My Pinterest Adventure 2018 – change of plans!

Since life is ever changing and we need to be flexible – a challenge for me but I’m getting better at it! – I’ve decided after much consideration that the quilting posts for My Pinterest Adventure are best suited for this website, rather than my personal blog, so I’m moving them over here.

I was going to just post a weekly update, but now you’ll get my regular posts about the pins I am putting into action.  If you’ve already checked out the first week’s digest here, there’s nothing new in this post, but if you missed the part telling you all about my adventure, what follows is a repost of the introduction so you know what’s happening along the first six stitching projects.  After today, I should have it all straightened out!  thanks for reading and for your patience 🙂

My Pinterest Adventure 2018

WE ALL DO IT: we save pins for everything from cooking to cleaning to painting to sewing to woodworking to health and so on.  And I’d be surprised if I’m the only one with a “miscellaneous” board just to hold all the pins that don’t quite fit on any of my other specific boards!  We organize our pins into categories to keep them where we hope we will find them later on and now Pinterest even offers the option of having subcategories under each board so we can be super anal about where we put all the wonderful ideas we find, either deliberately or randomly, while spending time on the internet.  It’s a great way to quickly save inspiring things we don’t want to forget about, much like the now nearly ancient practicing of “bookmarking” web sites until our lists were so long we couldn’t find anything anyway and it became faster just to “google it”.

Some of us clean off our boards once in a while, going back to review what we’ve saved and ditching the ideas that are either no longer appealing or, in our current mindset, more appropriately filed under THAT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN trash.


Yesterday, after realizing how often I peruse my quilting board – subdivided of course into various specific project ideas – and imagine how lovely it would be to stitch out the awesome designs I’ve saved for “future” need – I was inspired to come up with a plan for myself.  I actually do WANT to try all the ideas I’ve saved there.  That’s why we save these things, right? 😉

I don’t buy into the New Year’s resolution thing.  I don’t find myself being successful at them for long periods of time and they set me up for disappointment in myself for not having achieved what I set out to do.  For some, they might work very well, but I find I’m better off acting on inspiration when it hits me, no matter what the date is, and trying to come up with a plan that excites me and doesn’t have me beating myself up at the end of it just because one part didn’t turn out.

So it might be the beginning of January, and this post and adventure might involve a plan to do something differently in order to achieve a goal of learning and stretching my brain and my skills further, and I might have put the year at the end of the title, but it is NOT a resolution! LOL

I want to stitch out a design from one of my free motion quilting pins each day so that I’m not just admiring them, but I’m actually USING them and will then continue to use them.  I’m not expecting that in the reality of life I’ll never miss a day.  I’m also not expecting myself to choose an intensely complicated one every day.  What I get done will depend on the day and my schedule, but I’ll be appreciating success each time I do it WITHOUT berating myself for any time that I don’t get it done.

I figure this will mean that I get through a whole bunch of my saved ideas this year and that’s my goal.  No specific numbers, no specific levels of difficulty (although most of my pins are for really cool and fancy stitching!) just productivity.  Let’s face it, I love free motion quilting and doing it every day is already pretty much a given, but working on new designs – especially those that appear to be intimidating –  isn’t always on the agenda when I’m comfortably quilting my current faves.

I’m not going to put limits on whether or not I’m still allowed to pin new ideas, even if I continue to save them at a higher rate than I use them.  I just want to USE them.  By the time I’ve done this even for just a few days in a row, I expect that my “go to” design list will begin to grow and grow and that’s what I’m aiming for because I want progress.  Not perfection, progress.

And because I tend to be anal about organization and list making and … well you get the idea … I decided to blog about this adventure not only for my sake, but thinking that perhaps others might find inspiration to do something like this for themselves as well.  I want to have a place to share what I’m doing and to give others a chance to jump on board and make the Pinterest Adventure their own, according to whatever will work for them.


There’s no competition here; we all like different things and we have varying skills.  There’s only one rule which is, of course, completely unenforceable but I feel the need to mention it anyway: no negative self-talk.  Whatever your favourite pinned ideas are – cooking, cleaning, woodworking, fitness, home decor, painting, crafting etc. – let’s share and encourage each other to use ideas we’ve already been inspired by and put them into action, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly.  And yes, feel free to share the Pinterest fails too!  Because even if what we try doesn’t turn out as we hoped, we still make progress by DOING it and not just looking at it 🙂

I’ll be posting photos of my chosen stitching design practice pieces here on my blog and I invite anyone who wishes to join in to share your own comments, ideas, and even photos in the comment section of my posts.  Please also feel free to share my Pinterest adventure idea and posts with others you think might be interested.  I’m sure there are already groups for this kind of thing – in fact I just found a whole web site called the Pinterest Project! – but I’m not much of a “joiner” so maybe there are others out there like me who just enjoy being part of something that inspires them along the way to doing things they want to do anyway.  When it comes to inspiration, there’s always room for more.

