Free Quilt Pattern: Holiday Splendor

Good morning, I hope everyone is having an excellent weekend so far! I’m busy working on illustrations for the Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers class that I am taking which I blogged about here. Currently finishing up week two of five weeks. I already don’t want it to ever end! This week has been a big challenge for me, as our theme is Staffordshire Pottery (which honestly, I find hideous) and we need to make it a plate design. I’m really stretching my creative muscles on this.

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I was flipping through my old blog The Fiber Nation this morning, and remembered I had a free pattern there. It’s fall/winter themed, so I thought why not share it with all of you! I did this quilt back in 2010, but I am thinking I am going to remake it in some new prints! All you need to do is click on the image below for access to the pdf patter for Holiday Splendor.

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Just click the image to go to the pdf pattern page

People ask me where I get my fabrics, and I have to say that one of the places I love to shop with is Spool. I shop online, as I do not live in Chattanooga, and they have THE BEST customer service I’ve ever experience with a quilt shop! (Or really anywhere…seriously, I can’t stress enough how much I love these ladies.) I think I will pop over there and order some prints for my remake of Holiday Splendor! No worries, I will share with you my remake. 😉 Come to think of it, I may need to make two, and design my own print set on Spoonflower to use to make one!

If you decide to make this quilt, I would LOVE for you to send me a picture of your finished one and I will put it up on the blog here! Just send to indiequilter76@gmail.com

Have a great weekend everyone!

2016 Retro Tea Towel Calendar

It’s Thursday and that means the start of a new Spoonflower contest. I had so much fun this time, as the theme was to create a tea towel calendar for 2016. I remember my family often had a tea towel calendar for drying dishes when I was little. Perhaps that nostalgia is why I went with a retro theme for my design.

stephanieforsythteatowelI also created some coordinates to go with my piece, so be sure and click on my designer name “indiequilter” and head into my Retro Kitchen collection and check those out too.

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How to vote:

If you would like to vote in the contest this week, head over to the Spoonflower Contest Page and click on “Vote for Your Favorites”. You don’t need to register, or give them any information to vote. The entries are shown randomly for each voter, so I can not provide you a specific link to my piece, and additionally you can vote for as many pieces as you want that you find you just LOVE! Voting ends October 22nd, 2015. If you’re looking for my entry on the page, the title is “Retro Tea Towel Calendar” and my username is “indiequilter”.  Make sure you click the check mark on the ones you like to vote! (The heart at the bottom of the images is to “like” the design – which you can do if you’re a member and want to find that design again!)

Hope you take a moment with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy all the fabulous entries! As a note: the top ten designs will be packaged and sold as fat quarters! I think I am going to have to order this one for sure! To see my collection for the Retro Kitchen Ensemble click here.

Big News!

While I am sad that I am not attending International Quilt Market in Houston, I have plenty of exciting happenings going on here at home!

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First, I have joined the class Make Art That Sells with Lilla Rogers. I am already enjoying the class so much, and seeing results in my sketches and doodles. It’s amazing what a little direction with assignments can do to motivation and containing the chaos of my creative mind. I believe as I’m going through the course, I will write down “assignment” ideas that come to me, and assign them to myself after the class is done. It’s such a great and helpful way of building work for a portfolio.

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Our first week’s assignment entails Pyrex and pasta. We got the “big” assignment today, and I will begin working on that utilizing the mini assignments we did earlier this week into the “big one”. The best part? It’s designing fabric!

BIG NEWS!!! HUGE NEWS!!!

The other big news in my studio? Really, it’s HUGE news. I am happy to announce that I am now part of the APQS family, as George has found a home in my studio! I am so excited about this and can not wait to begin sharing my projects, and tutorials with you all. I am so amazed at how much more enjoyable quilting is on this gentleman! Stay tuned for a longer post all about George and getting to know him.

Let me just say though, that I am so impressed with this machine. There is virtually no learning curve if you’ve free motion quilted on a domestic before. Not to mention how much quicker it is to do a bed quilt on here than on my small domestic. Plus? It’s doing an amazing job on smaller art pieces as well. Here are a few snapshots of things I have already quilted on my George:

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George has got me in Stitches:

Music: “Stiches” – Shawn Mendes

Save the Time

The last two years have been insane for me. I had two different surgeries and survived a blood clot in my leg that broke of and created multiple clots in my lungs. I saw my mom through a divorce, treatment for cervical cancer, a gallbladder attack that resulted in gallbladder removal surgery, and a kidney shunt. I lost my beloved cat Molly (while I was away in Arizona and was “there for her” at the end via Facetime, thank the universe for the technology we have today.)

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All these things were (some continue to be) very stressful. For two years, I have filled as much of my time as I could with “fun” things like concerts, movies, going out, shopping, etc. Do, do, do. Go, go, go.

Part of this, is being an at-home full-time quilter and artist. I don’t get much socializing during the day, and I often do crave it at night. A lot of that though, has been “filler”. Filling time so I don’t feel the stress, sadness, anger, anxiety and fear. I think parts of me realized I was doing this, but I chose to ignore it. This has been evident in the myriad of ways I have found to avoid the studio during the day.

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The final piece to this puzzle, is that by and large I am an introvert. This obviously has been a recipe for disaster. I have been creating less and less, despite trying to force myself to create. I have avoided writing, pretty much all together. I shouldn’t be surprised at all. I have been stretched thin, by circumstance and by decisions to make so many plans.

I forgot the important advice I’ve read so many time, in so many books and articles. Everyone needs to take time for themselves. Creatives I think, are especially sensitive to this. We put so much of ourselves into our work. If we have depleted ourselves, how much can we afford to give to our work?

I have a big project/opportunity starting in the next few weeks and I need to devote energy and time to that. I have a commitment, and while I don’t always stick to commitments I have made with myself, I rarely if ever, let someone else down I have committed to. So, this means I might be saying no more often. To myself, to my loved ones, and my friends.

I will still go to concerts, movies and out to dinner. But I will try and be more responsible about leaving at least a couple nights a week to start, that are free of obligations. I need to give myself that time to recharge and find inspiration for my work. Time to reflect on my goals and direction for my work. Time for the artist part of myself.

Australian Quilters: Do You Know this Quilt?

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South Australian police found this quilt along with the skeletal remains of a child. The child is believed to be a little girl, caucasian around 2.5 to 4 years old, fair skinned and long (18″) hair.

The quilt, which police are certain is homemade, is 70cm x 70cm (approximately 27″ x 27″) appears to be a snowball pattern quilt. Some of the snowballs feature pumpkins, stars, teddy bears, and a camel. The border fabric is rainbow colored musical notes.

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What police know so far:

  • Child was most likely a girl
  • Aged 2-4 at time of death
  • Most likely Caucasian
  • Had fair hair, 13cm long
  • Was 90-95 centimetres tall
  • Killed at another location
  • Died some time since the beginning of 2007

If you know anything about this quilt, you are encouraged to call the hotline Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

Supporting Independent Quilt Related Businesses

I’ve heard some people asking/pondering why they should donate money to small businesses to expand and I have an easy explanation for you. We are a fairly small and specialized community, much like small towns once were. And in those small towns, there were barn raising, where the community joined together to help a neighbor continue on their path to supporting themselves.

Today’s online crowd funding (indiegogo, gofundme, etc) is a way to help small business people move forward on that path, without putting them in to a large financial debt – without having to owe a bank an obscene amount of interest during the formative months and years of their business expansion.
It also helps us preserve those businesses and products that we have come to love because of their quality and the people that stand behind that product – we don’t want to lose them! A lot of us will spend $5 on a fancy coffee drink, if just 6,000 of the 21.3 MILLION active quilters gave $5, Cherrywood could easily meet their goal. And we can continue to have a FEMALE owned and independent, quality fabric source.

So please, support these causes when you can, $5 to $10 can mean so much more to small business owners than you realize! (And no, I do not work for Cherrywood.) 🙂
Please share this post with your friends, quilters and on your Facebook pages!


Cherrywood Fabric’s Indiegogo

Artist Date: Como Zoo and Conservatory

I feel lighter! No, I haven’t lost weight. This past weekend we held a garage sale. What didn’t sell we packed up and donated Sunday. I feel lighter because there is less “stuff” in our house. Sure, we have more to get rid of, but wow it feels good!

Part of the weekend extended in to today. I drove to my old stomping grounds in Roseville to give some magazines to a quilt-mate who purchased them. I made the impromptu decision while over there to take myself on an artist’s date at the Como Zoo and conservatory, to sketch.

Most of the animals were either still away until it’s warmer, or were in their inside “enclosures”. It made me sad to see them in there so after a quick run through, I headed to the conservatory. As I walked in, I was immediately (pleasantly) hit with the aroma of the giant lilies in the main entry. The smell was amazing.

I didn’t do a lot of sketching while I was there, I still feel conscious. Of course, every time I tried to do a quick sketch, one of the gazillion kiddos running around would notice of course and want to know what I was drawing. I smiled and would say, “I’m trying to draw that tree.” or “that gorilla” or, “that plant”. They would look at my beginning gesture drawing completely unimpressed and bounce away.

So for now, I will use the images I captured on my phone to draw from, at home, where only my cats are here to judge me and lay on my drawing pad.

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Still Life ~ Keep Growing

As part of striving to keep growing as an artist, I sometimes take art classes. This spring, after being wait listed many times, I got in to a coveted drawing class. Today marked our third week. After spending most of the first three classes learning gesture drawings, we are starting our first long drawing from a still life. This is the scene that I chose to “compose”. I have intentions of using this scene to eventually turn it into a lovely scene of a cow taking a sip from a fancy fountain!

What sort of things do you do to keep growing as an artist?

 

And Now For Something Completely Different!

Greetings! Many of you might be joining Indie Quilter as crossovers from The Fiber Nation blog. For my readers from there, know that I am BACK! I had several family and self medical emergencies since April of 2014, but I am happy to be moving past all that and back into sewing, quilting and creating again.unnamed

I spent several months stewing over this change, or “rebranding”. I began to realize over time that I am much more comfortable with a personal blog, rather than the industry blog that The Fiber Nation was intended to be. (I won’t be taking it down for now, as there are several articles on there that still get a lot of views each day.)

I’m Stephanie Forsyth, aka IndieQuilter. I am a quilt designer, quilter, artist, and surface pattern designer, and future fabric designer!

I started blogging becauseunnamed-2 I LOVE all aspects of quilting, and I find a lot of pleasure in sharing what I’m working on, as well as hints & tips that can help fellow quilters.

So what will you find here at IndieQuilter? You will see posts about projects I’m currently working on, quilt relevant articles, free projects, DIY instructions, and give aways! I will keep you up to date on magazines you can find my quilt design patterns in, pieces about other quilters and designers are being planned out as well. I can’t wait to again share my love and excitement about quilting and surface pattern design.

unnamed-1I would also love you, yes YOU to be involved in IndieQuilter. I encourage comments here on the blog. I can also be reached at indiequilter76@gmail.com. I’d love to know your thoughts on posts here and suggestions for future topics and posts.

I look forward to bringing you information and inspiration here at IndieQuilter!