Category Archives: Uncategorized

Park Lamps {a finish}

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Photo Credit: Love Patchwork & Quilting #56

Park Lamps was one of my last finishes of 2017. I had a lot of fun with this quilt. Firstly, interpreting the original inspiration of old gas lamps at the Mannheimer Wasserturm in Germany. The gas lamp was used as one of the quilt design a day prompts (sparks) and included the original color palette. I loved the geometry of the triangles in the light.

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My interpretation of this spark, lead to this original Art Deco looking design.
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I was thinking about adding this design to my book but decided that it would be a better fit for a magazine submission. I submitted it to LPQ, and provided options for multiple color palettes to modernize the look of the quilt. This was fun playing with color. I really loved the final color palette (Kona Mint, Kiwi, Peach, Ice Peach and White – purchased from Stash Fabrics) and design (slightly simplified and re-scaled).

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I decided for accuracy, I would (foundation) paper piece this pattern. It involved a lot of repetitive but simple paper piecing. I loved how each of the blocks matched, as it was essential to the secondary design. For the quilting, I wanted to continue to highlight the secondary diamond shape the triangles made, so I used straight lines echoing that shape. I am very pleased with the finish.

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Photo Credit: Love Patchwork & Quilting #56

Details

Name (Original): Park Lamps
Name (LPQ): Fruit Punch
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton (Mint, Kiwi, White, Peach, Ice Peach)
Backing: Carolyn Friedlander wideback – green
Binding: Lecien striped fabric
Dimensions:  60 x 60″
Quilted: Echoed Straight Lines (domestic sewing machine)

 

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Insights, goals and plan for 2018

2017….what to say about it?? I struggled to find the time for the quilting projects I wanted to do. I wish I could say that I didn’t mind…but it was frustrating. I understandably had to prioritize with travel, work, and life. I commited to spending time with my son and working through my stress/feelings that was compounded with my Mum loosing her battle with cancer.

We all go through our life journeys. I always try to learn from my experiences. This year, I learnt that:

  • Work-life balance is important to me and will be a focus in 2018.
  • I am more productive with deadlines in place (usually imposed by other people).
  • I really enjoyed giving back to the community.

Looking back on the year, I am proud of the accomplishments that I did make; including my two favorite finishes, New York Highline and San Francisco Bustle.

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New York Highline

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San Francisco Bustle

I think the biggest accomplishment that I achieved this year was selling 3 quilts to a corporate art curator. This has opened my mind to actually thinking I can sell as an artist and has opened doors that I am looking forward to explore more.

Overall, I meet my goals that I made at the beginning of the year. I was pleasantly surprised by this as I wasn’t sure I had.

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Fabric Postcards sent to Instagram friends

  • Be more engaged with a wider quilting community: My most favorite thing this year was to create and send fabric postcards. I had a bit of a bump in the road with these as my Mum got really sick and then passed away. This delayed shipping and left some incomplete. I have not blogged as much but I have stayed in touch mostly on Instagram (ml_wilkie)
  • Kept expanding and learning my quilt style: I focused more on minimalism this year (like my two favorite quilts) and have loved the results. I now need to decide if I want to keep my work expanding across multiple techniques and also multiple avenues (commercial as in magazines, or more textile art).
  • Teach more quilt classes this year: This year I have taught my quilt design class (2x), Improvisation: Lines and Shapes (3x) and Hand-stitched blocks on the go (1). I loved teaching and want to do more.
  • Submit quilts to one or more Quilt shows: I entered quilts both into QuiltCon and AQS again this year which saw all my quilts juried in.

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    Quilt publication from Love Patchwork and Quilting #52

  • Work on a couple of magazine submissions and additional content submissions: I was super lucky this year as I had to quilts patterns, and a couple of articles for the MQG. I also have two quilts in Love Patchwork & Quilting this year as well….with one coming out this week sometime. I also had quilts curated into QuiltCon 2017 magazine,  the first issue of Curated Quilts and the MQG’s book “Modern Quilts”. I enjoy having these projects with deadlines as it keeps me moving forward…I have no choice if I get in a creative slump but to power through and deliver.
  • Release a few more quilt patterns. Start with the previously released magazine submissions: The only goal I did not accomplish this year was the release of more quilt patterns.

For 2018, my goals are a little different based on what I learned this year, and the fact I created a business for my quilting exploits.

