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I’ve been painting lately.  With Alcohol Inks.  On Yupo paper.  I love them!  It is the ultimate in letting go.  In letting the inks do their own thing.  I’m just there to add the inks and move the paper (or tile) around and see what IT (the ink) wants to do.

Oh sure, I could try to make the inks do something specific.  I could try for blooms or landscapes or animals – but I don’t want to.  I just want to see what happens.

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I’ve tried moving the inks with straws, with my hair dryer, with a heat gun, with air-in-a-can.  Some work better than others.

Have no clue what I’m going to do with the pieces – but it doesn’t matter.  I figure it’s easier to stack yupo paper than it is quilts!

I’m still quilting.  If anything, this painting has inspired me and motivated me more with my quilting.

On the quilting front, Sweetie (Sweet 16) is back and rockin’ and rollin’.  I am having so much fun with her.  I finished a disappearing nine patch this morning and have been working on some small practice pieces for my friend Karina.  I’m doing Angela Walter’s Free Motion Quilt Challenge and enjoying it.  I’m running out of things to practice on though.

Karina’s pieces:

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Nine more small improv pieces finished and ready to roll up and store on a shelf.  Then again, perhaps I’ll try to sell them.  And if they don’t sell, perhaps I’ll find homes for them.  Who knows.

They started with a challenge I gave myself to work through Maria Shell‘s book Improv Patchwork.  I made it through most of the book before it started to feel like homework so I quit.  I pulled my collection of Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics and got stuck into it.

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The applique circles were my idea.  I’m still into circles.  (I might have to do another squircles-type quilt just to get them out of my system.)

I tried not to put too much thought into any of them – just went with the flow.  Didn’t use a rotary cutter except in the final square up stage.

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I hand big stitch quilted 3 of them and then did the rest on the Janome.

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Instead of binding them or facing them, I tried a new-to-me technique of using a pillowcase turn.  I’m quite pleased with it.  I did this as my hands are getting old and weary and I want to save them for work I really enjoy and plan to keep.

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The pictures aren’t the best.  I struggle to get the color right when taking photos inside.  These were taken outside early morning and they aren’t the best either.  They show the texture well, but the photos don’t do justice to the rich colors that Cherrywood Fabrics produces.  When I win the lottery, I’m going to buy a 1/2 yard of every single one of their fabrics.

I like the first one and the purple one the best.

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So this quilt can finally go into the FINISHED pile (well, except for a label)!  I am glad to be finished but it was a real joy to work on.

This started with the blocks from The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek  and the booklet Glorious Hexagon by Katja Marek & Liza Prior Lucy.  The outer border was an idea from a 2017 Mighty Lucky Quilt Club tutorial.

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My friend Bossy Boots and I started this in November 2016.  When developing my fabric palette, I found this musical print online and really like the rust and turquoise colors so I used that as my starting point.  As I collected fabrics, I glued them onto a piece of paper and carried it with me.  I probably ended up with 150-200 different fabrics.  Some purchased, some from the stash of friends and family.

We both ordered packets of paper templates from PaperPiecers.  I cut my own clear plastic templates to use for those pieces I wanted to fussy cut.  I also used the glue basting technique.

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I loved the process of making each individual block.  Most days after lunch I’d sit in the front room and work on my blocks.  It was also fun to do this project with a friend as we would share pictures of our blocks as they were completed.  The Facebook site was very encouraging also.

The part of the process that I really really do not like is sewing the blocks into rows and then sewing the rows together.  ugh.  I’ve made 4 EPP quilts now and I always forget how much I hate that bit.  Even the paper pulling out process is ok in comparison.

Another problem I had with this quilt is my borders didn’t fit my centre.  I tried about 3 different configurations before I found one that I liked and that I could make work.

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I hand big stitch quilted it with freehand triple clam shells in the centre and triangle borders and a simple outline of the cross blocks.  I used DMC perle cotton in a variegated color.  I used Quilt Lite for the batting and left over fabrics for the back.  It’s a nice weight for our climate and I know I will enjoy curling up with it as Autumn approaches.

It’s a tad bright and bold and in your face but I’m ok with that.  I photographed it on my favourite fence on the property.  During the last wind storm, about 1/2 of it took a tumble.  We might be able to salvage some of it – but the fallen part is destined for firewood.IMG_2197

I’m linking to the AHIQ.  It’s not a TOTAL improv type quilt…rather a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ type of quilt so I think it qualifies.  🙂

 

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New Years Eve is here and I thought I’d do a wrap-up of what I’ve finished this year.  I could just direct you to the tab at the top of the page – but thought I’d repost it here with a little commentary.

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Sushi was the first finish of 2017.  I thought it was my favourite of the year but it’s my 2nd favorite (Voluptuous Woman beat it by a nose!).  This was based upon the work of Sherri Lynn Woods.  I loved the process.  The wabi-sabi nature of it.  The input from friends on how to proceed.

