Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another New Year, Another New Beginning...

I started this blog last January, with all sorts of big plans for my budding quilt design career. Unfortunately, I was sidelined by life, in the form of my Dad's metastatic cancer diagnosis. Dad moved in with us, and I spent 6 months nursing him until his death on June 18th. I treasure the memories of those months, even though they were incredibly difficult at times. My husband Lorrie, my mother, my family and my co-workers were all very supportive during Dad's illness. I was able to take the last 3 months of Dad's life off work and stay at his side.

One of my great comforts during those days was my hand sewing and embroidery. I abandoned machine sewing entirely, as it seemed too antisocial. So I sat with Dad, and worked on a variety of handmade projects while I kept him company. He was always interested in whatever project I was working on.
My Bionic Gear Bag, hand embroidered and embellished.
A hand pieced block for the Craftsy Jinny Beyer Block of the Month

Travelling English Paper Piecing Kit

Katja Marek's New Hexagon Millefiori Quilt Along
English Paper Piecing

Following Dad's death, I abandoned my creative pursuits for a few months. I just didn't have the heart for them. However, in the fall I started sketching and the designing bug grabbed me once more. I began to create again. In December, I resolved to start 2016 by reviving my quilt design business. I did have 3 or 4 designs in progress, but true to form, I have not been able to resist starting another new project!

Tree of Life, a wool project utilizing Sue Spargo's techniques.

Block from my quilt based on Mexican pottery designs. 

A quilt I designed for a retirement gift for my friend, Barb McCormack

My West Coast Row By Row
My mother is a Downton Abbey addict, and a few months ago I purchased a quilt kit for a double wedding ring quilt featuring the Downton Abbey line of fabrics by Andover. Mom did not seem too keen on the wedding ring pattern when I showed it to her, so I decided to start the new year by designing my own DA quilt.

I wanted to use only the Downton Abbey fabrics and also to utilize my new Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutter as much as possible, in the creation of this quilt.

Downton Abbey Fabrics
Dresden Plate with 26 petals.

I decided to start the ball rolling with a Dresden Plate and a centre medallion, and see where that took me. I have always loved mandalas and medallions, and have been dazzled by some of the photos of the Japanese quilts entered in the big US quilt shows. My initial Dresden Plate utilized the Paper Pieces template that I owned, as the only quilt die I had for a large Dresden wedge had a straight top, and I really wanted a curved petal blade. I constructed a 26 petal plate using my template, and ran into a number of problems with none of my pieces lining up symmetrically due to the odd number of petals. The finished medallion looks nice, but it took a lot of fiddling around to get the other motifs to  fit. Not ideal, for a design you want to make into a pattern.

Medallion prototype.
Then inspiration struck, and I devised a method to use my Sizzix dies to create exactly what I want! To be continued.....

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see you are back to your creative self and am always inspired by your awesome creativity! Barb K