctuary.  It is a place that has things I love in it.  I look at the operative word which is “things”.  It is stuff I can live without.  But stuff that I do find joy in using to create other things. I look at some of my studio treasures to find some joy at times when I am feeling the weight of other things that I am not letting go of. 

That was a couple of pictures from my studio.  I have a project going on right now that is part of a challenge so I can’t share pictures of it.  But, it is nice to go down and have everything set up, and I can pick up where I left off.  I do love having a studio.  

Do I have resolutions about it?  Probably a few – in regards to my projects.  I need to get a few more UFO’s completed this year.  In regards to the room – I don’t necessarily have resolutions about it.  

If I think about balance within my studio – I think I’m getting there.  I definitely have a lot of things better organized which makes me happy.  I was looking at my patterns, and notice that I can probably give away a few that I will definitely not be doing.  

I do visit my sanctuary very often.  I will continue spending time there – not because of any resolutions, but because it gives me joy, and is a part of the fibre of my life.  

The “Resolution Room” of the yoga studio – I will be visiting again in the future.  After about the middle of February, it is no longer a place where resolutions are given life, but a place where intentions are made and I would hope that an individual’s yoga practice has become part of their life’s routine.  Yoga has been a part of my life for a very long time, and will continue to be part of it.  

What does your “Resolution Room” look like?  Will you continue to visit once life starts throwing in curve balls?  I hope you do. 

Crazy thoughts at 3 AM

Good morning!

I went to bed early last night, hoping to catch up on a bit of rest, and try to put some finality into the last remnants of a cold.  I love the phases of a cold (NOT!) but I recognize them, and try to wish a warm goodbye to each, and a “hurry up and pass on through” to the next one.  

I woke up early (too early) and am not wanting to get out of bed, but unable to find that blissful escape back into slumber.  And, I started playing games on my iPad.  Now yes, I should be grabbing a book instead (and this cold weather is encouraging that).  I could even drag myself up and perhaps do some quilting.  

I got thinking about technology.  I definitely have my share of technology.  I have a personal laptop, cell phone, iPad.  I have a TV and source of music (radio).  I do think about the fact I don’t have any significant stereo system, but that’s a different train of thought.  I have through work, the use of a desktop computer, laptop, cell phone, and iPad.  I have travelled before with 2 iPads, 2 laptops, and 2 cell phones.  Yes, that sounds ridiculous when I type it in.  Absolutely absurd.

I was also thinking about what I want my life to look like, where I’ve been since I moved back to Canada just over 6 years ago, and where it is going.  (Some of the reflections you tend to do at the end/beginning of a year.).  The use of technology came into that thought, and I started really examining what I think about technology in my own life.

It has definitely brought some complexities to it.  I never used to carry a cell phone (which is an indication about how old I am!).  One of my sewing machines is computerized, and I can embroider with it, and it has a touch screen where I select stitches, and stitch length, and select all sorts of options.  I can sit and play games on a computer, iPad, phone instead of grabbing cards, a crossword puzzle to with pen on paper.

I can feel like I am connected to all sorts of friends all over the world through social media.  I don’t actually have to reach out and call them, write a physical letter, drive over to their home to talk  to them.  I can send them pixels that are arranged in a string of discernible letters that magically appear instantly to them, and they can chose to read it, chose to ignore it, chose to delete it, all without my knowledge.  Just as this is here.  You have the same choices.

Technology allows us to feel like we are getting work done faster.  Lets us feel like we are better connected because we can let everyone know that we are shopping for that last Christmas gift, without having to put forward more energy in contacting personally everyone we know to share that bit of knowledge, we just have to post it on social media for the world to see, and comment on, and we get attention that way. 

We have created emoticons 😊😞😳😬😪😂😍🤗😤😡😖😵😭😨🤢🤒 to add emotion to these interactions.  Makes us feel like we can actually share our emotions in a way that everyone understands.  Our real joys, fears, tears, smiles, hugs, laughter is shown in videos, pictures, words, images instead of the messy real life version.  It is shown in pixels that can be easily ignored, glossed over, not given the importance each of these things deserve because they are hidden behind glass screens.  Veils on the world.  Why would any of us want to have to deal with face to face the messiness of life!  We can ask for sympathy in our virtual world, and the world can pass judgement back in a virtual way, and then you can shut it off.  You don’t have to wipe the tears, give the hugs, share the laughter, feel the joy of seeing that smile.  We are only imagining what we think people are feeling by what they are expressing.  We are filtering the messiness of life.  

I myself feel like I can spend too much time with social media, technology, and what it brings to my life.  It does help me communicate with friends in different time zones, so I can send a message that they may find when they wake up, without some of the challenges of coordinating times to call / skype.  

I feel like some of technology is pulling away the tactileness of life.  I definitely am a fibre artist.  I am an architect.  I am a person enamoured with the tactileness of the environment.  I love creating because of the feel of the fabric.  The feel of the wood, metal, whatever I am working with.  The selection of tile.

The feel of the fuzziness of the inside of my slippers on my feet.  The softness of a scarf around my neck.  The soft fur and warmth of my cat laying across my lap.  Feeling the coats of the horses I was riding this summer.  You can share sounds and images virtually.  But, the warmth of that hug – there is nothing virtually that beats that.  

I think that one of my focus words of the year for 2017 is clarity.  I want to bring clarity to what technology is in my life, and not hide behind it.  It is a tool, but doesn’t replace that sharing of a meal with friends in person, the snuggling with my cat, the sharing a laugh on the phone even.  Being present in an amazing place and hearing, smelling, seeing, feeling your presence.  

A week into 2017 and what have I done….

It has been a steady week.  I have gotten a few things tidied up and sorted through. I had finished a quilt top that has been almost 3 years in the making.  (Yup, I’ll admit it). 

I am working on a challenge quilt, so I can’t show you too much of what I’m doing.  I’ll try to take a few process photos and so when it’s done and it can be public I will share more detail. 

I am using a picture as the basis for the design. This is from a friend of mine who is a photographer – I have permission to do so. 

I printed it to the correct size.  (Actually even larger as I cropped out some portions and took some liberties.  

I then traced the main lines onto freezer paper. I am using a process similar to what Barbara Olson does for her quilting. I also have traced / drawn some trees and a few other things that I will use fusible appliqué to apply.  

I may do some drawing with pencil crayon on the fabric as well, and set it with gel medium.   

So, I have the major plan for this quilt. I’ve pulled fabrics.  This much I can show you.  What do you think?   I like some of the choices…   I’m looking forward to this.  Getting more invested into it. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.  

I have also been spending a bit of time doing some quilting on a belated gift. 

I had actually drawn this pattern for this out in a drafting program, as well as drafted out some of the major quilting line.  I’m doing some improvisation with the quilting outside of my planned quilting.  It’s coming slowly although I’m getting a bit more momentum.   Yes, lots of UFO’s (or I saw the term PHD – “Projects Half Done”- very applicable)!  

So this is how my January has been going.  Working on a few other things in my spare time, and planning lots of things.  How has your first week been?  It’s rather cold here, so I hope everyone is staying safe and warm!   Bundle up and quilt!  

A focus for 2017….

No Fear.   

I went for a walk this morning and was listening to Terri Clark and I love one of her songs “No Fear”.  It’s awesome!  No FearI am constantly reminded of this because I think most of us as we get older start being more fearful about a lot of things. I think about what I’ve done with my life and how my 20’s involved blissful ignorance coupled with blind ambition and a sprinkling of adventure.  It didn’t always work out, but I think the element of fear was secondary, tertiary, or not even present in some ventures. ( a hot tub rental business is one example).   Lol. 

I have lots of ideas that will be executed along the way this year.  I am also trying to get some unfinished projects (UFO’s) done to free up some of that energy.  

I thought (rather falsely optimistic) that I would get the borders on a quilt I started when I took a quilting cruise almost three years ago.  Yup, three years ago.  The instructor, Cyndi Souder, had developed the pattern, and was an awesome instructor.  (See front of the pattern below).  Moonlighting Quilts

I had pieced the centre portion of the quilt and sewed it together while on the cruise, and had pieced the outside borders as well just after the cruise.  However, the pieces never made it together.  I know that just adding water doesn’t make things magically come together (and thankfully I didn’t try it with this quilt).  

This is the centre of the quilt with the background fabric borders added (it hangs over the edge of my cutting table).  

Below are the borders I had pieced, along with a couple of extra small borders I am going to add onto the top and bottom so that the pieced borders fit.  

Just to put this into context, the blocks with the corner triangle get small triangles cut off, so I sewed all of those triangles as half square triangles before they were cut off.  I then used these small squares to make small borders I could add to the top and bottom of the quilt and would make the sides exactly the right dimensions for the pieced borders.  

The half square triangles are around 1 1/4″ square.  I used an 1/8″ seam allowance for sewing the small squares together.  Yes, I must be nuts.  

So, I am excited that I am almost done this quilt top!  Starting the year as an Accomplisher.  Ha!

I am not planning on blogging every day, however I thought I should start the year off with a “Welcome to 2017” post, and a “I am going to take 2017 by storm” with “No Fear” theme.  

Hope your year is starting off on a positive note.  Best of luck for your first week of the year!