Friday, August 31, 2012

The Sense of Accomplishment

The sense of accomplishment comes in many packages. It is like a precious gift. 
Often, it comes when you simply try something new. You take the plunge, maybe with a bit of trepidation. You might start slowly tickling your toes in the water....but you try, nonetheless. In the process, maybe you uncovered a new passion that has been lying dormant within you.

Here is my first finished crazy quilt block. When you try something new, it's wonderful to have a teacher, someone seasoned and brimming with wisdom.  Sharon b, teacher of the Encrusted Crazy Quilting class has been that to the fullest. Every comment and direction has been full of support and encouragement. Take the course if you can :)

Then, there is the sense of accomplishment that comes when you have completed something fairly quickly without painful effort. At the end of a weekend, you have something to show for the time you invested. You probably had lots of fun in the process. You might even choose to do it again.....maybe even three times.

This is the last time, hopefully, that I will be "talking up" the Eleanor Burns method for assembling a Trip Around the World quilt. This is my third one and probably my last, for a while anyway. Was it easy? fun? a weekend project? Absolutely Yes!!!

There is quite a different feeling of accomplishment when you make progress or even finally finish a project that you have been working on for a long time. The process is much slower. The piecing is more tedious. You may even get bored with it for a period of time, put it away, and come back to it later. However, at each milestone in its construction, you rejoice a little knowing that are that much closer to the finish line.

Anyone who has ever undertaken a Block-of-the-Month quilt, knows exactly what I'm saying. This quilt is for my new class. I'm still not more border to go...and a crazy one, at that!
I'm getting close, though, and it's a good feeling.

No matter what you do for a living, no matter what your creative endeavors are, I encourage you to fill your life, as much as possible, with a variety of activities that gift you with a sense of accomplishment. It  really does come in many packages. Rejoice in what you do, even the smallest of things!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

More stars...

I guess I never really do get tired of stars. There are endless ways to construct them and endless fabric and color combinations you can use to piece them. Also, I never get tired of batiks!!!

I have finally finished all of the star blocks for the Millennium Compass quilt that will be a block of the month class at Cloth and Bobbin starting in October.

I find myself rejoicing in the beauty of all these vibrant colors. For this quilt, you need sixteen colors spanning the full color wheel...four for each quadrant. How much fun is that?

There are borders to come and several of them. Just picked out the fabric yesterday and can't wait to get started.

Here's wishing you a wonderful week ahead full of color and fun!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blues and Browns....

I recently finished another sample for the store from Norman Wyatt Jr.'s newest collection for P & B Textiles called "Earthtones/Art in Motion." The pattern is another from Maple Island Quilts called "Show Off." How appropriate! Great pattern to showcase fabrics with bold large prints.

When I was done, I texted this to a friend: "I finished the pb textile quilt last night...i think i'm in love"
Later, I was thinking about that text and thought that the "being in love" comment was pretty stupid. Believe it or not, I spent a lot of time thinking about why I said that....what I meant by it, etc. Eventually, the ruminating paid off, and I made sense of it in my own head.

What I realized was that I interact with color in much the same way that I interact with people. Sometimes, I want to go out with friends who are a bit riotous, fun loving, and full of laughter. Other times, I want to sit with a friend, have coffee, and talk about a serious way.  During particular events in my life, I choose to surround myself with certain people. I'm the same with color.

What I discovered about the text to my friend was that I have been surrounding myself with blues and browns these days. Looking back, I have had periods where I chose to work with crazy vibrant colors, but right now I find myself gravitating and responding to muted earth tones. There is a reason for this....I think.

This is the block that I am working on for Sharon B's online class "Encrusted Crazy Quilting." Blues and browns again...

So I think that I'm loving my life right now because all the crazy stuff that was going on recently has finally stopped. I feel a wonderful sense of calm and stability. These colors are expressing what I'm feeling. That explains my text. 

Right now, these are, in fact, the colors that I am in love with. They are the colors I am choosing to surround myself with. These are the colors that I am breathing into and giving a new mine.

Go and fall in love with some color. Make a quilt with it, paint with it, stitch with it....surround yourself with it...go ahead! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Road Well Traveled...

So, it was time in the shop for a new BQ quilt (Maple Island Quilts). This pattern can used again and again  with amazing results. It is a fabulous pattern for showcasing fabrics as the colorful blocks are 6 inches.

This quilt was done with Marcus Fabrics' new collection called Road Less Traveled...a fun combination of paisleys and elephants...lemon-lime, orange, brown, and aqua blue.

The border fabric is wonderful. with a wide 10 1/2 " repeat pattern. The collection is now available at Cloth and Bobbin.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Blocks and blocks...

Life has been so busy lately that I haven't had a moment to post anything here. My second son was married in Belgium a week ago. A whirlwind trip full of friends, family, wine, beer, shopping, chocolate, and very little sleep. I don't think that I ever adjusted to Belgium time before I had to return to the States.
The minute I returned home, I was back at my machine working/playing/creating....
all fun!
The first thing I did was complete the next block for the Millenium Compass Quilt. This will be part of a BOM class starting in October, so I need to get the sample done.

Next thing I did was begin an online class called Encrusted Crazy Quilting with Sharon B. The first week's assignment was to create a crazy quilt block between 6 and 12 inches. I'm happy with the first one but wonder how difficult this will be to embellish due to the bold prints and dark colors. Sharon B assures me that I should go for it.

For the second block, I chose a wider variety of fabrics but toned down the colors and patterns. We'll see how this turns out. For the second week, I am to begin stitching. I have been experimenting with another block, so I already got my feet wet and am ready to go!

I thought that before I get too involved in my CQ class, I would get my Block Swap for August done. This month's partner wanted any block in black and white with a splash of red. Anyone who knows me well knows that this is one of my favorite color combinations. My partner posted a picture on her blog of all the squares she has received so far, so I tried to create a block that she didn't have offset Log Cabin.

Well, since I had the fabric out, I decided to do another one. I had recently purchased Karen Combs' acrylic template for making cubes, so I decided to give it a try.

So, it's been a great week home. I'm definitely back into the swing of things.

Finally...the elated son, Luke, and his beautiful bride, Clemence!