Continuing to Sparkle

With Spark #30, we finished working our way through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Our journey here is done, but the posts will remain and you can work through the book and my comments at your own pace. There is much more to each spark than what I wrote. The original chapters will help you.

Included on the very last page of the book was a list of books and movies that Carrie suggests we read. I am listing some of them:

I haven’t read any of the books listed above. I have seen a couple of the books she lists, but would watch them again. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness!

Ring Toss Thoughts

Ring Toss (Halo Top by Jen Kingwell) Template Set
Ring Toss (Halo Top by Jen Kingwell) Template Set

Now that I seem to be okay with starting new projects, quilts are being thrown in my path in such a way that I can’t seem to say no.

The official name of this quilt is Halo Top. I plan to call this quilt Ring Toss, once I get around to making it. I am not a fan of the word Halo in very many contexts and this is one I don’t like. Ring Toss sounds like a circus and fun.

The other thing is that the pattern is referred to as “Jenny from One Block.” I really don’t know what that means and haven’t had any luck with Google yet.

There is a lot of cutting to do, which, as I said, requires some Hunting & Gathering, so I might not get to it immediately.

I went out and searched the web for photos of the blocks to get some ideas. I came up with one from A Crafty Fox that was helpful. It is easy to see the block structure from this photo.

FQS Halo top example
FQS Halo top example

Fat Quarter Shop had a photo, which was interesting as well. It showed a grey quilt in the same pattern under the brightly colored scrap quilt. It made me think that a monochromatic border might be interesting. I’d have to work hard at showing contrast.

PIQF 2018 Thoughts and Purchases

I still have a lot to write about PIQF. My post about my quilts barely scratched the surface of my experience. Writing about the MetroScape block n.5 yesterday made me think about all the other things I wanted to talk about.

Vendors

There were noticeable changes to the vendors, as there were last year. The Mancusos has moved some of the vendors to new locations.  Others were no longer vending. SIL said that there were changes to the offerings of longarm vendors as well. She is still in the market for a longarm and was pleased at the changes.

I tried to stick to a list of items I really needed for projects or had a purpose. I bought more than I planned, but almost everything has a project attached to it.

Aunties Two Poppins Bag Pattern
Aunties Two Poppins Bag Pattern

I saw a new (to me?) line of bag patterns and really wanted to buy the Poppins pattern. I loved the shape and the style, but I resisted. I have another carpet bag type pattern AND the stays and must make that one first. One of the booths, Monica’s, had the pattern with all of the interfacing (they use Bosal) cut and available for purchase with the pattern. It was sooooo tempting. As mentioned, I resisted.

On my list was a roll of 2.5 inch batting strips. I want to make a Jelly Roll rug with the jelly roll I won at QuiltCon. No dice. I didn’t see any. I saw a roll of fusible batting strips and emailed Gretchen from 120 Blocks to ask if that was what she used. She said that product would be overkill and I didn’t buy it.

Art Gallery Knit for Westchester Dolman top
Art Gallery Knit for Westchester Dolman top

I found some fabulous fabric for the Westchester Dolman top. Crafty Gemini has a free PDF pattern of that top, but the link above leads you to the bundle of video and print pattern.

Buying fabric for this pattern has been on my mind, but wasn’t on my list for PIQF. Still, I was thrilled to see fabric I liked that was also of good quality. I didn’t really want to buy something online. I wanted to be able to feel the fabric. Julie pointed out that I needed to see how sheer a knit was, as well, because some knits were very sheer which means you have wear a camisole or something under it. This is an Art Gallery knit and thick enough to not be see through.

I have run out of solid white background fabric, which I like to have around, especially for donation projects. I wanted the Art Gallery Pure Elements Snow fabrics, but Colleen was there and carries American Made Brands. I bought 5 yards of their white, which I do like. She is one of the few vendors that brings bolts to the show.

Sewing Party purchases
Sewing Party purchases

My big impulse buy was from Sewing Party, a shop that I almost didn’t enter, because the woman looked so dour. I think she was tired and her resting face was not attractive. As soon as we entered the booth, she cheered right up and was very sweet.

I bought two FQs and a template set. I’ll use the text fabric for En Provence n.2. The Halo Top templates were not on the list, but they were so attractive. My friend, Sue Arnold, made a ring quilt years and years ago. Since then, I have wanted to make one. I seem to be getting into the sewing curves groove , so I wasn’t daunted by the curves in the block. The weird thing was that the shop did not have the pattern. When I asked about it, the lady said that I didn’t need the pattern. She was very confident of that even though I don’t think I have ever seen her before. 😉 She said with the templates, I could figure out the piecing. It is a Jen Kingwell pattern and I have heard from reliable sources that her patterns are not very well written. I’d like to take a look at the pattern, but I think the vendor is right. I don’t want to spend $28 on a pattern when I can figure out the piecing for myself. If someone I know has it, I will take a look (not copy, don’t worry). If not, I will figure it out for myself.

I plan to use the green in the Halo top and I will need to do some hunting and gathering for fabric in order to make it scrappy.

Threads & Ewe Yarn 2018
Threads & Ewe Yarn 2018

I also bought some yarn from Threads & Ewe. I love that booth. They have nice yarn, but the ladies are so friendly and helpful. They also wanted to see the scarf I made from the yarn I bought from them last year. I bought three skeins to make a shawl. I may have to finally get on Ravelry to find a free pattern. I have to finish my other project first, though. And NO MORE YARN!

Quilt Show

The best part of the quilt show was wandering around it with Friend Julie and looking at everything.

The quilt show, generally, looked the same as it has in years past. They still use the black drapes, which just looks depressing too me.

I was, again, disappointed by the New Quilts of Northern California exhibit. I didn’t see very many quilts (perhaps one or two) that were new, fresh or exciting. I must not understand that point of that exhibit anymore. I would have liked Down the Drain to be in that exhibit, but missed the deadline.

I didn’t see any Quick Curve Ruler projects, which was interesting. I wonder if people consider curves to be too hard. I am not finding my MetroScape project too difficult. It has gotten easier the more blocks I have made and I pin like a demon, which helps.

We met up with Kathleen late in the day and walked around with her a bit. She commented on how much “bedazzling” was on the quilts. I had to agree with her. The show winners were all covered in sparkling gems (Swarovski crystals?).

I was glad to be able to spend Friday at the show and not have to cram everything into a Sunday visit as originally planned.

Various & Sundry 2018 #10

In Search Of….

Martha Negley Classics Dahlia Plum Cotton Fabric PWMN063
Martha Negley Classics Dahlia Plum Cotton Fabric PWMN063

Remember I made a Sew Together Bag and the Tool Tote and a One Hour Basket with this Martha Negley Classics Dahlia Plum Cotton Fabric (PWMN063)? I think I want to make some more accessories for myself with it and I need yardage. Of course, the fabric is old and out of print. I have scoured the web. I keep coming up against a promising lead that, once followed, turns out to be sold out. If you have a real lead or some of this print that you don’t want or need, let me know.

Other Artists

I dip my toe into garment sewing periodically. I am not very good at it and having my SIL nearby to help is a lifesaver. Recently, Laura Kemshall posted about a t-shirt she made, which has a very nice shoulder design. It also looks like it fits well – or can be made to fit well. I like my t-shirts (and clothes, in general) to be fitted – not tarty. Crafty Gemini (Vanessa Vargas Wilson) also has the Westchester Dolman shirt. This is also fitted and the PDF is a free pattern on her site. You can buy a hard copy (no affiliation) and the video series talking about making the shirt. I have the pattern, but haven’t made it yet.

Charlotte, the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady posted this great quote on her blog “So I could easily make excuses. And sometimes I do. But excuses do not make good art.”

This video is the story of Philip Jacobs.

Amy Butler is leaving the quilting industry. The article doesn’t say what she will do next, but this seems so strange to me. Why announce you are leaving? Why not just quietly move on to other things?

Projects, Classes & Tutorials

Gretchen has some great tips on making a Jelly Roll Rug (yes, on my list, too) on her recent post in addition to posting links about the various tutorials that have been created to help making it.

Vanessa, the Crafty Gemini, has a free video on interfacings – when to use which and the usefulness of others.

Amy Butler has patterns on her website. The appearance of the patterns look really good on the page. the branding fits in with her other branding. Very professional.

Tools, Supplies & Fabric

I found a comprehensive guide on Aurifil.

Inspiration

The International Quilt Study Center’s quilt of the month for October is a Pine Burr piece. I’d love to make a quilt like this using brighter colors. It isn’t an easy quilt to make and this example is masterful. I think it would need some paper piecing, though not all paper piecing. It definitely isn’t a pattern for the faint of heart.

Around the Web

Sarah pointed me to a Beauty Pageant linky. Is that a fun name? It is an opportunity to show off your beautiful finishes. I looked at a few of the posts (only 3 available so far) and the author has posted some interesting projects – pillows, tote bags – no quilts yet. Link up and get some love on your projects.

Laura Kemshall is being treated for bowel cancer. She wants to contribute to the Lingen Davis Ruby Appeal to raise £1.25m by June 2019. She has a variety of ways she is raising the money including a Just Giving page, if you want contribute.

F&W shuts down more magazines: Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Modern Patchwork are the quilt magazines affected.

PIQF Finalist Image Quilt
PIQF Finalist Image Quilt

I got this via email as part of my entry of three quilts. I am not sure what it means, whether it actually means I am in the running for any kind of prize.

MetroScape Block n.5

MetroScape Block n.5
MetroScape Block n.5

As mentioned, I spent a lot of time Saturday afternoon and evening working on the Ends n.6 donation top and back. Before I got to work on that project. I finished the MetroScape block n.5.

I had done most of the work last week, but hadn’t quite has the time to finish.

I am pleased with the way it came out and am liking the look of the Quick Curve Ruler pieces more and more.

While at PIQF, we talked to the Elkhorn Quilt Company lady about the mini Quick Curve Ruler. Apparently, Sew Kind of Wonderful has come out with a new book using the the mini Quick Curve Ruler with a lot of new designs. Julie was attracted to a pumpkin wall quilt pattern, so she bought the pattern and the ruler. FYI, Sew Kind of Wonderful has a free pattern for a pumpkin tablerunner, if those kind of decorations interest you.

Ends Donation Top & Back n.6

Octagon 9 Patch Trimmings
Octagon 9 Patch Trimmings

A pile of trimmings from the Octagon 9 Patch have been laying around my workroom for a few weeks bugging me. I didn’t want to throw them away, but I also wasn’t thrilled about putting them ‘somewhere’ to be forgotten.

Finally, yesterday, I decided enough was enough and I would whip a donation quilt. A donation quilt would accomplish a couple of things. I would have something to show at BAM. I would be able to add some fabric to my fabric usage, but most importantly, those trimmings would be off my desk.

Ends donation top n.6
Ends donation top n.6

I found a light green Art Gallery solid that I thought would work pretty well and got to work. The quilt top when together pretty easily and I found a couple of fabrics I could use for the back, so the whole thing was done in a couple of hours.

PIQF Display

PIQF started Wednesday night and goes until Sunday. I went Wednesday night to scope everything out.

Wednesday night is preview night, so the floor is only open for an hour and a half. I try and go when I can to scope out the new vendors and to find my quilts.

Fabric of the Year 2016: PIQF display location
Fabric of the Year 2016: PIQF display location

This year I entered 3 quilts into the show: Fabric of the Year 2016, Triple Star and Down the Drain. No prizes, but I wasn’t expecting any prizes. Two of them had good locations and one had good lighting, but was in a bad location.

FOTY 2016 was in one of the ‘hallway’ locations. It had good lighting, which Julie pointed out, but I didn’t like it being in one of the hallways. People barely look at those quilts and just walk by.

Triple Star: PIQF display location
Triple Star: PIQF display location

Triple Star probably had the best location. It was in the back of one of the display section, so people could stand in the aisle and look at it.

My picture is a little washed out, but it is a good photo in terms of seeing the quilt straight on.

Down the Drain: PIQF display location
Down the Drain: PIQF display location

Down the Drain had a good location in the back of the front hall, but nobody was looking at it.

I don’t know that I’ll enter quilts in PIQF again. I try never to say never, but that is how I am thinking right now. It was really expensive and I don’t really have any hope of ever winning a prize. The prize winners are so large and bedazzled and quilted within an inch of their lives. I don’t really quilt for prizes, but it is still a disappointment when a quilt with an important message like Down the Drain doesn’t get any kind of acknowledgement.

Creative Spark #30: Trust Yourself

This is the last spark of the book and it is incredibly short. Carrie Blooms ton writes “Now that you have read this book, let me tell you one last thing to take with you on your adventure:

NOTHING YOU NEED

TO KNOW IS IN THIS

BOOK OR ANY OTHER.

Nothing you need is in a class or at the museum or at the art supply store. Everything you need is within you” (pg.124).

This is hard for me. I always think that if I get a better machine, or that new fabric, or a variety of zippers, my work will be better. I have to learn that my work is good enough with what I have and if I keep striving as discussed last week, then I will move towards perfection.

The author ends with “Trust yourself and you will awaken to the potential inside you. You already have everything you need (pg.124).

You can see the last post on this topic from last week.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

Finished: Thanksgiving Tablemat

Finished: Thanksgiving tablemat
Finished: Thanksgiving tablemat

Last week was a week of finishes and I am just getting around to reporting on them. I am finally finished with the Thanksgiving tablemat. I bought the fabric in August of 2015 as I came back from dropping the YM off for his freshman year at college. I started working on it sometime around the end of 2016, worked on it at the retreat in 2017 and finally finished it a few days ago. It is 23 x 24 inches and fits perfectly (whew!) on my coffee table.

This is the final piece in Thanksgiving decorations. I may make more, but for now I am finished and I am glad to cross this project off my To Do list.

Finished BAM Color Round Robin

Finished: BAM Color Round Robin
Finished: BAM Color Round Robin

Yes, the second finish I am reporting this week. The BAM (BAMaQG) Color Round Robin is now also finished.

It is definitely cheerful and fun, but I am not a fan of the overall piece. It has nothing to do with anyone’s contribution. Everyone did a fantastic job.

I am not sure what I don’t like about it. I certainly don’t hate it.

It will go off to it’s new home as soon as I finish the Sealife quilt-let and can find someone heading to the EU.

Finished: Octagon 9 Patch

Finished: Octagon 9 Patch
Finished: Octagon 9 Patch

I really can’t believe this quilt is finished. It has been in process so long- at least since 2015. Three years! I wonder if that is an average for me? I really want to get to the point of starting a project, working on it and finishing it without stopping. Of course, that may not work for me as letting projects marinate seems to be part of my process.

I really am in love with this quilt. I love the border. I was really inspired when I made it.

Finished: Octagon 9 Patch detail
Finished: Octagon 9 Patch detail

MetroScape Block n.4

MetroScape Block 4
MetroScape Block 4

It might seem unbelievably boring to see each of these blocks as I put them together. However, they make me so happy that I can’t help sharing.

I am particularly happy with this block. I started out with a cool center, which I love. Adding the dot fabric, which I thought would be warm, fits perfectly. It takes on a warm cast, I think.