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Next was Splendid Sampler.  It was a comfort quilt that I finished up for a friend who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.  One year post diagnosis, she’s doing well.  And, she uses the quilt.  It’s on her couch.  It’s always an added bonus to see a quilt you’ve made being used and appreciated.

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I did a cot quilt to add to a ‘grandmothers basket’.  I used 9 patches that I received in an online swap and made them into a disappearing 9 patch.

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January also saw the start of the Mighty Lucky Quilt Challenge.  I have not been impressed with the administrators of this club – however, the lessons are valuable.  I do like this piece.  I like the rust.  It’s in my top 5 or so of the year.

I embellished my jean jacket with some Japanese fabrics and crocheted a scarf.  I actually crocheted two scarves but didn’t take a picture of the 2nd one.

I also made a few bibs and some shibori/indigo needle cases.

Another baby quilt was finished with the bib leftovers.  However, I don’t have a picture of the finished quilt for some reason.

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Three more improv pieces were completed based upon challenge scores from the Sherri Lynn Wood’s FB group.  I like the taupe/red one and the pink one isn’t too bad.

I knit 3 luxury spa washcloths for my mom.  I hope she’s using them!   Mom?  They were made with really plush yarn – it was a pleasure to knit them.  I also knit two sets of fingerless gloves (one for me and one for a friend) and crocheted two sets (one for my niece and one for charity) but didn’t take pictures.

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Next was Squircles – looks like this was a June finish.  This one makes my top 5 also.  Hand appliquéd.  Hand embellished and quilted with hot pink thread.  Also the border fabric was painted by me.

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This is the BOM from Sue Spargo – modifications to embrace my style of improv.  Hand embroidered and hand quilted.  Ok, I like this one also.  🙂

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Then there was the quilt in memory of Lila Jane.

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And Steampunk.

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In September I finished Split Personality – the double-sided curtain hanging between the lounge room and the dining room to block the A/C.

The last 2 months of 2017 I finished off these babies:

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Oh, and this one from a class one of the quilt groups I belong to took at a LQS.

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But my favourite of the year – is my Voluptuous Woman quilt.  I absolutely loved making this and love the results.  Thank you my friend Brooke for the woman image.  Thank you to all my peeps who provided input on her.  She hangs over the fireplace in the little house.

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I think that’s it for finishes.  I have several that are close to being finished but I can’t put the final TICK in the finish box quite yet.  There are 5 tops ready to be pin basted and quilted (3 machine, 1 hand and 1 commercially) plus the hand quilting on my hexi quilt and the hand appliqué on my Ruby May top.

Reviewing this – I’m amazed at what I’ve accomplished.  I don’t know that I see a real theme revealed – which is what I was hoping for.  I do know that the quilts I love the most are the ones that start with an idea and develop from there.  The wabi-sabi style.

Tomorrow is the first day of 2018 and I will stick with tradition and start a new quilt.  For luck.  I have 2 in mind – or maybe 5.  🙂  I’ll let you know which one wins.

Thanks for following my blog!  I sincerely appreciate and value your encouragement and support.

Life is good.

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Ad-Hock Improv Quilt hook-up with  Kaja’s Sew Slowly and Ann’s Fret Not Yourself.

About 3-4 weeks ago, I pulled out my Cherrywood fabric  stash and started playing with them and Maria Shell’s book Improv Patchwork.  My loose goal is to work my way through the 4-5 different styles of blocks.

First up was stripes.  I added the appliqué circles.  I actually have 4 in this ‘style’ but didn’t get a picture taken of the last one.  My favourite is the purple one on the left – I like the background gradations.  In person, it almost looks like it glows.

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Next was ‘dots’.  I have 4 of those too.

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The next block style I’m working on is triangles.  Then checks, chevrons & herringbone.  The pieces are all relatively small (under 18″).  Once I get a few more pieced, I’ll set up the Janome and get stuck into the quilting of them.

I can’t say I love them.  I think it has been a good thing for me to do – working with solids (as I rarely work with solids) and playing with someone else’s ideas.  I suppose it is stretching me creatively…but honestly, I feel a little bit ‘ehhhh – whatever’ about these pieces.  I’m struggling to describe what they DON’T do for me…I guess they just don’t inspire me or give me that excited feeling I have with other quilts I’ve made.  Dare I say it has almost felt like doing homework?  Especially the 2nd set.  The first set I’m ok with – I think because I like the appliqué circles.  It might just be that this isn’t my style of improv.  It’s almost a little bit TOO controlled for me?  I’m not sure.

My DWR is coming along smashingly though.  I love working on it and I’m already starting to feel sad that I’m nearly finished with the embroidery work.  I might be at risk of over-embroidering it.  Then again, can a crazy-type quilt ever have too much embroidery?  It might need some paint and rust to distress it before I call it finished.  My plan is to send it to a custom quilter to finish it by quilting the names of places we’ve lived and visited over the last 18 years.  So hard to believe it’s been that long.  I am a very lucky woman!

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