Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 FAL Meet the Host: Felicity

My guest blogger today is fellow BeeSewcial mate Felicity.  We were able to meet in person at QuiltCon and I adore her creations and gorgeous photos all year long thanks to social media.  I'm sure you will to so - read on! Karen 


I'm Felicity

and this is my family - Husband of 17 years K and our nearly-10-year-old daughter G:

being silly, something we do very well

I am lucky enough to live in Naramata, British Columbia. It's a village of fewer than 2,000 people nestled on the Naramata Bench in one of Canada's fruit- and wine-producing regions, the Okanagan Valley.

As you can see, we're on the side of a lake, and it's a big tourist destination because our summer weather is hot and dry.

We moved to Naramata from Vancouver just over a year ago. After living for nearly 25 years in Vancouver, we grew tired of the traffic and the astronomical cost of living and decided to take a different approach to life. We couldn't be happier.

I quit my job in the financial services industry and now I work part time in a local quilt shop as a designer, teacher and retail associate. I also work from home as a training and development consultant. My husband was a stay at home dad in Vancouver and he also works part time here in the area.

I began quilting in 2000, shortly after I got married. My husband is the one who encouraged me to look for a beginner's class because I spent a lot of time looking at and admiring quilts in museums and at shows but I was too intimidated to try it myself. But boy am I glad I did. I knew from the first minute of that first class that this was going to be my thing.

This is my first quilt - the classic beginner's sampler with one large scale fabric plus some blenders.

I even free motion quilted it all by myself on my tiny Bernina 145.

Yikes, amirite? But you know what? That was the start of something, and you gotta start somewhere.

Baby quilts for nieces and nephews happened in due course, as did a quilt for my husband's 40th birthday (2 years late).

I subscribed to quilting magazines, I read books about quilting, I could spend a whole weekend at a quilt retreat and come home and sew some more. It consumed all of my free time! Eventually, though, I got to the point where I was reading about quilting but becoming overwhelmed by all the projects I wanted to do so I didn't start anything.

Thankfully, I was able to give myself a good talking to, and came to my senses. Every quilt is just a whole bunch of seams that are sewn one at a time, right? Well, I said to myself, just commit to 20 minutes a day of sewing something. Anything. But sew. Eventually you'll get something done.

One of my first modern quilts

I was right! I did get lots done, aided as well by the explosion of the online world of modern quilting. I found Flickr and the myriad active quilt groups it hosted (RIP, old Flickr). I also found quilt blogs and started my own as a way to keep myself accountable by journalling my progress.

It's not an exaggeration to say that blogging and sharing online changed my life! I found Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild online and attended the first meeting in mid-2010. I met dear friends in person and via blogging (and blogging friends became in-person friends too). I participated in Flickr quilt swaps, virtual bees and met many of my online friends at the inaugural QuiltCon in Austin.

These two quilts won honourable mention at QuiltCon 2013.

Though  I don't do many swaps anymore and online bees have fallen a little out of fashion, I still belong to a virtual quilt bee with 9 other incredible quilters, called Bee Sewcial. We work in solids only and we piece improvisationally based on that month's prompt and colour story.

Winter is my first quilt finished with Bee Sewcial blocks. The prompt was "abstract minimalist winter landscapes in shades of grey." Did my bee mates deliver or what? I love this quilt, and I will be submitting it to QuiltCon 2018 show.

Winter, a Bee Sewcial Collaboration

I like to have lots of projects on the go, in varying degrees of complexity because I never know what I want to work on at any given time.

Here's a sampling of some of my favourite quilts from over the years:

In a (Solid) Pickle, 2011 (swap quilt)

Burst of Colour, 2013

Helen Keller Wisdom, 2011

Selfie, 2015

Naramata Summer, 2014 (made after a visit and before we knew we'd be moving here!)

Modern Stripes, 2016 (accepted to QuiltCon 2017)

I'm extremely fortunate to be able to have a completely separate studio to work in - we finished the 450 square foot space over our detached 2-car garage just for my quilting. (Truth be told that space was what sold us on this house. Good thing we like the rest of it!)



I love participating in the Finish A Long, and I'm so happy to be a host as well. We motivate each other to get our beautiful projects finished so we can move along to the next thing that makes us happy, yes? Yes.

Thanks for visiting with me!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Q4 FAL 2017 My Goals

The Q4 2017 FAL Goals linky closes in a few hours (nudge nudge) If you're visiting the blog to link up, go to the post just before this one and check the countdown clock at the bottom to see if there's still time. 

Here's my Q4 FAL goals and where they stand: 

1. QCon Fabric  /  SBAMQG Make it Modern challenge (fabric pulled, plan hatched)
2. Improv Abstraction in blue (workshop demo parts)
3. BeeSewcial swap (great Q3 progress, now it just needs binding, a sleeve and label)
4. Lotto blocks top (it's a flimsy)
5. BeeSewcial Eyes (they are eye-catching blocks that need puzzled together and so on)
6. Linear mini (it's a flimsy)
7. Sujata workshop blocks (some blocks made, some parts cut, a long way to go)
8. BeeSewcial Stretch aka Jeans (same status as item 5)
9. King Clam (the list would not be the same without a repeat rollover listing of this flimsy)

A couple of new ones and some mighty old ones too.  I can hardly believe that we are at the tail end of the year.   Be sure to check back on October 15th for the next guest blogger post of 2017 FAL Meet the Host.  I'd better start writing mine since It'll be my turn to be in the spotlight soon. 

I have plans to attend PIQF in a week and will share on Instagram some of the quilts made by friends.  My goal for 2018 is to submit to the show.  I'm going to enter a few to QuiltCon 2018 and I know the odds aren't great but it's worth a shot.  

Our local MQG chapter has been hard at work making an awesome 2018 Charity quilt that will be shown.  Plus, I mailed a block to Michael Miller with fabric from QConEast to be in the commemorative quilt  so no matter what at least little pieces of me will have contributed.

Happy Stitching, Karen

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Finish-A-Long Quarter 4 Goals Link Up OPEN

It's time to link up your list of unfinished projects that you propose to finish in Q4 of the FAL. We are hoping that the FAL community will be finishing a lot of projects as we move into the last quarter of the year.

The FAL is hosted by a community of bloggers across the world. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland

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 about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q4 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):

It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the 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.

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ4yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.

The 2017 Q4 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. 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. 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 lists together and get linked up. 

The Q4 proposed finish linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, October 7, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Bend, don't Break

For my second entry into the Fall 2017 edition of Blogger's Quilt Festival,  I present to you "Bend, don't Break".  See previous post for my first entry and links to past years at the bottom.  If you're looking to Link Up your 2017 Q3 Finishes, scroll to the post just before this one!

Bend, don't Break 62"62"
Bend, Don’t Break was inspired by the layering of building featured in the spark image and the visual depth they give to one another.   

For me, being flexible in design and construction is key and also a good reminder in life.  Rather than use a predetermined line on a ruler or specific degree for the angles,  I chose what felt right and simply built from there.

Quilting detail
I was incredibly honored to have my quilt juried into QuiltCon East and displayed as part of a Special Exhibit February 2017  in Savannah GA - look closely and you can see the picture taken by Michelle Wilke that the QDAD members used as inspiration.

QDAD@Qcon 2017 Special Exhibit
This quilt was a personal challenge because my go to in the past has been Scrappy Maximalist Improv and I rarely set out to create a literal interpretation of a design.   Not to label myself but I've broadened out to Graphic Minimalism.  In this case I really wanted to bring my #QDAD2Reality so that it was easily recognizable.

Digital mock up
I printed with the digital design I had created using Inkscape, (a free software program) and included the grid for reference.  My first shot at it was way too small a scale - clearing quilt math is not my forte.
Stash Pull
Proof of my scrappy tendency is the initial stash pull.  There was quite a lot of prospective fabrics in the challenge color palette.  I did end up with a few quick trips to my LQS Hart's taking advantage of their wall of solids when I ran short.
Design Wall progress
Auditioning what goes where as the quilt evolved was a fun part of the process.  The same exact fabric looked lighter or darker depending on what was next to it.  A trick of the eye made decisions even more fun.  

Precision Piecing 
Pinning the sheet of paper to the design wall for quick reference while I contemplated the task at hand was a great hint that I'd read about on IG and I hope I'll remember to do again.

The back of the quilt also made me happy to make. Here you can see it flipped and shown for scale next to my other entry,  the mini "Break".
Longarming It
This post would not be complete without a shout out to my generous quilty friend Pat who let me free motion quilt it on her long arm.  The FMQ pattern is an overall organic doodle that has sort of become signature style on just about everything since.  It wasn't really planned and just came out when I started stitching.

It was a little (a lot) intimidating but the spirit of encouragement and "going for it" that is at the core of the group.  Above you can see a mosaic that was posted on Instagram.  The lower left "Note to Self" was featured in the MQG Quilt of the Month exhibit.

I'm beaming with pride having three of my quilts in the show and having contributed blocks to two collaborative quilts made by my incredibly talented #beesewcial mates Hillary Goodwin entropyalwayswins The Story of Us and Stephanie Ruyle spontaniousthreads Direction Optional that took 1st place in the Group Bee category.  Don't you've the way I'm pointing to them Vanna White style?!

Encouraging Original Design

My local MQG proposed a design challenge for our guild members to create based on a photo spark, a similar idea to what the QDAD group does so I shared the process I had used along with several other designs that I had considered (and may someday still make).

Looking over the 2016 Finishes I really love the variety of what I've been making.  Bend, don't Break was definitely a stand out for my personal creative growth.  Seven were original designs, One a QAL with an original layout and the oldest WIP in the bunch a traditional pattern from a book (instert shocked face here)

Pin swapping was not nearly as active in Savannah like it had been in Austin and Pasadena the previous QuiltCons but I do like commemorating the event with a little token.  I made several to exchange and this was one.  

It was fantastic to meet in real life a few of the QDADers and love this group picture - you can see a peak of my quilt in the background on the right. Fun Stuff!
Some of the QDADers at QCon
My Previous Blogger's Quilt Festival Entries: 

Fall 2015
CastlesIn The Sand – Original Design
Perspective – Small Quilt

Spring 2015
Goats Askew - Original Design 
IG Mini - Mini 

Fall 2014
Look Who's Walking - Small Quilt

Spring 2014
Giant X-Plus  - Scrappy
Rip Tide - ROYGBIV

Fall 2013
Tassels - Group/Bee

Fall 2012
Old Italian Block - Scrap/ROYGBIV/Bed

Spring 2012

Catalyst (aka Mod Mosaic) - my first time to participate 

A chance to share a special quilt and the story behind it is much appreciated, so that you Amy's Creative Side. You can see all the link ups HERE.