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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Worked on many projects this week (and a link party)

Finally I worked on projects I can share!


The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - no progress
  2. Splendid Sampler - no progress
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - 3 blocks done, two more designed (see below)
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - completed June block (see below)
  6. En Provence QAL - no progress
  7. Journaling into my new Journal/Planner - working on it every day!
  8. 70273 Project - 4 blocks done (see below)
  9. Book binding - no progress
  10. Twilters! Bee - paused until July
  11. Zipper pouch - completed! (see below)
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Working on my blocks for the Stephen King Quilt: in addition to book covers and quotes I will be adding objects that are connected to SK... this week I designed a block that resembles the bats/gargoyles he has on the top of his home entrance gates :)
For "Carrie" book cover I used regular Heat'n'Bond for the Carrie's silhouette, but I used Ultra Bond for the letters. The instructions say "Do not sew" on the Ultra bond, so I will try to leave it as is (and stitch around the silhouette): let's see if I will loose those after few washes or if the letters will stay on, let's hope for the best! :)

Carrie, book cover

Buick 8, opening line

SK house gate decor


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The block for the The Honey Pot Bee (June): keeping up with the Disney/Cartoon theme, this is Alice in Wonderland, of course :)

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More blocks for the 70273 Project. If you are curious to see some of the beautiful quilts made with all these blocks check out this Pinterest board!

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My partner really like this fabric and I made him a credit card wallet and a GPS pouch... he just got a new phone, and the leftover fabric was EXACTLY the size I needed to make a zipper pouch for his new phone. Now everything matches! :)


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Last but not least...
I started to design (and sew) a quilt that I will be offering as a QAL in 2018 on Fandom In Stitches
It is inspired by a recent publication of a newspaper in Italy. This weekly newspaper came out with a series of books about art history explained through disney characters. Of course I told my mom to buy all of them because how can I miss out on that?? :) 
Since the covers of those books are absolutely amazing, I decided to turn them into patterns and make a quilt for myself with all those inspiring artists through history!!
The blocks are fusible raw edge applique blocks, and I started with these two (Leonardo and Cezanne). If you are curious to see the original publication, check it here... the site it's in italian but you can see the books :) http://inedicola.gruppoespresso.it/prodotto/scoprire-arte-disney/

I am planning to make a quilt for myself with many of these covers, but I also wanted to include contemporary artists too! So I designed a block for Kara Walker, a block for Yayoi Kusama, and here below the latest creation, inspired by the work of Adam Lister (check his creations here). 

I have been in touch with Adam because I asked his permission to reproduce one of his paintings as a mini for the AMB Tiny Quilt challenge (my quilt: Vincent) and we also exchanged art pieces when I made this mini quilt for his daughter (in exchange he sent me one of his wonderful paintings).
Given how he inspired me and given his very unique style, I wanted to include him in my art history/disney quilt: he said his favorite character is Goofy, so let me introduce you...


Goofy Lister, , 20'' x 20''

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How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mostly sewing for future reveals (and a link party)

A lot of sewing for projects that will be shared later in the year, so not much to show today!


The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - July blocks ready, August blocks ready, started September ones :)
  2. Splendid Sampler - no progress
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - completed one block
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - paused until June
  6. En Provence QAL - no progress
  7. Journaling into my new Journal/Planner - keeping up with it!
  8. 70273 Project - 4 blocks done
  9. Book binding - no progress
  10. Twilters! Bee - made 4 blocks for the June's Queen
  11. Zipper pouch - picked fabric
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Working on my blocks for the Stephen King Quilt.

Lisey's Story, opening line

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Few blocks for a block exchange in the Twilters! group



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More blocks for the 70273 Project. If you are curious to see some of the beautiful quilts made with all these blocks check out this Pinterest board!

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How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Journaling and Planning: May 2017 update

More progress and evolution to my planner!

My planning journey is like my quilting journey: from the first weeks I immediately know what I like and what my overall style is. However the more I plan, the more tools I want to buy and the more experiments I want to run! This month, off to a new journal!

For disclaimers about how I personally use this Journal/Planner system, please refer to these previous posts: April reviewMarch reviewDecember review (evolution of a Quilter's Planner), November reviewOctober review, September review.

As mentioned last month, while I initially loved the disc bound system that I used to transform my Quilter's planner, it starts to bother me the unused layout that I have to erase to create my own... and it's hard to write with those discs... and it's a bother to take the page out every single time...
Long story short, I moved into a (smaller) bound journal. I found a fantastic one (pretty cheap) at Micheals... it has thick paper, which means I can play with markers and be more creative... having less pages it's also good because I can finish it in few months and if I don't like it I can change system again :)


Spoiler alert... I moved out of that journal too :) while I liked the blank pages and the thick paper that allowed me to color in without ruining the back of the page, I need some kind of structure, and the dot grid of the Emerald Leuchtturm 1917 (in the picture above) provides the right amount of space and structure. But more on that next month...

For now, let me show you how I used my dark pink, artist notebook.

Below you can see the daily tracker, with my weight tracker and some excercise tracker. I also included on the same page the Weekly/Monthly ToDos and the Habits that I would focus for the month: it's great to have everything on a single page!

(click on each picture if you want to see them in more details)



I kept it up with the Free Motion Daily Doodle spread, decorated with the artist of the month... see below to see who it is :) each day is a different design from Leah Day's blog... it is very interesting to practise all these designs in small spaces and see if I like making them or not: no thread or fabric wasted :) This month I also added a coloring legend to remember which designs I love, like or don't like: that's essential for times when I want to pick a quilting designs and I don't remember which one I enjoyed and which was frustrating to draw!!



The week-by-week daily activities (with the Weekly Specials recipes meals in each page),



The Fitness Mandala (split between steps and water), and the tracker for the Art with Fabric blog hop: it's complicated to coordinate so many people and a tracker made the process much easier!!



And the "Doodle an Artist" spread, that migrated to a different journal!
I reflected on what I want to accomplish with this project, and I found another journal in my house that I wanted to test (Moleskine): I heard that pages are terrible for heavy pen/markers/colors so I decided to dedicate the entire journal to doodling different artists! If the pen/color bleed through the pages, I can glue pages and move on.



This month, in my "Doodle an Artist" I picked Beverly Fishman, an Artist-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art. For the past twenty-five years she has worked as a full-time artist and has dedicated herself to educating young artists.
As usual I tried to "Steal like an Artist" and extract part of her pieces that spoke to me and mesh them all together in two pages!

Last but not least...
I had few tough weeks and I needed some cheerful and inspirational quotes
Keep our composure... from Old school and Bon Jovi's song "it's my life"



I am all set up for June: I changed up few things that I want to track, dropped some, added others: this is the beauty of this planning style, you can change it up to suit your mood and style!

If you have any question about my planner, my spreads, my comments, etc, don't hesitate to comment below. Also please share planning, tracking and productivity tips, as those are always welcome!!!!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Reflections on values (and a link party)

Self-criticizim can be very difficult to handle, but maybe by sharing my little story below I could help someone else too :)


The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - June blocks ready, August blocks ready, started July ones :)
  2. Splendid Sampler - top FINISHED (and the self-criticism story)
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - completed one block
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - paused until June
  6. En Provence QAL - no progress
  7. Journaling into my new Jounral/Planner - loving the new format (more at the end of the month)!
  8. 70273 Project - 8 blocks done
  9. Book binding - no progress
  10. Twilters! Bee - waiting for June
  11. Face cleaning crochet cloths - 4 more done
  12. Zipper pencil case - done
  13. Draft stoppoer - done
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At the beginning of May, I linked up at Elm Street Quilts, One Monthly Goal (link #37) that my goal was to assemble the Splendid Sampler top with my own setting design.

I designed the overall layout on my computer putting the postage stamps blocks as "sashing/dividers" so I didn't need more than 47 Splendid Sampler blocks and I could use up all those orphan blocks that were sent to me in a past swap.

I spent the entire month of April adding borders to the postage stamps blocks and I was excited to assemble the quilt top.

I laid out all the blocks on the floor and that's when the stress started!

The entire top looked too busy! Too crazy! Too many things to look at! The overall design that worked with empty squares on my computer was totally lost in the busyness of the actual blocks! Should I just start a new design? Should I just spend more months to make more blocks? Shoul I buy more fabric? ... And then I heard another voice in my brain say: STOP!

Me: Ok, don't yell at me... what? :)
Other voice: Why are you freaking out?
Me: Because I was ready to finish this project and now it looks terrible!
Other voice: Why does it look terrible?
Me: Because it's too busy! My eyes has not place to rest!
Other voice: Why do you think it's too busy?
Me: I just told you! There is no overall flow/design!
Other voice: No... that's not the answer to my question... Why do you think it's too busy?
Me: Well... that's my answer, do you have any other answer?
Other voice: Yes. You think it's too busy because you are looking at the entire quilt top.
Me: ????? yes... that's the point... ???
Other voice: No... that's not the point. You are looking at the entire quilt top like you look at a painting on a wall.
Me: ????? ok... so, what???
Other voice: Are you planning to put your quilt on the wall?
Me: ... no...
Other voice: Are you planning to show your quilt in a quilt show?
Me: ... no...
Other voice: What are you planning to do with your quilt?
Me: ... well... 90% of the time it will be folded into a 20''x20'' bunch and be on my couch... and 10% of the time I will be cuddling under the quilt, so I will actually be able to see not more that a 20''x20'' section of it...
Other voice: OK! so... by looking at 20''x20'' sections of the quilt top, what do you think?
Me: OH.... WELL... I think it's so interesting! There are words in the sashing used in each block! Colors that coordinate well to form scrappy and fun blocks! There are all kind of textures and prints that I can look at! Each block has it's own background and my eyes can rest there!
Other voice: So you see? No need to freak out!! Just put things in the right perspective!!

MORAL OF THE STORY: Do not use someone else's values to evalutate your work! Especially in these days of social media, we are all inclined to believe that some things are more important than others: for quilts, color balance, design flow, etc. But these may not be YOUR values for a specific project! This was not a quilt for a quilt show... it was not a quilt for a class on quilt design... it was a quilt I made because I wanted to be part of a fun community event... a quilt where I learned that I don't like samplers with small blocks... a quilt where I learned that I don't like samplers with too many blocks (and released too close together in time)... a quilt where I learned that playing with selvages and batiks is fun... a quilt that I want to use on my couch. So by reflecting on my own values for this specific quilt, I realized that the design was good enough and I could just go on with my life and enjoy this project instead of freaking out because it doesn't look like someone else's quilt!

So here it is! I actually added the horizonal pink sashing just to add an additional pop of color, because why not!!


The goal for June is to finish 2 more sections of my Stephen King Quilt.
How big these sections will be, I am not sure... but more or less like the first one I made (picture below)
I have several opening line quotes block, but not many book covers, so assembling 2 sections will take me the entire month, but I am up for the challenge!!

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Two 3D objects that I needed: a draft stopper and a zipper pencil case for my new mini-happy planner
Super easy... just folded the fabric, made the channels and filled them with all the little scraps of fabric/thread and other things that other people throw away... I keep them because they are fantastic to fill these kind of objects that don't need to be soft or light... I pack them up very tight and it works amazing!!!


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More blocks for the 70273 Project. If you are curious to see some of the beautiful quilts made with all these blocks check out this Pinterest board!
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Last but not least, another of the Stephen King's book opening line

Opening line, Duma Key


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How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

WAW, what a week (and a link party)

Sewing along and events that people join as a group are so fun and inspiring!  

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - future blocks are coming together
  2. Splendid Sampler - assembled all the rows
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - working on next block
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - paused until June
  6. En Provence QAL - no progress
  7. Journaling into my new Jounral/Planner - loving the new format (more at the end of the month)!
  8. 70273 Project - 4 blocks done
  9. Book binding - no progress
  10. Twilters! Bee - waiting for June
  11. 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge: my mini below!
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From Monday to Friday I featured 20 amazing art pieces for the Art with Fabric Blog Hop


Click on each link to go to the day post and read more about the fantastic journey and inspiration that these quilting artists took to create their masterpieces!







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And finally, let me share the 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Heart of Jade

Greenery for me is not just a single color because it reminds me of all the greens in nature, thus the super scrappy look).

For this piece I tested a new pattern and technique for a friend (Yanicka) who developed this new technique to make these super cool and modern design: it is NOT paper piecing, it is much much simpler! For the pattern and more information, visit Yanicka's blog!

I had so much fun with the praire point border: I love having those 3d elements that give more depth to the piece!!

Heart of Jade, 18'' x 18''

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How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Art with Fabric blog hop - Spring 2017 - DAY 5


Every quilted project is a unique piece of art, full of love, creativity and inspiration.

However, have you ever thought about how "traditional" art could be reinterpreted in a quilted piece?
(by "traditional" I mean anything that a non-quilter will label as art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture from all countries and all time periods).

To explore the endless possibilities of art-inspired quilted pieces I decided to organize another edition of this Blog Hop!

This edition has a special theme...

WOMEN!


DAY 5. Here are today's amazing pieces!
"Beantown" by Chris
Inspired by the work of Charlotte Ziebarth and Wen Redmond
"The Squash" by Shannon
Inspired by the work of Paul Daschel
"Anita's Studio Window" by Anita
Inspired by the work of Grace Martin Taylor
"Minnie Kusama" by Alida
Inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama
(http://tweloquilting.blogspot.com/)

Make sure to click on each picture and visit the blogs because these wonderful artists shared their story, inspiration and useful tips that can help you create your own beautiful art pieces!

Art with Fabric Blog Hop - Yayoi Kusama


This is the third time I run this blog hop... and this season I decided to add a twist in my search for inspiration in fine art pieces.


