Monday, December 31, 2018

Planning 2019 and finishing Charlotte's quilt

In a few hours, 2019 will be upon us....and I sure hope it's a good one :-) Thank you so much Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl for hosting this annual party!

#2019 Planning Party

I've been thinking a lot about what I want for 2019 and it's a lot like my planning for 2018. My goal is to keep learning and creating, and to minimize the stress. Easier said than done, but last year was better than 2017 and with any luck, other than January, I will be able to keep this in mind.

After posting my Best of 2018, I'm finding some common themes:
  • Slow stitching with EPP, embroidery and beading;
  • Practice my Free Motion Quilting;
  • Create art quilts!

As well, I want to:

  • Participate in a very few Quilt-Alongs and Blog Hops;
  • Keep updating my blog; and
  • Finish 2 WIPs from this year and FMQ a couple of UFOs.

  • Neutral Quilt WIP
    Kingfisher W

    Postcard from Sweden, ready to FMQ

    OMG for December
    Charlotte's Quilt

    I am so happy to report that my OMG for December (and November) was to finish Charlotte's t-shirt and dress quilt....and it's done!

    You may remember some of these FMQ posts! They were very popular, especially the dolphins and bubbles.

    Dolphins and bubbles

    Foxes in the forest

    The quilt is now finished. There are 6 t-shirts and 2 dresses (the pink fabric and the purple polka dots). The purple dress had pretty tulle that I incorporated onto the block. If it ever gets used up, it can easily be removed.

    Charlotte's Quilt made with her t-shirts and dresses
    I didn't incorporate one of the t-shirts in the quilt, but cut out one of the hearts and added it to the label.
    Bunnies on Charlotte's label, because she loves them!
    What I learned
    • The backing of the quilt was a sheet from Charlotte's crib. There must be a lot of polyester in it because I found it impossible to get the tension right for the FMQ. I tried everything and finally just ended up using lighter thread in the top so that the top thread wouldn't be so obvious in the back.
    • As I was quilting it, I thought that the back was simply horrible. After I finished the quilt, I realised that I could barely see the top thread in the back. The Quilting Police would see it, but it's really not that obvious. I was very happy and relieved.
    • When you FMQ it's easy to get carried away about your mistakes, but in the grand scheme of thing, it usually isn't that obvious. 
    • Thank goodness for the OMG because this quilt might not have gotten done. So thank you so much Patty of Elm Street Quilts!

    Related links

    Linking parties
    I will be linking this post to Jet Girl's #2019 Planning Party as well as to the December OMG Finish link-up. Monday Making, Moving Forward, What I Made Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread ThursdayFinished or Not Friday, Main Crush Monday, Oh Scrap!, Free Motion Mavericks,

    Project Details

    Charlotte's Quilt
    34" x 44"
    Material: t-shirts, dresses, baby crib sheet and blanket, and Kona solids
    Technique: piecing and free motion quilting

    Friday, December 28, 2018

    Best of 2018

    It's almost over. Unbelievable! I'm always fascinated by time - how it rushes by and then slows down to a crawl. I still think that the best super power ever would be to stop time whenever I wanted to. Just me, so that I could quilt, rest and sleep more😊 Oh well, back to reality.

    Here's to 2018!

    Here's to time well spent doing what we love, and time to reflect on what we learned.

    Slow stitching

    There was a lot of quiet hand-work, much of it done while listening to audio-books. I practiced my embroidery, did some hand-piecing while on vacation, and lots of English Paper Piecing (EPP) throughout the year.
    Kingfisher Stitch-Along

    Hexie Runner

    Islas Canarias

    Symphony in Stem Stitch


    What I learned
    • I learned that sharing projects on Instagram is a lot of fun!
    • It's possible to free motion quilt (FMQ) around embroidery - and quite effective.
    • Extensive practice will give results - my stem stitch is proof - not perfect but better.
    • FMQ motifs work very well as embroidery designs.
    • Slow work can be meditative, or a great opportunity to listen to a book! I am very, very grateful to my public library.

    Making art quilts

    There are many reasons for making art quilts such as the Art with Fabric Blog Hop, catching a glimpse of something that moves you or making something for a special someone.

    Morning Has Broken

    Clover at dusk

    Funky Mountain LandscapeArt Quilt

    A White History of Art

    Connections & Intersections

    What I learned
    • I don't always need an excuse to make an art quilt, but it helps.
    • I love the Art With Fabric blog hop and making art quilts for the Out of the Box artist group.
    • I'm really proud of the work that I've done on these art quilts. I feel like I've learned so much about art and design.

    Lots of Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)

    I practiced my FMQ this year by participating in a FMQ Challenge with Angela Walters and then actually quilting a few UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and other projects.

    Charming Baby Pattern
    Make Modern magazine, Issue 21
    Rudbeckias and swirling leaves

    Batik Lap Quilt 3

    Street Art My Way

    Leafy Meander

    Scrappy Triangle Baby Quilt

    A mix of FMQ designs based on
    Angela Walter's FMQ Challenge

    What I learned
    • I love practicing FMQ because it really pays off.
    • It was great to get a few UFOs completed.
    • Creating a pattern for a quilt was much harder than I expected. It was really great experience and Make Modern magazine was wonderful to work with. I'm not sure that I want to do this again, but I'm really glad that I had the courage to do it. ✔ It was on my list of quilty things to do. 

