As I said: it’s my birthday!
In honour of that here is a post reflecting on my year, and especially on how far I’ve come as an artist. if a woman can’t brag about her achievements on her birthday, when can she right? And this was quite a year. I’ve fallen in love, got my heart broken. Left the place I had been living for seven years to move back to my parents and then moved to a different continent. And those are only some of the things that happened to me!
But the most important thing is that I finally got the courage to fully embrace this creative side of me and to take it seriously and to see how far I can take this creativity of me business wise. Join me on this reflective journey and see how far I’ve come this year. Underneath every picture, I’ve linked the post about that particular artwork. There’s no room to tell everything in this post of course, but if you scroll down long enough you’ll end up in my archive.
The first big quilt I’ve ever finished
In this quilt, I used as many crazy fabric scraps as I could find. I did that to practice sowing with as many different kinds of fabrics as possible. One day I want to make memory quilts out of people’s clothing, so it is good to practice quilting with all kinds of fabrics. This quilt is hand quilted with a star template.
And see how pleased I look in it
My second quilt is a rag quilt
The second quilt I finished was made with a sewing machine. It is a turtle rag quilt for one of my sister-friends who loves turtles. I made it as a house-warming present.
And the third quilt is from recycled materials
I love that all my quilts so far are so different. I don’t like doing the exact same thing twice. I’d rather experiment and try new things. This third quilt made from recycled men’s shirts and ties.
The urge to do something different in every project you also see in the bookbags. I love reading and books, I even have a book review site with my sister-friends: Bookworms United. As a bookworm, you always carry a book around, so this year I started making bags for that particular purpose. For now, they are made as gifts but maybe I will sell them later on.
- How to turn a faux leather coat into a peek-a-bookbag
- Combine a scarf, jeans and the lining of a coat to make a punk bookbag
- Turtle bookbag made with recycled clothing
My lovely Dear Jane quilt
Alright, officially I started this one before my birthday last year, but she has been such a big part of my life that I cannot ignore this quilt. The Dear Jane quilt is a sampler quilt consisting of 225 different patterns or blocks. The completion of this quilt is a proof of quilting skill and will also make you a capable quilter while you are sewing it. I’ve finished a little over eighty blocks now, and around the sixty mark, I started to see a real improvement. I write about the Dear Jane quilt a lot, so if you follow this blog you’ll get updates. Some examples:
And here are some key posts:
- My Dear Jane deflowering: A-1: pinwheel gone awry
- Dear Jane sampler quilt introduction
- How I design: colours of the Dear Jane
- A milestone of my Dear Jane quilt! Halfway the middle squares
Pattern design for quilts and embroidery
But I’ve also worked on some quilts. I was especially proud of the double wedding ring variation I made for my sister-friend’s wedding.
During that quilt, I discovered that it is easiest to create something new out of an old, already existing, idea. In this case the traditional double wedding ring quilt pattern
Another big pattern design project I’m currently working on is my Kenyan quilt. I am actually surrounded by fabric pieces while I’m writing this post. Here are some examples of that quilt:
I love writing! Be it a blog post, a story, a poem or the stuff I write for academics or other things. It orders my thoughts, keeps me sane and whenever something sad happens to me I deal with it by telling myself that at least it inspired a great story. The poem ‘the Upcycle Blues’ is one example of my writing. I’ve shared it here before but I love it so much that I just do it again.
The upcycle blues
If it looks like I’m undressing you with my eyes
It’s because I want to make a quilt of your pants
If your laundry returns with a rip in your dress
It’s because I wanted it for my new bag
If there’s a stain I can’t clean on your blouse
I put it there myself so I can start cutting
Don’t trust me to iron your favourite shirt
Because I will scorch it in a place I can’t use
And don’t ask me to fold your handkerchiefs
Because I will surely declare them lost
This is the kind of life you’ll lead with an upcycler in your house
Constantly wondering in which quilt your lost socks will turn up.
And when another tie is sacrificed to become a bag
More of my writing is on Deviantart. That’s the easiest place to share it for me for now: my writings.
Plans for next year
I’m so happy I discovered and embraced this quilting and embroidery bug I have this year. It gives me so much happiness and peace of mind. No update is complete without a list of things to do thereafter. Here is a sample of my goals:
- Make and sell patterns
- Write more tutorials and other informational quilt articles
- Become a creative teacher in some way or other
- Make crewel embroidery
- Keep writing
- Learn how to start a craft business
Now I am curious about your story
- Do you evaluate your achievements and goals on your birthday?
- What are your proudest achievements
- What are your goals this year?
See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.