Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Retrospective

I guess it's about that time again, to look back at what this year held.   It's been a busy year, and I didn't do as much quilting as I'd hoped, but having a wedding thrown into the middle of the year is a pretty good excuse, I think.  I took a lot of classes.  I think classes are important  for me to learn anything and everything I can - every different style, approach, method.  Attending QSDS was a huge step for me and gave me a great opportunity to meet a wide range of art quilters.

Classes I took:

May 8-9, 2011  - Janet Fogg Workshop "Unexpected Combinations."  I'm still excited about the project I started in this class although it  has never gotten past the full scale cardboard pattern and selection of fabric.  I hope I can still remember all her techniques when I finally get back to it.  That would be a good "real" art quilt to tackle this year. 

May 13, 2011 -  "Liberated Log Cabin" with Gwen Marston - I am just this week finishing the quilt made from the pieces I created in her class.  I'm doing a more dense all-over pattern that is getting me away from my tendency to stitch in the ditch.

Janet Fogg

Gwen Marston

June 11 - 15, 2011
 - "Favorite Places," with Valerie Goodwin at QSDS Symposium
October 10, 2011 - Karla Alexander, "Stack the Deck" quilts via Moonlight Quilters.
December 10, 2011 - Jan Hudson, "Needle-turn Applique."

Looking only at things that are totally completed, i.e. hanging on the wall, ready to be hung, sold, gifted or used, here are my accomplishments:

Functional Stuff - Quilts
1.  "Stolen Moments" was my biggest project, first full-size bed quilt, and winner of a nice blog prize. It took most of my time during the first three months of 2011.

2.  "Organic Waves" is the couch-throw size quilt that came out of Karla Alexander's class.  Fabric selections, cutting, class, and finishing occupied October and half of November. I wish I had not used cheapo poly batting.

Functional Stuff - Other Stuff
3.  Katie's placements.  This was fun. I enjoyed the intuitive piecing process and learned about color, value, and how to or how not to mix prints.

4.  Cora's apron - was pretty quick and easy.  I was glad to be able to do something for Elisabeth as she's always ready and willing to help me out.
While I did learn something from these functional pieces, a goal for next year is to resist the temptation to make modern quilts, home decor or other accessories and to focus on art quilts.

Art - FFFC Pieces
5, 6.  Sadly, I only fully completed one piece, #56 and that was the Goldsworthy ephemeral piece, the nature of which was to self-destruct. I hereby resolve to finish at least 6 next year! I thought about them all anyway.  Sigh. The only other one I even started, was #52,  Marriage.  (Color Field Theory) I loved the idea, hated the result.  I'm thinking some paint or other surface texture might help it.  Note:  Forgot that I also completed the Celtic Knot piece...   The Art Deco and Notan pieces are more done than not, and could get finished fairly easily, now.  So that's really five that were completed at least to a postable stage.  Next year I'll finish those as well as the challenges.

Art - Other Stuff
7.  The Bird Brain shop hop block.  Fun.  Pulled me into doing more embellishment, something I keep saying I want to do, but don't end up doing.
8.  The Acropolis, from Valerie's class.  Greatly expanded my comfort level and familiarity with more surface design techniques.  I hope that next year I will focus on the map quilt idea and try to develop a "body of work" or at least explore a concept in more depth.

I've spent a fair amount of time in the first three or four rounds of the Moonlight Round Robin too, and will end up with some sort of finished piece at the end of that. My contributions so far include hand stitch, beading, words, and felt+button flowers. My favorite was the experimenting with "Words." This is a theme I'd like to pursue more next year.

The other goal will be to either finish the UFO's or accept them as practice and decide not to spend any more time on them.

Maybe I can finish one more piece before the stroke of midnight on 12/31/11?  The log cabin piece is basted and ready to quilt.  Edit: quilted about 1/3 of it last night.  It's slow going with the walking foot, but I'm not yet fluent in free-motion.  Another goal for 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Ornaments Completed

It was a very busy holiday season.  I didn't have time to make cards this year - I didn't even end up sending commercial cards, just e-cards.  After signing up to decorate a table at the guild Christmas pot luck, there were no tables left when we got there, so we had to sort of squeeze into someone else's.  Oh well, live and learn. I spent way more time on the ornaments than they were worth.  But it was fun.  Here are some shots of some of the finished ones.  There were four trees, but two were given away.  Same with the snowmen.

Made about six of these from "cheater" fabrics.  They were sort of cute but oversized for my little tree.
Hard to see but there are some sequins sewn on. 

Trees - front, I liked these- fun to make!

Trees - back.  Nice that they look good from either side.

Really liked this too - the bow's a little oversized, but better than the dinky ones I tried first.

In other news there was a potluck Christmas party for Grateful Threads, too. We divvied up the Petunia sections, randomly drawing numbers.  I ended up with section 2 - the top, center.  The first place your eye will go.  Uh Oh. Overall the photo is about 34 x 45... just under 3x4 feet.

We're not rushing into anything, which is just fine with me.  My first contribution was to import Jo's photo into  Autocad and print multiple sheets so each person could have their own puzzle piece, plus a bit of the adjacent ones.  There is a scheme for quilting as we go, I think, rather than piecing then quilting.  I'm not sure I understand it, but all we need for the January meeting is our fabrics selected.  I've been working in Photoshop to try to identify a gradient from light to dark in the green and pink families.

In still OTHER news, I've purchased a class called Stupendous Stitching from a website called Craftsy.  It was on sale for $19.99, which sucked me in!  You can work at your own pace, and ask questions, post photos etc.  So far I've been watching on my new iPad, but it doesn't support the forums.  

I think it will be fun, and like the idea of learning to make more creative use of all those machine stitches.

Sunday, December 18, 2011