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Opioids and Y-Seams

Last Year our county was awarded one of twelve grants by the California Opioid Safety Commission to help educate the public and medical community on the increasing use and danger of both prescription and street narcotics.  The Commission got wind of my 5/325 quilt and invited me for an interview.  The results of that interview can be found here (you can find the link below my picture): Placer Nevada County Medical Society – Just another WordPress site

The fact that this statement piece is getting recognition in the medical community is pretty satisfying.  Even more exciting is the fact that it is getting the word out about the narcotic dependence and addiction issues in the general community.  (It was on display in Houston at the International Quilt Festival, will be shown next month at Quiltcon in LA and will be featured in the Quiltcon Magazine).  I am scheduled to speak (with my quilt if it is available) in April at our hospital medical staff meeting and there are some other venues pending.  Who knew that my crazy idea would get so much play?

Hillary

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2016 :: Care More/Care Less

 

2015 has come to a screeching close leaving me breathless and a little bewildered.  In effort to spend some concentrated time with my family I always work Dayjob a lot over the holidays.  Now with some precious time off and much needed sleep under my belt I feel like I can reflect and make plans.

In some respects on my creative journey, 2015 was fairly momentous.  I participated in my first quilting bee (Bee Sewcial).  The monthly prompts expanded my maker’s bag of tricks exponentially and forced me out of my creative comfort zone-so good.  I have no clue how these talented people picked me to join them but I am forever grateful and look forward to another year of the same.

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I both visited and participated in my first Quilt shows.  My quilts were featured in a magazine for the first time.  With the help of my friend Robin, we won our first sewing contest with Umbrella Prints Trimmings and my quilts were featured for the first time in a gallery.  To my amazement some fabric designers/companies sent me fabric without expectation to play and create (I hope to find some time soon to show more the results of those gifts).   I was involved in some meaningful collaborative work with talented people.  And of course I made a gazillion bags and several quilts.

In other respects however the year was similar to most, making and exploring.  In 2016 there is important work to be done.  Most notably my “Nude is Not a Dress Color Project” which was set back by collaborative side steps is calling to me.

In looking toward the new year a common theme comes up for me:  Care More :: Care Less.

:: Care more about the process and less about the end result.

:: Care more about the message in my makes and less about whether other people understand it.

:: Care more about the art and less about the shows.  (As a side note I was fortunate to have 4 quilts chosen to show at Quiltcon 2016 and am part of one Bee Sewcial quilt that will be showing-yay Debbie.  Even with this I struggle to see myself as a Quiltshow person.  Despite the fact that everyone I have met participating in the process is talented and worthy and that these show are gorgeous displays of art, I can’t shake the “beauty queen” image in my mind.  Does that make any sense?)

:: Care more about the whole community and less about the stars.  I love this sewing community and hope to give more back in the way of some free blocks/patterns I have planned.  It is nice to get attention and adulation from the “superstars” of the industry but we are all worthy and on the same journey.  I hope to concentrate more on that.  I know I am remiss in responding to comments here (did I mention my Dayjob and momjob?) but I hope to be better.

Thank you for being part of my 2015 and I look forward to traveling the road together in 2016.

P.S. The block featured at top is a new design concept I am exploring.  More to come.

Happy New Year

Hillary

 

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Minimalism and Maximalism

What I have been up to of late:

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-“Queuing Theory” quilt.  Quilted by Christine Perrigo (@ccpquilt on IG).  It was inspired by a series of paintings by Mark Grotjahn called Dancing Butterflies.

-Crazy striped piecing in stripes inspired by a puzzle I saw on Pinterest (thank you glue basting)

-Hand painted linen flowers for Blair Stoker (Wise Craft Handmade) because it is super fun to trade with other makers especially when they are from my previous Seattle home city.

-More Slow Stitch Embroidery in the works.  This improv embroidery is the bomb people.  Try it!!

-A minimini quilt for Stephanie Ruyle ( Spontaneous Threads) that mimics a Rothko painting she pointed out in Houston.  It represents me (mustard) and her (orange) with some more hand stitching and Stephanie’s old suede coat as binding.

-My last quilt blocks of the year for the Bee Sewcial Bee for Leanne (she can quilt).  It was a total kick in the pants to play with color and improv.  The green block also helped me perfect my Y seam skills.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Hillary

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Paris

Every October I take a large chunk of vacation time to spend with my kids.  Typically I also make a goal of independent study on some area I feel lacking.  A couple years ago inspired by religious violence in the world I chose to actively learn more about religions I knew little about.  One of my friends took me to her Jewish Synagogue and we also listened to the teachings of a Buddhist monk.  Another friend took me later to a traditional Catholic service and yet another brought me to his Mosque.

