Charity baby quilt breather

I want to get 24 baby quilts donated to Project Linus this year – to make up for the last couple of years when I didn’t get any made or donated.  I have been having a lot of fun.  I have finished 2 more in February, bringing my total up to 6 for the year.

This first quilt had been lingering as a failed attempt to piece a back.  And so it became a front.  I am very unhappy with the goody quilting that happened when I went in two different directions.  I know better.

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But I am very happy with the back of this quilt.  This Tula Pink camping fabric is so beyond adorable.  So maybe when this quilt gets to its owner the front will be the back.IMG_4598

I am much happier with my next finish.  This quilt was set on point using blue and yellow scrap blocks.  IMG_4618

I love everything about this quilt – the colors, the quilting, the binding the cheerful patchwork of it all.

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I need to make more improv scrap blocks.  The are a lot of work but they are oh-so-pretty.

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I got the quilts done that I needed to until April 1.  I am going to pause and make some headway on my own selfish sewing projects.

February Plans

Lots to do in February…

Project Linus quilts… I want to make 4 baby quilts in February to keep on pace to be done with all by mid-year.  I have 3 quilt tops ready to go – just need basting, quilting, binding.  Two of the tops pictured below – both completely pieced from the scrap basket.

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I also want to make 48 more blocks like this one – but machine applique not hand.  I am not read to make 100s of these blocks – hand applique doesn’t interest me enough right now – but I still would like to make something happen out of the blocks I have cut.  That is what is so great about charity baby quilts – you can get something out of your head.

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The rest of my quilting projects list is pretty small this month – two BIG quilts I need to bind.

My embroidery/stitch project list is a bit longer…

I want to finish my abstract circles and Tula Pink flowers project.  I also need to make some little felt Easter eggs if I am going to change out the decor of my Valentine’s day tree.  That is probably the biggest priority in addition to some secret birthday sewing.  Some of my most importantest people have birthdays in February or March.

There are 11 projects I want to get done in addition to making 28 blocks from my scrap basket – aggressive, possibly unrealistic – but I will reduce my backlog from 26 to 16.  That would be amazing!  But I will still allow little detours.  Like this bitty itty little dresden I made as a mini quilt for my studio.

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First finish for February and it wasn’t on the list.

 

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January 2018 Creative Journal

January was great – for lots of reasons.  I have been feeling better than ever.  My energy has been night and day from, well, the last three years.  I don’t know what the difference is.  I can’t stop being excited to work and craft.  So weird, but so awesome.

In January 2018, I completed 14 projects!

4 charity baby quilts…

4 smaller projects… a letter-writing kit, a needle book, a Valentine’s tree, some earrings…

4 new pillows for the couch…  Isn’t George the cutest??

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And 2 embroidery projects…

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I reduced my backlog by zilch – I completed 4 WIPs – the tropical plants embroidery and three of the baby quilts – but I started 4 new projects that I didn’t finish…

A scrap baby quilt, an embroidered flower, floral appliqué circles, and some abstract circles…

No regrets!!

I exceeded my goal of making 31 blocks from scraps by 5.

This is the best January I have had in recent memory.  Ready to start planning for February.

 

Tuesday Two – Issue 1

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  1. Ken Burns collects quilts!!  No, he really does.  Just the coolest article about him and his collection here.  Reading his comments about the history, craftsmanship, and art of quilts had me balling like a baby.
  2. I am falling in love with the work of Paul Klee.  There is a lifetime of inspiration in design, shape, color in his work.

splurge!

I have felt the joy of growing as a person the last month.  After I got over a wretched bout of flu/strep throat/major fatigue, I felt like a new person.  More energy – especially more creative energy.  I wanted to make and do more.  In addition, I am developing some great new eating habits – more on that later, maybe.

I am anxious to see what gains I can make in February.  I would like to build on new eating habits to exercise consistently.  And I am going to stop shopping for the rest of the year.  I love online shopping – and I hate it.  I have enough jewelry, fabric, shoes, clothes, and art supplies.  Plenty plus a lot more.  Online shopping, like eating, is done to fill avoid that is ultimately just made bigger.  I am not going to become a minimalist – but I am going to stop shopping.  I have a list of exceptions – gifts for other people, and supporting resources for projects – batting, interfacing, embroidery floss  – but no fabric and no shoes and no jewelry and no clothes.  I am looking forward to the mental freedom I will get from not even allowing idle pointing and clicking to enter my life.  But it is also scary.

This article (I happened on from the always awesome Saturday Seven serieson A Quilting Life blog) really convinced me of the joy and impact not shopping could have.  I am preparing myself mentally for the benefit and effort of this new adventure.  I am trying to do some things structurally to make it easier – unsubscribing from all email subscriptions – even Purl Soho!, making all my existing beautiful things accessible as a reminder of the abundance I have.

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BUT, on Saturday I had the joy of spending a really generous gift certificate to Sarah’s fabrics that my coworkers had gotten for me.  It felt great to have the money to spend – but also confirmed that I will be ok not shopping – because one always wants more than one can buy.  I spent most of the money on fabrics to back Project Linus quilts.  But I also spent some on the splurge of this gorgeous wool felt.  Nothing beats the real stuff.  And I am not sure what I will use it for – but it is oddly comforting knowing it is there.  🙂

 

My favorite gift to give…

I have created two of these letter writing kits – I think it might be my favorite gift to give. The first one I made was for a secret santa exchange at work.

I used the beloved gathered clutch tutorial.  The bag is cute – but it was almost too small for the notecards.  I was just getting to know my cricut, so the cards aren’t perfect.  And I didn’t have time to buy stamps to include.  Still adorable – and a super handy thing to carry in one’s bag to be able to send a quick note.

My next attempt is better.  I increased the height and width of the bag by one inch, included stamps.  And bought some extra to have on hand for additional gifts.  I also need to have some nice-ish pens on hand to include.

In the spirit of using my favorites fabrics, I used some of my most beloved Anna Maria Horner.

I think I may need to make one of these for myself now.

Designing

Today is the birthday of a friend who died a year and a half ago.  I have had people I love die, but I have never felt grief like this before.  The pain hits me less often, but when it does it is unrelenting – feeling the shock over and over again.  She just isn’t alive – she isn’t here – she isn’t coming back.

As I started to book things on my calendar for this week, every time I would see “Laurie’s birthday”, I would have to choke back body-shaking sobs – ending up in the bathroom at the office more than once to avoid embarrassment and awkwardness.  I have been a puddly crying mess.  So I made the decision to take today off to allow the grief to happen.

So I spent the day crying and sewing.

Laurie’s favorite color was purple.  And mine is orange and every gift she gave me was orange in color.  Gah.  This is so hard.

So, I had a grand vision of making a purple and orange quilt today – soup to nuts – to donate to Project Linus.  It didn’t go as planned.

I sorted my scraps, made a design, cut cut cut, made the first row and was very unhappy with the outcome.  I didn’t like the setting squares and strips and I really should have used white squares instead of low-volume squares for the corners of the blocks.

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I got rid of the setting squares and did a new row and like it a bit better.

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But then it was 4:30 and I was frustrated.  I decided to try a new project I have been thinking about a lot.  An interpretation of a Paul Klee painting.  And it just like flowed.  Something about the grief and the frustration and I found inspiration.

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I can’t describe how much I love this.  The design, the colors and the total brick stitch are ticking all the boxes.  But most of all this doesn’t look like anything I have seen before.  It feels new.  It feels creative.  And my mind is swimming with all of the other types of abstractions and color combinations I can do.

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I probably won’t get back to this until Sunday.  I miss it already.  But proud of myself for finding something new.

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a new logo

I spent several hours tonight creating a logo that made me swoon.  I love the bright florals and I added the gradient grey circle – a trick I learned about pairing grey with colors to make them pop in a color theory class I took a couple years ago,

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Anyway, I love it.  But I can’t figure out how to get it anywhere.  🙂  I lose the transparency of the background… it is too grainy… it is too big to upload.  Probably need to sleep now and try again later.

An embroidery update

Still obsessed with embroidery.  And quilting. And now my Cricut Maker.

I have made some progress on some embroidery projects…

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The Purl Soho sampler got made into a little pillow (AKA “bed parasite” per my husband) that lives on our bed.  I was really unhappy with one of the circles, so replaced with a bit of romance and gorgeous yellow fabric.IMG_4447

And then there is this one – from Tula Pink’s embroidery book.  Slow but steady progress.  And I still love the brick stitch.  And still amazed and proud that I can do that many french knots.  Living the dream.IMG_4459

I am taking a break from the giant rose to try and get this little guy done this week.  I think the finished project with the stripes fabric will look cool.  Or like bad decor from a cheap Florida hotel.  We’ll see.

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I also have been wanting to design my own patterns.  We saw The Post a couple weeks ago and I loved it.  Did a simple line drawing of Katherine Graham that I am hoping to make into a hoop.

And then this beautiful painting by Paul Klee came up in my daily calendar from the Met.  This is begging to be turned into a gorgeous piece of embroidery with pastels and my beloved brick stitch.

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So much to do… so little time.  Goodnight for now, my lovelies.

style

I adore the Pretty by Hand blog.  Her colors, her patterns, her everything make me swoon.  Sweet little flowers and pink and lace.

But when I try to stay sweet and pink, it feels false.  And modern solids and straight lines aren’t quite me either.

Begrudgingly I admit my style is floral cacophony.  I shudder to say almost boho.  If left to my own devices, it would be all the colors and all the flowers all the time.  Recently, I have been making some things that fit into that style – I am leaning into it, and enjoying it.

I have a whole basket of multi-color florals.  I dug those out and some text grey and creams and have started to cut and appliqué circles.  My technique is lacking, but getting better.

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For this project, I cut some of my favorite floral fabrics (using my Cricut Maker).  I just never could think of a project good enough to use them.  I have moved past that now, knowing that the universe will provide more lovely floral fabric when I want it.  It is almost certain.

And then there is this needle book I made from this tutorial.  All the flowers and all the colors and I couldn’t be happier with it.  This much visual noise makes me happy.

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This little needle minder was a present from my husband for Christmas.  Those adorable scissors are from Purl Soho.  I am going to get them in a different color eventually so that they stand out more from the background fabric.

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Each page stores a different type of needle.  This page is for appliqué pins and needles.  And I know it is for appliqué stuff because there is a wee appliquéd circle on the page.

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This page is for quilting needles and milliner needles (when I get some).  Milliner needles are supposed to be good for English Paper Piecing and french knots.

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This page is for tapestry needles.  And I also am storing my adorable tulip pins here.

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And this page is for embroidery and beading needles.  Love love love.

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And all tied up with a bright orange ribbon.

Here is to finding and falling in love with one’s own style.

 

 

 

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