Sunday, May 16, 2021

Another Year

So, 2020 came and went and now nearly half of another year.  To be honest, this new normal is not all fun and games.  I don't like it but as I child I learned to cope with change because we moved frequently from one state to another as my father was an administrative engineer and changing locations was an opportunity to receive a pay increase and gain expertise.   That being said, my method of coping is to keep busy with tasks and hobbies I enjoy.  Knitting has taken a back seat as I have focused on free motion quilting.  

Free motion quilting is meditative and hypnotic or like a runner's high or a zen moment or maybe an obsessive compulsive disorder.  The steady hum of the machine is so soothing that the addiction of filling fabric with thread patterns is my drug of choice for easing tension and relaxing when the options for travelling and quilt shop hopping have been reduced.  

Here are a few of my recent projects to learn the idiosyncrasies of new stationary longarm machine.  

From a quilted fat quarter came 3 little baskets.  The instructions for the 3 little baskets from a fat quarter are from a discontinued pattern by Christina Cameli.  She has been offering an updated version for blog followers, 3 nesting baskets from a quilted half yard.  The smallest basket in the current pdf is the same size as the one below:

Christina's classes on Craftsy/Bluprint and Course Craft were the first of several that have influenced my work and motivated me to keep working on my skills.  Others include challenges and classes by Angela Walters, Lori Kennedy, Helen Godden, and Rachelle Denneny.  I am extremely grateful that these artists are dedicated to teaching and sharing their love of quilting. 
A trip to the beach was inspiration for this piece.  I haven't used it in a project yet but it may become a decorator pillow:

A small sampler was inspired by a pre-printed practice panel by Jane Hauprich.  She featured her panels on Instagram and I didn't want to wait for an order so I drew sections on a fat quarter and filled them free-hand from her photo.  Her panel is 20 inches square but my version is 16 inches.  My goal was to work between free motion quilting and ruler work without breaking thread and switching feet.  I hope to take Jane's feathers class in the near future.  Her quilting is exquisite.  Mine is coming along but not as consistent as I would like but seeing progress is encouraging:

A recent birthday gift for one of the DiL's.  This pillow cover started as a challenge to try Jen Eskridge's Free-Motion Framework technique.  I designed my own framework for free motion fills in EQ8:

This is the video introducing Jen's technique and book, Free-Motion Framework.  If anyone is interested in the pattern for the fills, I will upload it to the side bar of links for free patterns.  I will be trying more designs like this in the future, hopefully on original tie dye fabric from our annual tie dye event with the grands.  

These are just a few of the projects that have taken my focus away from the dreariness of daily news and the passing of my mother and 2 aunts since October.  Spring and warm weather means the garden and yard work will be distracting me from sewing and quilting.  The promise of flowers and garden produce is always a lure to enjoy the sunshine and dig in the dirt.