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Posts Tagged ‘Project Improv’

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Just in the nick of time.  I completed Ella’s quilt around 1:00 in this afternoon.  Her birthday party is tomorrow so I was cutting it pretty close.  I have mentioned previously in this blog that her quilt was actually a companion quilt to the one I’m making for her dad.  He loves sock monkeys, which I just recently discovered, so I made him a quilt using sock monkey fabrics.  Her quilt was made using one of each of the monkey fabrics in her dad’s quilt, along with some black and whites that I had.  Unfortunately, her dad’s quilt is still at the LA quilters but since it was her birthday, I gave her the one made for her so I guess that will make her dad’s the companion quilt.  He doesn’t know that he is getting one so I couldn’t even till him the story.

The back of Ella's quilt

The back of Ella's quilt

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

quilting patterns completed on DSM

quilting patterns completed on DSM

I’m especially proud of this quilt as it was completely my design, inspired by Project Improv.  I traced the patterns onto some iron-on paper and did all of the quilting on my DSM.  The biggest problem is pulling out all of the paper once the quilting is completed; very time consuming! One of these days I will attempt the quilting completed freehand.  I just have to work up my courage and not worry about ruining anything.

This is the first quilt that has been my own creation but I made a small wallhanging years ago that was also my own design, made from some leftovers from one of my first wallhangings.

Leftovers Again

Leftovers Again

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As a rule, I have a really difficult time NOT following directions.  I don’t consider myself “creative” either.  I decided to make a serious effort to change both of those characteristics.  First, I joined Project Improv which you can read about here.  It’s all about “quilting outside the lines”.  I have made two squares for the charity quilts and I have finished a small quilt top for my granddaughter.  I found it quite liberating and have posted about it previously so I apologize if you have read any of those earlier posts.

Somewhere I came across two blogs by Helen Suzanne.  The first one it called…”Today’s Title is…” which I have also posted about but you can read about it here.  Subsequent titles have been Indian Summer, Meeting of Opposites and Bubbles.

Today's Title is...Indian Summer

Today's Title is...Indian Summer

Today's Title is...Meeting of Opposites

Today's Title is...Meeting of Opposites

The most recent blog by her is called…”Doodle Day“.  You can probably imagine what it is all about.  Again, she posts a subject and the idea is to doodle something, anything.  I don’t think I have much drawing talent but she encouraged me and said it’s not drawing, it’s doodling.  Luckily, the first subject was Daisy which worked well for me because most of the doodling I do includes these dumb flowers and I thought they could pass as daisies.

Daisy Doodle

Daisy Doodle

The newest subject is dog but I haven’t had much luck doodling anything that looks even vaguely like a dog so I gave up and just doodled the word…dog.  It’s not great but the next time will be better.  At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Dog Doodle

Dog Doodle

The idea of all these different sites is to open my mind and attempt to be creative and not follow the rules.  Sometimes it’s a real struggle, working against the grain of being a follower.  However, I’m convinced that if I keep trying different ideas and techniques, feeling creative will start to become the norm and it will get easier and easier.

What about you, does creativity and spontaneity come natural for you or have you had to work on it?  Do you have any secrets that you want to share or maybe another site?   Please feel free to share what works for you.

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Yesterday Bill and I drove to MA to visit with Ella and her parents.   Her dad (and my son) Greg offered to keep her home from daycare for the day.  We arrived around noon and were able to spend the afternoon “babysitting” while Greg got some work done from home.

We fed her lunch and found they she loves vegetables.  They buy frozen veggies then heat some up in the microwave.  She enjoys feeding them to herself as finger foods.

feeding myself veggies

feeding myself veggies

We read some new books that were delivered by Amazon.  We took movies of her new crawling skills as well as sitting from crawling.  We played with toys, fed her a bottle (which she absolutely inhaled) changed a really disgusting diaper (don’t miss that at all, they had given her asparagus the evening before…P  U!) and put her down for a nap.

Vanessa arrived home from work about 4 while Ella was napping and the three of us were chillin downstairs.  Bill and Greg were reading and I was kind of napping.  After Ella woke up, G & V went for a driveby to look at a potential house to purchase.

Greg prepared a new fish and mushroom entre for dinner which was very good and was served with quinoa, a grain cultivated in Chili and Peru.

We left about 7 while V was nursing Ella to put her to bed.  We had both driven down and left my car on Rt 1 so that Bill didn’t have to drive back from ME for work today.  I headed home from there and he drove back to the firehouse.

I’m still dealing with conjunctivitis, 2 weeks now.  Went back to the Dr. on Wednesday and got another prescription for eyedrops.  She advised me not to wear makeup (ARGH!) for 5 days and buy everything new.  Great…it is going to be hard to keep my “no discretionary spending” pledge for the month.   I have to admit, I can’t go out and about without makeup; however, I’m home today and tom and I will be makeup free.

2 1/2" black and white strips

2 1/2" black and white strips

I finished cutting the black and white fabrics into 2 1/2″ strips for the improv border that I’m going to make for Ella’s FM quilt.  My plan is to get started on that today, right after I pack up my good china to move to Bill’s shed.  Then I can get rid of the piece-of-junk hutch that sits on the wall opposite the dining room table and that will open up the room and make it look more spacious…appealing to potential buyers.  *finger crossed* I hope.

Happy Spring everyone; thanks for stopping by…

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Well, it’s been a long time since I actually finished a project.  I don’t remember when I started this one but it’s done.  Actually, there are a few loose threads I need to take care of and I need to add a hanging sleeve.  I had prepared a sleeve but it was not wide enough so I’ll do another.  For all practical purposes…it’s DONE.

Oriental Flower

Oriental Flower

Close-up of echo quilting

Close-up of echo quilting

Because it’s my wallhanging and I can do whatever I want (it’s really Bill’s), I decided to quilt a “ghost flower” in some of the echo quilting.

"ghost flower"

"ghost flower"

I spent most of the day on Thursday working on the companion quilt for Ella.  It has one square of each of the Funky Monkey fabrics that are in her dad’s quilt.  I added the black and white because I know small children see them better and she is only 9 months old.  I used the improvisation technique which I really enjoyed.  I started to sew on the borders but didn’t like the fabric choice, AT ALL, so I took them off.  I’ll have to search for a different fabric to use as the borders.

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Yesterday Bill and I took a little trip in the car looking for a quilt shop that I have been to a couple of times.  I knew it was quite a drive and I knew the road but I didn’t know exactly where it was located.  We drove more than “quite a drive” and never found the place I was looking for.  However, we did come across another little quilt shop so we stopped there instead.  I didn’t find any of the FM fabric I was searching out but I did manage to find some bee fabric along with a pattern (POORHOUSE Quilt Designs) for a cute little tote that I may be able to sew together fairly quickly and put into my Etsy shop.  I like it because it has a lobster applique on the front.  There are also patterns for a crab and sand dollar. If I get it done, it may be the first item in my shop, which is currently set up but empty.

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"quilting bee" fabric

"quilting bee" fabric

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

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I spent today working on my Project Improv charity blocks.  I love the idea of not having to follow directions but found it kind of difficult for me without directions.  It’s a catch 22.  Anyway, here’s my blocks…

Improv Block #1

Improv Block #1

Improv Block #2

Improv Block #2

I like Block #2 better.  Maybe I’m getting the hang of it.

I will send these blocks to Jacquie at Project Improv.  Maybe one day I’ll have an entire improv quilt as nice as this one.   Now to start something else improvisational.  It will probably be the FM quilt for Ella.

Bill and I picked Trevor up on Sunday and returned him on Monday night.  He is nearly 4 and quite a ball of energy.  Bill made him a toybox and we spent some time painting it.  Trevor wanted RED.

painting-the-toyboxshoveling-more-snowready-to-slide

Yesterday Bill spent a lot of time cleaning up more darn snow.  ENOUGH!  We did a little sledding with Trevor.  Actually, I did some sledding while Bill did some walking up and down the slope.  I also managed to lose one leather mitten that I have owned for about 30 years.  They are were the best mittens I have ever worn, always keeping my hands warm and dry.  I doubt that I can afford to purchase leather mittens anymore.

one lonely mitten

one lonely mitten

If anyone finds my mitten, send it home, please.

I’m gonna try to finish assembliing the FM blocks tonight.

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Last night while searching the internet I came across two blogs that both support and encourage creativity and working “outside the box”.  Heaven knows that I need a big, giant push in that direction.  I know there is creativity in me but I find it hard to take that first step away from patterns and directions and someone else’s vision.  I’m hoping that by joining these two groups I can move in that direction.

First there is “Today’s Title is…”  and you can check out the welcoming details here.  It is hosted by Helen Suzanne and she will post a new title every weekend.  The idea is to post whatever comes into your mind first referencing the title.

This weekend’s title is suspended. At first I thought it had to be an item made to represent the word but when I read the details again, that is not the case.  It is just the first thing you think of and can be represented any way that works.  Here is my first post to “Today’s Title is…”

universe suspended

universe suspended

This is a glass and metal piece depicting the universe.  It was given to me by my best friend, Su a few years ago.  It hands from the ceiling by clear fishing line and appears to be suspended in midair.

The next group is Project Improv. It is hosted by Jacquie and can be found on her blog…Tallgrass Praire Studio. The intent is to promote and support quilting outside the lines; to be improvisational; to find your own voice.  She also asks that each new participant put together a quilt block for charity using one of three colorways.  Those are due by April 1 so that should get me moving.  This is something I want to do but have found it difficult to “just do it”.  I’m excited to get started and will keep updates on the blog.

In quilting news, I have actually made some progress on the FM quilt.  I attempted to post these photos the other day but was having lots of trouble so saved them for today.

first row of three assembled blocks

first row of three assembled blocks

each large block has four rectangular blocks surrounding one square block.

each large block has four rectangular blocks surrounding one square block.

To date I have completed four large blocks with no further sewing planned until Tuesday.  It is going together very quickly (when I actually sew).  I’m also excited to start on Ella’s coordinating quilt which will be my own design.  Stay tuned…

One more thing…I opened an Etsy store today.  There isn’t anything in it yet but there will be at some point.  I wanted to have the same name as the blog: BeeWitchinStitchin so decided to go ahead and sign up.  Once I have something to sell I’ll provide a link.  In the meantime, check out Etsy.com for lots of handmade gifts.

That’s all for now.  Bill and I are picking Trevor up in Portland this morning and he will visit with us until Monday when we take him back to his mom.  Wendy is visiting with Greg, Vanessa and Ella this weekend.  More snow today, up to 12″.  Oh joy!!!

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