2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Of course this is what some sites pick up every single day, but I’m not trying to document every single thing that happens in my life, just keep notes on my creative endeavours without letting the blogging take over at the expense of said creative endeavours.

Think my word for this year will be BALANCE

since it’s something I always pray for – balance between work/creative activities/service to family & community

And my resolution is NOT TO MAKE ANY RESOLUTIONS!  Because we know where they go ….

Click here to see the complete report.

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Modern Quilt Challenge turned in!

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For once I finished making blocks, piecing, quilting and labeling over an evening and early afternoon so I could drop off my entry at Satin Moon Quilted Garden — and the deadline isn’t till 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.  Wow, three whole days early!

They do say that one sign of middle age is when you keep meaning to procrastinate but never get around to it.  I thought of work I  need to do by the end of the weekend and on Monday, that travel will be challenging tomorrow because of the marathon, and that the Eid starts on Tuesday, and decided I needed to get this completed and delivered before other things took over.

OnThursday we’ll get to see what everyone else did.  Voting is by viewers’ choice which is why this has to remain anonymous until the middle of November.  Process posts will appear then followed by the small reveal (maximum size is 20 by 20 so it will fit on the store walls).

Use What You Have – Got Stash??

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well, this is embarrassing!  I knew I had a lot of scraps — defined below — because I had a large tote bag stuffed full, plus some that overflowed onto the floor, plus an open medium size moving box that the tote bag sat in also containing scraps.

Making slabs to recover southern Alberta  inspired me to tidy and organize them.   I emptied the bin in the photo above by consolidating some dyeing fabric and blank white garments which easily fit into a single bin, then started folding and laying scraps in.  Now the tote bag is empty and the box is nearly but not quite empty.

What an eyeopener!  This is the wake up call.  I could make a slab a day for the rest of my life just out of this bin.

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and the slabs would be colour coordinated too!

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NOT in the bin:

  • batiks for the prairie points on the dino quilt that coordinates with this pillowcase.
  • solid fabrics except for very small scraps
  • green and pink prints for baby quilts

The bin is on a shelf at waist height where I will see it and be able to reach it easily.

Of course, tidying one thing led to another and I have plenty of batting too, now consolidated into a Rubbermaid roughneck tote bin and a moving box.  And there is a little more floor space free than before.

Does anyone else have this problem?  What are you doing about it?

The bin there bin really is just that.  It seems that there are very few fabrics which I’ve completely used up.

This represents 15 years of quilting but I can see the next 15 years are already right here!  And in the very first class the teachers warned us about this, but who listened, LOL?

DEFINITION OF A SCRAP

Minimum:

  • at least two inches square OR
  • one and half inches by six inches long

Maximum:

  • fat quarter with a chunk cut out of it, because of the number of times when I’ve been preparing for a workshop that calls for fat quarters only to discover the dreaded missing corners!
  • quarter yard or just over and NOT width of fabric

Process Pledge

This has been going for a while but trust me to stumble onto things long after they happen!

Anyway I figure since I’m already doing this I can safely take the pledge.  So what if I’m the 892nd person to leap on the bandwagon?

And I’m posting ROssie’s prompts as a reminder to myself and others:

  • Do you have any new sketches to show?
  • Is this design inspired by a past quilt or someone else’s quilt you saw (link, please)?
  • Does the color palette come from somewhere specific?
  • Are you trying to evoke a specific feeling?
  • Is this quilt intended for a specific person?  How did that inform your choices?
  • Are you following a pattern, emulating a block you saw somewhere, using a liberated process, or totally winging it?
  • What are you hating about this quilt at this stage?  What do you love?
  • Did you push yourself to try something new?
  • In working on the quilt, are you getting ideas about what you might want to try next?  What?  Did you sketch it?

Stay tuned for more about the other two workshops I took at the retreat and other fun things!

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner* can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Of course right now the stats helper monkeys would have to be towing the Dreamliner along the runway since they’ve been grounded!

 

Click here to see the complete report.

Virtuous Living 2012

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Click here to view the Wordle
I made using the Virtues Project cards I randomly selected throughout 2012.  
The size of the writing reflects which cards I pulled most frequently.  
No surprises there I would say.  Or if you just click on the image you can
embiggen it.  (Hmmm, I wonder when embiggen will make it either into the
dictionary or the list of words to be banished such as "world-class" and 
"spoiler alert"?)














Lifelong learning is a theme which kept coming up over and over again 
through the year so I added it as an "extra" virtue although it's not 
in the original hundred virtues in the project.  
For this year I've also added Sisterhood, Self-Care, and 
Consolidation (in the sense of keeping one's affairs in order 
and generally being organized)

What's special about the Virtues Project is that it's part of a global
initiative "to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life by helping
people of all cultures to discover the transformative power of these
universal gifts of character."
As such the quotations are drawn from every faith tradition.
The virtues are all positive and the cards themselves stress the
importance of balance and common sense, i.e. truthfulness does not
mean being hurtfully blunt, generosity does not mean giving away
the grocery money.  
I've been continually amazed at how often the virtue I randomly
choose for the day is exactly on point!

Of course there are various other sets of cards out there, so I'm curious, 
do you use cards and if so which ones?  What have you learned?  do
share, please!

Wordle takes a bit of patience to get started but once you do it's
great fun!  I've used it in the past to create text on fabric
through Spoonflower.

New Quilt Unveiled

Nothing was posted about this earlier because I wanted to surprise the recipient.  If she totally hates it, she can always pretend that the back is the top:

All my life I’ve struggled with completely finishing things, so bingo might be a better hobby than quilting, I sometimes feel.

Anyhoo, this has been bound, labeled, and provided with its coordinating tote bag.  And after going back and forth on it for a few times, I put handles on the tote bag.

This photo shows the bag.  Almost every piece of fabric has a story, either where it came from or how it was made.

See the blue and red swirly fabric towards the bottom of the bag?  That was a serendipitous piece created when I was using a hatband that had turned out too tight as a wiping rag when I was dyeing fabric.  For years this was a piece that was waaaay to beautiful to cut.  see here for a close up photo. The pink and green paisley to the right of it comes from either Susan Purney Mark or Daphne Greig.  Many small squares of it have been floating around Victoria, and I’ve collected pieces from both of them.

The fun thing about making this is that it grows itself and is a fast stash buster.  I’ve tried designs that purport to bust stash but require a lot of time and patience to work with smaller pieces that can’t be strip pieced.  After the twin bed topper was done I had no less scraps than before I started.  If my scraps continue to grow it’s because I keep an eye open for small pieces that other people have given up on!

When making this fabric I set a few parameters:

The same fabrics can be touching because I want to fool the eye and not be too obvious about where one piece starts and the other leaves off.  See how I did it with marbled fabric:

No, no set in seams here, thank you very much!

I’m working with strips and with pieces that are smaller than a fat quarter.  If you click on this photo Andrea Hamilton’s mid-arm quilting shows to much better advantage on the light fabric.  We chose Valdani Gem Symphony.

Nothing representational really, although I do have one butterfly on my cushion.

The fabrics are mostly solids, tone on tone, neutrals, batiks and surface design pieces. However in the spirit of nothing representational, I’m not using batiks with really in your face pictures on them, like flip-flops.

I’m not allowed to get too precious and agonize over whether adjacent fabrics look good together.  Some do, some don’t.

Some of the fabric is too beautiful to cut and some was what I couldn’t sell at the Guild garage sale!  And some came from fellow surface design folks who were cleaning out their studios and desperate to see the back of their own stash.

Since the fabric is used to make larger items there is not a set block size.  I sew pieces to each other and build long strips about 7 to 10 inches wide and as long as the width of a twin bed quilt.  Then when I’m going to make something I play around with these strips and figure out the final design.

And although some oriental carpet makers and Amish quilters put deliberate errors into their pieces because perfection belongs to God alone, I doubt I’ll ever come close to needing to do that!  There’s a non deliberate error in the tote (one handle is twisted, aaaarrrgggghhhh!

and another (really galling) one in the quilt itself.