Here it is, the second week of January, and I still haven't settled on
my Word of the Year. You know, the mantra that you use to help you focus
on what you want to accomplish before the next time the ball drops.
When I'm on vacation I always like to set aside a few hours in the studio for catching up on fiber art techniques I've wanted to explore. With a New Year beginning, it's a great time to make a list of art goals and then strategize on ways to learn techniques, explore supplies, and improve your skills.
At our weekly office show-and-tell, assistant editors Kristine Lundblad and Barbara Delaney both had quilts to reveal. Barb showed hers without a quilt binding, because as soon as she finished adding it, she will rush to the post office and mail the quilt to her new baby granddaughter.
I am simply in love with Lotta Jansdotter's designs. Maybe it's our
shared Scandinavian heritage (she's Swedish; my ancestors hail from
Denmark), but there is something about her simple, colorful, and modern
fabric collections that I can't resist.
What is modern quilting? There's no set definition. Typically, though, modern quilts have large fields of solid colors, take an improvisational approach to cutting and piecing, and highlight contemporary commercial fabrics.
You would think that everything you could do with fabric, fibers, and
shapes had been done before. But from art quilts to modern quilts to
traditional quilts, each one offered a new experience in fiber art.
Every year I set aside one or two Saturdays to sew something special for
the women in my life that would treasure a handmade gift. I usually
work production-style, cutting, basting, sewing, and finishing, until I
have an array of small gifts ready to go.
Fall has definitely arrived here in New England. Time to haul out the patchwork comforters, haul in the firewood, and make sure there are plenty of cocoa fixings in the cupboard.
Many people ask me for beginning quilting
projects. When you are learning how to quilt, often it's best to start
with a easy sewing project that has quilted or patchwork element, like
coasters, place mats, or a little bag.
In Quilt Embellishments: 5 Free Quilt Embellishment Ideas including Crazy Quilting and Surface Embellishment, you'll find inspiration and how-tos for creating embellished fiber art in a contemporary way.
There is something about crafting the items you use around the house that elevates them from just functional to both fabulous and functional.
As the school year begins, I wonder: Is this the year I will finally
figure out the perfect solution to organizing the family? With only two
kids still at home, will the magic formula for corralling papers,
supplies, keys, and permissions slips present itself?
The new school year starts in a few days, and as soon as I get the kids' supplies in order, I will start thinking about teacher gifts.
Here's a fun and easy project that will not only help you use up large fabric scraps
but will serve as a useful decoration in your studio, bedroom, or a
college dorm. You could even piece the covers from smaller scraps for a