All were surprisingly foreign territories for me but none so much as the Islamic Mosque.  My visions had been unquestionably filtered through the media and the high profile Islamic extremists so often pictured there.  On the Friday of my visit, my friend and his wife helped me put on a hijab.  We walked through the Mosque center visiting with people as we watched the children gather in their version of “Sunday School” and watched members collect used clothing and supplies for the poor in the area.  My friend’s wife and I filed in with the other women to the back of the Mosque while my friend went to the front with the other men and sat down for the service.  Prayers were said and all the bowing and kneeling seemed meditative and reminiscent of calming yoga sequences I love to settle into.  Children flitted back and forth between mothers and fathers.  The setting was undeniably warm and casual.  And then the Imam got up to speak and you know what his sermon was about?  Conservation, helping those in need and having compassion and understanding for people in other religions “because in the end we are all worshipping the same God.”  That’s right, I had experienced the most liberal sermon of my life.   As my friends and I drove back to their home they told me that all contributions to their mosque had to be in cash as they were concerned credit card or check records if discovered could make them vulnerable to locals who did not like Muslims.

Fast forward to this last week and the horrible violence experienced through the world in the name of Islamic extremism.  My heart sank especially for the city and care providers of Paris as I know this city well and could imagine being on duty there as the rush of wounded flooded their Emergency Department doors.  This creative world of mine seemed kind of silly in context but as I process my emotions in making, I couldn’t help but put something together.  I cut into some beautiful First of Infinity linen generously given to me by Lecien Fabric and next thing I knew I was making up one of my Mini Museum bags with a French Flag variation in appliquéd leather on the front.  If only there was more room, the Lebanese, Syrian and Iraqi flags would all deserve a place on my make.

My heart sank in equal measure for my friends who brought me to their mosque and I know are feeling more vulnerable because of world violence perpetrated under a warped vision of Islam.

As a side note when I went to these different religious ceremonies in sum what I came away from was the commonalities.  In each an ancient language was used (Arabic, Hebrew, Latin).  Each held great comfort in the value of prayer or song and each held special reverence for their children and their participation in the process.

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That’s a lot of thought pent up in one bag huh?  The good news is it can carry a big load.

Hillary

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Quilting From Every Angle Blog Tour and Giveaway

Nancy Purvis ( owen’s olivia ) is a quilt designer and maker I have been following for awhile.  Her designs speak to me.  They are clean, modern, bold and interesting.  The minute I knew she had a book being released I preordered and when it arrived an interesting thing happened, I felt compelled to make not just one item using her beautiful designs but TWO.  In reality it was hard for me to pick from the gorgeous patterns featured and I am sure there will be more to come.

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Quilting from Every Angle: 16 Geometric Designs
By Nancy Purvis
Interweave/F+W;
http://bit.ly/1jw4098

Nancy was kind enough to include me with some amazing other makers in her blog tour.  Make sure to check the rest out for what are guaranteed to be inspiring creations and more opportunities for book giveaways.

BLOG TOUR

11/10- Michelle Wilkie of Factotum of Arts

11/11- Hillary Goodwin (ME!!)

11/12- Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles

11/13- Anna Graham of Noodlehead

11/16- Rachel McCormack of wooden spoon quilts

11/17- Tara Larson of RAD & HAPPY

11/18- Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane 

11/19- Holly Hughes of Holly Gets Quilty

11/20- Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft

11/23- Pat Bravo of Pat Bravo Fabric Design and Jesse Maloney of  Art School Dropout

11/24- Astrid Slagle of Red Red Completely Red

11/25- Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely

11/26- Christopher Thompson of the tattooed quilter

11/27- Spoonflower of Spoonflower Blog

Those who know me understand that I have a special passion for bag making.  I decided that my first make would be a bag using Nancy’s Stones Quilt pattern.   I sized the pattern down to three quarters size, used 9 “stones” instead of 15 and utilized a bag design of my own.  I also used Pellon Flex Foam Stabilzer for the first time-a wonderful discovery.  It gives my bag some nice heft and shows off the quilting beautifully.  I will be using this more in my makes.  In any case, I grabbed some bright Kona solids and used a Carolyn Friedlander print as background with new black leather for the base and handle.  I am pretty pleased with how it turned out and think it shows how different this pattern can go with varied color themes and fabrics.

