Hi everyone! I have been working hard lately on pulling together some projects for this year of varying degrees of complexity. I say “complexity” rather than “difficulty” because I have found over the years that many of even the most complex projects are not much more difficult than some one might call “simple” or “easy.” They may take longer, but it is mostly a matter of going one step at a time and continuing to move forward in carrying out the project. This is true for both making quilted fabric art and sewing or even tailoring complex clothing.
Of course, one does need to know what to do at each step and how to do it even for less complex projects. That can be addressed by reading pattern instructions, testing techniques and products, watching videos, taking classes, talking with other fabric artists, and not getting discouraged when you need more help.
This past few weeks I looked over my stash, and I then added a few pieces of new fabrics to my stash: a piece of silk dupioni and a piece of Kaufman Radiance silk/cotton to go with it. Then I also added several pieces of solid colors of Peppered Cotton–designed by Pepper Cory–for some experimentation, demonstration, and fun that go together but I haven’t quite figured it all out. I also have had to buy some batting for future projects for the first time in a couple of years. I guess I have done more quilting than I realized. I think I am pretty much swupplied for quilting for the whole of this year.
It has been quite a long time since I bought new fabrics…maybe three or four years. I used to have a very large stash, but have used up a lot in those years and also found places to give some of my fabrics to lower the volume. These are fabrics I am not going to use. Though I loved the fabrics I gave away, they didn’t fit my plans for the next year or so and I needed to empty some storage spaces for future projects. I gave them to my friend Anita who took most of them and made a beautiful quilt for the quilt drive for Ukraine. She has a new Bernina 480 and it is a bit small for a large quilt. The Lutheran World Relief, however, wanted a 60″ x 80″ quilt, which is really quite large for her domestic sized machine. So she made it by a quilt-as-you-go method, which gave a bit of relief on managing the size up until the last bit. She used the method described by Nina McVeigh in this little Bernina video:
This quilting method gave her the opportunity to learn how to deal with her new machine, practice both feed dogs up and free motion quilting, and make this big quilt. I understand the last bit was kind of tough to get it through the machine. It might not be big for some of you who have larger machines or longarms on a frame, but for her machine it was gigantic. She did a great job and shipped it off. Personally, I think it looks both interesting and comforting and whoever gets it will surely appreciate it. She decided she will probably make smaller charity quilts in the future for other organizations that can use them. But I believe she managed to keep some of those beautiful Japanese themed fabrics for projects of her own. Thank you Anita for doing this.
If you are interested in making and donating a quilt for this effort, here is the pdf file with all the instructions. They accept quilts of many levels, but they must be 60″ x 80″. Please read the instructions before beginning. 5708
Sew the first thing I have done this year is develop a list of projects I really want to do someday, but it was waaaay too long!!!! So I looked really hard at the list and knocked it down to a shorter list that is still too long. Then I concentrated on about four longer-project quilts getting all the pieces together drafting the patterns or guide sheets, digitizing some embroidery, and, if needed, drawing up some applique shapes.
I also have about ten short tutorial projects. All of these are for my YouTube videos. I am sure I will drop some of these as I work out the logistics and draft the patterns, but it’s one way I have to deal with my over-stuffed idea space in my brain.
I also am calling on my talented daughter-in-law, Beth, to help me draw some of the landscape sketches I need for basing some of these. This should keep me busy for quite some time. LOL
I’ll let you know what they are when I get each one ready to go.
Sew happy everyone! Have fun in your studio in 2023!