Work – Life Balance:

  • I need to work on what needs to be in my life….I need to eat healthier and start exercising at least 3 times a week, for example. I need to find better avenues to manage that stress.
  • I want to commit, twice a month, to doing a weekend family activity. I have been tracking some of these activities on my other Instagram account [ml.wilkie_adventures]
  • Challenge my creativity by allowing myself a project a month that is not related to deadlines. Have fun with friends in doing these challenges.
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Triangle MQG Charity Quilt (in-progress shot)

Giving back to the community is important to me:

  • Complete and/or contribute to at least three charity quilts.
  • Do my best as MQG Board Representative. I want to commit at least 12 hours a month.
  • Do another round of fabric postcards (with a goal of 2 per month).
  • I want to give back to the community with an Instagram give-away once a month of my favorite things.
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Broken Trellis Quilt Project for my upcoming book

Manage my productivity:

  • Finish my quilt book ready for publishing. This means finishing 8-12 projects and  an introduction; editing, designing and photography for these projects.
  • Complete 3-4 magazine submission or published.
  • Release 2-3 patterns and look into opportunities to publish patterns to print.
  • Track my projects monthly to see how they are going (like I have done in the past).

Put some focus on my new business (“Idea+Design+Create+Quilt”):

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Business Logo (designed myself + Melissa Herboth)

  • Put a business plan together with some goals.
  • Need to work on getting income into my business. Start with what I make income with today – magazine publications, pattern sales and teaching. I hope to make around $5,000 – $10,000.
  • Submit my work for an art show in my local area. I have been wanting to do this for a while and I am ready to sell some of the pieces.
  • Create new pieces and how to sell as art. Does that mean continue selling to corporations (they need larger pieces) or do I also cater to those that want art pieces  in their houses. Can it be both?
  •  Branding…Textile Artist, yes…Modern Quilting, yes…but do I keep with both improvisational and minimalistic pieces? or focus on one? Does this impact my business?

I have a lot of unanswered questions on the business side but I am on this journey to learn and see where it takes me.  I am sure, I will have stuff not happen but I do a pretty good job on not worrying too much about changing direction if needing too. It is always good to get some of this down and think through some pieces.

Good Luck, Happy New Year, and a warm welcome 2018!!

Linking up with Yvonne @QuiltingJetGirl 2018 Planning Party.

 

Book journey {an intro}

I thought I would start sharing my journey on writing and self-publishing a quilt book with you all. I am not sure whether this is will be a successful activity or whether it will be unsuccessful, at this point. I have always been curious about what people go through along this journey, what worked and what didn’t.

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#Swingin30sMedallion

Each month, I would love to share with you how it is going, answer any questions you might etc. here on my blog (that is if I can). You can also follow progress of projects on Instagram with #ideadesigncreatequilt or via my account @ml_wilkie.

So…..

Let’s start with an introduction of some of the initial ideas, decisions and steps so far.

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#BrokenTrellisQuilt

What is the book about?

The book will be about designing your own quilts and what that entails. It also include quilt projects that you can make and shown in the images here (in various stages).

Why did I choose to self-publish a book?

I decided to self-publish for three main reasons.

  1. Schedule: I needed to work with my schedule which is not predictable. With the events of this year, I needed to be in control when I could commit time and effort.
  2. Sharing: I wanted to be able to share the progress of the book and the quilt projects along the way. This way I can get feedback from you all and incorporate that into the book/projects.
  3. Layout & Design: I had pre-conceived notions on how this book would look. I wanted it to be visually stimulating and modern.

I am currently thinking of publishing via the amazon company – CreateSpace.  CreateSpace works based on a print ondemand model, meaning that once a book is ordered, it is then printed.  There is no need to keep inventory. The royalities for each book sold via amazon is appealing. They will distribute the book for you too, to companies such as Barnes and Noble but the royalities are much lower.

I am not tied in yet, I have had thoughts of finding my own printers as I have some unique features I want to include in the book. This would not fit with the “standard” style of CreateSpace options. I would then need to find a distributor myself and take on the printing costs of an upfront run.

What are your thoughts?? You’ll see more on this as the project comes to fruition.

What were some of the first steps I took?

