Monday, January 25, 2021

Prep for the 100 Day Project with 3/4" EPP hexagons

I'm prepping for the 100 Day Project. It starts in less than a week—on Sunday, January 31.

From Dr. Seuss

My 3/4" paper pieces from Paper Pieces have arrived along with an acrylic template for selective cutting the fabrics. I also cut my own preview window from cardboard (because I couldn't wait). So I have two tools.

Paper templates for English paper piecing and acrylic viewer.

I'm collecting fabrics with small images or motifs that look interesting.

Templates for selecting images from fabrics.

Everyone should think about doing this! 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The 100 Day Project

So, what's one more on-line Challenge? I've decided to join the #100DayProject since it's starting early this year—on January 31. 

The 100 Day Project.

What's The 100 Day Project?

Initially, The 100 Day Project was inspired by a grad school project conceived by the iconic graphic designer and principal at Pentagram, Michael Bierut. After being launched on social media in 2014, it has since become a global art project that encourages participants to show up every day, for 100 days, and make/do something creative. It celebrates the process. The goal is to show up day after day. 

100 Days of 3/4" fussy-cut hexies

Knowing that my "thing" for the 100 Day Project had to be something manageable and not time consuming, I'm choosing two simple/do-able ones. The first is to fussy cut [selective cut] fabric for 3/4" English paper pieced [EPP] hexagons. I've started gathering potential fabrics. I got inspired by smaller EPP shapes through participation in the #IloveEPPparty2020 stitch-along last year.

Prep for #100daysoffussycuthexies 

100 Days of Mindful Mark Making

My second item is to do 100 days of "mindful mark making." Here is an example of these doodle-like drawings in my sketchbook. This paper is for mixed media, but I'm contemplating watercolor paper in case I want to add color.

Sketchbook page of mindful mark making, slow drawing.

The 100 Day Project starts on January 31, 2021. My daily posts will be on my Instagram feed [veronica.fiberantics]. 

Here's to celebrating PROCESS!

Image: from The Great Discontent

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Crumb Quilt—first Make Nine finish for 2021

Can I get an exchange on 2021? It didn't start off as expected. Or maybe we'll just say this is December 42. Despite the chaos and horror of January 6, I'm going to take this quilt as a success in my small part of the world. This is my first Make Nine finish for 2021: a Crumb quilt.

Kitty crumb quilt. 22" x 29.25"

One of my Make Nine projects this year is to make something with crumbs—either fabric, yarn or threads. A week or so ago, I found a small bag of leftovers from a foundation paper piecing project—possibly started around 2014 -15. This fit the criteria.

Crumbs: foundation paper piecing project leftovers.

Piecing small crumbs together to make larger pieces, I picked up and sewed whatever pieces were close to the same size.

Paper piecing blocks.

Piecing together small crumbs into larger blocks and strips.

Eventually, the piece grew into a small patchwork quilt top.

Crumb quilt top

The top was pin basted and free-motion quilted this weekend. 

Pin basted quilt top.

The backing is flannel and the binding was attached by machine.

Flannel quilt backing.

I'm keeping this kitty quilt for our own pack of neighborhood cats. Here is a five-kitty pile-up of the tuxedo kitties. Where does one kitty start and another one end??

The tuxedo kitties in a Five Cat Pile-up.

But it looks like Oliver, one of the all-black kitties, tested the new quilt first.

Oliver sleeping on the new crumb quilt.

I'm sure the kitties will take turns on the new quilt. For me, I'm calling it a Make Nine finish!

First finish on my 2021 Stitching Success Tracker.

I love scrappy quilts and enjoy the challenge of improvisational patchwork with crumbs and strings. No doubt this little quilt will not be the only scrappy crumb quilt made this year. 

This stack of string blocks might be next in line for a finish. Definitely a time-span quilt. I know some of these blocks and fabrics go back to the 1990s.

String quilt blocks and a scrappy diamond block.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

A new Stitching Success Tracker for 2021

In January 2020, I found this cool "graphic" calendar from Nerd Bucket.blogspot. I call it my "Stitching Success Tracker" and adopted it to track my quilting and creative stitching activities through the year. Any day I got to work on a project/activity—patchwork, hand stitching, sewing, knitting, quilting, etc.—I'd color in the corresponding "day" on the calendar. 

2020 Stitching Success Tracker.

A Color Legend for daily tracking
Not realizing what 2020 would bring [a global pandemic] or the range of activities I got into [prompted by shelter-in-place], the idea was to use colors for different activities and a "contrast color" for a finished project. So in 2020, the "blue" days indicate a project finish—many corresponding to my Make Nine list. The "gray" days indicate I didn't have an opportunity for creative activities [looks like 28 of them].   :-( 

Turning the page to 2021, I'm starting with a fresh new calendar! With hindsight into last year's experience, I also pre-planned the color-coded legend. 

  • 9 activity categories—blues, greens, purples.
  • 1 "other" category for a new activity that may arise. 
  • 3 contrasting colors—red, orange and yellow—for different finishes. 

2021 Stitching Success Tracker, with color-coded legend.

Three days into the new year, I've made time for patchwork. I also have handwork projects that can easily travel with me. 

I hope not to miss a day of stitching or creative activities this year.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Take the "Make Nine" Challenge in 2021

Happy New Year! I'm thankful that 2020 is in the rear view mirror and I hope everyone is planning creative, uplifting activities to find joy in 2021.

To start, I'll be participating in the Make Nine Challenge in 2021. It's my third year! Worksheets from my previous years' participation are at Make Nine 2019 and Make Nine 2020

My Make Nine 2021 worksheet.

Discoveries in 2020
It was very rewarding and fulfilling to complete all my Make Nine 2020 projects. Additionally,—due to travel curtailment during the pandemic—I had the opportunity to work on other projects this past year. In doing so, I learned a few things:

  • I rediscovered several UFOs from years past, 
  • I reconnected with the joy and relaxation of hand work, and 
  • I discovered a global community of textile artists and makers through social media and virtual technology. 

So, my plan for Make Nine 2021 is definitely influenced by these experiences. 

The 2021 Make Nine Plan
For Make Nine 2021, I’m including finishing or repurposing UFOs, experimenting with a new-to-me textile or technique, and will round out the list with some Make Nine favorites. I’ll be using general prompts and include a Wild Card again as I appreciated the flexibility this allowed in last year’s list.

Here's my 2021 list:

  • Crumbs: Crumbs are scraps or bits of fabric, yarn or threads left over from other projects. I'll be using some or all of these materials in a project.
  • Upcycle, repurpose or mend: this project will employ the ideas of recycling, sustainability, and working from the stash.
  • Easy and fun: this project could be pillowcases, a small fabric project or a quick, easy knitting or crochet project.
  • Yarn project: I enjoyed making and using the yarn projects I created in 2020. I plan to again make it a stash buster and pull materials from my yarn stash.

Hand stitching sampler from a Zoom workshop.

  • Mindfulness: This project will employ slow stitching or handwork.
  • New to me: In taking a few virtual workshops, I hope to be inspired to try a new technique, substrate or pattern.

I make kitty quilts for local pet organizations.

  • Charity: I have personal organizations I like to support and my guild has a community service project that I contribute to.
  • UFO: I'll be searching the pile and hope to complete at least one of them.
  • Wild card: I’m including a Wild Card again. Because you never know what interesting technique or inspiration may present itself during the year.

Make Nine badge.
Consider taking a Make Nine journey this new year!
Rochelle at Home Row Fiber Co has tips for creating a list and offers a printable Make Nine worksheet. You can snag the Make Nine badge here

The process of making is very rewarding... and if I've learned one thing from 2020, it's to make more time for art and creativity. It has gotten so many of us through the disturbing and frightful times of this last year... individually and collectively. 

Go grab your threads, fabrics, yarns, paper, colored pencils, paints, brushes—or whatever your mark-making utensil(s) of choice is—and find joy and happiness in the new year.

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