Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Traditionally, it has been our home that has hosted many wonderful Thanksgivings. But knowing that gathering with family and friends would probably be very different this year, I had to think outside the box and find a way to open our hearts differently. Once again, I thank my lucky stars because I have the gift to step into the wonderful world of creativity and use those gifts to help spread love. We are still cooking for our normal sized guest list but instead of inviting everyone to our home, we are doing drive by deliveries. Complete Thanksgiving dinners with all the fixings to our loved ones, followed up by an online family gathering later in the afternoon. And at home, to keep things as close to our traditions as possible, we are setting our table for a feast. Yes, the guest list will be smaller and the table settings simpler but this Thanksgiving will still be filled with the love of family.
Back in October, I had been thinking a lot about current times, the approaching holidays and about family so scaling things back this year's Thanksgiving seemed appropriate. A simple table setting would be the perfect place to start. I decided that I wanted to sew a new table runner. Something with a simple design. My thoughts actually lead me to create two completely different table runners from the ground up. For the first one, I tried out a new embellishing technique, this open piping trim pictured here. The table runner itself was very plain but gosh, once I added this piping trim it was a game changer! I am sure that this trim will appear again in a future project.
The other design, well...it definitely was more family oriented and I think it's perfectly fitting for this year. I am calling it my "Be Thankful" table runner. The step-by-step instructions are outlined in this link here. It's a perfect last minute project and a great one to get family involved with too. Have them help you come up with a list of words describing what it personally means to them to gather at Thanksgiving. I'm sure as you compile a list of their fun and thoughtful words it will bring a few laughs and some simple joy to each of you this Thanksgiving as well as adding that perfect finishing touch to your table runner.
Thanksgiving hasn't been the only think inspiring my creative juices these past few months...
Ancient forms of tile art have all but consumed my mind. Portuguese, Moroccan, Islamic and Mexican designs and the list goes on... It's a growing obsession, an obsession that has lasted for about more than two years now, so I'm trusting my instincts that it's not fading away anytime soon.
Here is one of my recent geometric patterns. Construction lines and the final pattern design.
And here is that same pattern digitized and in a color scheme.
And this is the final fabric quilt block design.
Here are a few more of my other Moroccan Mosaic pattern designs and quilts.
And yes! all this reading and learning definitely makes me want to travel
abroad to visit the stunning Turkish Mosques, and tile art in Lisbon, Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Mexico. Isn't this photo of a Turkish Mosque just amazing!
But for now, I'm finding all the pleasure I need in educating myself and applying my newly learned skills to my quilts. More recently, I've been brushing up on my geometry skills. I am honest to say, that I haven't visited the subject of geometry since my school age years. But I do remember that this math came a whole lot easier to me than calculus ever did! I received good grades in geometry so slipping back into studying it has not been a chore.
As I've been learning about these ancient tile art designs and their fascinating history, I have been figuring out ways to create my own tile art quilt designs. Similar to my mosaic quilt making process, I am using small fabric shapes and thread instead of traditional ceramic, pottery or glass colored tile bits. For at least two years now, I have been referring to these new designs as Moroccan mosaic quilts. I hope in the coming months that you travel with me as I continue along this passionate new journey of mine and watch as my quilt art grows new directions.
But of course, the best feeling is comfortable, wouldn't you agree? So while Moroccan and Islamic designed quilts seem to dominate my creative head space these days...it's always brings me a tremendous amount of pleasure to finish a quilt that feels like home, one that feels "comfortable". For me, this is one of my figurative mosaic quilts... loaded up with emotion. This finished quilt is called "Daddy's Girls". And for now, what I can share about it's creation is this one important feeling of mine... there is no greater love in this world than family. I started this design back in July of 2020 and I have shared it's progress on social media. Here are just a few of the in progress photos.
The finished size is 57" x 45" and it's comprised of just under 1,800 fabric pieces. It's raw edge fused applique using my original technique to design and cut the fabric pieces using a digital cutter. A newly added element to this design verses my past designs, is a technique to use the grout between the mosaic pieces (the dark gaps between the fabrics pieces) as a more integral part of the overall design. In this case, the wide and skinny irregular gaps were purposely designed to give the illusion of tree branches in a forest. I am pleased to see that my vision in the end worked out very nicely.
Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving...and isn't this just perfect timing? while preparing my butternut squash, this heart shape revealed itself!
Happy Quilting and Sewing!