Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 - A Year in Review

It is always good to look back at the year that was and see how far  you've come and contemplate on what lies ahead.

First the year that was.

For me 2014 started and ended on a high note with 'Antithesis' being placed in the final ten for the Riley Blake Challenge in February and 'Ode to the Past' being accepted for QuiltCon 2015 in December. Both were a pleasant surprise and huge confidence boosters. 

During the course of the year I worked on different kinds of quilts, each time learning a new skill.

1. Hexie mini 2. Rainbow wall hanging 3. Ode to the past 4. Greek cross quilt 5. Riding the wave of optimism 6. Flowery ballerina 7. Fade 8. HST series - II 9. HST series - I 10. Antithesis 11. Charms quilt 12. Bohemian Rhapsody

I also participated in my very first quilting bee. Scrapbeelicious - an online bee and an in person one with the CJMQG guild. Both were really fun and forced me to try things I would not otherwise. I also made a bunch of good friends in the process.

2014 was also the year I attended my first quilting retreat - Mid Atlantic Mod. I cannot begin to describe how much fun it was. The highlights of the retreat were shopping at Burkholders, the tote bag swap and putting progressive quilts together. I know atleast one of the quilts was accepted for QuiltCon 2015.

I also participated in the Supernova Friendship swap with Heather from Quilts In The Queue, a fun collaboration. I not only made a good friend but looked forward to seeing her blocks arrive each month. Can't wait to finish the quilt. Finally a quilt that will stay with me.

2014 has also been a year of big changes for me which has taken much of my focus and energy. On the upside I have made a ton of new quilty friends in Seattle. Can't wait to do more sewing with them in the coming year.

Last but definitely not the least I am thankful for the quilting community and all my blog readers that provide me the support and inspiration on a daily basis to push myself outside of my comfort zone and try new things. It is this, that really keeps me going.

Now for 2015. 

Being mindful of all the changes I need to get accustomed to in the coming year my plan is to keep things simple. Continue to make quilts I want without any hard commitments which should give me plenty of flexibility to get adjusted while still keeping things fun. I am excited to sew with SMQG in the coming year and their support has already made the transition much easier.

Hope you have a great holiday and wish everyone a happy new year!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A mini quilt

I started this little quilt in June of 2013 when I got a mini charm pack of Malka Dubrawsky's Simple Marks and started making hexies with it. Then the project dragged along and it was only last week I actually finished it. This little mini is similar to the one Malka made. I really like the pop of color and is definitely going on the wall in my sewing room.

I have established that there is a two year lag between me buying fabric and actually putting it to use. There is little I can do about it. I buy fabric faster than I can sew ;)

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday, WIP Wednesday

Monday, December 1, 2014

An Ode To The Past - QuiltCon Entry 2015

My entry for QuiltCon 2015. 

I decided to submit this at the last minute to live up to the spirit in which it was made.

First the story behind it. I worked for an investment bank in New York before recently moving to Seattle and this illustration adorned the wall of my office for the 10 years I worked there

It is a Bauhaus illustration by Wilburn Bonnell III (Circa 1971) with a quotation by James Agee. The Ad is from the series 'Great Ideas of Western Man' by Container Corporation of America. 

The writing on it:
In every child who is born, 
under no matter what circumstances,
and no matter what parents,
the potentiality of the human race
is born again;
and in him, too, once more, and each of us,
our terrific responsibility towards human life;
towards the utmost idea of goodness,
of the horror of error,
and of God

I saw it every time I walked into office and it was the only constant in the ups and downs of my career and the fast changing corporate climate. It did not mean much to me initially but its bold and masculine appearance was a constant reminder to me that corporate America did not favor the weak or the timid. I had to navigate my way through just like the fellow next to me. Through the years it served me well. So as a tribute to all the life lessons I learnt there I decided to turn the illustration into a quilt.

In order to make this quilt I needed five varying shades of gray fabric. At the peril of sounding like an ad for Kona solids, it really was my only choice. Found the perfect five shades of gray. The quilt top came together relatively easily. Very simplistic. I did not want to take away from the bold blocks so decided to quilt each block with a self colored thread to further enhance the texture. Each colored section is quilted in a square spiral. This was a laborious process on a domestic sewing machine, but worth it, I think.

I did not want to add a visible border to the quilt and was wondering what to do when I saw Victoria Gertenbach's tutorial on facing a quilt. Just what I needed. Frankly I had not heard of the term 'facing a quilt' till I read her tutorial. Newbie!!! Love the crisp edges.

For the back I used Quilter's Linen in black and a newspaper print I picked up at my LQS. It has notable events from history printed in the form of news items. Love the fabric, must find more. You can see the facing and the quilting more clearly in this picture.

I agonized about submitting it as a QuiltCon entry. Self doubt began to sink in: It was not good enough, other quilts were much better. It would definitely get rejected. I wouldn't tell anyone I submitted an entry this way no one will know it got rejected.......and then I stopped myself. This is not what the illustration meant to me. For all its worth one thing that corporate America has taught me well is to take rejection and criticism like a champ and move on! 

So there in the spirit of the idea behind the quilt here is my QuiltCon entry.

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts