Sunday, December 29, 2019

Best of 2019

This year has been very productive if not overwhelming at times. I had a great start to 2019 with many art quilts for two Out of the Box (OOTB) textile artists group exhibition. That kept me creatively fulfilled until I over-did it. After that I enjoyed working on more traditional quilts and minis.

Art Quilts

I made 4 mini art quilts and learned a lot since they had to been seen as a particular colour and were mounted on canvas. It was tricky and my first one was very monochromatic, but they got better as I made more.

Peek-a-boo Red
Blooming Yellow


Green Garden Gate

Blue Moon

I also made a an art quilt based on the art piece, Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin, which is at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. That was a really great learning experience.

My Blue Painting
My final art quilt of 2019 was Gaïa's Garden.
Gaïa's Garden
Blog Hops and events

This year I joined quite a few blog hops and other events. The first one was Dust off a Quilt Book Blog Hop. I made a Mola. It wasn't an impressive finish but I did learn a lot. The second one was All About Strings Blog Hop. I think that it's my favourite finish of the year. It had everything I love about quilting - improv, scrappy colourful piecing, free motion quilting (FMQ) and hexies!

Tries to Play Nice With Others
I also discovered Project Quilting and joined in the last week. That was both challenging and quick. I'm going to be participating for the full project in 2020.

Chocolate Cravings
For the second year, I participated in One Hundred Days of Hexies on Instagram. It's always enjoyable. I love making the hexies and going out on photo shoots. It's so lovely to see everyone else's hexies.
Beautiful hexies
Lovely creatures

Sewing Notions

Another Instragram project was the Summer Book Club Quilt-Along
It was so much fun making these book blocks. I made individual blocks and finished them as minis.
Bambi book block

The Earth is Not Flat book block

I also used the book block pattern to participate in the Nifty Novelties Blog Hop.

Paddington Bear book block mini
I now have two more colourful UFOs from the Summer Book Club event that are almost done.

Free Motion Quilting

Hosting the Free Motion Mavericks linking party with Muv has been a lot of fun and has made me practice my FMQ so that I have something to show on those days that I host.

My favourite FMQ finish is this Garden and Pond mini. There sure is a lot of thread on that baby😊
Free Motion Quilted Garden and Pond Mini
I also made a few FMQ gifts before the holidays. They were very both practical and a great way to practice FMQ.
FMQ Journal cover
FMQ basket

Second FMQ Journal cover

Second FMQ basket


I finished one UFO quilt, the Epic Neutral Bow Tie Quilt as well as the quilt top on another UFO, Kingfisher Stitch Along Hexie Quilt.

Epic Neutral Bow Tie Quilt 
My Kingfisher Stitch-Along hexie quilt top is finished. I hope that 2020 is the year that I quilt it!

Kingfisher Stitch-Along Quilt Top ready to be FMQ
Linking parties
I am linking this post up to the Best of 2019 Linky Party hosted by Meadow Mist Designs. Thanks so much Cheryl for hosting this great yearly event.
Make sure that you go see what other quilters were up to in 2019! Off the Wall Friday, Friday Foto FunCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Brag About Your BeautiesPeacock PartyOh Scrap!, Colour and Inspiration TuesdayPut your foot down, Finished or Not Finished Friday,

Thursday, December 26, 2019

More quilted gifts, an OMG and a Christmas runner

I can't believe that I've got so many posts this month! I've been busy finishing up my two Christmas gifts. Actually there was supposed to be one, but a squirrel came for a visit!

More quilted gifts

My December One Monthly Goal (OMG) was another free motion quilted (FMQ) fabric basket. I used some incredibly lovely Japanese fabric for the FMQ.

The light was at its best outside on the snow :-)

I took an indoor shot the next day
I also created another journal cover. Unfortunately I misread my notes and didn't cut the fabric big enough to fit the journals I had bought. So I ran out at the last possible second for a smaller journal. It was a little smaller than I would have liked but it did fit 😊

I really love this fabric for the journal cover.
I FMQ the fabric following the outline of the leaves and the flowers. I used a darker brown thread to outline the flowers. I left the leaves empty (and therefore puffy) and then just echoed all of the leaves and around the flowers.

I added an elastic but I really don't like it. It's just too jarring. I'll have to find some finer elastics in other colours, or just leave it out.

Another Throwback Thursday Christmas runner

At my brother and sister-in-law's, home I took a photo of another Throwback Thursday Christmas runner that I've never included in my blog. Sandra and I may not be hosting Throwback Thursday next year, but I'm sure that older quilts will show up occasionally.

