Sunday, August 29, 2010

Outside the Box


To relax… and just enjoy living can at times be really difficult to do. This may have been the very reason, hobbies were invented. Some people have the tendency to worry too much or fret about the rules…  so having hobbies helps us to remember to take time to have fun.


So, if you were to ask yourself questions like: “When have I tried something new or done a common task from a new perspective?” What would you find out about yourself? 

For some,
change is not something that is welcomed,
and for others,
it is the only thing that makes life worth living.

When I look back…
The hard times, the new experiences, the fun adventures all of them have taught me to appreciate life. I must of had good reasons to chart all of these elements into this lifetime, so I am grateful for the lessons that have been achieved. And, look forward to the new ones that are on there way now. For me, if life needed no challenges then why would we need to experience becoming human?


I believe...
that when a new concept is learned
and taken all the way to its completion...
it is the most satisfying.
Don’t you agree?

However… when I brought out my “Beyond Baby Blocks” project drawings last year from a workshop I had taken back in 2008; I had to start all over again as I didn’t like my original design. I knew it was never going to go ahead without a new approach, so I started over and drew something different.

Now that I like the design much better I think I’ll give it a try sometime. And, I’m not worried about when that’ll be because our projects have the ability to wait until we are ready to get down to making them. Or perhaps… decide it is better to give away those that don’t inspire us.


When beginning a new year, a new project, or anything that is a new experience… try to approach it with a fresh outlook. Instead of dwelling on past misfortunes or failures, begin anew.

See those negative experiences as required lessons, and then move on….  as I feel every experience is part of our greater good to learn how to live an inspired life. Only when we have experienced the reverse of the one we desired, can we really appreciate it; when the better one comes.


My fourteenth project will be shared next week...

Beautiful Borders Backings & Bindings/
Jill Reber and Margaret Sindelar

More Book Titles...
If you wish to see more quilting books you can check out my website for more details. Those books reviewed are listed on the "featured" page.

Enjoy your quilting time… as a way to relax and have fun. Remember that saying, "Laughter is the best medicine"!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Taking a Break

I am feeling rather tired from… quilting, quilting, and quilting!!

Rather then working on my quilt challenge projects on a weekly basis, like slow and steady… I’ve been trying to stay ahead of my schedule.

Two reasons for this being…
     (1.) Our move in the spring which I already knew could really disrupt a quilting routine. So, that worked out beautifully as I was able to have the time to somewhat get organized and be able to continue with my blog posts.
     (2.) The other reason, is that I’m starting something new in the fall and want to be sure I have time for it. More on that in two weeks… Regular posting will be back August 29, 2010.

So, why not take a break away from your work schedule and do something new or do nothing at all!! As the autumn season approaches, or whatever it happens to be for you, see if you can take time out of your normal routine to enjoy time for yourself.

earth healing day

Also today is: Earth Healing Day – August 15, 2010. For more on that check out their website

I recommend that you ENJOY YOUR LIFE as that is a very important part of why humans are having this earthly experience. If that isn't your present experience, see if you can begin to change small things that will get you back on track so that your life is rewarding and joyful.

See you in two weeks...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Butterflies with Buttons

Nature’s Elegance/ Jan Kornfeind

Time to reveal my next project... I choose “Butterfly Fancy Wall Hanging”. It is shown on the front cover of the book.


There are eight awesome and colourful projects in this book that include nine different butterflies, flowers, insects, and birds. It was the butterflies on the cover that caught my eye that had me buy this book, and so I have now had the opportunity to stitch them up into a quilt.

Selecting Fabrics
I do enjoy choosing colourful fabrics. This project would be perfect for using up some of those great fabrics from your scraps.

Drawing and Cutting the Pieces

Machine applique is still my favourite technique in quilting and I do love all the steps involved in creating the designs… drawing out the patterns, choosing the fabrics, cutting and attaching them to the fabrics, and machine stitching them to the blocks, using a buttonhole or zigzag stitch.

Stitching the Butterfly

For this project, I matched up the thread colours I had as closely as possible to my fabrics. I used thread from my collection that consisted of a polyester/cotton blend, 100% cotton and 100% polyester. I find all of these thread types work equally well.

Finished Quilt Blocks Ready for Assembly

I had the choice of making them into smaller quilts, pillows or using all of them in one quilt. As I had decided to follow the project’s layout, I made them into one quilt.


I did want to do this project because of all the buttons!! So, if I had made pillows, these would not have been added.

Butterfly No. 3

Buttons on Sashing and Butterflies

There are a total of 70 buttons used on this quilt. They were all added after the quilt was assembled and quilted. I think it would have been easier to sew the buttons onto the butterflies before assembly, but I chose to follow the directions.

The Binding

I really enjoy working with machine applique, but when working on this project, I really wished I had done one of the bird projects first, because then I would have had enough fabric for the center blocks.  And, later I could have bought more light fabric for the butterflies. However, it is now completed, so here is the finished quilt.

My Finished Quilt
(Finished Size: 25 1/4” x 25 1/4”)

My post was almost ready to publish, when I hit the wrong key and ended up with a blank screen. So… my only option was to rewrite this review, and I’ll assume it ended up better written.

Enjoy the creative process… and take time to spend some of your time outdoors!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Just One Block

Don’t have time to make a whole quilt from all those great ideas out there? But you would love to try more new techniques?

Why not make just one block per month or per week as your time allows?

Make JUST ONE BLOCK of each new technique… so you have a variety of techniques and block sizes to create some very unique quilts at the end of the year.

Create a place to safely collect the blocks for the next year. Then after that time period is over; take a look at what you have made. During the year you may also document your progress by keeping a record of the things you did – technique, book is came from, the designers info, the date you made it, fabric samples, a brief description of what you liked/didn’t like about it, interested in making it again, etc. Have a digital camera? Then take pictures of some key stages and the finished blocks.

I think this would be a great idea if your quilting time is limited and it wouldn’t take up much space, either. You could still have fun trying new techniques and creating a quilter’s diary of your progress. 

Hmmm… perhaps, that’s what I could try in 2011. And, maybe some of you would like to join in with me?

IDEAS for using these blocks:
Create a sampler quilt for yourself.
Frame them and decorate your wall.
Donate the blocks to your quilt guild.
Have a friend help by assembling the quilt top.


This JUST ONE BLOCK method could also be great for paid classes sponsored by a quilt guild. For a class where a new technique is learned, instead of each person committing to a whole quilt project themselves… each participant makes one block and the blocks are collected and made into one quilt.

  1. The class could decide to buy tickets and the winner(s) get the blocks,
  2. Have it quilted in class and sold in a raffle or quilt sale,
  3. The proceeds from the tickets or the sale of the quilt go back to the guild.

If you really love that new technique, I’d think you’d be eager to make a new quilt for yourself.

  1. There isn’t as much cost in creating one quilt block.
  2. The time commitment is less and perhaps more quilters could enjoy taking more classes.
  3. Learning new techniques wouldn’t be a strain on the wallet.
  4. Or add to the present UFO list.

I know I’d be more interested in taking classes if I knew my efforts were going to complete a quilt project and also go to a worthy cause.

With all the great workshops and classes available now, it is quite difficult to decide which new technique to try next and how to get all those quilt ideas into finished quilts.

Change is good. Doing things in new ways allows us to expand our abilities and use our talents to spread warmth and joy.


My thirteenth project will be shared next week...

Nature's Elegance/
Jan Kornfeind

More Book Titles...
If you wish to see more quilting books you can check out my website for more details. The books that will come up in my blog reviews are listed on the "featured" page.

Enjoy your quilting time this summer… !!