April 6, 2016: Inspirations; Project updates

Greetings!  Wendy Reed at The Constant Quilter (great blog!!) had a recent post about how we are inspired to make our quilts.  She was in particular praising Audrey over at “Quilty Folk” (also a great blog!) for her special and individual interpretation of a commercially available pattern.  Wendy has her own spectacular but different interpretation of that same pattern; Audrey’s is wonderful too.  Both are original adaptations.

One of the things I’m most proud of re my quilt making is that I try to create my own designs as much as possible.  I love the creative process and like having many one of a kind quilts that express ME.  I encourage everyone who quilts to try creating your own designs.  One way to do this is to play with already created patterns and designs and use them as inspiration to change things and/or to add your own touches.  Here is an example where I did that.

The original pattern was in the April 2006 Quilter’s Newsletter magazine.  Here’s the full view and then a closer look from the cover (click on any pictures for enlargement and closeup):

4616 roses full view 4616 roses cover

I made my quilt 1/4 the size, completely changed the color scheme, and designed a different applique – water lillies for me, not roses.  First the new applique:

4616 roses applique

And here are pictures of my quilt, full and a few closeups:

4616 waterlilly#1 4616 waterlilly#2 4616 waterlilly#3 4616 waterlilly#4

I  also try to create completely original designs, but making changes like the above to an existing pattern is a legitimate way to make a design yours – an expression of you!

I knew I would start to feel restless for some hand quilting at some point after finishing Stella Nova.  That happened last week and I got out my Spirit of Japan #3 (The Wheel) and started hand quilting again.  4 of 16 circles were already done.  I completed the 5th circle and started on the 6th:

4316 SOJ completed circle#1 4316 SOJ closeup

And here’s the circle currently “in the hoop”:

4316 in the hoop

This is not the easiest fabric to quilt and I am using #9 betweens because they are strong.  Normally I use #10 or #11 needles so this is a real change for me, but they are working though my stitches are larger than usual -oh well.  I recently checked out a new sewing and fabric shop in our area and for the first time found Tulip needles.  I had read glowing reviews of these and wanted to try them so bought 3 packs (got #9 quilting needles in addition to the 2 packs below):

4316 new needles

These are made in Hiroshima, Japan and are supposed to be more flexible so they don’t break and they are supposed to glide through the fabric more easily than other needles.  I have tested them and have to say that I like them a lot.  They are indeed flexible – definitely more than other needles – and glide through fabric pretty easily though it’s hard to judge how much more easily than other needles.  They are quite expensive and I don’t know if they are worth the expense, especially given my propensity to lose needles frequently!  You might want to try a pack to form your own opinion.

I spent time appliqueing  all the berries and the final leaves on the first border for Stardust and completed it – then forgot to get a picture to show you!  Will do that next post.  I am proceeding to try the “needle turn with no paper on top” applique method on the second border at least for one stem to see how much I like it.  Here are the leaves basted on to that first stem:

4316 needleturn#1 4316 needleturn#2

I prepped 13 more circles for the Japanese circles project:

4316 circles

Then appliqued the 6 on the bottom and the top right one:

4616 circles#1 4616 circles#2 4616 circles#3 4616 circles#4

I’m following several blogs of folks who are making circles and the variety is mind boggling and wonderful!  I could make variations the rest of my life!  (But won’t!)

I am constantly reading and have some recommendations.  Kate Atkinson’s “A God in Ruins” is absolutely wonderful!  Her writing is excellent and her story about a man, his experiences growing up, fighting in WW2, life afterward, and his extended family is truly engaging and thought provoking.  I highly recommend it!!

4616 A God in Ruins

I just finished Oliver Sacks’ book “On the Move” – his autobiography.  He does a wonderful job of describing his upbringing in England in the 1930’s and 1940’s, his amazing and talented family, his personal struggles as a young man, and his medical training and initial practice of neurology.  It details the story of his treatment of the patients that led to the making of the movie “Awakenings” and other medical and personal adventures.  He talks a lot about his love of writing too and he wrote a number of excellent books.  What a life!  It’s good reading.

4616 Sacks book

Another book I love and which I re – read periodically is the book that has the best and most accessible explanation of Buddhism that I have come across:

4616 Buddha book

I highly recommend this book for spiritual guidance!   There are many beautiful passages in it. The Dalai Llama says that “loving kindness” is his religion.  I love that.

I am going to the MQX quilt show in Manchester on Friday and looking forward to seeing quilts and checking out the vendors.  I plan to take pictures to share to stay tuned!!

Be grateful, be king, and cherish each day,  Gladi



One thought on “April 6, 2016: Inspirations; Project updates

  1. Wendy Caton Reed

    I love your interpretation of that quilt. It is funny how we all interpret things differently. I’m glad you like the Tulip needles. In all my years of quilting and applique I have never found anything that I like as well as these.


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