I missed a day of blogging! I couldn't help it. There was much to be done and zero time for blogging.
Well - guess what? I had all those deadlines? And I MADE THEM ALL!!! Wait a minute! There is one more - tonight at midnight, but the quilt is done. The binding is ALMOST hand stitched in place. All that remains is to take three photos and submit. How hard can that be? I hope to do that before noon today in the event there is a glitch! How the heck did all that happen?
This has NEVER happened before. I'm super excited about it. And I attribute it all to having a list, setting the priorities and then buckling down. The next deadline is two weeks away and I hope to sneak in a couple of my UFOs in the meantime.
I have to share this story with you about this last project. Unfortunately I can't share the project with you yet. It's for a challenge. I had a year to do the quilt, but nothing was coming to me about the design. Zero inspiration. Then as the deadline approached, it was on my mind more and more.
I like to read and somewhere I read a quote that happened to fit into this theme. As I was quilting another urgent quilt, I got to thinking about the project again and that quote came to mind. STOP the long arm. A teeny bit of research and my mind was racing again with design inspirations.
A shout out to a Facebook group for desperately needed fabric (which I received in short order from Shelley) and I was good to go. I had TWO different techniques in mind. More thoughts - choose one, then the one, then back to the other one. I waffled several times as to whether I would actually get going on this.
Sunday dawned glorious and sunny. Hmm - I could ride my bike, but then a darn dog hit me and knocked me down in the dark park and my knee - well it didn't feel so good. I stayed home and started to work on this project. Yes - that was this past Sunday - a mere two days ago! I'm so glad that the dog made the decision for me. I wasn't sure how to proceed with project, but after digging out a book, the author said "don't hesitate, just go for it and soon you'll be enjoying yourself". So that's what I did! It really and truly was so much fun. And as one problem arose, I quickly problem solved and moved on. It was almost effortless.
I'm not sure how but I finished the top on Sunday night. Remember it's only little - 20 inches square. Then last night, I did some last minute prep work on the top, loaded it on the long arm. Very tentatively started to quilt it and then went for the gusto and got it quilted and trimmed last night.
I have to say that this project is one that I'm really excited about. The colors excite me, the message excites me, the end result excites me. If the quilt doesn't get accepted into the challenge, I couldn't care less, although I would be very happy. I'm going to hang it up in my office after I take pictures.
So what did I learn from this? I learned a new technique, I learned a new style, but more important, I think this helped me to grow as an artist. Both on the long arm and in design. There was a lot of finagling to get the final design in a logical pattern. I've always said in all my lectures that the only projects that have pushed me are the challenges. I can practically piece with my eyes shut. I need a challenge to make my mind grow. The challenges do it. They are my most special quilts of anything I've ever done.
Bottom line - if you have a chance to work on a challenge (and by challenge, I mean a quilt that has to meet certain guidelines - use a specific fabric, or be a certain size or have a specific theme), then I would most certainly do that.
I remember standing in my lecture at Quilt Canada and saying that I had TWO challenges that had to be done by August 1. I remember saying that the only person I would disappoint if they didn't get done would be myself. That thought kept running through my head for the last 6 weeks. And you know what - I succeeded. I'm thrilled beyond words!!!!! Just getting them done and being happy with them is satisfaction enough.
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures today to share with you. The backing of the challenge is awesome. I used a teal blue thread on a BLACK background. Oh boy --- it looks GORGEOUS. The back is almost as nice as the front. Time to crank out those contrasting threads and quilt, quilt, quilt!
I do have something to share with you today though. And that is a new free download. This is a super cute messenger bag that I designed and wrote the pattern for. Follow that link or go to the Resource section on Northcott's website.
I've tested that pattern and reread it a thousand times. Hopefully it makes sense to you as well. The fabric is from the Pony Express collection which is available in the US and will be shipping to all shops in December. However in September, there is a shop hop in the 8 states through which the Pony Express trail went. Check that out here. There are super cute collector pins as well. HOWEVER, the bag can be made from any fabric and I want to remake it now in something else. I love the bag - it's so darn practical - no hands!!!!
The bag has pockets on the inside as well and let's not forget that plasticore bag bottom!
OK -- got to run.
Have a super day!!!!!