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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Getting back into crafting (and a link party)

Slowing getting back to my normal creative life!

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - February block(s) finished (cannot share)
  2. Splendid Sampler - one block done (see below)
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - no progress
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - designed my block for March (cannot share)
  6. Project QUILTING - waiting for next challenge
  7. En Provence QAL - Good progress (see below)
  8. Bullet Journaling into my Quilter's Planner - working every day on this
  9. 70273 Project - Four blocks done (see below)
  10. Ski glasses protective cover (see below)
  11. New craft - book binding (see below)
My weekly contribution to the 70273 project.

I went back to the En Provence QAL.
While I didn't dislike Bonnie's final design, I didn't particularly love it either.
Then I saw a version of someone (sorry, I lost the link) where they made a smaller version with only one "big star in the circle". I liked the design, but I wanted it bigger, so I decided to do copy that design but do it four times to get 54''x54'' final size.

I then updated my tracker for the piece counts that I actually need for my design and this week I completed all Clue 3, 5 and 7. Now I just need more pieces from Clue 1, 2 and 6 and then I can assemble the top! This is my project for the One Monthly Goal @ elmstreetquilts: my goal is to assemble the top! Linking up here

Here is getting cold and windy... so sometimes I need to use the ski mask instead of glasses if I want to be able to walk outside! :)
The mask is great but I needed some kind of case so that it doesn't get dirty and scratched in my bag... when I couldn't find anything interesting I decided to make it myself!

I just stiched together a soft flannel piece and a cool denim piece (both from past Quilty Boxes), added some decorative stitches, snaps and that's it!! 

It is not super beautiful, but it's functional and that what matters!!

Youtube is dangerous... 
Some videos about Book Binding, by Sea Lemon... WOW, I love her tutorial and I never realized that you can stitch books!! :) :)

This is my first mini attempt... it's not too clean but it was sooooo easy and fun to make!! Now I know what everybody is getting as a small handmade gift next Xmas :) :)

And last, but not least, I went back to my Splendid Sampler (with selvages and batiks) journey!

Block 94... which I want to rename as "Walls that bring us together" :)

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Projects with special meaning (and a link party)

In this climate of hate and divisiveness... all my crafty projects need some extra meaning

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - February block(s) finished (cannot share)
  2. Splendid Sampler - no progress
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - no progress
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - no progress
  6. Project QUILTING - Esse Quam Videri (see below)
  7. En Provence QAL - no progress
  8. Bullet Journaling into my Quilter's Planner - working every day on this
  9. 70273 Project - two blocks done (see below)
  10. Pussyhat project - my hat, which I proudly wear every day when I go to work! :)
Because in the recent history we had hate and it resulted in inhumane massacres of innocent people... some sent to death with two simple red Xs... 

"70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls – were murdered by the Nazis. Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within 1-2 hours."

This is an extract from Jeanne's post about the 70273 project.

I have been making blocks for this project for a while, and this year I will make many more.

Because we shouldn't forget what happens when hate prevails.


On January 20th it was my fourth blogoversary! Usually it is a big day for me to celebrate what I did during the year, projects completed, lesson learned etc... I didn't feel like celebrating though...

However my crafty life has been full of projects, so I want to honor them with this video.
If you have never heard about the "1 Second Everyday" app, you should check it out!! It is amazing to watch back to my last year in this format. So much more dynamic than pictures of finished projects! I can really appreciate what I did every day and my many projects. Even if some are not features (because you really get only 1 second a day) it's still pretty cool I think!!

I heard about this project just few days ago ( and I am not a fast knitter :)
However I spent the 20th making this project and thinking about all the wonderful contributions of women in the history of the world! I am not usually sharing picture of myself on social media... but I believe this is an important project.

Check more coverage about this project and all related events at

And last, but not least...
In this first week of the year I always like to participate into different events... and since I only have very limited time, I like to make pieces that fulfill multiple purposes.

So... this is my entry for Project Quilting (season 8).

I have to be honest and say that I didn't particularly liked this week theme... 

it is a block, it is a beautiful block, but it's just a single block so it looked very "limiting" in my mind as everybody will use the same block and make probably similar pieces...

or it could be a specific flower... but again, it felt too restrictive from my creative energy...

Then I thought... what if instead of the block or the flower I look at the words? 
Carolina... Lily... 
Carolina... Carolina... ehi there are two states in US that are Carolinas...
And US states have very inspiring state seals...
And I found the most relevant quotes in those seals

... Spes (Hope)
... Quis Separabit? (Who will separate us?)
... Dum Spiro Spero (I will have hope, until my last breath)
... Esse Quam Videri (To be, rather than to seem... or in today's world I would translate this as To Act rather than to Tweet)

and the Lily flower makes the perfect liberty pole

So here is my entry seal/coaster

Esse Quam Videri - 7''x7''

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

None can grab my... hat!