  • Knowing my skills (and limits) I knew I would need help from a Graphic Designer and a Technical Editor. I reached out and secured those resources.
  • Used a Lawyer who specializes in publishing to get a contract in place for the graphic design and editor services.
  • Set up a meeting and shared ideas with my Graphic Designer and Editor.
  • A mind map of the ideas to help with layout and what could be in what chapter.
  • Selected initial set of projects that may be included in the book.
  • Created a rough project timeline | project plan
  • Organized a group project with contributors which included them sending blocks to me, a waiver and inclusion notes in the book.
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#IdeaDesignCreate_Group

What time frames did I have in mind?

My initial time frame was to launch the book at Fall Market 2017. That has now moved twice to Fall Market 2018. Over the Christmas break, I plan to update my initial project plan with Fall Market 2018 as a key target date.

How are you committing to the project?

I have been really frustrated with all things that are slowing me down. This year has been a little start and stop for me as a quilter for many reasons. Like many of us, I have had to deal with life getting in the way of my plans. It can be as simple as trying to keep up with the daily schedule, or to provide care | assistance | time to an ailing family member who lives across the other side of the world, or to a full-time job demanding more time. This project has had to take a back seat, somewhat.

I did find that if I had other project deadlines (ie. magazine submissions etc) it helped me prioritize and manage my time better. I hope to spend a good portion of December working on getting 2-3 projects off to quilters.

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#ManicuredGardensQuilt

Anyway….Thank you for stopping by, I hope this will be useful for folks. Let me know if you have any questions or topics you are interested in or if you have any advice to share.  Would love to hear from you!!

Umbrella Stripes {a finish}

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Photo by Love Patchwork & Quilting (Issue 54)

Umbrella Stripes quilt was inspired by a beach umbrella image from Design Seeds via @thebungalow22. The design is a simple stripe design but I loved the variations in widths and color of the original design.

 

That design is now a quilt available as a pattern in issue 54 Love Patchwork and Quilting (available today via digital media here in the US). The color palette for the design was changed for the actual quilt. This versions played with a much warmer palette of pinks/corals and the cooler colors of the pale green and grey.

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Photo by Love Patchwork & Quilting (Issue 54)

I had a lot of fun making this and it came together quiet quickly. I can’t wait to get my copy of the issue so I can see the other great quilts that are in the issue.

Details

Name: Umbrella Stripes
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton (Salmon, Petal, Pearl Pink, Honey dew, Shadow)
Backing: Ludovika, Edholm Uilenius for IKEA
Binding: High Meadow, Meriweather, Amy Gibson
Dimensions:  60 x 60″
Quilted: Straight Stitched Lines (at 2″ and 1″ apart).

San Francisco Bustle {a finish}

I am so happy to share this quilt, finally. San Francisco Bustle is this months MQG Quilt of the Month and the pattern is available to all members here.

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Last May (2016), I posted a spark for the Quilt Design a Day Facebook group of a Cable car stop in San Francisco.
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From this image, I designed this minimal abstract quilt design. The blues are from the cable car, the orange from the cones, the yellow from the road markings and the grey from the footpath corner. I will say the top grey box was a mistake and was out of my sketch pad but when saving it, it showed up. I loved the balance it provided and left it in.

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I used all Kona Cottons for the quilt, and love this palette (White, Tangerine, Papaya,  Sage, Storm, Ash). I am sure I will use it again in future.
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The piecing went quickly and I had the quilt top finished in about 3-4 hours. Then I got stuck. I had no clue how to quilt it. Thanks to friends encouragement, I got past the block. The quilting is a variety of straight line designs, done on my domestic sewing machine. You can really see the quilting in this picture in the direct sunlight.

SF_Bustle_QuiltingThe binding, which I am in love with, is block matched with the shapes that are along the edge. I thought about doing faced binding for the first time but really wanted the straightness and sharp corners of traditional binding.

Details

Name: San Francisco Bustle
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton (White, Tangerine, Papaya,  Sage, Storm, Ash)
Backing: Heather Givans, Literary, Pages in New and scraps
Binding: Kona Cotton (White, Sage, Storm and Ash)
Dimensions:  68 x 75″
Quilted: Variety widths and directions straight lines, domestic sewing machine with Aurifil

 

 

5 Years! {+Give away)

I can not believe it has been 5 years since I started sewing/quilting and blogging. I did not start out to be a quilter.  Last time I sewed anything it was a pillow case in home economics when I was 13. However, I have always been someone who dabbled in all art medium and baking//cooking, where the blog started.  I was always had a diverse range of interests from Art to Science to Languages. Quilting really has been one of those “hobbies” that has integrated the love of art and math.

