Monthly Sewing Update December 2019

The last month of the year is often associated with finishing and endings. However, this month we had a broody chicken and she hatched ten chicks. This is the first clutch of chicks for our chickens, so for me, December 2019 will always be associated with a new start.

Wendy and chicks 2.jpg

In this post, I’ll update you what about all the creative projects I’ve worked on in November and December. I won’t reflect on the new year because I do that on my birthday in November.

I will mention one goal in the conclusion though because sometimes it is good to make a headstart with good intentions to avoid the rush in January.

New quilt or embroidery projects

Quilted kitenge fabric pillows

This month I worked on quilted pillows made with a combination of Kitenge fabric and solids. Kitenge is a fabric popular among places in East-Africa and thus also Kenya where I live now. In the picture, you see three of them. More information about how to make them and the patterns I used will follow in a post later this month.

All the fabrics used are sourced from tailors. Tailors are a great place to get cheap materials and also to turn waste into something valuable. I’ve talked before about more environmentally friendly ways to find materials in the post below:

Quilted Kitenge fabric pillows
Quilted Kitenge fabric pillows

Kitenge quilted baby blanket

The wife of one of my friends is pregnant. My mother has as traditional to quilt a baby blanket for people and I want to honour that tradition. My blanket is going to be bigger than hers because it is more practical to give people something to carry their baby around in.

Quilted Kitenge baby blanket
Quilted Kitenge baby blanket

Progress ongoing quilt and embroidery projects

Dear Jane Sampler quilt

Behold … ,

Top five rows Dear Jane quilt sampler

… this month I finished the top five rows of my Dear Jane Quilt! It is amazing to see all the quilt blocks come together like this. And this is not everything: this month I’ve also finished 129 of the 169 square middle blocks of this quilt. This means the middle blocks are more than three quarters done. A post will follow to celebrate that occasion. For now, I’ll present the post where I detail about the five rows milestone.

Quilting of the Kenyan quilt

The Kentan quilt is another one of my long-term projects. The quilt top is done and now I am hand quilting it. If you do a little bit every month it’ll be done before you know it.

Foundation piecing Kenyan inspired quilt

Yes, I am making another Kenyan quilt. This is going to be made with foundation paper piecing (FPP). Also, I will design most of the patterns myself inspired by elements that fit with my Kenya experience. The block below is made with a pattern by Amarar Creacions. She has a lot of interesting FFP patterns with animals.

Foundation piecing origami bird quilt block

Stained glass cross stitch dragon

Before I started this cross stitch project I had been eyeing it for months. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I finish the dragon’s head this month! The pattern is made by the always lovely and amazing Pinkythepink.

Hot air balloons cross stitch

There was some progress on this piece as well this month. Not a lot of progress though, so we can play a game: do you spot the difference between the two pictures below?

The pursuit to finish very old projects

The project on the picture below I started a long time ago. The plan was to create a night scenery with a figure who is stargazing.  That plan is still alive, however, I stumbled on execution. Most of my quilt designs are abstract. This means that more realistic scenery is a challenge. I am sure I will think of a way to finish this one eventually though. Sometimes it simply takes longer for a quilt to be born.  This quilt hangs on my wall for me to find inspiration to finish it in the next year.

  • What do you do when you are stuck on a project?

P1130130.JPG

Conclusion: beginning early to fulfil the scariest goals

Although I said I would not reflect on the next year, I am going to do it anyway. Often when I have an idea or plan to further my goals and dreams I struggle to execute it because of fear. It is some kind of self-sabotage that freezes my body and mind and makes me unable to do anything. However, I’ve also noticed that fear gets less when I talk about my plans and find a way to execute them step by step.

My big dream is to become a fabric artist and to inspire people to pick up embroidery or quilting through my work. One day I would like to pursue teaching as well and selling some of my work. For that, I need to be more active in social media. If nobody sees your work it is impossible to inspire people. Also, I think it is good to add my positive voice of making beautiful items out of discarded materials to all the voices telling us to consume more and more. Therefore a facebook page where I share my art is a good next move.

I haven’t started one yet though because of the fear I mentioned. It is partly a fear of failure and partly a fear of ridicule. Both are unlikely to be true because I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback so far. Also, failure is unlikely when you set achievable goals and work towards them diligently. Fear of showing myself to the world has always been a part of me though. It took me more than a year to be comfortable sharing my blog with people and to be open about my passion for quilting and embroidery. Something I already talked about in this article:

So, to avoid spending even more time talking about it instead of doing it, here is the link to my facebook page:

I’d love it if you’d check it out and follow me. Also, any tips or feedback on how to run a facebook page is so much appreciated.

Some questions for you:

  1. Do you have a creative facebook page for me to follow?
  2. Which was your bravest creative achievement? How did you find the courage to go for your plans?
  3. What is something you want to do creative wise, but you haven’t found the courage for yet?
  4. Which social networks for creative people do you prefer? I have a website, Facebook, Instagram and DeviantArt and it would be good to know where people go so I know where to put my focus.

What have you missed?

Next week’s post:

  • Five lively Kitenge pillows to perk up your home

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 blog post every Sunday or Monday.

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