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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Reflections on learning (and a link party)

Not much sewing this week, but a lot going on behind the scenes and that got me thinking... :)

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Block Swap Adventure - just received Dec partner info, need to decide on what to make
  2. Charity quilts - 3 quilts donated to Fran!
  3. Americana QAL - no progress
  4. 2016 QAL (secret) - a lot of progress behind the scenes!!
  5. Allietare QAL - forth clue done (see below)
  6. Jane T - no progress
  7. Pantone Color of the Year 2016 - no progress
The EverythingElse List:
  1. the SK project - no progress
  2. the 31000 Xs project - no progress
  3. Spirit cross stitch project - no progress
  4. Mirror Mirror Afghan - no progress
  5. the Ender project - no progress
  6. Embroidery calendar - no progress
  7. Project of Doom 2015 @ Fandom in Stitches - paused for a while
  8. Alice in Wonderland quilt - no progress
  9. As You Wish -  no progress
  10. Crazy optical illusion - no progress
  11. Memory quilt 2 - no progress
  12. B quilt - no progress

Inspired by the Fold'n Stitch Wreath (Poorhouse quilt designs)

I was in the mood of sewing something for me but I didn't know what.
Then I saw that nice pattern (which is not available for download yet) and after starring at it for a while I realized two things:
1. I could make it myself quite easily once I "saw" the basic shape :)
2. I didn't need such a big piece as I wanted to use it as a tree skirt and I have a pretty small tree!

So I started playing around with Inkscape to figure out the size, and then I started stitching!
Of course, the good thing about having a pattern is that the designer figured out the steps and the math for you... and I messed up the first square :) oh, well, it's a tree skirt, that piece is going on the back of the tree, so I didn't undo it!
I also decided to use 10 pieces instead of 12, because I wanted it to be open and easy to put on. Probably next time I would use 11 or 12 pieces (and not close the last one), but I am extra happy about how it turned out. It's pretty cute! And reversible too, so a win-win!

And now let's talk about my reflections on learning :)

The thing that got me thinking is that I spent 4 nights trying to figure out how to make something work on my patterns in Inkscape. After so many hours spent on it, I was starting bashing myself about "wasting a lot of time", "not having real progress", etc. Then I stopped and realized something that applies on all our crafty adventures.

~~Lesson 1~~
Give yourself permission to follow your instincts and to deviate from what experts do or say you should do. 

My case: I had a file with a lot of layers and I wanted to print them into separate pdf pages. I googled around and I found an extension of the software that does that.
People say to use that, so that's what I did.
The problem is that the extension was not working for me: it was slow, crashing a lot, and while it had the final result I wanted, I hated the process!
I kept using it just because people say I should do that.
I kept doing until I had enough and I thought: wait a second... I have a degree in computer science and a lot of programming experience... my skills are different from what people that use that software usually have, so maybe I can use my own skills to obtain what I want. A couple of hours later, I had an easy (for me) script that does exactly what I need, with one click, fast and no crashing! Now... is this good for everyone? no, if you don't know perl, svg, xml and other technical things, this method is not for you. But that's the point, it is for me!
So this is the lesson! If people tell you to make HST or flying geese in a certain way and you don't like the process, give yourself permission of disagreeing, no matter how you respect or admire the person that gives you the instructions. Everyone is different and that's a beautiful thing!
You should explore and take advantage of your own strengths!

~~Lesson 2~~
Nothing is wasted, neither time nor material, if you learned something. You cannot predict how much what you learned now (by "wasting" time/material) can improve your future activities.

My case: I spent hours (days) trying to figure out the script thing explained above.
Is this time wasted? Could I have use it to make more projects?
Well... we are good at seeing how we could have used the past time but we are not good at seeing how the things we are doing now affect the future.
So if I spent 3 days figuring out that I don't like one technique and another way saves me time and makes the process more enjoyable, in the grand scheme of things, that should count as hours gained as not wasted in the future!
The same reasoning applies for material/fabric: did you try making HST of flying geese that turned out terrible and you think you wasted that material? Can you estimate how much material are you instead saving because in the future you will use a different method that you instead enjoy?

So even if very sewing was done this week, I had pretty good revelations that will help me in my future projects :)

The third clue of Bonnie Hunter's Mystery QAL is out. I decided to follow along, but I will make 1/4 of the units because I don't need a big quilt and I am not sure if I will like the design :)

I decided to go with brighter colors: cyan/aqua/teal (instead of red) and bright yellow (instead of gold). I will probably donate this quilt to charity as a baby quilt, so I want it to be fun and colorful!

For this clue, I getting more and more nervous about my decision of not going with "sets" but going for complete scappiness. The reason I am more nervous is because Bonnie keep writing things like "IDENTICAL", "ALL THE SAME FABRIC", "PER SET" all upper case!!! O_O
Does this mean that it is super important, or is it just because usually she doesn't have sets so it's good to highlight these uncommon practice? Who knows! I guess I will find out soon. But in the meantime I will keep my full scrappiness approach!

Forth clue of Bonnie's mystery QAL... 
And last, but not least, I want to remind you that I am working on charity quilts,
and I would love your help!! 
Quilts are for a quilt drive to help the kids in the DC General Homeless Shelter. 
And you can help me by donating orphan blocks, partial blocks, or fabric (scraps, strips, leftover, uglies, whatever). 
If you are willing to mail them to me, I could use them to make more quilts for these kids!!! 
If you are up for a loving donation, please send me an email at tweloq[_at_]gmail[dot_com] or leave a comment here with your email address so I could give you my mailing address. I promise that your donation will be used to make some kids happy and feel more loved!! 

I finally met the wonderful Fran, the lady that is collecting the quilts and donating them to the shelter! It was so fun to meet her! And she was pleased with my donation so I will keep going!
I have 3 tops done, that are just waiting for some inspiration on quilting!
My 2016 resolution is to have 1 quilt done per month. Let's see if I can do that!

How about you? What are YOU up to?
Link it here and share it with me!!


  1. It is not wasted time if you are doing something creative. I love your tree skirt, it worked out great. I think this is the first mystery I have done with Bonnie where she has talked in sets and use the same fabrics. It will be interesting how they come together.

  2. You do great projects.I didn´t join Allietare QAL, only follow fellow quiltiers progress.Love your tree skirt,great job!!

  3. Love your reflections on leaning! Very well said.

  4. Very nice fold and stitch wreath. Beautiful clue #4 units, your colors are wonderful.

  5. Coming along wonderful! pretty colors & wreath!

  6. Your quilt will be beautiful in those colours. Whatever the reason Bonnie is stressing the sets, the baby who receives your quilt will love the high contrast and the fun fabrics, and will never know what it was "supposed to" look like.

  7. Very well said. Finding what works for you does take time and experimentation. Sometimes a frustrating process, but that's how we learn.

  8. Cute little blue owls peeking out! I think all scrappy will look great. Maybe different, but that's what makes it an adventure. I look forward to seeing how yours comes together!

  9. I was tempted to go all scrappy and not in sets, too, but in the end wasn't brave enough. So I'm super curious how your quilt will come out. Looking great so far!


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