    Making Squirrels and Minis

    In the second half of the year, I made more minis as gifts and cuddle quilts for charity. It's nice to work on small projects that don't take too much effort or time. Squirrels are always fun to make since they're unplanned!
    Selvage Love Pouch
    A Squirrel Project
    Comfort Cuddle Quilts

    Our House

    Diamond Mini

    Laptop Case
    A Squirrel Project

    Bear Mini with a broken leg

    Loon Mini

    Extended-border binding tutorial

    Birthday Bear Mini

    Epic Neutral Bow Tie Quilt (WIP)

    Postcard from Sweden Quilt top

    What I learned
    • Squirrel projects or DrEAMi! (Drop Everything And Make it!) are lots of fun and great distractions. It's also nice to work on something unexpected, and for me, usually small and quick!
    • I decided this fall to make minis instead of buying cards. A great idea if you actually plan it!
    • After two QAL, I've finally finished my Postcard from Sweden quilt top. I wanted to make it because it's beautiful and would give me a great opportunity to practice my FMQ. I am slowly learning to practice my FMQ on small quilts that require less piecing.
    • I'm not very interested in making traditional quilts any more, and even those are only lap size. I started another neutral quilt for a friend. I have to stop offering to make these!
    • This year I created a tutorial for making a binding by extending the border. ✔ This was another item on my quilty to-do list.
    • In September I totally over-extended myself by participating in both the Our House blog hop and the Blogger's Meet and Greet Event. I managed to make my house quilt and my posts but really didn't get to enjoy reading everyone's posts and replying to comments. I'm going to try very hard to avoid these situations, but it's hard since there are so many great events to participate in! 
    I hope that what I learned may have helped you learn as well.

    Thanks so much for joining me on my quilting and art making journey. I hope that we keep learning together.

    I wish you all the best in 2019!

    Linking parties
    I will be linking to many linking parties, including the Best of 2018 Linky Party with Meadow Mist Designs. Midweek MakersLet's Bee SocialFriday Foto FunCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Silly Mama Quilts - Finish Up Friday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday,

    Wednesday, December 26, 2018

    Embroidery, Hexies and Art in Florence

    Here is my final travelling post from Italy. I didn't have time to work on my hexies very much, except on the train between Venice and Florence. We just had too much to see and do, or I was just too tired :-)

    Embroidery in Venice

    I wanted to take my favourite jeans with me to Venice but they have holes in them (on purpose). I decided to patch them up with some of my hand-dyed fabric but didn't get a chance to finish them before my jeans were packed with embroidery floss :-) It's a work-in-progress. I've added to them when I came back but I'm still not quite finished!
    Embroidered jean patches - a work-in-progress
    Wearing my patched jeans
    in Venice

    Hexies in Florence

    I did get a couple of hexie flowers done on the train to Florence because I really wanted to take pictures of them there 😊. That little pouch I made in June, "Selvage Love" from Make Modern magazine, really came in handy for travelling. Everything fit into it for my EPP.

    Putting together some hexie flowers on the fast train to Florence
    I took this photo in one of the many cafés where we stopped to rest and use the facilities.
    Hexies at a café
    This scene looks like it could be taken in Provence, but Florence is in Tuscany.

    Blue hexie with lavender

    A lovely scene at a cafĂ© in a Florence square
    I couldn't resist taking this photo with the Arno River in the background, even if I had to try a few times - it was quite windy.
    Everything is sculptured, even the lamp posts!
    I wish I could tell you who made all of this art (that's my daughter's strength!) This was at the foot of a whole area of statues called the Piazza della Signoria.

    A little hexie admiring the amazing art in Florence
    Kingfisher Stitch-Along
    A few Kingfisher blocks

    I even had time to work on a few blocks for my Kingfisher Stitch-Along quilt. It's coming along nicely since I worked on it when I got back and was sick. It was very restful to work on when I had the energy.

    Stitching on the train

    Art and beauty in Florence

    I looked for images of textile work in art but didn't find many.

    This is part of a fresco of the "Madonna sewing and the Child playing" by Giovanni Di Tano Fei (1405-1410). It is located in the museum area of the Basilica of Santa Croce.
    Madonna sewing and the Child playing
    This is a representation of the moon. I believe that this art piece is located in the Opera del Duomo Museum.
    Representation of the moon
    We had to try the vin brulé in the outdoor market outside of the Basilica of Santa Croce. It was wonderful.
    Vin Brulé in the outdoor market
    This is the Arno River and the Ponte Vicchio. This photo was taken from a window of the Uffizi Gallery. I took a lot of photos of statues in the Uffizi Gallery. I want to use my own photos whenever I incorporate images of statues in my art.
    Arno River and the Ponte Vicchio

    What I learned

    • I have so many photos of art, texture, patterns etc. that it was very hard to decide what to include in my post. As I create art from any of my photos, I'll make sure to include them into the posts.
    • Although I love art, I have to be honest and say that there is only so much art that I can look at without getting it was really great to look for specific things as I looked at all of this art in Florence. For instance, I looked for art, like the "Madonna sewing and the Child playing", that incorporated textile work.
    • In the complex that makes up the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, I found some great patterns that reminded me of quilt blocks. I spent some time in the Baptistery examining some great patterns on the walls. Then, while my daughter went to an art exhibit that I knew I wouldn't appreciate, I spent some time drinking beer and making possible sketches for an art quilt. This trip with my daughter was truly amazing, steeped in culture, amazing food and art. 

    Related links

    Linking parties
    I will be linking this posts to some great link-ups. Check them out and see what's happening! Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?Silly Mama Quilts - WIPs, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday,