Bag for a Budding Interior Designer

Drafting Tools Bag_1

Now that my daughter’s three young children are all in grade school, she decided it was time that she went back to school and study her favorite subject: Interior Design.

Drafting Tools

She sent me these three pictures with the request: “Can you make me a bag to hold my drafting tools?”  I’m on it, Barbara.

Drafting Tools Bag_2

I fused fusible fleece to the outside bag fabric, then cut the interior lining and set them both aside.

Drafting Tools Bag_3

She needed a protected place for her drawing leads, so I sewed a block of fabric onto bag front piece, and sewed the pocket into segments.  Then I created an outside flap (the clock fabric). I cut it on a slant and fused it to (again) fusible fleece.  I inserted a zipper in between the clock fabric and the lining, then bound all the edges, including the exposed edge of the other side of the zipper.  Then I sewed  it on, covering that flowered pocket piece.  This also is place she could put papers, or her magnifying glass, or whatever else.

Drafting Tools Bag_4

After sewing in a zipper at the top edges, then sewing up the sides and bottom, I boxed the corners to give a little bit of space inside.

Drafting Tools Bag_5Last, I put a handle on the back side, in case this is deep inside her backpack and she needs to grab it out in a hurry.  Hope it works, Barbara!  Happy Studying!

Circles EPP Button

 Coming up at the first of the month: English Paper Piecing Sew-Along, Circles Block #5.

Friendship Swap for the Cross-X Block

CrossX_final quilt top

Criss-Cross

Today is the day we reveal our quilts made in the Friendship Swap of the Cross-X blocks (some call them the + and x blocks).  I got started on this through an invitation from Krista of KristaStitched, who is now found more commonly on Instagram.  She wrote and invited me to play along, and since I’d always wanted to try out this block, I agreed.  Susan of PatchworkNPlay and Carla of Lollyquiltz set us up a Flickr Group and we were in business.

Cross-X So FarB

I’m sure you remember these photos, as we kept track of our progress.  Well, all of a sudden we were done, and then all of a sudden there was a deadline of today to get the quilt done.  So, what you see up there is my quilt top (or flimsy), as the quilt is at the quilter, and since I was a bit slow in getting the top done, I don’t have the final “finish” on the quilt.  Soon, very soon.

KristastitchedHowever, I don’t think I have to worry about my partner Krista finishing her quilt top before I will.  She was working on a better and bigger project, which arrived several weeks early!  Congratulations, Krista!  Having Baby Rita here safe and sound is waaaaay better than a quilt top.  Many thanks to Krista, Carla and Susan, for inspiring us to a Cross-X quilt top.

Thought you’d like to see what the inspiration was for these blocks, in the early days:

Setsuko InagawaQuilt

This quilt by Setsuko Inagawa, which used an old block by Nancy Cabot, caught everyone’s eye.  The pattern diagram and the current origins (from Badskirt) are *here.*

UPDATES: Here are some thumbnails of the completed quilts or quilt tops, with links to their blogs.

Lollyquiltz Cross-X

Carla, from Lollyquiltz

Grace and Favour Cross-X

Carla, from Grace and Favour

PatchworknPlay Cross-X

Susan, from Patchwork N Play

LiveAColorfulLife Cross-X

Cindy, from Live A Colorful Life

Libellen Quilts Cross-X

Heidi of Libellen Quilts

Jane's Quilt Cross-X

Jane of Jane’s Fabrics and Quilts

Sew Together Bag, et al.

Sew Together Bag_4

I present to you: THE SEW-TOGETHER BAG!!  If you are from my quilt guild and are looking for the link to buy the pattern, it is *here.*  Yes, you have to sign into Craftsy and make up a name and a pin number.  But there are a lot of great things on Craftsy.  Then open up your computer and link to The Quilt Barn Sew-A-Long for the pattern.  They go together.

Sew Together Bag

I have seen about eight million of these online and on Instagram and get putting it off because, my-gosh-oh-golly, it has four zippers.  And binding!

Sew Together Bag1

And all those pockets!  Okay, I’m here to tell you that you will survive to sew another day.  And that Michelle, of Sew Demented, has figured out easy ways to construct pockets.

Sew Together Bag_3

Sew Together Bag_2

The binding was No Big Deal–easy if you’ve done quilt binding, and if you follow The Quilt Barn’s directions.

Sew Together Bag_1

Sew Together Bag_5

So, jump in!  The water’s fine.

Weather 108

And now I have to talk about the weather.  We’ve been having a heat wave.  This is after the crazy rain storm that took out lots of trees in my neighborhood, and ruined concrete drainage ditches in my park.

Riverside Clouds

Tuesday, coming home, I saw these beautiful clouds, a rarity in our area.  Then it got all dark and my phone had this screen:

Weather 106

The power went out…no sewing.  So I did non-electrical quilting things.  And when the power came back on, all the little machines in our house started beeping and whirring and clicking, like they were all talking to each other.

Talenti Gelato

And because this heat wave has broken records, we are glad that they carry my father’s favorite gelato in our local grocery store.  I can vouch for the deliciousness of Tahitian Vanilla Bean, and the jars are very cool for storing stuff once they are emptied.

Circle 5 reject

Then I tried out the pattern for Circles Block #5.  Fail.  Total fail.  Not the pattern, just what I had chosen.  Back to the cutting table.

Block Books

And then some of my favorite books arrived: the BLOCK magazine from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Simple and easy and not complicated reading.

Cotton Couture Colors

Almost finished with this post of trivia, hang in there with me.  I chose a few colors to go with my incoming stack of Couture Cottons, which is part of a QuiltCon challenge.  I hope this heat wave lifts soon, as it’s killing my productivity.

Raincross Guild_LisaBut Lisa has been productive, finishing up her French fabrics quilt for her daughter who has been on a church mission for 18 months and comes home in November.  Lisa will tell you this with a giant smile on her face.  Here the quilt is being shown at the Raincross Quilt Guild last night–a great event.  We both had fun!

And last. . .

Tractor at Sunset

Yes, this is a tractor at sunset.  Actually it’s parked in my front yard, and yes, the demolition on our front yard is going nicely.

Keep quilting: I wish you many happy sunsets too.

 

Busy Quilty Weekend

Quilt Night Sept 2014_1

This past Friday night was our little quilt group’s Quilt Night.  We hold it the first Friday night of just about every month, taking off some here and there.  Lisa (on the left) and I founded The Good Heart Quilters when she was pregnant with her daughter, who is will soon be 18.  Hard to think we’ve been going that long!  On the right is Charlotte, one of our newer members, and Lisa’s running/marathon buddy.  Why are they smiling?  I cleaned out my fabric stash this past month and brought all the leftovers for them to claim.

Quilt Night Sept 2014_2

Speaking of pregnant ladies, Tiffiny, on the left, is waaaay pregnant and due this week.  (So far, no news.)  She is our bonafide Newest Member, but I’m guessing with a new baby, we won’t be seeing her for a while.  She’s helping Lisa hem and sew buttons on band uniforms (Lisa is a parent volunteer).  See?  We don’t always do quilts.  We want Tiffiny to come any time she wants to as she brought us all a yummy key lime pie.  Treats are always a good thing at Quilt Night.

Quilt Night Sept 2014_3

And still speaking of pregnant ladies, Caitlin (on the left) is due in January.  Simone (on the right) and I rounded out the group and we are definitely NOT pregnant.  A small gathering, but fun.  And with great treats that everyone brought.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_1

I kicked them all out 10 p.m. because the next day I had to leave at 7 a.m. to head to San Diego to the San Diego Quilt Show, where I was taking a Free Motion Quilting Class with Sue Rasmussen.  She was great.  The class started out with a comprehensive overview of needles and threads, but soon we launched into hands on FMQ.  I had taken a class with another instructor about twelve years ago and a lot of what I know now I’ve gleaned through books, internet and Instagram.  So I thought it was time to do something classroom-y again.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_2

We learned about hand position, speed, foot control and the all important wild card of what to do when our brain kicks in with questions like “Should this be a feather?”  or “You really messed up there.”  She also taught us three methods for starting and stopping, and kept the class moving with good demos and good advice.  I’m now totally intimidated on submitting anything to a show as she clued us in to some things she looks for in a show quilt (she’s often a judge).  Thankfully she didn’t say “sparkles.”

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_3

I had an hour for lunch, see the show, and visit the vendors’ booths.  I raced through it, so didn’t have time to grab names or titles of quilts (sorry) but here’s a few photos that I grabbed as we zipped by.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_4

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_5

This French landscape is Sue Rasmussen’s.  You can bet I looked closely at the quilting.  (It was perfect.)

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_6a

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_6b

She actually had three of these trees, all in different color ways and different fabrics.  It was fascinating to see how different they all were.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_7a

I loved this fun quilt, but it didn’t win the Modern Quilt category prize.  (Inconceivable!)

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_7c

Great quilting, eh?

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_8

This one won first prize in the Modern Quilt category.  Hmmmm.  I see “improv piecing” which seems to be a criteria (or at least according to Road to California’s blurb when I took a look at it this morning).  That’s it?  Improv piecing as the only qualifier for Modern?  Oh, that and “significant negative space,” or something like that.  I hate these seemingly artificial qualifiers and divisions.  Like Leanne of She Can Quilt says, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_9Back to class for another few hours.  Here are some of Sue’s samples.  I really enjoyed her class and was glad I made the effort.

bridge san diego

On the long drive home, there is this elegant bridge spanning the wide freeway.  When I see this, I know I’m halfway home. It was a good weekend, with good friends and experiences, but heading home is what I like to do most.

Sol LeWitt’s Patchwork Primer

Sol LeWitt's Patchwork Primer_final

Sol LeWitt’s Patchwork Primer
Quilt #135 of 200 Quilts
47″ square

sol-lewitt

It started with a catalogue my father had of Sol LeWitt’s work, and I read it cover to cover, bookmarking different pages and ideas of his, impressed with his breadth and depth and interesting ideas.  I selected this image, “Fifteen Etchings,” thinking it looked sort of like a “how-to” or primer of sorts, for dividing squares into quilt patchwork.  You can read more about my process and sample some of LeWitt’s notes on getting to work in *this post,* including the 6900 variations of the arrangement of quilt fabrics into squares (maybe I’m exaggerating a bit).  The fabric I chose to use was Mirror Ball Dots.  After a long hiatus (I started this in March of this year), I finally got it out, pinned it and got the quilting going:

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_quilting the quiltI started in the middle, quilting in between the lines of dots.  In the neighboring color, I sewed the other direction, and so on, around the quilt.  I changed out thread on each color, but used my go-to thread in the bobbin: Bottom Line, by Superior Threads.  I lowered my upper tension to keep the thread balanced in between the layers so no white popped up to the top and no colors popped through to the back.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_binding

White binding (what else) goes on next.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_detail

I think with the combination of the dots on the fabric and the quilting, it reminds me of what I envision a 1960s quilted jacket might have looked like.  I’m sure my sisters had them.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_quilting

The backing is a Marimekko fabric of large grey blossoms over an acidy-yellow background.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_back

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_label

I included the picture that inspired me on my label.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_stainedglasslook

I love the “stained glass” look of quilts, shot from the front when they are illuminated from the back.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_front2It’s nice to have a finish!

Now here’s your quote on creativity for today:

“The creative act is not an act of creation in the sense of the Old Testament. It does not create something out nothing: it uncovers, selects, reshuffles, combines, synthesizes already existing facts, ideas, faculties, skills.  ~~Arthur Koestler, in the 1960s

Circles Block #4, EPP Sew-A-Long

Circles EPP Button

EPP #4 front

Circle #4: Pravoslavni Park

Here is the fourth circle in our EPP Sew-A-Long, another circle taken from Ljubljana, Slovenia in an ornately painted church.  I chose not to make the outer arcs in a different color in order to let the star points pop out of this eight-point star.  (If I were doing this one again, I’d make the arcs in a different color.  I just like the look of that circle shape.)

Four Circle Blocks

Here they are all together, all different, but they play nicely together, I think.  I was asked about color selection for my blocks.  I have to admit I just have chosen my favorite fabrics from my stash.  I do keep in mind that they need to coordinate, but I also know that the repetition of this circular shape would also tie the blocks together.  The upper left is not really that dark (see above); I’m just taking the picture with the late afternoon sun and it makes the left side of the photo darker.

Like I said, this Circle Block is an eight-pointed star, and I again used the technique of making the circle by English Paper Piecing (EPP) but appliquéing it onto a 14 – 1/2″ square.  Click here to download the pattern for the pieces:  EPP #4.  I do spend a lot of time on these, so please always give proper attribution to OPQuilt.com.  Thanks.

EPP 4Stapled pages

Pieces for EPP4

As before, print out enough copies so you can make your eight-pointed star, then staple them all together heavily so you can cut them out without them shifting.

EPP 4 cutting pieces

Again, if the pieces have no direction (are the same shape if folded along an axis line), lay them with the printing either up or down. If they are specific, like the point-pieces, lay them out on your fabric with the printed side facing the wrong side of the fabric, and then cut them out.  Sometimes if I whack off too big of a seam allowance, I’ll trim it later as I’m basting around it.  It’s all very forgiving, so don’t stress.  There are more tips and instructions on Circles #3, Ljubljana.

Block Number Four Inspiration

The inspiration for this block came from a combination of the two above blocks.  I wanted fewer points than are shown in the church paintings but I did like the division or the “layers” of points.  Again, these circles are high above floor level, so they are a bit hard to capture in a photograph.

Here’s some “making” shots:

EPP 4 Circle Block making_2

All three sections joined together, the left side and the right side done separately.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_1

I put pins in the joining seams to keep them aligned as I sew.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_0

I located the tip of the paper inside my basted piece and started sewing them together from the bottom, matching that teensy end first.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_3

EPP 4 Circle Block making_4

This is when I had one done.  I laid out all the pieces to see if I liked it.  I didn’t.

Circles Four Gathering Fabrics

I had started in the usual way,with the fabrics like this, trying to lay them out as I think they will work in the design.

Old and New Fabrics

It looked okay as laid out, but after I finished one, I didn’t like it at all.  I brought out more fabrics.

Choosing New Fabrics

I liked this better, but I kept trying.  As usual, I try not to obsess too much about perfection in design and color and pattern and all those other things we quilters worry about.  Scrap quilts can sometimes boggle our minds as they don’t fit together as easily as those ones we make from one line of fabric, that line of fabrics perfectly keyed to work together.  These kinds of quilts can stretch us as quilters, as well as teach us patience and confidence.  But it’s good practice to make up one point of your star to see if you like it, knowing that with a  few snips, you can change it out.  I kept doing this until I was happy with my choices, and again, made one more star point to check.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_5

I liked it a lot better.  Carry on!

EPP #4 outside

This is the photo I took this morning before I starched and ironed it, and you can see  how it looks, all soft from the handwork.

EPP #4 back

Back.

I used the same technique I used in Circles #3, of appliquéing the large pointed circle onto a 14.5″ square of background.  Then I appliqué that smaller center circle on, cut out the underneath, snipping away the yellow points.  Before I’d done that, it was a bit lumpy there, but it all flattened out once I cut away the points.

EPP #4 front

I love that color of blue against that tangeriney orange in the second division.

EPP 4 Pravoslavni Park drawing

And yes, it is the correct size.

A couple of quilters have written to me, showing me their circle projects.  Here are a couple:

Missie Carpenter Circle Blocks

Missie Carpenter of Traditional Primitives

Dittany Matthews Circle

Dittany Matthews of Blue Moth

And I found this post from Quilt Inspiration about another quilter’s journey in circles.

 I’ll post the next circles block sometime around the first part of November.  Have fun sewing!

