I’m trying to do things differently. Trying to slow down and do the things I really want to do–as opposed to the things I feel I “should” do or “have to” do. I’m saying “no” to some things and a happy “yes!” to others. It’s all about balance. Part of that balance includes making room for more handwork. So when I was contacted by CPI/Quarto about reviewing some books, I said “yes!” to this one, The Hand Stitched Surface by Lynn Krawczyk.The book includes projects for fabric and projects for paper. Great ideas for getting started on some slow stitching. This book is less of an instruction manual and more of an inspirational reference book as it is filled with pages of stitch examples, tips about combining stitches and using color. Lots of good information.The coffee coasters jumped out at me–no surprise there. I grabbed some round objects from around the house, chose fabrics and started tracing circles. (There are templates in the book, but you know me…if I can make it without a pattern, I will.) And truly, circles are circles, so why bother. Anyway…I chose a solid broadcloth to go along with three different fabrics from Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous collection. Some black, gold, gray and cream Anchor pearl cotton, two pieces of batting scraps and I was good to go.One of the unexpected joys…a backside that’s just as interesting as the front. I’ve already pulled some Kaffe shot cotton to go with some Kaffe Artisan collection. A stack of these would be lovely to have on hand for gift giving too, don’t you think?If you’re looking for a project that doesn’t have a lengthy time frame, is something different from the usual sewing and quilting thing and gives you instant gratification, you might consider big stitching a small project. The book is available at retailers. You can find it at Amazon for our Kindle too.
Over an inch of rain fall over the last three days and the plants are happy, happy, happy. This ice plant is so vibrant, it’s almost painful to look at. Of course, the weeds are thick too. But at the moment, I’m focused on the rapid growth of plants like this. Naturally, Stinka took advantage of breaks in the weather to laze about. And without her demands for long stretches of lap time, I made a couple bags. This is the large version done in Anna Maria Horner’s Mod Corsage.It’s 9″ deep and has a shoulder strap as well as the handles. The perfect size for a quick road trip or weekend getaway. I liked it so much, I made a smaller version–also in Anna’s fabric and ribbon from Renaissance Ribbon, but with black canvas on the bottom.I’ll be writing a pattern for this bag just as soon as I decide whether or not to make a zippered version. These two have magnetic snaps and the use of a swivel hook and D ring to bring the sides in. If you have an opinion on the zipper version, feel free to share.In other Anna Maria Horner related news, you can now buy a package of EPP paper pieces to make the Visible Light quilt. PaperPieces.com has that all sorted for you and you can get it here. You get your pick of a starter pack or a complete pack. They’ve even added the acrylic templates for cutting. (I used the jewel one, just in case you’re interested.) I’m excited to see what people make! And I feel the urge to make another one–maybe Tula Pink, Joel Dewberry or Amy Butler. There are still quilt tops waiting to be quilted. I have wide quilt backs for some of them and I’m really looking forward to getting them on and off the frame. (Don’t you just love these AMH backs?) Always so much to do and not enough time or energy to get it done!
I hope your To Do List isn’t giving you fits. Have a fabulous week!
Remember my AMH EPP project? It’s taken forever to get to the pattern writing, but it’s done! And the quilt has a name and everything. I’ve named this quilt Visible Light. It measures 46″ x 66″ and uses 1 1/2″ Hexagons and Half Hexagons, 1 1/2″ Diamonds and Half Diamonds and 1 1/2″ Jewel paper pieces. All of which I purchased at Paper Pieces online.All of the fabrics in this quilt are from my Anna Maria Horner stash. As you can see, there are some great fussy cutting opportunities in her fabrics. While this vibrant mix of pattern and color speak to me, you may hear something different from your own stash. If you like things a little less adventurous, this virtual image of the piecing can help you visualize a repetitious version.I do think this would be be stunning as a repetitious quilt using a black and white print for the outer round of the Star Flower units with bright colors for the star flowers and the interlocking diamonds. Stripes in particular would create a lot of visual interest. As always, there many beautiful ways to interpret a simple pattern.
I’ve called the pattern a “guide” because it’s not really a pattern with pieces and highly specific instructions. I provide you with a list of all the pieces you’ll need and how to organize those into the necessary units for piecing. I cover the assembly of the units into rows and the rows into the pieced field of the quilt. I give instructions for the borders, etc. but ultimately, the really important stuff is up to you and your choices of fabrics.I know some of you have been waiting for this pattern/guide for ages. Thank you for being patient! Without further ado, here’s the link to guide. You can also find this in the Freebies section for future reference.
Others of you may be tempted but remain unsure about the commitment to a project like this. My advice is just dive in and get started. The piece size makes this go more quickly than projects like the Passacaglia quilt and the finished size is also a time saver.Whether or not you choose to pursue your own Visible Light, I hope you enjoy these photos and find some inspiration for creativity of all kinds.