Greetings! I’m still thinking about the coming year and how best to spend my time. As my time on the planet gets shorter, this seems like a good thing to do! I repeatedly revisit my “guiding principles” to see if they still make sense – ” Enjoy, Create, Serve, and Preserve” – and I think they still do. My daily mantra – “be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day” also stays relevant. If you are new to my blog, “enjoy” means literally to enjoy life, but also very much means to try to maintain a sense of awe and wonder about life and the universe and all that entails. “Serve” means to do for others and not maintain focus solely on myself. “Preserve” means to help preserve the best of our planet/the environment as well as the best of what we humans have achieved, culturally, intellectually, socially, etc. Promoting justice is part of serving and preserving. I also want to preserve my body so I’d like to swim even more this coming year.
Of course, “create” means to make quilts and to make music with my accordion! I can see the improvement in my accordion playing and hope that continues. This year I also intend to get back to my drawing course.
I always used my career in medicine as my major way of “serving.” I need to find something with which to replace this and will explore volunteer opportunities this year. I’m not rushing into anything yet, but this is important to me. I also am contemplating what I can do to help counter the toxic political environment in the US. I’m very worried about the fact that we are soon to be governed by many people with an incredibly different world view than mine. I try to be open minded, but when blatant lies are held out as the truth, ego is all important, childish (and worse!) behavior reigns, ethics are ignored, and lack of compassion is clearly evident, it is impossible to be sympathetic! So I will be thinking of what I might do….
My creative challenge in quilting for the year will be to deal with the “push-pull” of balancing doing what is familiar and comfortable with the challenge of pushing myself to try new things. I don’t want to get into a rut and do the same things over and over, but there are times when the “automatic” nature of a familiar process can be very comforting. I don’t want to deny myself that either.
Last post I outlined some plans for my 2017 quilting. Since then I’ve read a number of blogs that talk about completing UFO’s this year, specifically “17 UFO completions for 2017.” This is amazing to me because I don’t have ANY UFO’s!!! I have 6 “projects in progress” and that’s it! Barbara Brackman mentioned on her blog that she has no resolutions to finish any quilts this year and only resolves to start new projects. I think perhaps I should have a goal of having 17 new UFO’s by the end of this year!! Well, maybe not that many, but I’ve decided that I’m giving myself permission to start several new projects this year. My first one is underway!
I decided to pull out my containers of Dupioni silk fabrics and start on a silk quilt that I’ve been thinking about making for some time. Here’s a picture of the quilt from a past issue of Quiltmania and a picture of the block construction (click on pics to enlarge):
I decided to paper piece it, though that is not the construction method in the magazine. I drew one block:
And then proceeded to draw 16 blocks to create a section of the quilt.
It’s tricky and will require strict attention to placement of the various colors and blocks. On top of that the paper piecing blocks have to be drawn backwards to make the design come out correctly. Lots of focus needed! I decided not to line the silk fabrics with interfacing – that would be lots of extra work and potentially make hand quilting harder. It does mean there will be lots of fabric shedding as that is the nature of silk. Good thing I have 2 lint brushes in my sewing room! I’ve chosen some colors to start with:
And I also have several pieces of silk that I purchased in Japan several years ago and from some show vendors that I’ll use. These are still in their cellphone wrappers:
And here are the first 4 blocks (not sewn together yet), creating the first star!:
This shimmers and changes color in various lighting! I plan to make the first section which will feature 5 stars and see how it goes. If I like it and the process, I’ll continue to make the larger quilt. If not, I’ll make a pillow. I’m thinking some embroidery embellishment would be a nice addition. It feels great to start something new and I have more new things in mind!
I plan to take one border of Twinkle on my trip to Thailand as my “take along” appliqué project for on the plane or for down time (which I don’t think there’s going to be much of!):
There are 53 leaves to appliqué and I can’t imagine I’ll need more than that to do over the 16 days; I might not even get more than a few done!
I’m continuing to hand quilt Spirit of Japan #3 nearly every day during this cold winter weather. I love how doing small amounts frequently really add up over time and then it seems like “all of sudden” it’s done. I’m getting close!
I’m closing this post with pictures from the “Spice Route” exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum. These were just my favorites and the exhibit is up until mid February, I believe, so worth a trip there to see if you can! A new exhibit of quilts by local art quilters opens tomorrow and looks very worth seeing too! I’ll have to wait until I return from Thailand. Check out the museum’s web page for details!
Love the handwork/embellishments in this one!:
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi