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.  


Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Maybe I should send you my quilts to be quilted. I haven't ever found it to be fun to machine quilt. I do like hand quilting, but it takes so long, and my quilt frame takes up lots of room (I can't use a hoop, since I don't rock the needle, I stab stitch, poke pull quilt). Sorry about your mother and sisters. That has to be difficult.

Sally said...

Cheryl, I would love to quilt for you but I am a nervous wreck tracking quilts in the mail and shipping plus insurance is outrageous. Additionally, many areas have the risk of porch pirates adding the expense of a signed receiver. I have quilted one that went to Texas last year and I only insured it for the value of the fabric and batting. The cost with signed tracking was over 40 dollars.

Your hand-quilting is lovely! I still have my hand-quilting hoop but if I could find someone who would use it, I would give it away. I don't think I will ever go back to hand-quilting. The only reason I might use the hoop is the stand will also hold a frame I can baste to hold other types of needlework.

My mother and one aunt, both in assisted living, died from depression and isolation from family. Mom literally starved to death because the lack of social interaction left her with little interest in eating and no hope of seeing my special needs sister who was her life's purpose after we all left the nest. However, hospice permitted close contact visits. We were able to drop in regularly and were the last to see her conscious and communicative. My brother was sitting next to her on the Sunday morning she passed away in her sleep. He was texting me at the time when her breathing slowed and stopped.

I may never be able to hug my sister again. Neither of us can risk the vaccine so I can only wave at her through the window or sit outside 6 feet away. I choose to wave as it is her habit to whisper in my ear instead of speaking loud enough to hear at a distance. It breaks my heart but at least I know she is well and cared for in her group home.

While the new normal has been a difficult adjustment for me, DDiL loves working from home and my son has adjusted hours that put him home at lunch time. The kids have more family time and the stress level from rush hour traffic is totally gone. So something good has come from all the changes. :)