In love and in 2018!

Hello – New year!  I love new years.  I love how bare the house looks after taking down Christmas decorations.  I love new lists, new goals, big plans, optimism.  A new year is a fresh sheet of paper.

For better or worse, I fill my pieces of paper with the same doodles every time.  I am many things – many awesome things – but I still struggle to value, protect, and better my health.  This year, this notebook, this page is not different.

I still am me in that I want to do everything.  Dance, run, speak a new language, make new friends, give art tours, draw, sew, paint, weave, garden.

That is, I want to do everything until it comes time to actually do things.  And here is the reality – all I really want to do is sew.  After work, family, friend commitments are met, I just want to sew.  I have successfully sewn a lot this year already.  A LOT.  I have not exercised once.  Not once.

So the trick this year will be to let myself sew as much as I want to – set as many stitchy goals as I possibly can.  But first, exercise.  It is necessary for my resilience and health.  So other than exercise goals, I am not going to push myself to do anything else.  One distraction from exercise.  One distraction from sewing.

But… man, the sewing be good…  some of my recent endeavors…

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This is a pattern from Purl Soho.  I bought a whole kit, but ended up not liking the color or fabric, so went with a more French color palette.  I love this more than words and really did improve my stitches working on this.  I am not a fan of the circle at the top with all of the fly stitches.  I am going to pull that out and put the word ADORE in the circle.  This is going to be a bed parasite (pillow) in our bedroom, so taking the license to get a little romantic-y with it.  Did I mention I love this?

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Speaking of romantic, I made little felt hearts for this Valentine’s Day tree.  Again, Purl Soho pattern.  I cut them out on my Cricut Maker and whipped them together.  They join some mini flowers and glitter hearts I picked up at Joann.  The goal is to have this tree decorated year round as a festive little thing.

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Did I mention I LOVE my Cricut Maker??  More on that in a later post.

I am trying to make peace with using regular felt.  I have used wool felt for so many projects, that it is hard to not use it.  But unless making a gift for a child, I think polyester felt is so fine.  It is pennies on the dollar.  So it is just fine.  Really.

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This baby quilt was the first draft of this quilt for a bestest friend’s baby.  It was in a magazine and I feel in love with it.  But it ended up not being up to snuff.  I set it aside waiting just for the binding to be done.  Last weekend I finished it and it is going into my donate to Project Linus pile.  I hope to do 24 Project Linus quilts this year.  #morethanicanchew

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Oh, embroidery!   I don’t know why it took me so long to get into embroidery.  I am so in love with it.  Can’t think about much else.  I have so many projects I want to complete.  I started this one and am so addicted.  The pattern is from the Tula Pink book.  Love love love.

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Look at that brick stitch!!  So in LOVE!!

So, I love stuff.  And I am going to exercise.  Happy 2018!

 

 

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Sublimating negative emotions

IMG_4276.JPGI have been working on several embroidery projects.  And am falling in love.  Every night I get closer to completing a project, feeling the power of transferring my (at times overwhelming) fear and anxiety in to tiny stitches.

There is some science behind the thought of crafting as a way of working shit out. (link)  I am a true believer.

Today was a pretty bad day.  I came home and hugged my husband, cried a little, did some TaiChi (wonderfully lame thing I have started to do), and embroidered a lot.  I finished the giant peach zinnia and made leaves.  So fulfilling and definitely therapeutic.

As I stitch, I imagine the finished product and how much joy it will give me or the recipient.  And progress reliably comes.  Stitches in, worry out.

 

All about that embroidery

Hello, void.  I hope you are well.  I am ok.  Not making the best choices always.  But never giving up.

A few weeks ago I was at my parents’ for dinner and my mom showed me this cool embroidery project in a quilting magazine.  You melt crayons on fabric and then backstitch around the image.  I loved it because it was a lot of color and only the backstitch is required.  I created this little hummingbird.IMG_4074

I loved the end product – and so made some little cutie pie images using this technique to be included in a quilt for my favorite 1-year old.

I interspersed these with some pieced blocks and made a color explosion of a quilt.  I really didn’t have a cohesive color plan with this quilt – focusing more on the fun i-spy blocks.  The result reminds me of my childhood.  Kids’ stuff was brightly colored – there was no curation – just SPLASH!

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This quilt was a lot of sewing.  I thought this would cure the embroidery bug.

It didn’t.

I found namaste embroidery on the Instragrams and watched her little videos over and over and over again.  And then I watched her longer videos and made her free beginner project.

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Just too adorable, right?  And so so so much easier than I thought it would be.  And so much faster than making a quilt.  This took me about 2 swoon blocks worth of time.  🙂

And then I bought all of the patterns and all of the embroidery thread and delighted in what a cheap hobby this is, especially compared to quilting.  This was the second thing I made, also a pattern by namaste embroidery.

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And now I have two other projects underway.  This darling little succulent and floral pattern.

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And this sweet little christmas pattern.  Based on another namaste embroidery pattern, with some additions by me.  These pine branches/leaves are beyond fun to make.

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I did a lot of patchwork/quilting over the long weekend.  Not abandoning that anytime soon.  But embroidery is the bomb.  I won’t be able to get back to it for a couple days.  Let’s hope I can keep by shit together until then.

WIP Update

Here is a change of pace… a blog entry about quilting on a quilting blog!

Sharing my looooong list of WIPs….

