Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Little Blogcation

I have decided to take a bit of a blogcation...maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a month, maybe more...

I realised that I have been making things to show on my blog, regardless of whether they are things I wanted to make; have started to feel stressed when I've got "nothing to show" and have been comparing my skills unfavourably with other bloggers so that rather than being inspired by others' creativity, I have been intimidated and stifled by it. At the moment, the blog feels like one pressure (albeit self-imposed!) too many. I need to take a break, get my groove back, and just play for a bit.

I have really appreciated all the lovely comments from readers and followers but just need this time, so BYE FOR NOW!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Crazy Start

January block pieced

With some trepidation I started cutting into some of my selected fabrics to piece my first ever crazy quilt block. I used the "antique method" described by J Marsha Michler in her book Crazy Quilting The Complete Guide. This basically involves cutting patches and placing them randomly, then turning under seam allowances, pressing them and basting (as you can see from this detail):

elephant seam closeup

I liked the painterly/collage type of feel to this method, but did find it rather time consuming and laborious. I may try machine piecing my next block.

The idea of the Crazy Quilt Journal Project is to extend your own skills in crazy quilting, and already I am learning a lot! Next time I need to make sure that I cut the patches big enough for the seam allowances to extend beyond the marked foundation, as I think I may end up having to trim this block to half an inch smaller than I had originally intended. Also, my curved piece at top right may have been a little too steeply curved as I found it very difficult to turn under the seam allowance.

On a positive note - I am pleased with the overall composition and the colours.

And now I have to decide how to embellish the block. Where on earth to start??!?

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Open in 2012

Well, the Christmas holiday is over and 2011 has drawn to a must be time to look forward to 2012! Happy New Year folks.

So, what's planned for 2012? I think my main two projects this year are surely going to be the Crazy Quilt Journal Project and Take a Stitch Tuesday. But a Christmas gift of this book from my mum may well inspire a new craze:

apron book

I do love a nice apron! Or, as I prefer to call it, a "pinny"! I think I will probably start off with the basic waist apron:

basic waist apron

And then progress to a basic smock apron:

basic smock apron

2012- The Year of the Apron. Watch this space.

When I was having a bit of a clear out over the holidays, I came across a stack of HST units leftover from my scrappy Jacob's Ladder quilt, and having promised a quilt to a friend of mine, I think I will make this the start of a scrappy triangles quilt:


Waif helped with the layout for the photo, and was quite insistent that all the red triangles needed to go in the middle. I wasn't sure, but I think he's quite right! So perhaps scrappy but with red diamonds at the centre of all the blocks. I certainly have plenty of scraps of red after making Gman's quilt.

On a more general level, my aims for 2012 can be summed up in one word: OPEN. I am going to aim to be more OPEN to trying new challenges, OPEN to new ideas, OPEN to accepting change. This will be the year of no-holds barred.

What are your plans for 2012?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas Through the Year - December

Sorry about the terrible photo, but it's evidence, right?

I whipped up this little drawstring lingerie bag for a certain person, who shall remain nameless in case she reads this! There's some pretty undies to go inside of course...

lingerie bag

Hop on over to Allie's blog to see what other folks have made this month.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Turn Out the Lights

It's been a while since I did any art journalling, but I was inspired by something I read this week to put together this spread:

turn out the lights

The page was one I had already prepped with black gesso and I cut the "Turn Out The Lights" from a magazine a while back, knowing that it would come in useful one day!  The reading that inspired it was from a book about Zen koans called Bring Me the Rhinoceros.  I have to concede that a lot of this book is way beyond my level of understanding but there are odd bits that sink in and get me thinking.  This particular koan was about being open to the idea that everything is inconceivable when it comes down to it, so that rather than trying to know the unknown we should "make friends with the inconceivable" and "start an exploration into the unlit realms".  Fascinating stuff and an excuse to break out the metallic pens and silver star stickers :-)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fickle, me?

I've been thinking and rethinking my idea for 2012's Crazy Quilt Journal Project. In this post, I talked about my idea of each month representing a birth flower. But after giving this some thought, I think this will end up being a very tasteful and feminine quilt. And although there is nothing wrong with tasteful and feminine, it's just not me!!

So, I'm thinking I'm going to go for something a bit more vibrant and colourful, and have started pulling together fabrics in hot pinks, oranges and reds, with silks and sparkly bits and ethnic prints:

indian summer fabric choices
indian summer fabric choices (2)

And with regards to the embellishment and embroidery I'm thinking BEADS and SHISHA MIRRORS and SPARKLY THINGS and SHINY THINGS and SEQUINS and RIBBONS - just generally no holds barred!

Now, doesn't that sound a lot more me??!!