A Quilting Update

Well the days are whizzing by, or at least it seems like that. I remember being told that time moves faster the older you get. I could never figure that one out when I was younger but I am beginning to see how that saying came into being. Of course being busy helps with time appearing to move faster.

The weather here in Victoria continues to be unusual or at least it seems that way. It appeared to jump from winter to summer overnight, a few wonderful days and then back to winter overnight again. So far we appear to have missed spring altogether this year.

Here are a couple of random photos taken while Cocoa and I were on one of our daily walks. We ran across this turtle behind the pond near where we live. He/she had come out to enjoy the sun that had finally shown itself that day. Don’t worry Cocoa didn’t harm it. I picked Cocoa up and we carefully stepped over the turtle and left it in peace to enjoy the day.

My crazy work schedule has slowed down a bit and that is both good and bad. Good as I finally have time to relax and do some planning and maybe actually quilt one of my own quilts (we’ll see how that goes), and bad because slower work means less money coming in. Oh well, I am enjoying having a little time to sit back and actually think about what I want re the future. Besides come July 10 the schedule will go back into crazy mode again so I need to just enjoy the time I have while I have it.

Princess Kieva Quilt-1Princess Kieva Quilt-2

Recently I got the chance to work on this wonderful quilt. This was really fun to work on, the only drawback I had is that the silver Superior Sew Fine 50 thread I used as the background colour for a large part of the quilt ended up being back ordered. I had one small spool of the thread so I ordered a cone the same day I started working on this quilt and I didn’t receive the thread in the mail until 10 days later. Not great however it all turned out well and I love how this quilt turned out.

Even though I previously posted that I am not a huge fan of doing pantographs there are quilts that call for just an all over edge to edge design. I am very good at doing simple edge to edge for kids and baby quilts and I really enjoy those however I thought it would be nice to have a couple more sophisticated edge to edge designs available for people who want them. The Cloth Castle where I work recently brought some pantographs in so I purchased two that I liked.  Both are by Urban Elementz, one is Deja Vu and the other is Bora Bora.

I have used the Deja Vu on a client king size quilt (which I forgot to take pictures of) and it turned out great and I have also used it on a smaller quilt for a client that needed a quick wedding present.

Blue Quilt-1Blue Quilt-2

I did like the way these turned out. I just finished a custom quilt (one I completed from start to finish) with the Bora Bora pantograph which also turned out really well, however I am still sewing down the binding on that one so the client hasn’t seen it yet other than in pictures I have sent so that will have to be posted later.

Good friends are like quilts they never lose their warmth

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Back to Quilting

Quilting is finally getting done! It feels good to get back at the longarm machine. I really needed to take that week or so off though. I think everyone sometimes needs to step back from things, regroup, and seriously think about why they are doing something. The opportunity I mentioned in my last post really made me think about that. I haven’t heard whether anything has come of it or not, but either way I have a much clearer idea of what I want my life to look like.

It’s funny how life goes, I had a lull in my quilting business and this opportunity came up so I decided to look into it. Nothing ventured nothing gained type of thing. The very next day after a meeting I had, I got called asking if I had time to quilt a quilt! Wow OK yes. The day after that another client called asking the same thing and then the third day this happened yet again!

So now I have several quilts waiting to be quilted. I guess the universe was trying to tell me to just slow down and stop worrying, things will turn out the way they are supposed to and it is all good. Patience my friend. New businesses take time to grow.

What the lull I had also taught me though is if I intend to continue down this path I also need to diversify so I will be putting some thought into what I want that to look like.

There is a mantra that I started using about 3 years ago, I sometimes forget to apply it though. I think it’s time to pull that one out again and pin it to my wall.

Image result for slow down calm down don't worry don't hurry

Meanwhile I finished one client quilt and need to get back to work now quilting the others.

over-on-the-pond-1

This is Over the Pond an older pattern from Quiltmaker magazine. My client did it scrappy and it turned out well. It was just quilted with a very simple “water” design as we didn’t want anything to interfere with the pictures. I used Superior Threads So Fine 50 in a soft green that blended well with all the different colours going on. I think it was a good choice of design as you just get some nice texture without overpowering the cute frogs, bees and butterflies pieced into the top.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Quilting

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Stepping up to Challenges

So this week I took part in a challenge by my business coach Morna McEver Golletz. Morna created a Facebook page Creative Passion to Profit and then she posted one challenge question a day for 5 days to the group. The challenge was to post your answer to the group and then read the others posts and comment on them to start a conversation.

The questions were all designed to get us thinking about our business and to also start stepping out of our comfort zones. For me it was literally to actually put my story out there and to comment (oh horrors) on other peoples comments. It was a great experience and I am so glad I stepped up to the challenge.

Usually I am a lurker on these types of sites. This comes back to the old record that has played in my head for years, I am not good enough. Why would anyone want to hear from me. What I discovered in actually stepping up to the challenge is that we are basically all the same. Oh sure our stories may differ, how we came to be on this journey, what kind of art we create etc, however the underlying core, the heart of the matter is what counts and in that we are very much all alike, well at least in that group.

When you start to read other people’s stories you quickly discover that they too are often struggling with the same fears as you, even the bigger names I recognized and some of the artists whose blogs I had been following (without commenting) for the past few years.

Image result for moving out of your comfort zone

This past week was a real eye opener for me and I am so glad I decided to accept the challenge and actually do the assignments. It has been an interesting week as I have also had other doors open and opportunities present themselves. Not sure if those doors are going to lead anywhere as yet but I have decided to accept that challenge as well.

So here’s to moving forward, growing and moving out of comfort zones!

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Happy Quilting

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Out and About

Well I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. I am on my last day of medication. I am still getting tired easily but am on the mend. Needless to say not much quilty has been happening around here. I even took last Friday off and listened to an audio book. I can’t remember the last time I have done that.

One thing I am always amazed at is the synchronicity of events sometimes. Like Monday for instance, I have been working hard towards a goal and am making progress however what with one thing and another I have also been disappointed that the goal isn’t happening faster than I would like. I like to relax watching YouTube videos, some are about entrepreneurship and some are more spiritual in nature. So the other day I opened up YouTube and there in my channel listings was two separate videos on just the subject that I was needing to hear about. The amazing thing is that even though the two videos were different in nature they both had the exact same message and it was the message I really needed to hear that day.

I don’t know why I am surprised at this but it always does surprise me when it happens. I remember taking a double take when I saw the subject line of the videos and saying really, how apropos. It happens enough these days that I really shouldn’t be surprised at all.

I’m curious has this ever happened to anyone else? Maybe it has and you just haven’t been aware of it. Let me know in the comments if you have experienced this.

One thing I did get up to last weekend was to get out for an hour last Sunday as I was getting cabin fever. A knitting store here in Victoria has a Fibre Arts celebration every year and they were having vendors and different demonstrations going on. It was mostly knitting, spinning and weaving but I enjoyed myself even so.

Fibrations-2-1

Sunday was windy and cold, you would never have known we had a heat wave just two days before. It was so windy some of the vendors were sitting holding down their tents.

I wandered around happily and talked to a few of the vendors who were from all over the island, some from the Mainland and even one from Seattle.

I do knit but not on a regular basis however I did purchase some hand-spun wool to make Kevin a warm waterproof cap to wear in winter under his hardhat (he works outside on a log sort).

I love this quote I found, even when you have pains, you do not have to be one.

Rather apropos for me last week.

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Where does Inspiration Come From?

I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration these days. What types of things inspires that creative spark in all of us. Is it a pattern or book, nature or a photograph that speaks to you. I love thumbing through my collection of quilting books (I have over 200). I do have some pattern books however mostly they are technique books and some I simply have just got for the inspiration, I will never actually make anything in the book. The majority of these books were purchased when I was just starting on my quilting journey and wasn’t too sure which path to take.I don’t buy very many books these days unless it is to do with machine quilting. My most recent purchase was Angela Walters new book Shape by Shape Collection 2 but this is the first book I have purchased in almost a year. The book is filled with wonderful ideas and inspiration for someone who enjoys actually doing the machine quilting.

Shape by Shape, Collection 2 by Angela Walters (Paperback)

Some people think that it’s just making quilts and gasp calling it a “blanket”. However I feel it is more than that. Even when you have a fast baby quilt that you need to make, you still put the time into thinking about colour and pattern and making the quilt with love. I mean really, you could just go and buy a baby gift and it would be a whole lot easier and way less expensive in some (most) cases. When you are a quilter though, it’s just not the same. When you are a quilter, you make that quilt because you want the gift to come from your hands and therefore you add your love and part of your spirit into the gift as well. Some people recognize this and realize that the gift is extra special. Of course you are also going to get the people who simply don’t understand and don’t appreciate what they are holding in their hands.

A little off topic but have you ever had that happen to you? Thankfully I have only had this happen once, suffice it to say I’m a little more discerning in where my ‘art’ and ‘soul’ goes to now.

So where does the inspiration come from? I find it can come from many different sources. Old doors, leaves, trees or even grates. I took the following photo of a grate in a park in downtown Nanaimo BC. I loved the circle design on it.

Inspiration-1

In one case I was asked to make a baby quilt for a friend, she gave me the two thoughts circles and indigo. What do you do with that? Well the indigo was pretty easy, blues but what of circles. I sat down with all of my quilting books that had circle patterns and designs and finally chose a drunkards path variation pulling all of my blues from my stash making sure I included some indigo. Here is the result.

Baby Quilt-1

Since the top reminded me of a night sky and moon, that gave me the inspiration to quilt the moon and stars across the quilt. I found a quilt design that I turned into a pantograph.

Baby Quilt-2

I love the man in the moon theme, I felt it was perfect for this baby quilt.

A quilt is a blanket of love

What inspires you?

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