At a crossroads

Flickr jennifersquires 659

Flickr jennifersquires

Since my previous post I’ve been getting back on track with Modern Quilt Guild and with my bloglovin’ reading. I’ve also spent some time pondering what I want in general from working with fabrics and yarn.

My jewellery shop needs a serious update and I’ve hunted down some branding moodboards on Pinterest to use as inspiration when creating my own moodboard. In that same breath I realise I need to be more clear here, too, and not only in regards to the visual aspects of my presence in the social media.

While I absolutely love looking at everything that people make on Instagram, I’m back at feeling how I felt a year ago; like my style is still missing somehow. I’ve also felt as though I should be a factory line regarding how much I craft. My comparing myself to other people is obviously something that happens in my own mind only and right now I’m doing my best to shake off that feeling. It’s not necessarily a feeling of inadequacy, though, but more like being in friction with the self, its needs and desires, whilst respecting various restrictions such as financial limits.

A good example would be a future bedspread. I’ve been wanting to make one for a long time, yet I have found neither perfect pattern nor colour scheme. It’s about being undecided on patterns versus solids even! This desire has evolved into the friction I mentioned and I’m dissatisfied because I’ve had the expectation that since “everyone else” sews and quilts like crazy, I should be doing the same. There are only 24 hours in any given day, dear…

Perhaps I’m unusual, but I do have a bazillion different interests. Fact is I could pursue all of them in that “crazy dedicated” manner – if they happened to be the one and only interest of mine. But they all compete with one another and up until now I haven’t been the boss of my mind that I should have been and would have needed in this particular area of my life.

I need to be better at answering the question “Why?”; “Why should I make this project?” and “Do I truly need this item?” It can be a bit overwhelming to look at the amount of Stuff that is created and posted on Instagram on a daily basis, because I’m working constantly on decluttering as opposed to adding more to my home.  Stuff is mostly on its way out, which doesn’t mix well with crafting, unless one has a good channel to merely be sort of a mid-station in the process.

A blunt confession is that I love cutesy fabrics in theory, but I really don’t want them all over my home. The only place that I could even consider decorating in the colour-party style is a craft room. Which I don’t have at the moment. I also don’t want lots of cutesy trinkets such as bookmarks or pouches or you-name-its everywhere. And I can’t stand gifting lots of stuff to people. If I’m in doubt, I always give something one can eat or drink, or an experience.

Flickr yvestown 640

Flickr yvestown

The wardrobe is amidst a major overhaul and I’m truly inspired by Project 333. To me heaven sounds like a few pieces of extremely good quality, which can be mixed and matched endlessly, and the whole “women love shoe shopping and need endless amounts of high heels” is making me shake my head in wonder. The rest of my home is being decluttered in the same spirit and a cozy, minimalist decor makes my heart sing. A tentatively rainbow-coloured fabric stash in a craft room is something I still would love to have, though (just look at the photo above!), but on the condition that I can send into the world nearly everything made in it.

Flickr stephcarter 640

Flickr stephcarter

It’s only today, when scanning through my Pinterest boards, that I’m ready to accept a crafting style of my own. I meditate daily and try to practice mindfulness as often as I can, so instead of causing me to feel suffocated, I need to be better at picking and choosing what projects to make. I doubt I’ll ever stop loving window shopping on Instagram, but it’s time that I let myself be who I really am as far as crafting goes.

So what is it that I want (well, need really) from my home? I want love, peace, quiet, harmony, cleanliness, and fun, in short a sanctuary. Experiences, the full range of emotions, and people create such a space that is both inviting and safe to exist in. Editing my belongings to reflect this idea and to support me rather than wear me down is my purpose when writing these words.

Are you in balance regarding your crafting? Happy and satisfied about the choices you make?

My Asphalt Jungle quilt design

Earlier this year, the new Quilt Now magazine arranged a design contest using fabrics from the Jungle Ave. line by Sara Lawson for Art Gallery Fabrics.

I designed a quilt the size of a nap quilt for a child and this is the quick design that I submitted:

NWF-101 Asphalt Jungle 2014-10-17

I’m still learning how to use the software, Scribus, so the fabrics are in incorrect direction in the half-square triangles, but other than that it’s “what you see is what you get”.

If you’re interested in making this quilt, post a comment and I’ll write the pattern for it.

Fabric Spot fabrics finally arrived

The Fabric Spot fabrics that I won in the Stitched in Color challenge finally arrived a few weeks ago, but I haven’t had a chance to blog about them until now.

I got to pick two fabrics that weren’t part of the original palette, since they were not available at the time, and upon receiving them I was surprised to see how well they match each other. Here they are!

NWF Stitched in Color contest Fabric Spot fabrics 2014-10-17

Aren’t they lovely? I have no idea how to use them yet, but I think I’ll use all the palette fabrics in the same project to build upon the original idea. The pair of nature-themed fabrics would be gorgeous to use as starting point for something larger, using the colours of the roses.

What do you think? Have some ideas for these? Happy Friday and a lovely weekend!

My snail palette won!

I can’t believe it, I am so humbled and grateful! My first palette, the one with the snails, lots of yellow and blue in various hues, won the Unabashedly Yellow challenge sponsored by Canadian Fabric Spot.

I was about to wrap up my Monday and then Rachel’s email announced its existence in my inbox, so I headed over to her blog and found this:

NWF Unabashedly Yellow prize 2014-07-14

My cheerful little palette got over 24 % of the votes, which I still have a hard time believing, because there were so many other fantastic palettes in the challenge.

I’m still stepping outside of my comfort zone and have never participated in a challenge like this before. What a lovely end to a nice Monday!

Another one for the Stitched in Color fabric palette contest

One is allowed to enter with two palettes in the Stitched in Color contest and I’m still as happy to window shop for fabrics in the Fabric Spot webshop, so here’s my second contribution (the first one’s here)!

NWF Stitched in Color fabric palette contest 2014-07-09

I don’t have anything in my home of mustard yellow (apart from the Dijon in the fridge of course), but combined this way it really is a delicious hue, don’t you think?

Stitched in Color fabric palette contest

Ah, my favourite! Fabric palettes! Window shopping is almost as good as shopping for real when it comes to fabrics, so I eagerly dug out my foundation print from the Fabric Spot webshop upon reading of Rachel Hauser’s challenge over at Stitched in Color.

The theme is “Unabashedly Yellow” and what do you think? I’d love to win this bundle is what I think!

NWF Stitched in Color fabric palette contest 2014-07-08

My starting point were the snails, I love those snails! Recently I saw them on someone’s blog or in a webshop and thought I’d love to get a yard of it.

As for the fabrics in general, I think only two are from the same line, numbers 11 and 12 down in the right corner. It still amazes me what one can do when carefully combining single patterns from different lines. Hope you enjoyed my contribution, wish me luck!

ALYOF July 2014 – MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge

NWF ALYOF 2014-07 - Michael Miller fabric challenge

This is my first official A Lovely Year of Finishes goal and I’m excited to participate. My scope is to not only finish this MQG Michael Miller fabric-challenge mini quilt but also enter it in the competition before deadline 25.7.2014.

I have lots of stuff to learn when making the quilt and I’m both thrilled and nervous about the prospect. Hopefully I won’t eat my words this time regarding stepping outside of my comfort zone… Usually I work quite well under pressure, when there’s a real rather than made-up deadline, so we’ll see what comes out of this ALYOF challenge!

Edited to add: It wasn’t tricky at all to create the link, I’m happy to report.

July 2014 Projects – Challenge

In July I would love to get my projects moving in the following ways.

I would like to finish the following projects:

  • Lampshade for sister – Deadline 13.7.
  • MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge – Write a post, link to A Lovely Year of Finishes; deadline 7.7.14. Deadline 21.7. (so I have a bit time to post about it too).
  • Journal cover – Deadline 31.7.
  • Placemats – Deadline 31.7.
  • Printer cover – Deadline 31.7.
  • Signal flag pillows for dad – No current deadline

These projects I’d like to make progress on in the following way:

  • Cross-stitch pattern #101 – Finish stitching
  • Quilty Stitches sampler along – Finish block 2
  • Signal flags quilt – Decide whether block size is okay, identify techniques involved
  • Skill Builder 2013 quilt – Make the Sound Wave block
  • Tea pot cover – Practice drawing on the app

June 2014 Projects – How did I do?

On 19 June I wrote my first challenge post and this is how I’ve done this month.

I wanted to finish the following projects and here’s how things went down:

  • iPad cover for mom – Deadline 23.6. > Done 20.6.
  • Lampshade for my sister – Deadline 26.6. > New deadline 13.7.
  • Signal flag pillows for dad – Deadline 23.6. 25.6. > No deadline currently. Working on them, didn’t have zippers but those are bought now.
  • MQG QuiltCon quilt design – Finish my contribution, deadline 30.6. > Decided not to enter, like the design and want it as my own.
  • Placemats – Deadline 30.6. > Not done, have worked on other projects instead.

These projects I wanted to make progress on in the following way:

  • breathe quilt – Decide which font to use > Done 22.6.
  • Journal cover – Bought a journal the other day and it needs a cover; my first foundation paper piecing is coming up, so at least finish the FPP heart in June > Not quite done yet.
  • MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge – Order stuff for appliqué, design the quilt, and make a template whilst waiting for said order > Went for freezer paper, not fusible web, and the quilt is designed and template partly made (still thinking about the shape, not convinced).
  • Printer cover – I keep dusting the printer but it should be covered; status report and game plan > July week 2; the back needs to be closed and bottom seam sewn.
  • Signal flags quilt – Status report and game plan > First decide whether block size is okay, then identify techniques involved in each block.
  • Skill Builder 2013 quilt – Make the Sound Wave block > Nope, worked on other projects.
  • Tea pot cover – Have looked for an FPP pattern for a long time and found a couple that are almost but not quite there; making a first draft for a pattern is June’s sub-project > Purchased a drawing app and am learning how to use it still.

These projects I worked on instead:

  • I submitted a quilt design to the new Quilt Now magazine using Sara Lawson’s Jungle Ave. fabric line; it’s a competition on her blog. It was a great experience and I had lots of fun.
  • I made the first block of Quilty Stitches sampler along.
  • I designed my first cross-stitch pattern and have worked a bit on it, being my own pattern tester. It’s funny how I was the one to draw the pattern, yet once I’m supposed to translate it to stitches on the canvas, I have to refer to the pattern over and over. The motif is a quote and I’m sure I’ll have it done in no time, so I can show you.
  • I reorganised a bit here on the blog (a bit means an hour or so; surprisingly time-consuming).

Putting stuff in writing makes me realise what I perceived as fairly unproductive was in fact a very focussed and happy time.

I felt really good knowing I had only a handful of these “assignments” rather than go all “la la laaa, I can’t hear you, I’m confused and can’t decide which project to grab next”, then get nothing done.

This format is something I most certainly will do again for July. Do you keep yourself organised in a similar kind of way?

Block 1 of Quilty Stitches

NWF Quilty stitches - Block 1

I mentioned a while ago that I had committed to make a Quilty Stitches cross-stitch sampler and here’s the first block done. I’ve done cross stitch in the past, but never fractional stitches, so that was the first thing to read up on. Actually I thought cross stitch means whole crosses and nothing else, so live and learn :)

The Swoon block was laborious to make, but also fun and pretty. The light blue is quite light, the green a medium one, and the violet a gentle kind of value but oh so difficult to photograph well. I have the same problem when taking photos of purple jewellery that I sell and in those moments I wish I had a really good camera.

As you can see I’ve already started on the second block and there’s much more counting compared to the first. Hopefully I’ll have something to show you in the coming week.

Have you joined this sampler along yet? Happy Saturday!