Especially my PUSSYHAT

If you haven't heard about the Pussyhatproject, visit their website

Follow the coverage of the project on Instagram or Facebook

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Place That Sends You Mad (and a link party)

This is the accurate description of my last months... and I am not sure at which minute I am right now... I hope to be toward the end but I am not very confident about that :)

Will I be able to keep doing what I am doing? Only time will tell...
Cross your fingers for me!! :)

Of course not a single minute for crafting this week :( but I will be happy to see all your fantastic projects!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Let's start the year with a finish (and a link party)

Let's start the year with a finish!!!

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - January block(s) released (see below)
  2. Splendid Sampler - no progress
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - no progress
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - one block done (see below)
  6. Pantone Color of the Year 2017 - DOOOONE (see below)
  7. En Provence QAL - designed my version in my planner (more on this maybe next week)
  8. Bullet Journaling into my Quilter's Planner - working every day on this
  9. 70273 Project - no progress
I am hosting a free QAL for 2017. I am hosting it on my other website (because this is just my personal blog)

This month blocks: two intricate designs that are actually super simple to make!!

If you are intrigued,

I hope many of you will join... it will be a fun growing experience, there will be prizes, linky and much more!!

Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" I am going to be a QUEEN (in March), but I decided to participate also in other months because this is such a fun community event and I don't want to miss out! So even if I have no specific plan for the quilt, no idea what color scheme to use, etc, I started with one of the blocks of this month

Scrappy/Disney strawberry! Pattern links at

I love it! So scrappy, so random, so colorful, so fun... totally me! :)

I may do the other block for January, but I am not a big fan of star blocks... we'll see!

And last, but not least...
In this first week of the year I always like to participate into different events... and since I only have very limited time, I like to make pieces that fulfill multiple purposes.

So... this is my entry for Project Quilting (season 8) (to fit in this week theme, I used 8 praire points on each side :) )
... this is my mini for my collection of mini Pantone Color of the Year 2017 (Greenery... which for me is not just a single color because it reminds me of all the greens in nature, thus the super scrappy look)
... this is the piece I tested for a friend (Yanicka) who developed this new technique to make these super cool and modern design: it is NOT paper piecing, it is much much simpler! For the pattern and more information, visit Yanicka's blog!

Heart of Jade - 18''x18''

And just for fun, this is the lineup of all the previous year Color of the Year mini!

Emerald, Radiant Orchid, Marsala, Rose Quartz+Serenity (2013-2016 Pantone "Color of the Year")

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bullet Journal - December review (evolution of my Quilter's Planner)

My Bullet Journaling experience is getting better and better!!
Grab a cold or hot beverage... this is a looooong post!! :) :) :)

For disclaimers about how I personally use the Bullet Journal system, please refer to these previous posts: November reviewOctober review, September review.

At the end of October I received the Quilter's Planner (on the top left) so I decided to use it as the main planner. However, as I said last month, while I love the size and the general idea and look of the planner, I cannot function in a planner that does not allow customization.

So last month I took off the plastic ring spiral, and replaced it with few 1'' Loose Leaf Binder Rings. I distributed them along the side of the page so they will keep the pages together in a stable manner but they will allow me to quickly open them up and move/add/remove pages (top right in the picture above).

While I liked the general idea, I didn't really liked the wobblyiness and the fact that to move pages around I still had to open several rings, punch many holes, etc.

I was watching a gazillion of videos about planners on youtube and I found that there are many people that had similar problems with a very famous planner (Erin Condren) which is spiral bound... and I found a person Turned her Erin Condren into a Discbound system!!
I didn't even know what a "discbound" system is... I've never seen it before...
And after watching many videos, I understood how it worked, but it didn't really convinced me much... it looked still wobbly and not very practical.

Until one day I want to Hobby Lobby and I started flipping trough the Happy Planners (which are Discbound systems) and OMG I loooooved them!!!
I bought the punch (which is an investment but with a coupon is not that expensive) I bought few rings and by the end of the week I trimmed all the Quilter's planner pages (to remove the holes), I punched new holes and I put them into my new system!!

In the last two weeks I already changed the cover of the planner 3 times :) I cannot stop!! It makes me so happy to be able to move pages back and forth, change things in few seconds and keep everything where I need it... And look at all those suuuuupeeeeer cheap cover options (File folders from the dollar store) :) :) :)

Help! Someone needs to stop me!! I have too many file folders!! :)

And as a side note, there a gazillion of tutorial to make any kind of DYI accessory for this kind of planner: pouches, pockets, stencils, bookmarks, pen-loops, anything!!!

Ok, now back to my monthly flipthough...


Another month of my "Doodle A Daily Quilting Design"!