I also counted up the dots I have and found 11. That is one short of those needed for the number of blocks in the pattern. I don’t mind repeating one, but I may make more blocks, which means I will have to repeat others. Stay tuned.

26 Projects Redux

I am making progress. Going on Retreat helped, but it’s still frustratingly slow. I have to appreciate that I am still able to make some kind of progress. I also have to think about what speed would NOT be frustratingly slow.

Finished 2018 Quilt Projects

After lamenting last month that I hadn’t finished any quilts, I was able to add two finished quilts to my list this month.

Finished 2018 Quilt Projects

I am still at five quilts in 8 months. I know that Colleen has three, but I would still really like to have more off my UFO list. They don’t magically get done. I know the key is not to add anymore to my UFO list.

Finished 2018 Non-Quilt Projects

Doing Good

In Process
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I try not to put away projects, because that will ensure I never work on them

  • MetroScape is a new project, as you have read. I needed something new to give me a little bit of a new perspective. I have four blocks finished and am preparing to start the 5th. The pattern calls for 12 blocks. I might make more, but we will see since the blocks are 19 inches. It is fun, I love the fabric and I am getting great feedback on it.
  • English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I have made a couple of dozen stars, especially the background stars. I started adding the  grey diamonds to one edge to form the border.
  • Sealife Quilt-let – reading for binding. I need to make the binding then sew it on.

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. City Samplerblocks all made. The long term goal is to sash the blocks and put the top together. In the meantime, due to some seam allowance issues, some of the blocks are smaller than others, so I will have to adjust them in some way – either ripping and resewing, adding a piece or two to the block, or with sashing. I am just waiting until the mood strikes. My continuing sticking point is that I just need to deal with the problems. I did have an inkling of fixing them on Thursday, so perhaps the project is closer to the surface than I thought.
  2. FOTY 2017 – pieces cut. Need to layout and start piecing. No new progress.
  3. Handbag Sampler – this is the forgotten project. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class the time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I have an idea and still have to crawl up in the far reaches of my fabric closet soon and see if I can find them. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
  4. Lobster – I still have more stitching to do and then I need to quilt it.
  5. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. Julie and I had a playdate towards the beginning of April. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece and will have to get it back. I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  6. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  7. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  8. Serendipity Lady Quilt: no new progress.
  9. Under the Sea: class project; like the design and am happier with the colors. I worked on it a couple of nights during Craft Night and am nearing the end of the stitching.
  10. Black and Red quilt – This came about because of two other projects. I made a whole bunch of bias tape as part of my failed attempt at doing the Mighty Lucky Club a few years ago. Another part of the inspiration came from my class with Tina of Little Blue Cottage fame. This was going to be for a nephew, but I think it will be for one of my SILs and BILs. I have rectangles cut and some bias tape ready. My next step is to sew the bias tape to the rectangles like pickup sticks. I don’t have any photos of this, so you’ll have to trust me.

Small Projects in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • All Rolled Up Tote – part of Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. I started cutting out the pieces yesterday at Sew Day and finished at home. It is ready to sew.
  • White on black dots cell phone wallet – need to find the fabric and cut out the pieces
  • Solid black cell phone wallet – need to find the fabric and cut out the pieces
  • Chubby Charmer with Good Fortune charm pack – gift; not started.
  • 4-Zip Organizer – part of Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. It is on my list, but I haven’t actually started
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started

Ready for Quilting

  • Aqua-Red Sampler –This is ready for quilting, but I haven’t had the time to take it to Colleen yet. I’d like to get at least one more top finished before I head over there.

In Quilting Process

  • Stepping Stones #2 – I took this to Colleen on my way to Sisters in July.
  • BAMaQG IRR –The sandwich has been basted. I machine quilted a couple of lines to stabilize it. I am making slow progress on hand quilting it using Big Stitch.
  • Theoretically, the Tarts Come to Tea is in the quilting process, though I haven’t worked on it in a while.

Binding

  • nothing at this time

Hunting and Gathering

  • 30 Something: I continue to cut 1.5 inch squares. I am pretty sure I have the 800 I need, but I am not ready to sew them together yet, so whenever I have a chance to cut more I cut more. It will give me choice when the time comes.  I looked at whether I could start piecing this, but I found I need to cut some other sizes. I need to get those sizes on the cutting sheet and get busy. I need over 600 of a size something like 1.75×3.75. I’ll have to think up a new name for this quilt, too, since I am not using 1930s fabrics.
  • Blue Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch blue rectangles. It has to end sometime. I wasn’t sure I was ready to put this together, but I think I might be. I might do a couple of gradation quilts in a row just to get the practice.
  • Blue Lemonade: cutting blue, green, purple 2 inch squares. I used a lot of these squares for En Provence, so I am slowly cutting more.
  • FOTY 2018: I have started cutting 2.5 inch squares for the 2018 version.
  • Pink Gradation Quilt: cutting 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch pink rectangles
  • Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. I might have to cut some more background fabrics. I probably have enough fabrics and just need to decide to start.
  • Windmill quilt: Still hunting and gathering. I am supposed to be cutting a variety of greys for the background, which required the purchase of a new template. Cutting is very therapeutic, so I should try and do it when I have a few minutes.

Other

  • Stepping Stones #3 using the Macaron pre-cuts from Hoffman. I have all the fabric in pre-cuts and am just waiting for space (and desire) in my schedule.

Gross usage is just over 152 yards. My net is at about 61 yards.  I would still be ecstatic if I could make it to 100 yards NET used by the end of the year. I didn’t think such a feat would be possible, but I might be wrong. I do have a quilt out at the quilter and one ready to be quilted. If I finish all of those by the end of the year that could make my net number jump up, but 100 yards is a lot. It is good to have goals!

What’s on your list?

Retreat Day 3

I slept better on the Saturday night of Retreat, but got a slow start in the morning. I ate too much the night before and my stomach was unhappy.

BAM 2018 Retreat Nametags
BAM 2018 Retreat Nametags

Helen took a lot of great photos, including one of the nametags made by the committee. Even though we weren’t asked to, everyone wore their nametags religiously throughout the retreat. As a bonus, nobody who attended the retreat has an excuse not to wear a nametag to a meeting.

 

MetroScape Block n.3
MetroScape Block n.3

I was still feeling like I didn’t get enough done, so I thought I would start sewing on the All Rolled Up Tote. I like the Crafty Gemini method of teaching, but the requirement to watch the videos can be inconvenient. I found it not to be conducive to a shared sewing environment so I switched to working on the next MetroScape block. This was a good call as it inspired questions about the ruler and about curved piecing.

Group Sewing
Group Sewing

People really made progress. I documented a bare sliver of the massive number of projects on which people made progress.

Bonnie made a pouch
Bonnie made a pouch

I admired Bonnie’s California poppy/quail pouch. The wide mouth pouch was a retreat project led by Theresa. I didn’t make one at the retreat, but a number of people did and they came out very well.

I shared the photo with SIL #2 and she wanted to know where the fabric came from. Bonnie and I looked at the selvedge and came up with Suzan Ellis for Northcott LL#655 State Birds California quail. I remember this line, I think. Bonnie said it was from a few years ago. I did a quick Google search and didn’t find any yardage to speak of.

One organization to which I belong would go crazy over that pouch, but I did not suggest that  she donate it to them. One thing I don’t like is when people don’t value handwork and Bonnie spent a lot of time on it so I don’t think she should donate it. I do think that she should join the NDGW and I proposed it.

Nicki showed off her dual merit hexie and 9Patch challenge piece. There was a lot of well deserved praise. She is using her 2017 merit hexies to embellish her 9 patch challenge. It is wonderful to see all the different ways that people are using their merit hexies. Very different from mine.

Mary's quilt
Mary’s quilt

Mary finished the top for her linking-design quilt. I know that quilt is a pattern with a name, but I don’t know what it is. Except for the half blocks on the side, it is a very effective design. She picked great colors as well.

You can also see the BAM merit sash. Every year there is some kind of hat or sash that people get to embellish and wear after finishing a project. This is in addition to the extra raffle tickets we get for finishes.

Gerre's donation top
Gerre’s donation top

Donation tops get 4 extra raffle tickets. Gerre put a top together and received more tickets. The top she put together is similar to the one that I put together.

The blocks are from kits put together by Peggy and Michelle and were fairly easy. I think the tops are too small, but Peggy assures me that they are a great NICU size. I know I feel the way I do, because the quilts I make are large. Even my small quilts are large.

Sarah's quilt
Sarah’s quilt

Sarah, the famous Sarah of Planned Improv fame, finished putting together another stellar quilt. Why do I like other people’s quilts better than my own?

BAM 2018 Retreat Group Photo
BAM 2018 Retreat Group Photo

We were able to take a group photo to memorialize the event. It was a great time and I am glad I was able to attend.

Creative Spark #29: Leave it on the Field

“I am proud of what you did out there. You did your best. You left it all on the field” (pg.122).

What this quote says to me is something that I try to live by, but need reminding about periodically. I always says that I need to show up and do the work. That isn’t enough and this quote reminds me of it. Yes, I need to show up. Yes, I need to do the work. I can’t, however, do it in a desultory way. I need to give it my all. I need to look at my work throughout the process. I need to think about what I am doing. I need to try different things and do my best work. It might not actually end up being my best work, but I need to give quiltmaking my all and not hold back.

“I used to think I had to save it all up for this or that” (pg.122) speaks to me. I recently bought some Tula Pink dots and stripes and in September I started to use them. Using my good fabrics is FANTASTIC! I have done this a couple of times lately and I have to say that saving fabrics for the perfect project is horrible for me. I have fabrics I used to love and now I don’t even remember why I bought I them. It is sad. Using my good fabrics means that I can see them in my house and use the quilts and enjoy the fabrics.

In this context, Carrie Bloomston means herself. She compartmentalized herself and doled parts of herself out as she saw fit. She writes “some knew me as a mom, some as an artist, some as a spiritual seeker, some as a kniiter, glassblower, a painter, a designer…I finally let go of that a few years ago when I began the process of letting go of control” (pg.122).

I know the examples are different, but I believe that using my fabric now is the first step in stopping the compartmentalization we, as humans, are prone to engage in. Letting go of control or planning isn’t easy. We all have busy lives and like to squeeze a lot into our days. “Befriend incidents, accidents, and mishaps. They are your greatest teachers” (pg.123).

“No matter what form your creativity takes, you have to let go of expectation and perfection. For the record, there is no such thing as perfect. …if you ever finally made the perfect quilt or painting or cake, you’d never need to make another one, right?” (pg.123). This quote is profound to me. I know that there is no such thing as perfection. Every project I make sparks a ‘what if’ moment. What if I made the blocks bigger? What if I used pink instead of green? There is an endless number of what ifs that populate my mind as I work on quilts and other projects.

For me, trying my best (despite what Yoda says) and working towards my best work and towards perfection is what I have to do, what I have been doing and what I will continue to do.

Carrie says the same thing when she writes “There is only trying, doing your best, and leaving it all on the field. If you do your best, honor your journey, and love yourself along the way, then you will find the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. The pot of gold is everywhere when you go with the flow, surrender to the process, stop controlling, and let yourself be filled with joy and love” (pg.123).

She ends the Spark with “I hope you have learned that no matter what, you are good enough exactly as you are right now, and your lief experience will fill your work with your spirit” (pg.123).

You can see the last post on this topic from several weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. The original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.