Friday, October 16, 2009

Christmas, free-motion quilting and art quilts!

I have been getting really excited about Christmas recently! Well, if I'm honest, I get excited about Christmas all year round :-)

In Australia, the festive decorations are filling the stores and the big "lead-up" has begun. I am an ex-pat, and after five years of living in this wonderful country I still get confused when the temperatures start rising at this time of year due to the summer sun, and NOT due to the thermostat being turned up on an English heater!!!

A summer Christmas is still novel to me, and I embrace it's new-ness wholeheartedly! In fact I've only just this minute realised that the colours in one of the recently-designed Christmas projects (sneak peek below) is symbolic of an Australiana Christmas. Summer skies are vivid blue, so rich and beautiful. I had never experienced the same colour skies in England.

Hypnotised by the festive spirit, I bought a holly-leaf cookie cutter. This beautiful tea-cup cookie cutter came home with me too... *just because*!

And I was so thrilled to discover this wedding-cake cookie cutter because Mr SUDS and I will be getting married next March! I thought that themed cookies would make a lovely gift for our special friends. The shop where I made my purchase is called Hand to Heart, and an online store can be found here. I've put the link direct to the novelty cookie cutters. There are so many novel and quirky ones that my Christmas list for Santa is full already!

Last week also saw me attending the second day of my workshop with Kellie of Don't Look Now. Wow! What a wonderful day it was. Kellie is a great teacher and so inspiring. We practiced free-motion quilting and I think I could get addicted {giggle}. Pictured above is a sample of my work from the day. I have a long road to travel, but I am sure going to enjoy the journey!

I have been wanting to immerse myself in the world of free-motion embroidery for quite some time. I want to build up confidence to create an art quilt. I love drawing faces and used to practice quite often in preparation for creating arty cloth dolls. I also learned how to make silk paper so that I could incorporate it into my creations. Here is a photo of my favourite *face*!

In the background is the silk paper I made. I drew and coloured the face using a brown pigma pen and prismacolour pencils.

Do you like her groovy hair? I plan to free-motion embroider all over it. I am not sure whether to keep her as a portrait, or to create a bigger art quilt with her being a mermaid... Hmmm... what do you think? I have plenty of time to ponder as there are a lot of other things on my *to-do* list!

I have put so much pressure on myself lately. I've been immersed in designing and pattern-writing and am loving it to bits. But I have struggled to spend as much time as I'd like with my family, the housework has fallen by the wayside, and my cooking hasn't been quite up to scratch. (Note to self: It never usually is! lol...)

I have been berating myself for not being *perfect* at everything! There are only so many hours in the day, and us women are the best jugglers with balancing family life and work and all of the things in between. :-) But with time stretched out to the limits it is impossible to achieve *everything*. I think the answer to my inner turmoil is just to accept that this is the way of life, and not to expect perfection of myself, but to be happy with "good enough".

I want to apologise to you - my friends - as well, for not leaving comments or replying to emails as often as I normally do. {{hugs}} I'm just adjusting to a busier lifestyle at the moment. This doesn't mean that I don't want to hear from you, on the contrary, it would be wonderful to know that you have taken the time to pay me a visit! If you have any words of wisdom, they will be gratefully received :-) You know what would be really nice? If you could come on over for a cuppa! I'll make the cookies shall I?!!

Hopefully I will soon get back on track, but for now I've decided to be kind to myself and take the pressure off.

I'm trying! Oh yeah... Mr SUDS would agree... I'm very trying!!! :-)

Until next time - love and hugs! Vikki xx


Unknown said...

Put the kettle on Vikki I'll be there in a minute !

Jodie said...

My words of wisdome are:

Close the doors
hide the mess
have fun
don't stress

Vicki ♥ said...

That kettle is going to boil very soon my darling friend. :) How I love your stippling and your beautiful face you have are so clever sweetheart! Your life will settle into a norm soon...its always the same when you discover new things...its like its all crazy and then it settles....bliss! Just love every moment sweetie :)
hugs hugs

Daniella said...

Hi Vikki, thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for the illustration about the oil burners.
Hugs & kisses from Argentina

Abby and Stephanie said...

Very sweet sneak peek. LOVE the beautiful blues with the hollies. LOVING that tiny holly fabric too. I have a cookie cutter collection and have used them for not only baking cookies but tracing shapes. Very versatile little things. Your wedding cookie idea is sweet.

Simone de Klerk said...

The sneak peek looks very nice and bright! Love the cookie cutters. Great shapes!
I think you should wirte what Jodie wrote on a large piece of paper and look at it every hour. I think I should (((O:
Have a lovely weekend

Dolores said...

When I get to feeling overwhelmed I have to remind myself that "I can only do what I can do." It takes the pressure off and I feel that if something doesn't get finished, well, it doesn't get finished just yet. Congratulations on the wedding announcement. Hmmmmm more pressure(?)
P.S. the little ones grow so very quickly and they are the most important "to do" on the list.

Allie said...

The thought of a summer Christmas is delightful! The older I get, the more I hate the cold. I love the sneak peek - love that blue!
Your cookie cutters are wonderful! Especially the wedding cake one, congrats to you!
Your free-motion is so lovely, I can't believe it's just a sample. Wowzers, girl, you're going to be an expert in no time at all!
I love your beautiful face - and her hair - I say go for the mermaid! I adore mermaids, lol.

I agree, it's very hard to juggle it all. The perfectionist in me has a hard time letting go of the perfect house, perfect kids, etc. Although I hate to cook so that's not an issue, lol. THAT I can let go. When I started homeschooling, I had to let go of the perfect house, too, as no schoolwork got done while I was cleaning. And school came first. Prioritize and budget your time as best you can, and realize you can't do it ALL.

Casey said...

Love the teacup cookie cutter. You seem to have picked up quite a bunch of things.

Maggi said...

Beautiful colours on the Christmas piece. Your FMQ is looking really good. Remember that life is to be enjoyed not agonised over - take time out and chill.

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Vikki,
Gosh, you make me laugh.

The first thing I want to say is "bugger the housework" it will wait for you and "do you want to be remembered for a clean house or a happy, well adjusted, creative, Mum and Wife"

Those cookie cutters are fantastic, and great idea for wedding gifts.
I'll be keeping an eye out for those wedding photo's.

Maybe you could have a group cuppa and we'll all come at once to try out your cookies-lol

Wow, your face is fantastic. I can see where you're going with this. Oh, creative lady.
Have a great weekend,

Dawn said...

Oh how I love the blue Christmas and holly sneak peak.... very yummy.... I agree 'dont stress' enjoy your journey sweetheart... yummy cookie cutters, can't wait to see the cookies....he he
Hugs Dawn x x x
Off to my workshop now with Kellie...

Jenny of Elefantz said...

So much eye candy to droll over today, Vikki-love!
Gosh, I luuurve those cookie cutters - and Blossom will be on to me to buy her the wedding cake one.

You're such a talent sweetheart...I am gobsmacked and in awe at your FMQ, then I see the BEAUTIFUL face you have done...girl, you are incredible!

The talent isn't going anywhere, it just increases with practice, so r-e-l-a-x and spend time absorbing what's right here, right now, and the journey will take care of itself.

Love ya!!

Liz said...

Well Vikki, seems like you should listen to your friends, they're all saying the same thing!! Go with the flow.....non of us is wonderwoman ('cept me of course, VBG), the main thing is that you enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy!

Sharon (Stitches on Mars) said...

Hi Vikki,
Where do I start. The beautiful sneak peek, the wonders of a summer christmas, marriage in March (love the way you snuck that one in in passing ), the gorgeous doll the hair or my envy and delight that you had such fun doing a class with Kellie. You are obviously a very busy girl.

I think a wall hanging with Jodie's words is a must for us all :)

BTW what biscuits did you say you were baking ;)

love & hugs,

Joy said...

Darling Vikki, Jodie's right. That's what doors are for!!! Hide the mess, it will be there waiting for you when you've got the time to deal with it ;o). Take time with your family, take time for yourself, enjoy this wonderful ride we're on ... and put another cup out cos I'll join you for that cuppa too :o) [[oh how I WISH I could gorgeous girl ;o)!!!]]]
By the way ... your quilting is to die for, no way that's just practice???!!!! You've got the knack dear one, you really do!! And your dolly's face is adorable ... yep, make her a mermaid, she's perfect for it :o).
Love n Hugs,
Joy ;o)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Such an inspiring post Vikki! Love your Christmas projects - love the Aussie colour scheme. I love your new cookie cutters - the wedding cake ones will be amazing - such a great idea - sounds like 2010 will be an extra special year for you!

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique said...

Oh where do I start....
Great FMQ Vik, bet you enjoyed this worksshop immensely. Love your face for the next project. Especially love those cookie cutters. The wedding one is magical and would be something completely different for your wedding.

Left the most important one for last. Be kind to yourself. Your family love you and understand that sometimes the creativity will take over and during those episodes you may fall behind in other areas - it is only temporary. When you catch up you'll have time for cleaning, cooking etc.
Embrace the moment Vik!!
Love and hugs,

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

Hi Vikki
I think Jodie says it all! When you need a break you can come to my place anytime and play with my kitties!! Change is good when you take the plunge and follow your heart. Summer is coming so food can be cold, Lovely salads and fresh fruit and chunky sandwiches. Less time in the kitchen

Kris Meares - Tag Along Teddies said...

Hey Vikki! It sounds like you need to come to the same conclusion I have just recently. I was grumbling and moaning about not crossing enough things off my "To Do" list when it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps I was putting too many things on the list! If I make a shorter list, prioritise what REALLY should be on there, perhaps I'll feel less stressed and like I'm achieving more. It's a theory anyways! :0) I'm going to give it a go ... soon ... really! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope you take time for a relaxing cuppa - I would come visit if Toowoomba wasn't so far from you! Bear Hugs! KRIS

dream quilt create said...

Your work is beautiful, you are very talented. I was wondering what king of machine you were able to do your beautiful machine quilting on? I really want a machine that will let me machine quilt. Thanks


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