A Christmas runner made BBE (before blogging era)  😊
What I learned
  • I'm glad to report that this basket is the intended size, since I followed the instructions! 
  • I also used a regular cotton batting, so it was a little stiffer. 
  • That's two things that I learned from making that first basket!
  • The grid that I followed to FMQ was only one inch but it came out fine. I did FMQ a half square triangle that I wasn't supposed to. I thought that it would be underneath the basket. But following the instructions properly meant that it was on one side of the basket. It's not really noticeable, unless you're looking for it. 
  • I was pretty upset about making the journal cover too small. I made the side seams smaller but it just wasn't enough. Finally, I went to the store and bought a smaller journal, but it wasn't as great as it could have been. I'll be re-writing my notes before I make the next one.
Related posts
Linking parties
I'm linking this post to the December OMG post since my fabric basket got done! It may be unusual, but I will also be linking up to my Free Motion Mavericks link up since it's still open for a week. Finally there are lots of great linky parties around. Let's see what's going on and support these great bloggers! Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Brag About Your Beauties, Peacock Party, Oh Scrap!,
I've also linked the image of the Star Runner in this post to Sarah Goer's Show Me Something With Stars link-up.  

Project details
FMQ neutral fabric basket
Pattern and instructions by Christina Cameli
8" x 5" x 6"
Techniques: FMQ, sewing
Material: lanyard, cotton

Saturday, December 21, 2019

2020 Planning Party

Although I had an amazing 2019 production wise, I did what I promised myself I wouldn't do - I over extended myself with my art quilting. It was great to know that I could do all of this art, but I haven't done an art quilt since. So with these famous last words in mind, here are my goals for 2020.

Planning for 2020

Free Motion Quilting

In the last few months I've been playing with free motion quilting and making some lovely, easy projects from the practice pieces I've finished. I will be doing more FMQ and hopefully honing my skills. It would also be nice if I practiced on a couple of UFOs 😊
Make more journal covers
with my FMQ practice pieces

This Postcard from Sweden quilt top needs some FMQ

My Kingfisher hexies quilt also
needs some loving FMQ

Blog Hops and Challenges

It's difficult to say no to fun blog hops and challenges. I've decided that January will be mostly dedicated to Project Quilting 2020 which starts January 11.

I discovered this great challenge during its last week this year. I had so much fun making this mini chocolate hexie piece. Project Quilting is on for 5 weeks and each week we have to make a quilt within the week.

I've also signed up for the Winter Blues blog hop which runs near the end of January. The project just needs to have blue in it and I have an idea for a small but fun project. As soon as I've finished my Christmas gifts, I hope to start on this one.
Made during this year's Project Quilting

Art Quilts and my Exit Strategy

In September I announced my Exit Strategy...and that's as far as I got. Ideas have been percolating and I want this to be my major project of 2020. I think that I'm still nervous after too much art quilting last year. I'm hoping that the Project Quilting 2020 will get those creative juices going and bring back the fun in making art quilts. I fear that I've been taking this art thing to enough of that! It's time to enjoy myself again.😊
Maybe it's time to get it off of the design wall?

Working on some long promised quilts

A long time ago I promised my son that I would redo his quilt, the one that his grandmother made him when he was a young boy. He has loved it to death  😊. With his input, I have bought the Kona solids that are closest to the original fabrics. He had drafted the design for me, so now all that's left is to iron the fabric and start cutting and piecing.

My son's original quilt that he loved to death!
I also owe my daughter a Paddington Bear quilt. I made her the mini but she still wants the real thing!
Paddington Bear mini

Fabrics bought for the
Paddington Bear quilt

Embroidery and Hexies

I did a lot of hand embroidery and hexies this year. These are great when I'm not sure what to do and just feel like playing with thread and fabric. I really liked following Sharon of Pintangle's Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST). I've haven't been a model student (but then I almost never am!) and have been doing the embroidery in fits and starts. I know that I will be adding lots of embroidery in my Exit Strategy project and practicing new stitches when I feel like it.

Of course I will also be participating in the 100 hexies in 100 days on Instagram if it's on again. And I suspect that I will be adding hexies to everything that I can (except probably my son's quilt!).
Practicing embroidery stitches
I'll be making more hexies, although probably not
in Venice or Florence!

Related links
Linking parties
I'm linking up to #2020 Planning Party with Quilting JetGirl. Thanks so much for hosting this fun party! I'm also linking up to other fun link-ups. Here they are: Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished FridayPeacock PartyCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?. Put Your Foot Down, Colour and Inspiration Tuesday, Slow Sunday StitchingMonday MakingWhat I Made Monday, Midweek Makers, Friday Fhoto Fun

Thursday, December 19, 2019

8 strategies for surviving the holidays with Free Motion Mavericks

Do you want to know the secret to surviving the holidays? These are my suggestions. BTW I can’t be held responsible if others in your family don’t approve of these great innovative ideas!

8 strategies for surviving the holidays


This is my favourite idea! Hide out in your quilting studio and don’t come out till the holidays are over – or better yet, when spring is in the air. If you just can’t swing this, try asking for at least one day to yourself, in your quilting studio during the holidays. Hopefully that will be enough to energize you for a while.

2.  Quilted gifts

I can hear you wondering how this is going to help you survive the holidays since this is possibly one of your major holiday stressors. My innovative idea – give the hardest to-shop-for person a quilty IOU. In a Christmas card or on a large gift tag, write down what their quilted gift will be (keep it general, small and realistic – they may actually expect you to deliver on this!)
Here are some ideas:
Make a microwavable fabric bowl
Make a fun pouch

Maybe try making a fabric basket!

Do they need a computer case?

3.  Decorating

Take out all of your Christmas quilts, runners and wall hangings and call the house decorated! If you really must have a tree, get two or three of your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or neighbour's kids to help decorate the tree. You can get your tree decorated, feed them holiday sweets and then send them home before the sugar rush begins!

Take out all your holiday quilts
Enjoy those seasonal treasures

If the quilts are winter themed, they can stay up until spring!
Let the kids decorate the tree!

4.  Cooking 

Get yourself invited for Christmas dinner somewhere, pick up an amazing desert at your favourite local bakery and a bottle of wine. If you can’t pull this one off, consider cooking less. There are great places that make excellent food that you could buy for parts of your meal.

If you’re having people over, when they ask you what they can bring, instead of saying “Oh, don’t worry about it”, seriously consider letting them contribute. If they are really good at making something, give them the pleasure of making and sharing it with everyone.

5.  Shop the sales

While planning next year’s quilted IOU, have a glass of wine or a cup of tea, turn on (or off) the Christmas music and peruse the internet for fabrics you’ll need for that project. There are lot of sales, so make sure to pick up a few quilting gifts for yourself!
Pick up some yummy fabrics!
Find some great sales!

Follow Chevy's example!
6.  Sleep in

Even if you can't sleep in every day, give yourself permission to sleep in at least on one or two days.  If you're the type of person who wakes up at 6 am every day, consider getting up to make a coffee and then going back to bed with a great book. Give yourself permission to rest :-)

7. Pamper yourself

What is the one thing that you haven't done in ages that you used to love to do, before kids, work and responsibilities? It could be singing your heart out, dancing, going out with friends for a cup of coffee or tea or maybe even giving yourself a manicure (or better still getting someone else to give you one!) Take the time this holiday season to do something that makes you happy or makes you laugh. You deserve it!

8. Gratitude

No matter how busy or stressed this holiday season gets, remember that you are blessed with all kinds of wonderful people around you. You are also blessed with this amazing art that makes your soul sing! Be grateful for all that you have.

Gratitude makes everything better :-)
I hope that your Christmas / Holiday season is filled with love, joy, fun and peace.

Thanks for sharing this quilting journey with me,
love to all, Andrée
* This post is an update of my December 23, 2016 post "7 Ways to Survive the Holidays".

Linking parties
I'll be linking this post to many great linking parties. Let's see what's going on! GrammyDee's Themed linkup for Christmas trees and ornaments, Midweek Makers, Colour and Inspiration Tuesday, Put your foot down, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Finished Friday, Peacock Party, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?. Oh Scrap!Slow Sunday Stitching, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday,

Free Motion Mavericks
If you have time to FMQ during the holidays, just DO IT! I'm hoping to take some time for R&R this holiday. That means a good book or two and a few quilty projects.

This is our last Free Motion Mavericks link up of 2019! The linking party will be open for two weeks and then Muv will start the new year fresh on January 2nd, 2020.

Thanks so much for linking up last time. We are starting to have a real party! This week's featured quilt is Sandra of mmm quilts' The Kelpie's Star. Sandra's quilting is amazing. I know that she uses a long arm to quilt it, but I think that she does FMQ on the long arm since she included one of Christina Cameli's FMQ design. I'm hoping that Sandra will let me know what the difference is, but no matter what, it's a really, really lovely quilt! Make sure that you check it out.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter