Monday, January 18, 2016

Curious Fractals - part one

This year I have a few projects I want to work on, and spending my first week of the year over on 52Quilters was a great year to help me sort out my ideas and draw up a proper work list.

I've written a lot about craft as a kind of sustenance for me, something that helps me focus, keep balance, and save time for myself, but I've always been careful to categorise it as play and not "work".... My approach for 2016 is to do the opposite, not categorise it as work in the sense that it's going be to major source of income, but to acknowledge the need to develop myself and just generally do more. It's work in the same way that going to the gym, read a challenging book, or forcing myself to go to the dentist is work: sometimes a pain, but mostly very good for me!

So my first project of 2016 is my Curious Fractals quilt. Quite a few years ago I broke my own stash rules and bought up a good selection of fabrics from David Butler's Curious Nature collection, and I've been sitting on them, failing to get off my stash ever since.


After trying a few different ideas, and building up anxiety over cutting into my stash, I've decided to revisit my fractals pattern from the Mini Rainbow Swap last year. To enlarge my colour rainbow mini that had 8 colours repeating three times, and create a much larger and squared off version using 12 colours of Curious Nature repeating twice.

A photo posted by Chris Webb (@chrismakesthings) on


I'm using paper piecing for this project, the quilter is divided into 24 fragments, each made up of three paper pieced pieces. I haven't decided how I'm going to frame/square off the work, but I've started on the fragments. 


I know per piecing is a fast and straightforward way to piece, but I forgot how much prep there is: cutting out the 72 fragments, numbering fabrics and laying out what fabric corresponds which each piece. I spent most of the first weekend of January planning instead of sewing, but progress is slowly underway.


I've made my first cuts and will be updating on here and Instagram as Curious Fractals comes together!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

slow and measured steps...

Well true to what they say, 2015 came in like a Lion! Life has been keeping me busy, with lots of travel for work and the ticking along of 52 Quilters... but I'm pleased to report that I have been maintaining my 'focus' and staying true to that as my word for the year!

My first exercise in focus was working on my project for the Rainbow Mini Swap - my second ever swap, and so I set out to do a few things on my list and really focus and force myself to do more with this mini project. I wanted to created something entirely new, and work from my own pattern so I designed a geometric foundation pieced design in Illustrator and then had a go and piecing it together.

Above: my first two test pieces for the project - and - Below: my many segments in the stages of piecing things together.

This has been a really great project for me because it has basically served as a big heavy-handed metaphor for 'focus': with all the lines and segments shooting out in a fractal-like pattern, but all anchoring in a single point of focus in the centre.  It's a lot like my life right now - lots of wonderful distractions in the big picture, but I'm learning to prioritise, focus (get ready for a year of overusing that word!) and not just deal with things one at a time, but really be in that moment of dealing with things instead of half-completing something while my mind is wondering about everything else.

And Tad-dah! The final project (front and back) - well final-ish, I still have to quilt and bind it (must remind myself that it is not finished!)


Still a little bit of work to do, but I'm really pleased with the project.

My next step in focusing my attention has been to try my hand at english paper piecing (having sworn several time that hand-sewing was "Just not for me") and so far its going so good. Stay tuned to the blog and my instagram for updates with how that challenge goes... Right now I'm still very much in the honeymoon phase, so we'll see how I feel a few rosettes in.

My optimistic start to Rosette #1:

Thanks for stopping in as always, if you have the time to comment I'd love to hear about what you are working on and what your biggest hurdles have been - whether it is specific projects you had trouble finished, or the more general hurdle of patience like me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015: Focus

Welcome to 2015! Regular readers might notice a few changes around here, but not necessarily obvious or cosmetic ones: This year I'm trying to do more blogging, make my blog a bit more personal and post on a wider, more dynamic range of topics. So as a kick start to this new journey, I'm sharing my first major project of the year (second quilt) along with my elected word of the year:'Focus'.

At the end of my week on 52 Quilters, I posted over on the '52 about lessons learned in 2014 and my plan to apply the word focus to my work and life throughout 2015. Focus on my work, focus on my practice and what inspires me and keeping focus in the moments I want to savour, enjoy and remember. 

So my first personal project: my Rainbow Mini Swap quilt is bringing my focus together in lots of ways.

1) I'm really thinking about my design and taking measured plans to create something and really enjoy the process of making, instead of just speeding towards the finished product. Here I am working on my sketches and planning my pattern.



2) I'm trying to hone my digital skills by creating my own digital paper-piecing blocks. Here is one step of my design in Illustrator, and the final version printed and ready to start piecing.



3) I've created a design that embodies the idea focus - a geometric pattern where all the lines and colours draw to one single point in the middle: a point of focus (I know, I know... maybe a bit too literal? but I like it!)


Part of this new reign of focus is accepting patience. Something I am going to need when it comes to piecing together this 12-sided quilt made up of 24 segments. Each segment has three paper pieced pieces, which I've cut out and written letters to help me know my colour layouts...

You can see my pieces grouped and ready to go. I've made two out of 24 segments about, and here are the other 22 segments waiting to become patchwork!


I'm not really into new year's resolutions or introducing sweeping changing into my life just because of the calendar, but I do think its nice to think and nominate some words or principles to guide me year-to-year. What are you New Year's rituals? Do you have any words of inspiration for 2015?

Check back for more updates on my #rainbowminiswap project and more! Lots ahead for 2015 including new projects and my first quilting bee!

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

52 Quilters

Hi folks,

In case you were stopping by and didn't find out through the bajillion other channels I've been shamelessly self-promoting it on, this past week I've been posting as a part of my new project called '52 Quilters'. 52 Quilters is a project inspired by some of the other '52 twitter accounts out there, but extending that to instagram and blogger by inviting a new quilter to take over the 52 Quilter accounts each week.

Last week I was the first quilter and you can read all about my week here, with my round up post. Soon I'll be back to Lazy Crafternoons, but will be making a few changes to how I write and work this year (don't worry all fun, positive and very me!)... so stay tuned for updates.

A new baby quilt I made as a part of my week on the '52
Follow my blog with Bloglovin