I wanted to focus on WOMEN ARTISTS!

I don't have any formal training in art... but I studied art history in highschool... and I don't think I EVER encountered a female artist in my studies... how is that possible???? There are many women depicted in paintings, sculptures, drawing, but why only male artists made it into art history books (at least the ones used in my school)???

So for this edition I decided to pick not one but two female artists whose work spoke to me.
On Wednesday I shared about Kara Walker...

My project is actually much bigger than today's piece: the beauty of these challenges is that they open my eyes to work and ideas that have infinite ways for me to grow.

For todays artist I choose a powerful and talented woman: Yayoi Kusama.

She is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked on paintings, collages, soft sculptures, performance art, and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition, and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced her contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and George Segal and exhibited works alongside the likes of them.
In 2017, a 50-year retrospective of her work opened at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. The exhibit featured six Infinity Mirror rooms, and is scheduled to travel to five museums in the US and Canada. You can read morea about her story on her Wiki Page
You should listen to Yayoi Kusama herself telling her story in this short video and in this BBC interview. Her work is so fascinating and how she channels her struggles with mental issues in art pieces that express her inner state is totally amazing.

Her work seems to me to interact very easily with my absolute love for Disney and to create a quilt that will include several artists, following the style of a recent Italian publication (Discover Art History with Disney Friends)... which as mentioned does not seem to include any female artist at least in the titles of the different volumes :( :(

Minnie Kusama, 20'' x 20''

My plan is to build 12'' blocks (like Minnie Kusama and Kara De Spell) surrounded by a fun sashing border that somehow relates to the main block. The yellow in the sashing is constant throughout the quilt, and I will be practicing free motion quilted feathers in those spaces.
Each block will be constructed mostly with raw edge applique and quilted individually.
Each block is finished by envelope turning it before quilting... and then I add a border of blanket stitches and a row of crochet border that will allow me to join all the blocks in a big quilt!

Having each block finished individually has several advantages:
  1. I can practice my FMQ in a small scale, without the frustration of managing a big quilt
  2. the blocks are really fast to assemble, so I easily get the satisfaction of a "finished" project
  3. once a block is quilted I can use the piece as a place mat, mini quilt or table runner until I actually have enough blocks to make a quilt! No unfinished objects hiding in a drawer waiting for the next step!
  4. the quilt can keep growing until I am bored or I run out of artists! And I can even switch blocks whenever I want, since joining crochet blocks is super fast and can be undone very easily
I don't know how a quilt like this will hold up in the wash, but I am willing to test it for many years to come!! 

Have you ever mixed techniques like this (crochet and quilting)? What do you think about it? Any advice?

Check out today's other amazing artists participating in the blog hop!



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Art with Fabric blog hop - Spring 2017 - DAY 4


Every quilted project is a unique piece of art, full of love, creativity and inspiration.

However, have you ever thought about how "traditional" art could be reinterpreted in a quilted piece?
(by "traditional" I mean anything that a non-quilter will label as art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture from all countries and all time periods).

To explore the endless possibilities of art-inspired quilted pieces I decided to organize another edition of this Blog Hop!

This edition has a special theme...

WOMEN!

DAY 4. Here are today's amazing pieces!
"Wings Alight" by Renee
Inspired by the work of Kesley Montague
by Carol
Inspired by the work of Laurel Burch
"To Be a Bird" by Jennifer
Inspired by the work of Laura Wasilowski
"Springing Into Street Art" by Kat
Inspired by the work of Olek
(http://www.katknapcrafts.blogspot.com)

Make sure to click on each picture and visit the blogs because these wonderful artists shared their story, inspiration and useful tips that can help you create your own beautiful art pieces!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Art with Fabric blog hop - Spring 2017 - DAY 3


Every quilted project is a unique piece of art, full of love, creativity and inspiration.

However, have you ever thought about how "traditional" art could be reinterpreted in a quilted piece?
(by "traditional" I mean anything that a non-quilter will label as art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture from all countries and all time periods).

To explore the endless possibilities of art-inspired quilted pieces I decided to organize another edition of this Blog Hop!

This edition has a special theme...

WOMEN!


DAY 3. Here are today's amazing pieces!
"A Study in Triangles" by Abigail
Inspired by the work of Kels O'Sullivan
by Bea
Inspired by the work of Krøyer
"Kizette" by Janeen
Inspired by the work of Tamara de Lempicka 
"Kara DeSpell" by Alida
Inspired by the work of Kara Walker
(http://tweloquilting.blogspot.com)


Make sure to click on each picture and visit the blogs because these wonderful artists shared their story, inspiration and useful tips that can help you create your own beautiful art pieces!
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