IMG_2462Project Linus Quilts – I have 9 more I want to make before year end.  I have one top done, and several unused quilt blocks in bright colors.  My goal was 1 quilt per month, but has been only 1 quilt per 3 months.  Lots to catch up on.  Luckily I mostly just need to quilt and bind.  I have lots of blocks to use.

The Colorado Quilt.  Despite a giant list of projects waiting for me, I lost one whole weekend to making scrappy log cabin blocks to frame the row-by-row patterns  I collected in Colorado.  The blocks are so full of color and joy.  I really want to get back to this project.

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The Living Room Wall Hanging.  Again.  One of the last projects I finished before I got my Juki (I love my Juki) was a wall hanging for the living room featuring curved blocks.  Loved the fabric.  Loved the pattern.  But my sewing was sub-par.  My skills and sewing machine weren’t suited for the project.  I then got really bummed out that a bunch of gross light black dye stains got on the quilt when I washed it.  My husband claims I am the only one who can see them.  I know he is lying.  And I am so sick of seeing them.  I am working on a replacement from  pattern in Quilt Now.  I love how the new quilt will look.  And so looking forward to not facing that stain every day.

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Poppies!  Earlier this year my mom and I collaborated on a quilt as part of a challenge from our Modern Quilt Guild.  We didn’t finish in time, but it is such a cool project that I would like to see to completion.  It is a representation of the World War 1 Museum in Kansas City.  Everything is done except for appliqueing on the poppies.

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Tessellation Quilt.  This one is for the love of fabric.  I have the fabric, I have the desire.  I hate paper piecing.  But the good stuff sometimes takes the most fortitude.  And the quilt will be amazeballs.

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Big Charming Bed Quilt.  This one is a bit anachronistic – It is a quilt for our bedroom – the one room in our house that is tres grown up.  It is a very modern pattern in very French General fabric.  I just need to piece the top.  This one I will have to send out for quilting.  I love my Juki, but not that much.

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Heather Bailey Framed Improv.  I lurvs Heather Bailey.  And I want to use every bit of my fabric from my scrap pile.  I started these controlled improv blocks to make a quilt for the chair in my studio.

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Embroidered Baby Quilt.  This one is secret sewing.  So only tiny sneak peaks.

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DaBombDiggity Baby Quilt.  I love this project so much.  Good news is the shower is on Friday.  So tick tock.

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Pretty Little San Francisco.  Love Satsuma Street.  Love this pattern.

That is a full and truthful accounting.  It does not included the other 3 baby quilts I need to get done this year.  Or the stuff I just added to my to-do list because I was stupid enough to look at the Purl Soho website – an advent calendar, scarf, gloves, overnight bag.  Or the sewing kit I want to make.  That is 26 projects.  26! I want to finish before the end of the year.  I think I may need to reset my expectations.  One day at a time.

One night…

I went the whole night without television.  What an inane statement, but still I am proud.  DH and I luxuriated in the quiet evening.  He is dozing on the couch after a few hours of reading.  And I have done a lot of things that I plan to do of an evening (before I end up numb and sprawled on the couch).  My smugness is punchable.  It gets worse.  I have pictures of what I did instead of watching TV.

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Ate sushi at our dining room table!  It has been awhile since our dining room table has been used for anything other than storage or a place to lay out quilt designs.

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Read about floral painting in 18th century France.  And I learned the meaning of two new words – haptic and florilegium.  I have shopped at a store called Florilegium for many years – so when I exclaimed to DH “Florilegium is a real word!”, it was nice that he kept a straight face.

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I worked on the never-ending embroidery project.  I am still on N.  Still.

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It was a good day.  I am going to go meditate and then punch myself.  Good night!

Estes Park + Art in Denver

Oh, so much to blog about !!  I just finished posting about our trip many weeks ago to Bentonville, so probably just time to share some pictures from our trip to Estes Park.  More is forthcoming – the joy of miniature golf, the awesomeness that is Rocky Mountain National Park, and the treasures in the Denver Art Museum.  For right now, I humbly offer some pictures of our trip, with a commitment to the boring details at a later date.

 

 

All The Greens!

My parents have had a hard year.  Those of you who I have shared the details with know that is quite an understatement.

For Father’s Day this year, I wanted to make something that showed my dad how much I loved him.  So much of who I am creatively and intellectually I can trace back to him.  He has always had a desire to experiment – and I feel I live that today.  I want to paint, screenprint, sew, draw – there just isn’t enough time to do it all.

This piece started in the Discover Fiber course I took at KCAI.  The first two sessions were dyeing fabric.  I made lots of greens, not knowing what I was going to do with the fabric.  Once I put them next to each other, I remember a phrase my father has said many times during our humid Missouri summers… “I love all the greens!”  We do have all the greens in a Missouri summer.  The chaotic tangle of trees and vines and bushes.

This is abstract, far from successful, but it really comes from the heart.

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The tone on tone in the middle says “All the green”.  I put in some purple and blue for balance.  The purple to represent the redbuds my dad loves.

I mastered french knots and made a bazillion of them.  While I was making this, I learned about “all-overness” from the abstract expressionism movement and so kept adding and adding and adding knots to get that effect.

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Just so many french knots!  Maybe I am ready for this?

Speaking of green and abstract expressionism, the fam and I went to this wonderful exhibit at the Denver Art Museum of women artists of the movement.  It was very inspiring, in many ways.  And there was this painting by Mary Abbott called “All Green”

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I love this quote from Mary Abbott about the color green:

“Green is more complex — there’s very little green in nature; you think you see it, but you don’t, it’s variations of light.”