Guys, I made it to the end! 100-days of creating and I’m
still standing. AND – I still have lots of creative mojo left!
creative challenge. Some are obvious, or at least more obvious now. But others
are really quite subtle.
since I last checked in (if you missed it you can read that here.
The first 50 days of modern improv quilting saw the creation of a whole whack
of improv blocks that I pieced to form a quilt top. There were also several
orphan blocks that didn’t fit into the main quilt that I was secretly really
happy to see hanging about (more on that in a moment).
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decided to start off by basting the quilt rather than get started on the minis.
This step went pretty quickly as I already knew I was going with a white
backing so, there wasn’t too much time lost to fabric deliberation! I just got
started. Once I got over the basting hurdle, it was all fun and games from
there on out!
go with straight line quilting in various thread colours. What I hadn’t
anticipated was how much restraint I was going to show in the number of quilted
my lines out with my trusty Clover Hera Marker,
I haphazardly stitched on those lines. Sometimes skipping a plotted line.
Sometimes not. Other times, adding another line close to a recently stitched
line. Improv quilting at it bests!
to the turquoise lines. I used a similar approach as the turquoise thread, but
I skipped even more lines this time around.
As I stood back to see how the quilting was coming along, I
loved how the intersecting lines were creating boxes. Since I had thought of
framing each quilt block in white, I decided this was an even better option.
The quilting boxes were framing little moments in the quilts. And I was loving
the effect! How can you resist such this cuteness?
build in a little more dimension and eye appeal by randomly inserting lines
that ran first parallel to a peachy pink line, then veered off along a
turquoise line. I’m not sure how many I added, I just kept going until I felt
it was done 😉
quilt design would get lost in the chaos. The hubz had already dubbed it “project
chaos”, so, I was trying to avoid it being escalated to “project lost in chaos”!
back on the density of the quilting lines. I adore the look from the back and
find it evokes memories of those old school note books with the blue and pink
lines. Good times!
when a project already has the binding ready to go once I’m done the quilting.
This means I don’t have to change my presser foot out and can go straight to
attaching the binding after squaring her up.
journey. I just adore this stage and love how up close and personal you get
with your work. Plus, when working with a scrappy binding, you get to see the
transition from colour to colour, which is always enjoyable.
I’m not the fastest hand sewer. Add on that I try to limit
my hand work to not aggravate my tendinitis means that the binding stage
usually takes me a little while. Hence several Instagram posts just on binding!
But the process is the process and I wasn’t about to start rushing it just as I
was nearing the end.
quilt label. My process really hasn’t changed much. I always use fabric scraps
from the project so it all coordinates. And then finish it off with my hand
writing. The latter is actually my least favourite bit! I wish I had nicer
handwriting. Alas, it is what it is. It does assure a very unique touch 😉
they play off one another! Kona Cotton you make amazing solids!! And if you read my Hexed table runner post I’m now the one struggling to put my quilt to good use!!
orphan quilt blocks!
I’ve wanted to add some details with big stitch hand quilting. So, when I
pulled the main quilt together and had these 8 blocks leftover, I was SO
creative zone, working with the same colours, but adding in a whole new level
of texture. This was textile art at it’s finest!
quilting thread options, but I didn’t and decided to stick with what I had on
hand. Namely, these 4 threads:
add. And how those stitches could encourage the eye across the design of the
block. Or, how a circular motif could balance out the geometric nature of the
block design. I was fascinated! And I’m eager to explore this design approach more.
The littlest of the bunch even got framed!
THE 100-DAY PROJECT VIDEO
Here’s a quick video from the start to end of this creative journey:
challenge meant to me. What I learned from it and whether I would do it again.
Here’s a roundup of some of the bigger highlights:
- Although the intent of the challenge is to create everyday,
I’ve grown to understand, or at the very least appreciate, that my design
process involves both days of physical making balanced with days of
- Some projects come really quickly and are executed just as
fast. Others are created in stages of contemplation. Sometimes I just need to
sit with a project before continuing. Part of this is my fear of messing it up!
The other part, though, is that my gut isn’t feeling it. And until my gut or my
design instinct feels good, I really don’t like to proceed.
- I initially felt a little bad when I didn’t actually “make”
something on a given day, but had instead spent more time thinking through the
design compared to other days where I made something. There is value there and
it’s important for me to stay true to that process. And I would encourage you
too to slow down and think about how the design feels to you along the way. There’s
a dialogue that occurs when you stop and listen.
- I learned that showing up everyday counts. Even if it’s just
for 5 minutes. Being present in your creative journey. Thinking about your
designs. Feeling the intent of the project. All of these elements are tested.
There are days where you just don’t want to. You’re not in the mood. At least I
found that happened to me, several times. But time after time, if I started, I
was amazed at how quickly I got caught in a creative rhythm and often created
the pieces I love the most. So, value in showing up and just making – in
whatever sense that means to you.
- You have to work past the fear. Wow, this was a great one to
really face! Being challenged to create daily forced me to work past my fears.
I couldn’t stay stuck for too long. And oddly enough, the fact that there were
100 days that I needed to create, I assumed that some might not be amazing. And
that’s ok. I decided to leverage that and try new things. Push my boundaries,
recognizing that if I failed it was just 1 day. There would be another day. It
was quite liberating!
- There were times when I had to remind myself to take the
time I needed in my creative process. I also had to respect my limitations.
With the case of tendinitis, I experienced in the fall last year, I learned
that I need to respect my body. Appreciate that I can’t just keep going like
the Energizer bunny 😛 So, while I felt bad taking a few days to hand quilt a
small piece, I also recognized that I want to be able to do what I love for a
long time. And that means I need to pace myself. Besides, it gives me a chance
to sit with the project rather than just rush to the next. I’m especially
looking at you my pretty lil’ minis 😉
- The sense of community this challenge has brought me has
been incredible. I have loved seeing all your comments throughout this project!
I was super surprised how many of you were enjoying following along and seeing
my daily posts. Although I was pretty good about posting daily, there were a
few hiatus moments and when I came back some of you were sooo relieved that I
hadn’t given up. That was such an unexpected reaction and it has made me
cherish this project and our quilting community all the more.
that bad), I would totally be down for tackling another 100-day project! Yes,
it really was that fun that I would do it ALL over again! And, I’ve actually
got some fabric scraps that just might temp me. But first, a little break to
just enjoy the fruits of my labour!
and I hope it inspires you too:
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you
I really hope I’ve encouraged you to give your own 100-day project a go. I really think you will appreciate the lessons you’ll learn and the creative exploration. And if you do take it on, please send me a note so I can follow along on your creative journey!!
Happy quilting my friends!
P.S. Linking this beauty up for Q3 2017 Finish-A-Long finishes!
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