I am lucky to be inspired by my own family. My Dad and Aunt are amazing artists, and my mum a highly skilled seamstress with a career in science. My only regret with starting quilting so late is not being able to actually sew with my Mum, but I love that I was able to gift her with a quilt.

Just to show you how far I have come, my first quilt was an original design of the 4 season of an apple tree. I would do this so differently today – and PS its still not finished. Yes, those are buttons and glittery snowflakes all hand stitched onto the top.

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The first finished quilt, was for the MQG Madrona Road Challenge. It was loosely inspired from tiles and a Turkish bath (inside the blue square). I still love this image today.
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The quilt now hangs in my studio, to remind me of my journey.
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In 2014, I joined Quilt Design a Day on facebook….a game changer for me. It moved me away from a multi-subject blog to mostly quilting. The designing of quilts and bringing them into reality is my passion. (so thank you Anne @playcrafts :-))

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I am so appreciative of the opportunities that this group has led me too. This is my first design for QDAD and it also won a quilt design competition. I gained enough courage to submit an idea, shortly after, to Sew Mama Sew and do a mini blog series on design to reality. Sew Mama Sew directly directly influenced the wonderful opportunity I got to work with Love Patchwork and Quilting. Eager for the opportunity to have a magazine submission, I committed to delivering a quilt in 10 days (while working a full-time job and being a mom). I was so shocked, it paid off though, as my first submission was a quilt cover.
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While I look back, it makes me smile. Seeing some of my favorite quilts I have made. Two of which are Sunday Best and Altitudinal Ecosystem which represents my bi-polar quilting interest; Improvisation and Minimalism.

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A couple of the big challenges I gave myself this year were:

  •  To enjoy my blog and just post when I have content I want to share. Very different to posting to gain followers and following a fixed schedule.
  • Write a book. It is underway but I will say it is a much slower process than I expected. Life is always in the way (and definitely not in a bad way).
  • Be bold and submit for an exhibit, which I am still working towards. This idea though, led to me submitting to an art curator. They purchased 3 of my quilts yesterday (you can see my digital portfolio I submitted).
  • Lastly, setup my own business. I am hoping to have it all complete in a couple of weeks.

I have learned so much in this process, and still work on most of these every day:

  • Be you and don’t worry what others think. If you try to please others you are likely not going to enjoy things.
  • Be adaptable, things are always changing and new opportunities become available.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. A no is just a no.
  • Be bold, email manufacturers to discuss fabric and possibilities, submit to magazines, submit to quilt shows, etc. The worse that will happen is they so no.
  • Experiment, find you. Give yourself permission to just play and enjoy the process.
  • Enjoy your people. Support others and give back. We learn so much now-a-days via the internet and others in the community. Share experiences, techniques, support others, give feedback and if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say it.

Give Away

Thank you for all your support in me and my blog. In the spirit of giving back I am doing three things:

  • Posting fabric postcards to individuals (over on my IG account: ml_wilkie , tutorial coming later this week)
  • Giving one of my blog followers a $50 gift card to Hawthorne Threads. Leave a comment below telling me what one of your goals are for this year. Leave a second comment if you are a follower. I will randomly select a winner next Saturday.
  • The winner of the giveaway, will also designate a charity of their choice, where I will also donate $50 (Please make sure they accept online contributions).

NY High Line {a finish}

My quilt New York High Line was released as a pattern this week, via the Modern Quilt Guild resource web page and newsletter. It is free to members.

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This quilt was designed as part of quilt design a day. It was based on an image I had taken of a building from the New York High Line.  This image was our used also as our QuiltCon Showcase earlier this year.

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This is a great quilt if you want to play with accuracy, as matching the various lines is important to the overall composition.

I feel very rewarded now that the quilt is done, though the 1/2″ straight line quilting was a difficult task. A mix of  lots of procrastination, burying all those threads (which was due to thread matching, lead to a process taking 5 months.

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I did extend the quilting lines through the orange stripe, edge to edge.

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Details

Name: NY High Line
Design:
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton
Backing: Variety Carolyn Friedlander prints
Binding: Kona Snow
Dimensions:  72 x 72″
Quilted: With straight line quilting 1/2″ apart