Goals for Fall 2014

SeptDec2014 Goals

I used to belong to the FAL thing–“Finish A Long” and loved loved it.  But because of my personal lifetime karma of Never Winning a Prize, I decided that while it was still beneficial to make up goals, I just didn’t have to link into an enterprise to announce them.  It’s enough for me to use some colored pencils and write it out.  Here they are, in no particular order:

Sol Lewitt's Patchwork Primer

1. Finish quilting and bind the Sol Lewitt Patchwork Primer Quilt.  I started quilting this at our retreat in July, but it has sat for nearly a month now, partly because of LIFE and partly because I wasn’t sure I liked what I was doing.  If I had to rip it out, I only wanted to rip out a little bit.  Time to get it out, evaluate and finish it up.

Colorwheel Blossom Quilt Top

2. Quilt and bind and for-heaven’s-sake decide on a name for this.  It’s gone by Rainbow Blossom, Colorwheet Blossom, Colorwheel Petals, that iPhone Logo quilt and too many other names to mention.  I bought the thread at Superior Thread the last time we went through St. George so there should really be nothing holding me back (except: how do I quilt this thing?).

Reina Fabric

3. Create and cut out (at the very least!) my Mexican Day of the Dead quilt.  It would be a near miracle if this were actually DONE by the Dia de los Muertos, which is November 1st, but at least it made it onto the list again.
CrossX Quilt Blocks January2014

4. Oh, yeah.  This.  It’s was a cool swap I did with KristaStitched and the top is supposed to be done by September something-or-other (better go and look it up).  The other quilters in the group are going to be done, and I’ll still be lagging behind.

FrontSideYard Plans

5. Redo the front and side yard landscaping of our house.  Here is the *before.*  Stay tuned for the after, when they  will probably have to wrap me up and take me off to some quiet location, and feed me all forms of chocolate and Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls 24/7 until I recover.  (I’ve had Cinnabon on the brain lately.  Good thing they are far away.)  And yes, we’ve already made about 45 changes to the above plans, but it’s a good start.

I’ve added back in some of the usual need-to-be-finished culprits: 3 skirts, the Good Luck Quilt (which I can hardly remember what it is, but I do know where the fabric is), the QuiltCon Pastels challenge (which should be landing on my doorstep anyway).  And you know I’m just like you that I could probably rustle up about ten more projects to throw on this list, but I won’t.

TerrySteegmillerArt Heart(from *here*)

I’m hosting the Good Heart Quilters in a week for Quilt Night at my house on September 5th, Friday.  If you’re in the area, come and join us! (And Good Heart Quilters?  Can you RSVP and let me know how many are coming so I can set up enough tables? Thanks.)

Selvage Blocks Aug 2014

And I’ll leave you with this: my five completed selvage blocks.  I’m not in a rush on this project.  (Good thing.)  It’s nice to have something to pick up for those days my brain can’t handle one crisis.

Finally, some thoughts on finishing from here and there:

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. ~~Marie Curie

I really enjoy the finishing part of the painting process. It’s like performing the Beethoven Sonata when all the hard slog has been done to make it a possibility. ~~Leoni Duff

Ovid gets the last word:  Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it.

Straighten Up and Sew Right

Sad Seamtress(from *here*)

It had been nearly a month since I’d threaded the needle of my sewing machine and sent it to humming, and I felt like the sad seamstress in the photo, above, pining away.  I wanted to get to the machine and have a good sewing session and have something to show for it.  As one Instagrammer said, “My sewjo is missing.”  But I wasn’t idle.  First, I had a root canal, which ought to occupy anyone for a few days.  And I also cleaned out the stash a bit, filling two large mall shopping bags with swatches of fabric to let my quilting group, the Good Heart Quilters, rummage through before donating the rest to our quilt guild.  And here’s some photos to prove I have tidy cupboards, before I start messing it up again:

Straightened Up 1

 I like to organize mine by color and value (light-to-dark).

Straightened Up 2

The lower half of the cabinet.  Inside the pull-out box are browns and blacks–easier on the back this way.  I keep the Kaffe Fassets in another place, and I also have a stack of cream/tans and a stack of “low volumes” (neutrals or pastels), and stack of predominantly white/light background fabrics.

Molly Qee xfour

Here’s a close-up of my Molly Qee collection (the characters with the crowns).  They are hard to find in the States.  I started my collection when my sister Christine and I happened into a collectibles shop in Lyon, France.

More Shelf Stuff

And on the other shelf are other doodads.  My husband gives me the little Japanese dolls (ningyō).  And those fabric-covered binders are all my journals, began when I was a young woman of twenty-one years old.  Since the advent of email and cheap phone calls, I’ve stopped writing them, but I love having them around (they hold all my secrets!).

Pink Selvage BlockSo after a busy month, I pulled out the machine and got started.  I decided to ease my way in slowly, making a selvage block.

Basic Selvage Block Foundation

When I begin, I use my standby translucent paper, cutting, then pasting a strip on one side so it measures 10 1/2″ square. Then I draw lines on it to keep the selvages on straight.  Do I cut all my selvages off when I buy fabric?  No.  I like having them on to keep track of the newer stuff in case I need more.  Most of these selvages happen when I’m going through older fabrics that are in my stash (like those to be donated), of which I know I’ll never need the information again.  Then I slice it off, leaving about one-inch to 1-1/2″ of the fabric on top of the selvage so I have Lots of Options.

Pieced Selvage Strip

I get started by cutting two 4 1/2″ blocks, then slice them on the diagonal to make up the four triangles you see in the center above.  I pin them down, then start sewing on the selvages, placing the selvage edge 1/4″ in from the raw edge of the triangle, as shown.  Sew closely along the edge.  I like it best when the first selvage next to the color is the same, or nearly all the same, so I look for a longish piece. I think it just helps set the stage.  Sometimes I piece selvages to get the printed symbols and the words closer together (above) and other times I just let it be.   Then it’s random, random, random after that, some thinner strips, some thicker strips.  Some people like to trim the fringey pieces, but I just leave it that way.  Sometimes after I sew on a strip of selvage, I’ll go in and trim down the underneath piece just to keep it tidy.

Selvage Block Colors

Sometimes I get things off balance, like in the pink block way above (too much deep maroony-pink in the lower left) but then I figure I’m teaching myself how to let go a bit and just enjoy the process.  And I do.  I now have five colors of four 10″ (finished) blocks, so the block will be twenty inches square after all four parts are sewn together.  This is going to be one big quilt, but I’m in no hurry.

To close with, here’s a quote from The Rise, by Sarah Lewis (the book I wrote about in the Creativity post):

“Perhaps we have grown impatient with the incomplete. We are part of a generation that, as the African proverb goes, wants to eat dinner in the morning, that longs for the immediate, fully prepared for consumption. Yet the strength to linger over the long-left unfinished reminds us that something inexhaustible in us is empowered by striving, that we sense unnaturalness in blunt ends of journeys, of lineage. And that power comes from where we least expect to find it.”

Go tackle something incomplete, and enjoy the power of taking another look at something that in our hands, has had a long journey.

Where Creativity Lurks: My Around The World Blog Hop Post (done my way)

world wide web image.org

a picture of the connections of the World Wide Web, from here

We scan through page after page of blogs, fingers working the mouse, images flying by until one catches our eye.  Pinned! Now to Instagram, to Flickr, pictures and posts whizzing past —  double tap, double tap, scroll, scroll — everything at breakneck speed with us jotting a word here or there to add the chorus of wonderfuls.

Is this creativity in the universe of 500 followers? (This calls for a giveaway) 100 comments on a post (how can you read all of this?) Where you aren’t a success until you have the traffic to drive 2,000 other quilters’ eyeballs to your site, to buy your patterns, to buy your books.  Where we all strive to keep up with the intense and overwhelming pace of production out there in the world.

mountains_cloudsArctic mountaintops, from here

Austin Kleon has a wonderful image in the back of his book Show Your Work.  It’s a sketch of a series of mountain peaks, a faint line skimming the tops of those peaks like a caught line of clouds, or like the waterline showing those peaks to be islands poking out of an ocean, the mountains anchoring it to the sea floor, submerged.  Above that pencilled, horizontal line, he wrote “product.”  And below, “process.”

And it is in there, in those submerged depths or massive formations, where creativity emerges.  It can start with a sketch, a riff on someone else’s quilt, a pile of colored fabrics.  It has a thousand beginnings and a thousand endings, but it is the journey that counts. For what we see when rifling through our feeds several times a day is product, the tips, the peaks, the aha! moment after a long climb to the top, flag planted firmly on that product summit.

Sarah-Lewis-The-Rise-coverfrom here

Winston Churchill is reported to have said that “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”  Scott Adams noted that “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  Both of these quotes come from a book I’m reading on creativity and mastery written by Sarah Lewis: The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. I sometimes need a break from the uber-sunshiney world of quilting, with quilt after quilt after project after quilt showing up on my reader or feed, especially if I’m in place where my own creativity is at a low ebb.

I love seeing beautiful quilts.  I love seeing the cumulative work that comes from thousands of hours of trudging up that mountainside.  But I try to also value those who show me a block, or a stack of fabrics, or those take a long time to get that quilt finished, label and all, for we are being creative, finding away to express ourselves as surely as if we had written a novel or painted a masterpiece.

Sherri of A Quilting Life wrote and asked if I would join her and others, writing about creativity.  Some questions to consider are:

  • What am I working on?
  • How does my work differ from others?
  • Why do I write/create what I do?
  • How does my writing/creative process work?

Or you can do what I did and let your creative juices run a while, and come up with something else.

Pineapple Blocks nine

tutorial for paper foundation pieced Pineapple Quilt Block is here

And since no quilt blog can publish a post without a quilt photo, one of the projects I’m currently working on is shown above.   If you write about creativity on your blog, please paste a link to your post into your comment so we can see what you are thinking.

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Occasionally my blog posts links and video below, so I can use this software for free.  I do not control the content.

Summer Report

What I Did This Summer
(And can it already be over??)

Kneaders Crab Sandwich

1. Went to Utah and ate a Crab Sandwich at a Kneaders Sandwich Shop

Beachy Maddy

2.  Went to the beach with my grandkids and two of my kids

puzzle

3. Entertained grandchildren with puzzles

Quilt Fort

4. Entertained grandchildren with forts made out of quilts (luckily I have a few)

Summer Guest Room

5. Put the lighter summer look in the guest bedroom, loving how it makes Kaleidoscope shine
(on the end of the bed is my friendship quilt, which includes signatures from all my granddaughters)

MCM July Bee Block

6.  Made a starry block for Susan for the Mid-Century Modern Bee in July

MCM August Bee Block

7.  Made my August Mid-Century Bee block for Mary

Pineapple Bee Bocks So Far

8. Been arranging the blocks that come in from my turn at the Always Bee Learning Bee.  Everyone must be on vacation, because they are dribbling in, little by little.  But I love to see them all together!

Zagreb Cathedral

9. Went to Zagreb (and Ljubljana and Dubrovnik–all in Slovenia and Croatia). . .

Budapest2

. . . and Budapest, Hungary.

Giveaway Banner

10. Hosted a giveaway!

I did the Random Number Generator thing and got #3, but Susan said she already had that book so not to consider her.

Book Giveaway

So I did it again, and Carly was the winner.  I’ll be in touch by email.

But I can’t let this go by without telling you all how thoughtful and interesting your comments were.  I like how you read each other’s and answered each other; I love seeing community in our quilty world.  It made me remember that I’m also inspired by quotes and sayings, as well as nature and other quilters.  I love how Harlan said that when the creative juices are clicking, “something new and needed is created.”  I appreciated Anne’s parsing out the difference between flat-out copying vs. being inspired by someone’s work.  All of you brought excellent ideas to the conversation and I wish I could give you all a prize.  You are all the best.  Hope you also had a good summer!