Each day I took a design from Leah Day's Quilting Design Gallery. I love how this turned out because now I have two pages that I can reference to when I don't know which quilting design to use in my project; they are all there on a single page so I don't have to hunt them down on the web, but if I need extra guidance I know where to find it; I was also able to understand which one are more challenging for me and which one are faster. Doing this every day helps to build muscle memory too. As a fun added bonus I doodle around the empty spaces, to make it a themed spread... winter xmas theme :) :)


The December tracker is sparse in some rows, and pretty full in others... I used a circle design to mix up the style of the trackers over the months, and I really love it... some things didn't get done, not even a single time!! Oh well... this is why the Bullet Journal system is great: it helps me reflect on things: one empty row is about reading the "How to think like Da Vinci" book... I have been too busy this month to stop and read that, but I want to finish it eventually so I will just keep the row in the next month tracker.

The "doodle an artist" sections are the ones that I most proud of!! I love the idea and I was looking forward every day to either draw something or find something to draw for the next day. The idea is to pick an artist and then copy some elements from some of her/his pieces (Steal like an Artist). The act of researching their life, reading the story of a painting, trying to extract simple elements that I can sketch just with a pen is very very valuable for me. Considering that I have NO art background, NO art education, I think I copied the different pieces quite well! And it's unbelievable how much the daily practice improved in just a month! It also improved my confidence (in drawing and life) and opened my mind to a world of possibilities.

This month I picked the work of Lennart Helje, who has a very whimsical and Xmasy style: while I loved these designs, I honestly didn't have much time to make more, so I may add more later in the year!!


I love how I design each weekly spread page.
It's simple, it's cute (at least the latest ones are becoming cuter), it's functional.
At the beginning of each week, I list few things in the "Quilting and Crafting" section or "Home and Personal" section. I put them in approximate days, but I don't stress about it, because I have the view of the full week, so if I feel that I want to do something on Mon that is listed on Fri (or viceversa) it's all good!!
I also have a page where I list things that I think I could do montly/weekly and then in the main tracker I just refer to weekly todo or monthly todo. This creates an additional page where I can write other things that are relevant for the month (like Songs! or other notes). As mentioned before, I like having empty spaces as I can come back later and play around with them!!

No Weekly Spread recipes this month because I have been too busy!! :)

-- FITNESS MANDALA (in pictures above) --

I have been trying to find interesting ways to track my fitness activities (steps for example) and I thought that making a mandala would be visually interesting! :)
I created circles that represent a certain distance (5000 steps, 10000, 20000) and then in each slice (representing the days) I designed a motif that, repeated 31 times, would create a nice mandala. Of course the incentive is that if I reach 10000 each day the mandala would be nice and full... if not I will see missing chunks!
This again is a way to help me reflect on myself (not to feel bad about the missing chunks): for example I realized that during the week it's easy for me to reach my 10000 steps goals, but in the weekends or holidays I prefer to stay home. For my wellness, I could just integrate some indoor exercise to compesate for the steps, and this is my plan for next month, but I wouldn't have realized this if I didn't visually see what my patterns are.

I also added some water tracking... I have a Smart Bottle... yes, I have been obsessed with tracking so this is another piece of the puzzle :) :) :)


-- Be Our Guest (in pictures above) --

We have visitors, staying in our home for several weeks... which means I had to clean the entire house! Since my house has specific rooms and things that won't change, I designed a spread that lists all the things I need to clear/sort/tidy/scrub/sweep/prepare, and I added several columns to accomodate possible future guests. This was a great way to get things done little by little and don't get overwhealmed at the last minute!!

-- En Provence Mystery QAL (tracker) -- (in pictures above)

I designed a little visual tracker to count the blocks I am making for Bonnie Hunter's current mystery. I am waaaaaaaaaay behind but I plan to add a sketch of the final layout, the specific blocks each clue represents, etc. For now I just color one circle to count 5 blocks made :)

Two final notes:
  1. you may wonder: is it really possible to spend so much time and effort decorating a planner and still have time to actually do all the things you planned? The answer is in my boyfriend words... he kept asking me "how come all of a sudden you became Marta Stewart with all this cooking, cleaning and organizing?" and he doesn't even see that I am still keeping up with all my quilting projects, I finished the xmas presents and I am also all caught up on all my tv series!! :) :) :) So the point is: either this planner creates extra time in the day... OR... the fact that I am dedicating so much time and effort in writing down the plans, make me very very efficient, intentional and mindful when I am actually doing the different tasks, so they take less time and I can do more, without too much stress!! so my answer to his question was "it's the planner!!! :) :)"
  2. given that I am covering up and redesign every page, why don't I just use a blank journal instead of the Quilter's Planner? Well... even if I don't use the original layout, I still take inspiration from all the extra information they included (blocks every week, quilting designs, tips, patterns, etc.) so I think it's worth using a themed planner rather than a blank journal. Plus I just used it for a month, so I didn't really have the time to look into all the planning pages that I may use in the future. Finally I really like projects that get the community together, so I wanted to give my support to the authors by buying their product and I want to interact with others that are using this great planner!!
If you have any comment or question, please write below! I will be happy to share my thoughts!!!