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A fun discovery that may be obvious for many experienced makers but was a lightbulb moment for me as I was making this bag was how to make the fabric pattern around the “stones” orient in the same direction as the overall background fabric.  I chose a PATTERNED background and SOLID “stones” in contrast to the opposite shown in the book which made the fabric orientation an issue.  I really wanted the background fabric to all be oriented in the same direction so as to make the piecing less obvious (these kind of details are ridiculously fun fodder for me).   To solve this dilemma while cutting the “stones” for the pattern, I lined up the background fabric scraps behind the solid “stone” fabric IN THE SAME ORIENTATION as the overall background at each corner then cut on the line simultaneously across both “stone” and background and pieced.  I think and hope this  makes the quilted bag front look cohesive and it is definitely a technique I will keep in mind for future makes.

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As I said, surprisingly I couldn’t stop at one design from Nancy’s book.  We have just completed a huge remodel including finishing a closed deck and setting up a hammock underneath it.  It is a perfect place to lay down and take naps but was in dire need of a winter pillow to snuggle up with. Using elements from the book’s Mesa Quilt and fun hand dyed printed fabric from Kelsey Boes (Lovely and Enough) and yarn dyed fabric from Jennifer Sampou (Jennifer Sampou ), I made a yummy pillow.  I flipped the light and dark fabrics on the left side and right side to give the pillow symmetry making it a little different then the Mesa Quilt but unmistakably Nancy.  The pillow has recieved my husband’s approvel, and he is a tough sell, so I know it is a good one.

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This pillow is pretty fun with points up and down.

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I heartily recommend this book and am excited to share a copy with one special blog reader. (hard copy for those in the US or digital copy for those outside the states).  To enter, please tell me about the first craft/quilting book(s) you remember sewing from and how your style is now compared to then. (For the record, I started with Kaffe Fassett’s Quilting books, still have every copy and continue to find inspiration from all of them).  I will pick a winner randomly by 5 PM Monday, November 16th.  If you are a no-reply blogger please make sure to include your email address so I may contact you.

For the Record:  I was given a free copy of this book to help me make projects but before I even received it or asked to participate in the blog hop, I had already purchased the book and started to make.  My opinions are and will always be my own.

Hillary

 

Addendum:  THE WINNER BY RANDOM DRAW IS BUNTYW.  I WILL EMAIL TO SEE IF YOU WANT A HARD COPY IN THE STATES VS A DIGITAL COPY IF OVERSEAS.  IF NO ANSWER BY NEXT MONDAY, I WILL PICK A NEW WINNER.

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One Month

In two days I start back to work again after a month off.  I have logged many hours doing continuing education for Dayjob, baked almost every variety of pumpkin muffin/scone/cookie you can imagine and of course have been creating.

In a month:

Pattern Play (I replicated the Tate Museum flooring pattern using a modification of Latifah Saafir’s Glam Clam Pattern in bag form.  For fun I added a knit pillow of my design to match my previously finished quilt top with buttons covered with treasured Umbrella Prints fabric):

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Bag Design (repurposing photos I had taken on canvas)

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Block Making (for my Bee Sewcial group and shown with a minimini quilt made by Stephanie Ruyle).

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Minimalist Design Play with Leather Scraps

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Anatomical Stitch Sketching

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Fabric Making

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Quilt Finishing (with amazing quilting by Jessie Ziegler)

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Self Portrait Work In Process (with my first bias strip quilt using scrubs on hospital sheets)

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My creative and family life are feeling extra rich after this sweet time.  Grateful

Hillary

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Slow Stitching

I am halfway into a month off of work and ironically as I rush around trying to fit the rest of life in I find myself more stressed then relaxed?  That soooo is not what vacation is about right?

Inspired by the book “Slow Stitch” by Claire Wellesley-Smith, I decided to slow things down a bit with handwork.  I have always found peace in knitting and excitement in sewing (excitement in sewing??  Haha! I’m sure that sounds so funny if you are not a maker.)  It turns out at least for me that sewing can be relaxing if you do handwork in little bites.

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I started the process by cutting up some ill fitting jeans and doing reverse shibori with bleach on the pieces in various folding patterns.  Holy Cow, what a fun easy, quick process that was.  All my future jeans are destined for bleach jobs.

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Every night as I have been sitting and watching movies with my husband (such a rarity during the rest of the year), I have been devising and stitching up new little patterns with bits of felted wool, recycled leather and silk floss.  The shibori Os called for some Xs so a theme took hold.

I wasn’t quite sure what was to become of this concoction but finally settled on a bag I have been dreaming up.  It called for a leather border with mitered corners and to add more interest (and help attach it to my extra firm pellon interfacing) I machine embroidered with invisible thread even more Xs and Os.  I used the back of a vintage feedback for the inner part of the bag.

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This thing is VERY impractical with silly little pockets on the inside that don’t hold much but I am in love with it as an art piece.  And as with most of the makes I love, it is destined for someone else worthy.  I think they will get the wonkyness of it.  I hope so.

Hillary