Archive for December, 2016

Planning for 2017


Looking forward to 2017 makes the world feel full of possibility. This is often the point at which I over commit myself, dream big, and imagine that my time is limitless. They say shoot for the moon and you will land among the stars, so it is off to the moon I go!


My number one top priority will be … making quilts! Of course. The new part is I’ve been invited to participate in a show locally with a few other artists this summer. This means it is time to start sewing! The show is led by Ann Piersall; if you haven’t heard of her yet, take a moment to check out her work. Absolutely stunning. She has been invited by our local brewery to have a show, and she thought it would be more fun to have several artists participating! The theme will be to share our unique East Side landscape, from the sage covered valleys to the high mountain peaks.


I’ve also signed up for Elizabeth Barton’s Master Class. The class is hosted on a private blog, and Elizabeth posts one assignment each month. We submit our designs and quilts, and she provides guidance and critique. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone in the class designs and sews, and to see how my own designs develop. This class will be a challenge for me to keep up with, but I’m hoping to set aside small bits of time to devote to it. Like I discovered with my poppy quilts, a lot can be accomplished when you even just set aside ten minutes a day!


I also want to continue to be involved in our Out of the Box group, meeting up to share techniques, and hopefully having another show at the Mammoth Lakes library again next fall. There are also rumblings from the group that we might have another collaborative project together. We will have to see what that turns out to be!


And then, if there is any more time left, I want to dye more fabric. I want to play with dyeing gradations and sewing transparent designs. I want to learn how to sew curves and incorporate the technique more in my work (nothing to do with dyeing, just something I want to learn). I want to paint more fabric, more sunsets and skyscapes. Part of the dyeing goal is to also get a permanent place set up for me to dye in our garage/laundry room. There is a wall next to the washing machine and sink that we’d like to install counter tops and cupboards (if anyone locally is remodeling their kitchen, let me know! We are on the hunt for around six feet of counter top). Then I could have all my dye equipment ready to use, and a dedicated space to dye in.



And let’s not forget to mention my personal health and wellbeing, hanging out with my family and friends, getting outside and being active, and cooking good food. I’d also like to sew up a couple of baby quilts for babies that have arrived and will be arriving. My blog could use some attention, organizing some background pieces and cleaning up a few things I’ve been thinking about.

Here’s to a productive, creative, and fun 2017! Let’s go see what happens.

2017 Planning Party
P.S. And I’m linking up with my first link party! Thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl for hosting the #2017planningparty.

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Reflection on 2016

I love this time of year, despite the shorter days, or maybe because of them, I feel as if there is space to slow down, reflect, ponder, and remember. I anticipate the days leading up to the end of the month with enjoyment, looking back on all that happened and looking forward to what is ahead.


You can enjoy my past reflections here and here and here and here and here and here

If last year was the year of big finishes, than this year was the year of dabbling in this and that … I let my interests take me wherever the wind blew. This way and that way.


My hand stitchery for the year was embroidery through the Dropcloth Sampler. I enjoyed trying different threads and learning new stitches. I wasn’t able to keep up with the monthly subscription, so I still have a lot of fun stitchery ahead in 2017!


Once upon a time, I had the plan that I would make a baby quilt for every baby in my life. I managed to make one this spring for Hunter Edward, and have since fallen behind. So many babies being born, it’s wonderful!


The first class I took was at Road To California, with Gloria Loughman called Confident Colour. Highlights from the class were for the first time understanding a color wheel and how to use it, learning to paint skies, and discovering steam-a-seam.


From that class, I finished four small wall hangings. The simplicity of the design gave me freedom to explore different free motion quilting designs, and I experimented with different borders and facings.


The second class I took was through the Academy of Quilting, with Elizabeth Barton title Inspired to Design. I didn’t particularly like the Academy’s online format, but I really enjoyed Elizabeth’s teaching style and critique. The class focused on making numerous sketches of a design, and learning how to manipulate and critique to a final good design. Life got in the way towards the end of the course, so I became less involved, but I am looking forward to taking another of Elizabeth’s classes in 2017, so more on that in my next post!


