Saturday, December 17, 2022

my creative week.... drawing, quilting, coping

Welcome to this week's creativity round up, where I've been obsessed with finishing this big bed quilt!

I took time each day this week to listen to the lectures sent by Art Apothecary, on ways to be more creative, and the health benefit to making art. Pictures to follow on the above quilt but allow me to share one little drawing exercise meant to encourage your own wisdom and inner muse.

we were to think of a question or problem to solve. write it down. choose a color to begin (red was mine) close our eyes and just scribble. Then choose the next color crayon (purple) close eyes and make marks, choose another color (magenta for me) close eyes and make marks, then a fourth color (gold) close eyes and make another mark. Then start to look for meaning in colors... how do you feel about that color, for me red meant chaos, purple meant spiritual, magenta represented fun, and gold was for growth. 

next ask what those lines represent to you... and this was harder. scribbles chaos or the problem, for me it's all our neighbors infringe on peace our space disturb us continually and don't care about anyone but themselves. I resent them causing us to wake up at night, their smoke fires, their loudness and not being able to stop them. Purple circular lines felt to me like prayer covering the problems. Like our spirit is bigger than the problem, or might encapsulate the problems. Magenta in a sort of boundary is the effort to limit the effect of it on our enjoyment but how... gold in wavy solid foundation area I don't know

on to the quilting

I made all these 12" finished blocks last Christmas, octagons surrounded with christmas scraps in pineapple designs. The finished quilt will be about 72". Big to quilt on my small machine

the open cabinet takes up half the room! I listen to books on audio as I sew

...even when the cabinet back is lifted up to make more surface area. I began to think about my physical limitations seriously. 

I wear two braces for my spine, all the time. I have a meniscus tear on the left knee and a completely torn off Posterior cruciate ligament in the right knee. Since I did the diamond dots project last year, I now seem to have an upper back spasm that happens out of the blue.

 I need to take great care with movement, and pushing and pulling on a heavy quilt to make sure the stitches are perfect can cause nerve and muscle pain that last days.

but I love quilting and only have my little machine. Like many people, I have to learn to cope with injury and illness, and still keep creating. I am not happy with the quality of my quilting since I know how to do it perfectly, I now have to accept that I am not able to do as good a job as I used to. I still strive for excellence but now if I run off the seam line or over stitch doing free motion, I try to give myself grace. 

I quilted these blocks in 5 big sections then join by pulling the backing away, sewing on the regular seam line the two units to go together. I pull the backing out of the way so that when opened up, the backing can be pulled over the seam and hand stitched down.


backing fabric ready to hand stitch to cover the new seam
 Then I re-quilt this new seam line. I looked on line to learn how to cut a snow flake. I started with a 6" square of freezer paper, folded, cut my own template to free motion quilt around in the white sections between blocks

this quilt is 99% quilted with cotton thread, but one block got gold metallic, heh heh. 

I am loving the machinger gloves my friend Cindy said were wonderful. They truly are. Lightweight, but just the right amount of stick to move the quilt around while free motion sewing. Get some.

Yesterday I started with this, one side unit to be sewn on, hand stitched, and free motion snowflakes... it's all going MUCH slower than I thought since I've done this technique in the past, but I'm more injured now, grace, grace, grace.... 

scrappy backing sections too!

I have a Horn sewing cabinet that is narrow when the back is down, but when it's put up like it is now, it gives me support of a bigger quilt. DH removed my machine so I could have a flat surface for the tedious hand stitching of this last seam before quilting in the ditch, and snowflakes. 

the snoop-ervisor came in to inspect the changes to my room

I'm thinking this vintage red with gold swirls would make a fine border also because I have the yard and half required to do the border! lol I plan to quilt the borders before joining too, by necessity. I might bind them first if I can figure out how to join striped binding after the whole thing is together, I barely have enough to do it. 

I love sewing with scraps because you never know what will show up!!! 

I used to enter competitions like Paducah, Houston, etc. It's hard to lose control over the machine now like where I ran off the rails above, but I'm in a new place in my life and must remember to show myself kindness too.

do any of you have to cope with injuries that interrupt the creative process? 

I was part of a research paper written on that problem years ago, by a doctoral candidate in S. Africa

Sylvia's Stitches: Merry Christmas!

happy arting to all!

patchwork Sunday       

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts

 slow stitching Sundays        


Sara said...

Gorgeous Christmas quilt, and I love how you did the snowflake. I’m sure the quilting looks good. We are always our own worst critics. The process of doing it in sections is a great compromise when we have limits with space, machine capability, and muscle. I know a couple of ladies who use this process for all of their quilts.

Helenchaffin said...

I luv the name of your blog,I guess I could say I'm afraid of white,I luv it when I see it in other quilts but scared to make it the main focus for mine lol, your quilt is turning out beautiful! I luv how you made your template ,my Aunt taught me that trick using cookie cutters & leaves from the yard,happy quilting!

Helen said...

It's interesting (almost magical) how scribbles and scratches with color can turn out to be a bit of therapy.

Mari said...

Love, love, love the pineapple quilt so far! And your snoop-ervisor is too cute! Hope he's helpful, too.

Rosemary Dickinson said...

I love your quilting on the pineapple quilt. I love that you made your own snowflake and followed the lines. So creative. Using sections of the quilt is a great way to make the quilting more manageable. I love machine quilting but it's not an easy process no matter what method you use.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Your pineapple quilt is wonderful, and I love how you are quilting it. Great idea to cut your own snowflake template. I'm 'team straight lines' when it comes to machine quilting!

Susie H said...

What a gorgeous pineapple quilt! Love the scrappy Christmas-y feel. Besides age I have no real physical challenges and know I'm blessed for that. The quilting process is labor-intensive no matter how you slice it. Glad you figured out a way to continue on your quilting journey!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Your pineapple quilt looks beautiful, and I love the snowflake. Great sewing area, this cabinet is very useful, and I'm glad that you have found a way to quilt without too much pain. The border looks pretty too, it's going to be a cheerful quilt! Enjoy the holidays ;)
Thank you for sharing, and linking up!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Lovely Christmas quilt! It's so hard to deal with things we can no longer do as well as we used to--my prayers and sympathies. Even so, I see only beauty in your quilt. That snowflake quilting is not easy and yet yours turned out perfect and added just the right touch. You've still got it girl. Thanks for sharing your artistry on my weekly show and tell, Wednesday Wait Loss. Merry Christmas!

Beth B said...

I agree with the other comments - your quit is great! I am sorry you have so many health issues. I have one primary issue - rheumatoid arthritis but it can affect affect every joint in your body. You have no idea of how many joints are in your body until they cause pain. The alternative to carrying on is not really an option I am willing to consider. Happy holidays!

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Your quilt is beautiful, and I admire your perseverance and determination to continue with your passions despite your limitations. I love the snowflake design and all the pretty fabrics. I have arthritis in my knees and nerve damage and problems with my shoulder where I can't overuse my arm, or I end up with a severe migraine. Even using the computer too long is painful. I have to pace myself and take my time. Probably a good idea for most endeavors, anyway - haha! It is sometimes discouraging, though, I know. I'm sorry about your neighbors. We live in the country but have to deal with people shooting guns and using chainsaws. You can't get away from it. Sigh....I do hope that you have a peaceful Christmas and many blessings in the coming New Year, dear friend. xx K

Susan said...

Love your Christmas pineapple blocks. And kudos to you for working through your limitations to get your quilts quilted.

Gillena Cox said...

Beautiful snowflake. Luv the quilts
Merry Christmas Lee Ann
Happy you linked to Art For Fun Friday


Gwyned Trefethen said...

You are such a creative problem solver. I wish more people were brave enough to write about how the body changes over the years and accommodations need to be made. You have accommodated masterfully. The quilting might not be perfect, but the overall effect is glorious. Love the free motioned snowflake motif in the open areas.

Unknown said...

Your discussion about your problems because of physical changes in your body was encouraging. I am now 80 years old and have developed a tremor over the last several years. This year seems worse than before, so I have spent a lot more time with Jack (the ripper). But I recently found that I can use a different foot on my machine with better seams. So we learn to compensate and learn to be more accepting of "less than perfect. And of course, we learn to be kinder to ourselves. I am ready to start quilting my latest quilt. I have been dragging my feet, but today I am promising myself that I will get started. I think it will be helpful to work for shorter amounts of time. Nancy A:

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

The snowflake template was a great idea!
The coloring - very interesting - and I am sad that you have to deal with such neighbors. I wish people were aware of what around them.
Sorry about the physical things too 0 I think you are super creative and am always impressed with your projects - I had no idea of the struggles you face

Jody said...

I love how you did the snowflakes! Brilliant!

I also struggle with physical issues that limit my ability to do get the results I am capable of, or was previously when my body worked better.

I am recovering, exceedingly slowly, from a right knee replacement which is limiting my machine time. But I improve every single day so I will take that.

Thanks for sharing how you work on your quilts in small sections. This is how I plan to tackle mine going forward. Wrestling a big quilt around a domestic machine, even with a larger harp space, is not for sissies.