Monday, February 19, 2018

Bee Sewcial January Block - freeform, transparency, connection

freeform, transparency, connection block

Yesterday I made this block for Karen (@capitolaquilter and she blogs at CapitolaQuilter) for my bee, Bee Sewcial. It is about 19" x 19". Karen asked us for freeform, maximalist style blocks that included transparency and connections. Also she said no pink or purple. Our blocks are always made from solids only.

transparency - improv

I started with the transparency concept. I spent a long time looking at images of transparency quilts and transparency artwork on the internet as I have trouble imagining how use opaque fabrics to make you see a transparency. Then I got to work, using improv and no rulers.

transparency - improv

I made a number of missteps along the way, but I pushed on, as I wanted to see if I could manage something interesting at least.

transparency - improv

I found pinning it on my design wall (ie, a wall with a layer of batting pinned on it) helped.

transparency - improv

There is my result. Maybe you can see the three rectangles intersecting only in the one corner in the centre. While I am sure that it is possible to improv a transparency far better than I did, I think that part of the illusion is created by the use of very well defined shapes so next time I try I will use a ruler.

I shared this on instagram and Karen said it looked aquatic an maybe the end was affected by refraction of the water. Well, that comment informed the rest of the day's work.

freeform, transparency, connection block

I definitely wanted to include curves in the overall piece as I love curves in improv. So my thoughts went to water, waves, pods, fish. And while I don't think I turn to pink and purple that often, I sure felt the limit of not including them. I tried to stick to a lot of bright, yummy shades of the colours I used.

For connections, I thought that a dark blue, the deep water so to speak, could make them.

freeform, transparency, connection block

At the top of the post you see the block oriented as I designed it, with the fish or sea life on the bottom. But it looks nice oriented this way too. Adding that bit of yellow to square off the block gives it an alternative horizon line, and we all like to see those. For me, the pods become flames, the curves become the forest, the rest feels somewhat cultural and urban. But really it is what you see it to be, its meant to be pleasing shapes, colours and composition, freeform, with transparency and connections.

It's Family Day in my province today, we are having a long weekend. Enjoy!



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Do you finish the row?

Do you finish the row?

I was up early, before everyone else, so I was sitting quietly at my desk, knitting. And reading the internet. Being saddened and horrified and troubled by the news. Reading my blog reader for the first time in months, after deciding yesterday to "mark all as read" for the loads of accumulated posts. And my coffee was done. The row was not finished. So I tossed my knitting down and was about to go to get another cup of coffee.

I stopped and thought, should I knit to the end of the row before I went for more coffee?

I almost never knit to the end of the row, since my kids were babies, knitting has been a grab and do, drop and run to where I am needed activity for me. I knit in the creases of my time, in between other things that I should, need or have to do.

This morning at my home desk

But lately, especially this last month, I have been knitting instead of doing other free time things. I have been sitting down to knit. There are many reasons for that, many have to do with how busy the day job has been and how tired it makes me, so other activities feel too active, too creative, too intense for my tired brain and tired body. But also because I have recently revived my love of knitting, of yarn, and of the fun of turning a string into a beautiful, soft, warm thing.

So when I choose to knit, when that is the activity, this morning I realized that I often do finish the row, finish the pattern bit. But I had not noticed until today, until I was again knitting in the creases of my time.

Finish the row, don't finish it, your knitting won't care, it will wait for you to return either way. But lately I have been looking for some creative space to quilt, and maybe if I am finishing the rows, that means that I have a bit more creative space than before.

I have to do some day job work today, but maybe there will be time to sew a bit this afternoon, and if not, my knitting will be there. You can see in the second photo, I left the row, made the coffee and then thought that it was time to share in this space too. I guess I will finish that row later, my crease in time is done, time to get moving.



Sunday, January 7, 2018

The 2018 FAL Begins! - Link up your Q1 to be finished list now

Its time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q1 of the Finish-A-Long. We are hoping that the FAL community will inspire you to work on your unfinished projects this quarter (and throughout the remainder of the year and to get them finished!

The 2018 FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:

For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging around. At the start of the quarter you post and link up a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter you link up each successful finish from your original list.

Each linked up finish is an entry into the draw for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list as long or short as you wish. The 2018 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent 2018 FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q1 of the Finish-A-Long. you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo. Please think about visiting them and saying thank you for their their support of the FAL.

Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
During Quiet Side Logo
3 PDF Patterns
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Quilting Jetgirl Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Sew Me a Song Logo
$20 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns
Charm About You Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Magazine Logo
3 Six Month Subscr.
Studio 39 Fabrics Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Tartankiwi Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Sew Sweetness Logo
A Minikins Bundle
Mad About Patchwork Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Blossom Hearts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Clover & Violet Logo
$30 Gift Certificate
Finish A Long Logo
Join Us!

So now it is time to round up those projects that you want to finish over he next three months! Take a photo of each one and make your list. Please ensure that you have at least started your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is considered a UFO - and remember it is only finished projects that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

If posting on social media (Flickr, Facebook & Instagram), it will be very helpful if you tag your list with #2019FALQ1yourname (where yourname is unique to you). Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing project progress or finishes helps the host to make the connection to your original list quickly and easily. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link up your finishes when the quarter closes!

The 2018 Q1 list for your list of proposed finishes is now open, below, on my blog and each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one host blog and the link will show up on all the host blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, post a mosaic of your projects and put your list in the description. Don't forget to include your unique hashtag. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link up if you need it.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too.

If you want you can follow us on Facebook, Finish-A-Long and/or on Instagram, @finishalong, too. We'll post encouragement during the quarter and reminders when the finishes link up opens at the end of the quarter.

When creating your list there is one thing to remember - No deductions for not completing something so - Aim High! Nothing to lose!! Well now, get those list together and get linked up.

Feel free to use and share the FAL button above and this one too:

Remember :you only need to link up at ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


a project I started for the year

I started a little project. Once a day I will take a close up photo of something that looks interesting, to make me focus on the things around me once a day, to be inspiring.

I thought a weekly round up here would be nice. I am sharing the daily photos on instagram @shecanquilt and on my tumblr blog.

By the way, if you want to join me feel free to use the hashtag #myyearinfocus.

If you have Finish-A-Long finishes from Q4 of 2017 today is your last day to link up, don't leave it to the last minute.

It's the weekend!



Thursday, January 4, 2018

A green hat and fingerless gloves

A hat and fingerless gloves

This hat and fingerless gloves set was a Christmas present for my green loving niece.

Gradient yarns

I found this gradient dyed set of yarns by Fleece Artist at my local yarn shop, River City Knits. My niece loves green so I knew if I bought them she would get a knitted gift this year.

Hat in progress

After a couple of false starts, I developed a basic hat pattern with a gradient pattern.

Fingerless gloves in progress

There was lots of yarn left so I decided to add the fingerless gloves. She is a teenager, so while I debated mittens or fingerless gloves for a while, I decided that easy access to device use would mean that gloves would be worn more. Again I developed my own pattern and a set of stripes.

Fingerless gloves

The fanciest part is the thumb gusset, which makes the gloves a lot more comfortable to wear. It is a feature that looks so much harder than it is so I usually include one.