The third class I took was with Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color called Patchwork from Scrap. I liked her online format for the class which was hosted on a private blog, and I enjoyed her lectures and projects. She rocked my world with her comments and theory on fabric management and storage. I’ll never treat a piece of fabric the same way again!


I also joined the #30daysofquiltdesign hosted by Stitched in Color. Over a couple of months, we were challenged with drawing 30 quilt designs.


It was neat to see how my drawings and designs developed over the course of the challenge. It was also my first time participating in an instagram challenge, and I found it very enjoyable to interact with other quilters on instagram, liking and commenting and encouraging each other.


And last, but not least, our Out of the Box quilt group continues to inspire me. We met several times to play with fabric, learning new techniques with painting and batik. We also completed one group quilt and were invited by the library to have another show this year.


Our group quilt project was a quilt with puzzle pieces, whose quilt blocks could move for an infinity of designs. We limited ourselves to a fixed set of fabrics and abstract shapes. It was neat to see all the different designs each person made from these limitations! We also received a Best of Show at our county fair.



From a Saturday session of painting on fabric with our Out of the Box group, I finished a series of small poppy quilts. These and the colorscape quilts I entered in our Mammoth Lakes Library show.


This year the wind blew me towards learning new skills, drawing designs, and playing with color. Where will the wind blow me in 2017?


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Many Studies in Color

I’ve had a lot of free-motion quilting practice this past month! In January, I attended a Gloria Loughman class at Road to California on Confident Colour. Which means I’ve had four lovely small sized quilts waiting to be quilted! The skies were especially fun to quilt, with swirls, squiggles, and even algae (I turned one sky landscape into an underwater landscape!).


Having many small pieces to quilt also let me play with different quilting designs on the hills. It is an interesting opportunity to have the same design to quilt over and over again. After seeing the different results and textures, some I liked and some I thought could be better.


My first finish was in May, with a triad color scheme between purple, orange and green. I finished it just in time to be shown in our Calico Quilt Guild biannual show, and then I gifted it to Lesley for her birthday (she is rather fond of purple!).


For our upcoming library show, I pulled out the remaining designs last month, and got to stitching! My second finish was the split complementary, which included a range of greens from yellow-green to blue-green and a red-violet for accent. I thought this one looked like it could have been underwater, so I filled the sky with algae.


The next one up to be stitched was the monochromatic, with a range of blues. This sky was my most dramatic, the dark colors making it look moody and stormy.


For this quilt, I tried a narrow and wide border, a technique that Gloria Loughman outlines in her book Radiant Landscape. Before stitching, when I put the three layers together of quilt top, batting, and backing, I made the batting and backing three inches larger than the quilt top. After quilting the quilt top, I sewed on a narrow then wide border. I really like the overall effect this border has, but it does make some funny stitching lines on the back. But who sees the back anyway?!

img_1967I also felt like I was channeling Vincent Van Goh’s Starry Night when quilting the sky. I really love swirls! If you have a second, take a closer look at the direction of my swirls. I always entered them from a counter-clockwise direction. While stitching, I kept trying to figure out how to do a clockwise swirl, but never managed to!

The Underwater Sea and Stormy Night quilts will be for sale at our Mammoth Lakes Library art quilt show which opens today! Save the date for a reception on Friday, December 16. I’ll be sharing more details when I know more.


From my Study in Color set, I have one last quilt top to finish, a complementary color scheme, from blue-green to red-orange. The orange hill in the middle of the blue hills continues to bother me. Perhaps this is why I subconsciously left this quilt to last to finish. I’m contemplating attempting to replace with a blue hill. I think that might be good …


And then, I ask myself, where to go from here? These designs were templates provided by the class, and while I learned a lot about color, quilting designs, and borders, I want to make one that is more uniquely me. I am inspired by a local artist, Ann Piersall, and her dramatic mountain-scapes. Perhaps I need to pull out my pencil and paper, and try to capture one of our local-scapes in a way that is uniquely me.

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