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Friday, March 31, 2017

Journaling and Planning: March 2017 update

Wow, the first quarter of the year was quite a crazy time for me!

For disclaimers about how I personally use this Journal/Planner system, please refer to these previous posts: December review (evolution of a Quilter's PlannerNovember reviewOctober review, September review.

January started strong with planning, lists and other tracking activity... and by the end of the month I was totally overwhelmed and rarely doing much in my Quilter's Planner...

February was still crazy and I didn't do any tracking at all...

That's the beauty of the disc bound system that I used to transform my Quilter's planner: empty pages are bothering me? I just take them out, and they are gone without traces :)
Since I am manually numbering the pages for my index system, none will ever know what happened... well, you now know, but that's different :)

So in March I decided to get back into the planning and tracking routine... with no pressure but some commitment to a Ketchup month :) :) :)

Below you can see the daily tracker (quite sparse, but not too sparse), the Free Motion Daily Doodle spread, the weekly/monthly todos, the week-by-week daily activities (with the Weekly Specials recipes meals at the bottom), the "Doodle an Artist" spread and the Fitness Mandalas.
(click on each picture if you want to see them in more details)

This month, in my "Doodle an Artist" I picked Kara Walker, an African American artist that will be my inspiration for the piece I will make for the Art with Fabric Blog Hop (coming in May).

As usual I tried to "Steal like an Artist" and extract part of her pieces that spoke to me and that I will be able to use in my piece for the Blog Hop. In the meantime, if you are curious to see more about Kara Walker you can check this video  or this other video.

About the Fitness Mandalas, I have few notes:
In January I had a different idea on how to set this up: I was using each wedge as a day and the amount of decorations depended on the number of steps I took. Since I am not so consistent the Mandala looked pretty ugly at the end :)
Then I decided to use a color scale for each range of step count and then I draw the mandala designs on top: in this way the inconsistency is actually interesting because different colors add visual impact :) however I hated coloring the last days of the month because the circles were so big and coloring with pens is not very pleasant.
So for April I decided to use again color coding, but I will split the mandala in two: one half will be step count and the other half water intake (as tracked by my smart bottle). In this way it will be cheerful, visually appealing and not too difficult to draw/color.

Finally I added a spread to keep track of my Weekly Specials recipes.
I am not good at meal planning or meal prepping...
I am good at cooking and baking for events, but everyday cooking is just too much for me to deal with. So I decided that a good  mid point was to "force" myself to find two new things to make every week and then I can keep these recipes for future reference.
The things can be easy spread, hummus or other sauces or full meals or cakes or cookies or salad. Really anything new :)
With this method, from last January, I collected a good list of things that I cooked that I loved (especially the recipes with the Instant Pot), others that were just ok, and others that I totally hated :)
I don't want to write any of those recipes again since they are already in my planner, but I need a way to find them: so I designed the "If you don't try, you'll never know" (a quote from my favorite Disney Movie (The Sword in the Stone)

I am all set up for April: I changed up few things that I want to track, dropped some, added others: this is the beauty of this planning style, you can change it up to suit your mood and style!

If you have any question about my planner, my spreads, my comments, etc, don't hesitate to comment below. Also please share planning, tracking and productivity tips, as those are always welcome!!!!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

WHY? I need your help! (and a link party)

In weeks full of burocratic craziness, making things is what keeps me sane! :)

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - completed two April blocks, an one May block (cannot share)
  2. Splendid Sampler - two blocks done (see below)
  3. Charity quilts - no progress
  4. SK project - no progress
  5. Molli Sparkle's "The Honey Pot Bee" - shared on March 1st!!!
  6. Project QUILTING - "Old times, good times" COMPLETED (see below)
  7. En Provence QAL - no progress
  8. Journaling into my Quilter's Planner - no progress
  9. 70273 Project - no progress
  10. Book binding - two little notebook done (see below)
  11. Twilters! Bee - March block done (see below)
  12. MP pillow cover - done! it's my entry for Project QUILTING (see below)
  13. MP hat - changed my mind... made a little pouch instead (see below)
  14. 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge: entries will be open from May 19 to May 29. My piece is ready since January :)

When the Challenge 6 of Project QUILTING was announced I had a hard TIME finding the inspiration :). I didn't want to interpret it litterally as I imagine many would and I always want to be different :) Well, time made me think about "old times"... "old times" "fun times"... and this means Disney! :) yes, from where I was able to read to waaaay after I started college, every week, I read the Topolino (an italian comics magazine with the adventure of Donal Duck, Mickey Mouse and their friends and family). That is why I made the following piece (inspired by recent books about Art History... aren't these duck Mona Lisa and Cezanne's duck model just so cute??)

"Old times, good times"
(38'' x 23'')

Of course I refer to the red bleeding :( :( :(
I know why the bleeding happened, I forgot the color catcher, that is not my question...
My question is, WHY did only ONE fabric absorbed the red loose color?
I am a scientist so I want to know...

The two applique pieces are absolutely perfect, no change in color there. This could be because they have Heat'n'Bond on the back, which may change the physical properties of those fabric pieces.
Ok.. that makes sense...
What it DOESN'T make much sense to me is why the absorption pattern is not consistent.

You can see above that the ombre fabric absorbed all of the red color but right against the part where there is a lot of red, the light blue fabric didn't absorbe a thing! The backing fabric also didn't absorbe anything and it is not any more pink than when it started.
The ombre fabric is designer high-quality fabric...
The light blue fabric is designer high-quality fabric...
The backing fabric is big box store fabric...

So can someone help me understand this phenomenon?

By the way, I am not too sad about the bleeding because I was planning to applique flowers around the two Lady Ducks anyway, so no problem there... plus the slight pink tone of the background now makes it more integrated with the other colors of the piece :)

My last two Splendid Sampler blocks... my total count is 44 and I have a plan to put them in an interesting layout... more on this later next month

My block for the Twilter's Bee swap

Two more little handmade notebook stitching the bookbinding :)

I was planning to make my mom a little knitted hat... then I tried to knit a head band... after 1 hour of knitting I remember that I highly dislike knitting :)

Then I found this video for a cute Accordion Pouch by Shabby Fabrics: it is sooooo easy, sooo fast and sooooo cute... Another Xmas present for 2017! :)

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Art with Fabric blog hop: Spring 2017

In this very special day, I am happy to announce the THIRD edition of

Art with Fabric Blog Hop!

Every quilted project is a unique piece of art, full of love, creativity and inspiration.

However, have you ever thought about how "traditional" art could be reinterpreted in a quilted piece?
(by "traditional" I mean anything that a non-quilter will label as art, like paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture from all countries and all time periods).

To explore the endless possibilities of art-inspired quilted pieces I decided to organize another edition of this Blog Hop!

This edition has a special theme...


Our amazing artists can pick an inspiration piece made by a woman artist… or a piece that displays a woman… or a piece that represents some kind of women related theme… how they include or interpret the theme is completely up to them!! I am sure we will be amazed and moved by the pieces from this hop!

This is the current schedule: look how many AMAZING artists are going to join!!

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 

Friday, May 19th, 2017 

If you want to see the amazing pieces we had in the last two editions of the blog hop, 

If any of you want to join the event, please leave a contact below with your email address and I will get in touch with you and add you in the list of artists!

I cannot wait to see what everybody will make for this special edition of the blog hop!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dress code (and a link party)

A difficult week, so only one project to show... but it's an important one for me.

The Ongoing Project List:
  1. Growing Up QAL - Working on future blocks! (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" - shared on March 1st!!!
  6. Project QUILTING - Dress code COMPLETED (see below)
  7. En Provence QAL - no progress
  8. Bullet Journaling into my Quilter's Planner - no progress
  9. 70273 Project - no progress
  10. Book binding - no progress
  11. Twilters! Bee - waiting for next month swap
  12. MP pillow cover - no progress
  13. MP hat - no progress

When the Challenge 5 of Project QUILTING was announced it immediately got my interest.
You can VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE at the following link!

"Well-dressed man"

When I was young I always loved a suit and a tie and I was used to wear them all the time even if it was not part of the "girl" dress code.
While growing up I then start seeing quite puzzling situations... Men with suit and tie were treated in a very different way than men dressed in other ways... and the people attitude was only a response to the suit, not the the real person wearing it...
My father was a manager of an hotel, but he also was helping with the plumming when needed... dressed as a plummer, people would treat him quite bad... dressed as a hotel manager, people would treat him with respect... and he was the same person, treating others with the same kind attitude...

The hypocrisy of many people disturbed me a lot...
And recently I witnessed an extreme situation of the same hypocrisy...
and that's the inspiration of the piece below: "Dress code" (forgive the weird light... bad weather to take pictures :) )

Dress code 22''x32'' 

The piece represent the contrast between what we (in the western society) would drescribe as a well-dressed man and other men that are half naked, dressed with poor materials or just drapes...
If these men were just encountered in the streets I am sure that many of us would judge them very strongly (good or bad)...
Their "dress code" is accompained by their words...
On the right, the words of The 14th Dalai Lama and Mahatma Gandhi...
On the left, the words of the President of the United States.

Stitching the left side of the piece was very very hard... not just because it's dark fabric so I had to use tissue paper to trace the quotes... but my hands were shaking as I was disgusted by what I had to stitch. Luckily he is not very eloquent, so his quotes are pretty short.
The quotes on the right, instead, are long, beautiful and profound...

The quotes on the right are:
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
"Many of our problems stem from attitudes like putting ourselves first at all costs."
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

I won't report the quotes on the left because I have been reading them too many times already.

The piece is quilted, but I will add more details in the background to make the elements stand out a little better.

I will probably submit this piece for the Threads of Resistence exhibition.

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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

As You Wish - The Honey Pot Bee

Hello my fantastic Princesses and Princes and other Royal appointments!
Welcome to my small Kingdom!!
It is such an honor to be part of an amazing event like The Honey Pot Bee.
Thanks Molli for the opportunity to design a block for all of you!

If you are new here, welcome!!
If you have been here before, I am glad that you came back!!! :)

If you are new here you should know that I am obsessed with Paper Piecing and I offer FREE paper piecing patterns of very famous characters like Snoopy & Friends, Alice in Wonderland, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many many more: just snoop around if you are curious!

I am also running a fun QAL over at my other blog ( so if you are up for a year long skill builder, head over there and join!

And now, as I mentioned, I LOOOOVE Paper Piecing, so my block for you is a simple and versatile paper pieced block.
If you don't like Paper Piecing, don't leave just yet... I have options... As You Wish...

As You Wish - Basic Pattern, Envelope only

If you have never done Foundation Paper Piecing, I would suggest you to start with the amazing
video tutorials by Jennifer @ Sewhooked (
She explains step by step all the tricks of this technique.
The envelope pattern is very easy so don't get intimidated if you have heard that Paper Piecing is
hard: I started sewing with paper piecing... I was able to do it, with NO prior sewing experience 
(meaning I didn't even know how to thread the machine)... so if I was able to do it, YOU can do it too!!! :) :) :)

Final size 10.5'' x 10.5''

As You Wish - All Variations

I like all kind of sewing techniques, so I tried to include as many as I could in the companion pattern I designed for you!
This is also a great opportunity to try techniques that maybe you are not too familiar with but in such a small block there is not much waste if you end up not liking it. I encourage you to experiment, mix and match and make this block serve you well.

Final size: it depends on the option you choose...
the option depicted above is 14.5'' x 14.5''

If you have any questions about my block(s) or any of the techniques I use, just leave me a comment below and (if you leave your contact information) I will get back to you as soon as I can!

I am very excited to see how you all interpret my design.

Ciao ciao! :)