Some of my favorite gifts have been ‘action’ gifts. You know, the kind where you are invited to experience as opposed to simply get some thing. This year, that gift was in the form of a mega pad of Origami papers from my friend, F, who is also making 1K cranes. Our plan is to make 3 each day, finishing around Thanksgiving. Welcome to the year of One Thousand Cranes!
I’ve read that “the crane is a powerful symbol for loyalty, nobility, and beauty. According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty.”
My most desired wish is under wraps until the end of this journey. However, one of the fun additions we are implementing as each crane is folded: think of a person and all the blessings they have brought into our life. Heavens! Do I even know a thousand people?!?
Ah, well… Crossing that bridge when I come to it. For now, this is a physical reminder of how blessed my life truly is because of those I’ve met over the years.
After a few weeks of folding cranes from the pre-cut 6″ papers, it occurred to me that I should try my hand at making the 3″ version. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could make the folds, but here is my first one, perching on my keyboard for scale.
Happy Merry New 2015!
It’s really been a great year, albeit I’ve felt trampled by 2014 on occasion rather than riding high. I’m still ever so grateful.
My Kreativity level has increased tenfold and I have many beautifully crafted items to show for my efforts. You see, last year, I challenged myself to make a list. Not just any list, mind you, a Kreativity List for Quilty Projects!
With the completion of my Heart Quilt, I now had freedom to expand my creative focus beyond handmade cards. Starting with blocks I made during two workshops and two projects from my MQG from 2013, my WIPs (works-in-progress) list steadily grew from just 4 projects with the help of my Quilty friends. Last week, I topped my list with 4 gifts for my nieces & nephews (finished all but 1!) to make it 24 projects in 2014! Many have been posted here and I’m pleased to count 15 off the 2014 list as complete. Yay!
Ah, this Holiday Season has been filled with so many gifts lovingly made!
Potholders (square & chicken), baby quilts, Elsa capes, Baby Monkey clothes and one DIY project for my nephew…
Let’s start with one of my few UFO’s from 2012.
I just didn’t know what to do with these fabulous squares. They didn’t speak to me as a quilt, or even as pillows, so I shelved them. Last year, I had a brilliant idea to make them into potholders but ran out of time. This year, determination for gifting them even spurred me to try machine quilting again. How wonderful small projects are!
It’s not really a surprise. I’ve known about her pregnancy for the past six months. I just wasn’t thinking that I would make anything…and then I had second thoughts. It might be nice to make a baby blanket. You know, it’s a small project and I seem to be able to finish smallish projects these days. So, why not! It’s only a couple weeks before Christmas. I’m not busy! Heh.
One, two, three… Go!
Update, Dec 15th: It’s taken me a week to actually start this quilt. Nevertheless, I spent the afternoon cutting out the 9” squares and then again diagonally at the 3” to 6” in order to make the tessellating windmill blocks.
Once I laid out the pattern, the piecing went quickly, squares then rows. Only the remaining purple fabric is large enough to wrap around for backing and binding. Unfortunately, it takes another week to have time to quilt it, but I’m able to finish the binding in time to wrap and place under the tree.
This holiday, I again signed up for the Year End Secret Swap-a-ganza gift exchange for my BAMQG. Unlike other deadlines, I created my little quilty work of art THREE DAYS in advance!
The request for a potholder for a teapot handle was pretty specific. There was only one problem. I didn’t know what that would look like! I searched the web for some clue as to what I needed to make, to no avail. Then it hit me, why not make a chicken?
A what…? Let me explain. I’d received a pair of chicken potholders several years ago and was smart enough to ask for the pattern, even though I wasn’t inspired to make them just then. So I looked through my project box and found it right away. Bingo! Time to choose some fun fabric. Something colorful, like this purple and teal batik fit the bill.
Everything came together surprisingly fast. Was it my ‘magic’ purple pen or rereading directions that brought success? One never knows.
There’s enough fabric left to make one to roost on my own teapot. Let’s see if I have time to hunt up a flock!
Ah, my GGirls have surpassed my expectations!
Now I just need to decide assembly (table runner or square) and post the finished piece.
Grateful, Ladies, ever so grateful!
Noticing the crispness of the air on my morning walk, I realize that an end to another Kreative year fast approaches. And yet, there’s so much to do before the Holiday Season starts!
Once I finished my all-consuming Heart Quilt last year, I found myself adding new projects at an alarming rate. I suppose that I was giddy as a schoolgirl when I started looking at all the stunning fabric choices I now had! But first things first: The List.
Beginning with a workshop where I’d made one block, I started adding Quilty projects as they appeared, blocks, challenges, gifts, even a sampler! Now, looking over my list, I’ve made it halfway through the 18 projects that have piqued my curiosity this year.
The project that has been challenging (and should really be counted as four!) is a block project for my GG Quilty friends. We each chose a block/concept and swapped our project info in the spring. As of the beginning of October, I’d completed only one, made progress on two others, and hadn’t even laid eyes on the last one. Hmm.
A call for entries to the local Modern quilt guilds went out earlier this summer. It seems an Ohio Amish Quilt Exhibition is coming to the SJ Quilt & Textile Museum in November and the idea for a juried Modern show, Amish: The Modern Muse, is planned.
Hmm, where to start? Perhaps a loose definition of the typical characteristics of an Amish quilt might help. Besides being made by someone who is Amish/Menonite, these quilts tend to have a strong geometric design in either muted (browns, greys, olive, rust) or single color, often black, with vivid color combinations.
Interestingly enough, Modern quilt makers have similar tendencies toward solid color, large negative space, graphic design, and larger scale blocks. There are many similarities between modern art and modern quilt making that I should explore.
In 2010, I’d been to an Amish quilt exhibition at the DeYoung where I purchased a book of these stunning quilts, Amish Abstractions. I started looking for a traditional block pattern to scale larger. I wasn’t interested in Center Diamond or Tumbling Block or Nine Patch. Another idea was to utilize several pair of wool pants. I’d wanted to make a quilt for the guest room that would be warm and it also seemed like a very practical, Amish thing to do.
The design had not really come into focus until I found a couple Amish quilts in the brick road style made out of wool suiting edged with blue or bright red. I decided to scale the bricks up from 2-1/2” x 5” to whatever the pant leg width was, which turned out to be 10” in most cases. I had just four pair of pants in slate blue, moss green, charcoal grey and earth brown; the colors somehow had meaning to me: sky, moss, rock, soil. As I built the 10” block design, I started playing with the direction and color combos. I realized that time was of the essence and although I’d like a bed quilt, this quilt would only be 5 x 5 blocks and settled on an off-center cross as my design.
As is my style, I spent more time designing than creating. From cutting the pants to sewing on the label took just two weeks. It may be interesting to note that I spend almost as much time un-quilting as I do quilting. I have a tendency to want the back to look just as nice as the front and although my quilting isn’t as perfect, I endeavor for a consistent stitch. I also started using painter’s tape for the straight lines as my usual indentation lines don’t hold in the wool. It is my belief that a quilt consists of two sides and either could be the front.Here is the bottom left corner as I finished the binding. Truly, photos do this quilt no justice.