Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Social Distancing Quilting

It took me a long time to get plugged into the quiltng community here in Germany. Not because I didn't want to, but often it was simply a matter of how? It started with a chance "online meeting" with another quilter in Germany that eventually grew into a quilting group. Then after I started posting regularly on Instagram, and eventually attending Nadelwelt, some of those online connections with other quilters in Germany became more personal.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently had two teaching events that were canceled because of caronavirus... and now there's another to be added to the list - a summer workshop in July with Victoria Findlay Wolfe - in Germany! 

I realize that I'm not the only who has had their world turned upside down... everyone has had important things cancelled... everyone has had things that they were looking forward to that just won't happen. I'm very sad for my niece, who totally lost all the would-be memorable experiences of her senior year. In light of the magnitude of things, I know that missing a silly little class pales in comparison to what some are going through right now.

As with my teaching events that were cancelled, it's not really about any loss of income... but more about loss of contact and interaction with other quilters - you just don't find a quilter on every corner here. We had even booked a little vacation apartment with three other quilters - fantastic women, who are talented quilters and lots of fun... not to mention several other quilters that I knew were traveling to be there. It was essentially to be a big social meet-up right in my "back yard"! (instead of me having to travel south)

You may remember that last summer, I was already getting ready for this class... it might have seemed a little crazy at the time to be getting prepared so far in advance, but since I knew what was on my calendar, I didn't want to feel stressed because I had to throw something together at the last minute.

So, after I got word that the class was cancelled, I decided to pull out all those pieces and give it a whirl. Now, I never expected that this would be the kind of block that you just whip up. Since I've been sewing for so long, curves and y-seams don't scare me. I can't really say that this block is hard, per say, but it can be a patience tester. I am a big fan of sewing bigger, and trimming afterwards - it's what works for me. So, when you have to manage exact match ups on that many curves, it can be a challenge... and with nine blocks already cut, I'm kind of pretty committed!

So, during this social distancing time, I've starting climbing a Mount Everest... by myself. Are you climbing any mountains right now too?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

In Reverse Gear

So far there have been two of my teaching events that have been canceled because of the craziness that is going on in the world right now. One of those events was my biggest show of the year, Nadelwelt. Each year, flocks of quilters make their way to Karlsruhe, Germany for THE networking and meet-up event of the year for quilters in Germany (and several other surrounding countries)

One of the classes that I had planned to teach was combining reverse applique with piecing techniques. The last weeks of 2019, I worked on putting together several blocks and samples for the class, one of which was this mini pattern. Since that class will not be happening, I decided that it was high time to share the quilt finish that came out of those preparations.

I really wanted to experiment with different ways to quilt using my walking foot. I ended up marking the designs on the solid stips to highlight three different quilting designs, and filling in with straight line quilting for the background.

Believe it or not, I actually used the walking foot for the orange peel quilting. It was a bit of a challenge with the movement of the quilt under the machine to get those curves in since you are essentially sewing "straight". But I have to say that it got easier and the lines looked better the more I did it.

Even though it was the most marking to do, I found this design to be the most satisfying after it was quilted. I also used this design in my Purdy Bird quilt. You know what they say... if it's not broke, then don't fix it.

My goal is that after things get back to normal, to work on a few online teaching resources for the reverse applique technique... but until then, sending a little quilty love your way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Fly High, Dragonfly

Last week, I shared a very emotional post on Instagram. Essentially putting into words a mixture of trying to sort out my feelings about the current events that are happening in the world, and finding the balance of moving forward in the midst of the storm. 

Since the planned release date for my Fly High Dragonfly quilt was perfectly positioned in the eye of the storm, I found myself asking the questions... how do I just carry on as if nothing has happened?... what does one do in the midst of a crisis? Retreat to our caves? make lemonade out of lemons? turn our focus to the good and simple things of life? search for the things that distract us from reality?...

AND let me tell you... I was totally overwhelmed and touched by the responses that I got!?! Such encouragement for moving forward with the pattern release in spite of the current situation. That beauty and inspiration is actually what helps us cope... that  a sense of normalcy settles fears... that creativity is an outlet that brings joy...

When I make a quilt, I find that what comes out is often a reflection of what’s in my heart at the time. And usually when I reflect back and do a little digging, I find that what I’ve created matches what I had been processing in that season of my life. With that thought in mind, I decided to find out more about this amazingly beautiful and fascinating creature…the dragonfly.

In almost every part of the world, the dragonfly symbolizes change & new beginning, living life to the fullest, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. They are also often associated with courage, strength, hope, and happiness. All things that are so fitting and needed for this time in all of our lives.

Since so many had shared that a semblance of normalcy, opportunities to be creative, and busy hands help with processing, dealing with, and coping with what is going on right now, I decided to move forward with releasing my Fly High dragonfly pattern. As with all my new releases, I will offer a 20% discount, with the SALE CODE: dragonfly. Sale ends the day after Easter, April, 13, 2020.

If you decide to purchase my pattern at this time, my desire is that with each stitch, perhaps this pattern reaches you in those ways. I hope that no one misunderstands that by releasing my pattern that I am simply going about business as usual, but that it is more of an attempt to be a part of helping others find the joy and therapy in being creative.
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