If you want to stick with me to see where this whole thing leads, remember to follow this blog using the option on the right side bar!

**IF YOU DON’T USE PINTEREST you can take this project over to your cookbook shelf, your stack of craft books and magazines, your internet bookmarks/favourites or any other “filing” system you have for ideas you love to save.


Here is my first achievement:  I’ve been looking at these wide open spirals with dense quilting around them for so long and yesterday when I saw them again, I decided it was time to get moving, so I got my sketchbook out, figured out my stitching path, put some scrap fabric together, marked out my main curved line and I did it! I can’t believe how this little bit of action made me feel so successful.  Yes, there are a few things I will change when it’s an actual quilt, and that’s what practice is all about, but after stitching it out I feel very confident in adding this to my list of favourite design options!




Welcome to Day 2 of my Pinterest Adventure! I learned not only to stitch out a new background filler, but also that trying to save time doesn’t always pay off.

I made the mistake of not drawing this on paper first (I advise my students to doodle lots before stitching to get comfortable with their design path, so this turned out to be a do as I say not as I do situation! haha)

It looked simple enough so I went ahead and put needle to fabric with a bit of an attitude.  However, trying to save time resulted in me not liking the result or enjoying the process.  I eventually got it to a place I was happy with but quickly concluded that I wasn’t ever going to use this design!

THEN I went back to the pinned photo to examine it more closely and discovered that I had been doing it the HARD way! LOL  Once I gave myself time to think it through properly I found the much more obvious path and it was a breeze to stitch.  Lesson learned.




I got started early this morning!  The quilt in the photo I was working from had a white background with white thread – I drool over white on white! – and these border designs really popped.  I’m using up leftovers and random fabric pieces I’m no longer super fond of for my samples on this daily project, before I move into cutting up yardage, but that day will come, my friends, because I don’t have a very big scrap pile!

I know it’s only day three, but I’m having fun with this.  Aside from the satisfaction of actually stitching out designs I’ve been wanting to try, I’m finding that the things I’ve saved are proving to be much less difficult in practice than they appear to be in photos.

I am, however, beginning to wonder where and how I will store 365 samples of at least fat quarter size by the end of the year! LOL  But this personal challenge is adaptable, so if I actually get through all my saved free motion quilting pins (and more as I’m still saving new ideas) I can take a break and maybe switch this adventure over to one of my other boards with totally different projects … like maybe the housecleaning one … haha



Today I went for a geometric design.

They aren’t my favourite thing to stitch – I’d much rather be doing swirls and feathers! –  but I love the effect they have on a quilt so I know I need to start adding more of these to my repertoire.  This was inspired by a pin that showed a huge area of composition style quilting – amazing results when you look at the whole cloth finish – which I will break down into chunks for practice on smaller pieces.

This is just one of the square sections from the middle of a lovely white quilt that is part of a set of ideas I began working on with my first composition quilt shown in my Etsy shop here: Modern Handmade Quilt

You can see from that quilt, especially if you view the back side photo, that I tend more towards curvy stitching patterns, and I want to start adding more of the geometrics with the other elements that I really enjoy doing.  Nonetheless, I managed to slip in a little swirl and some serpentine lines here 🙂  The un-quilted sections are meant to puff up from the background, and this would be more obvious in a photo if the whole thing were washed and dried.



I love curly feathers!  I’ve done them before, but usually as a single motif / focal point in the midst of other designs. The pin I was inspired by today had the feathers built up around each other so the whole area was filled in with variations of the same motif.  It was really fun to stitch out and this will make a great background fill for the next quilt I make with wide open solid coloured space – my FAVOURITE!

I love the texture; I darkened up the photo a bit so the orange thread would show less and the texture would be more obvious.  Using a blending coloured thread is generally best, but as I use up random fabric pieces, I’m also cleaning out some thread!



This cornflower applique quilt top has been on my design wall since before Christmas, as I didn’t want to fold it up over the holidays and then have creases that would be stiff due to the fusible web.

I decided to do the thread painting for today’s post, as it was inspired by a pin I saved, which led me to design a whole quilt around it.

I’m not going to point it out my grave oversight – you’ll either notice it right away, or not at all, it’s kind of a big one – but let’s just say I’m very disappointed I didn’t pay closer attention to what I was doing and I could almost cry now that it’s all done!

I would pick out the aforementioned stitching and do it the way I should have in the first place just to make it soooo much better, but when you stitch through stabilizer, those needle holes don’t disappear easily like they do when it’s just a regular quilt top layer and I’m afraid they would still be visible even after washing which would make the situation even more frustrating.

Therefore, I’ll have to live with this and each time I look at it I can remind myself that before I get busy happily layering thread, I better be darn sure I’m doing what I meant to do and not just winging it! LOL  For now, I’ll try to be satisfied that I completed another day’s stitching 🙂


**UPDATE: I did end up picking out the stitching and doing it the way I wanted it in the first place.  I’m very glad I did 🙂  Can you see the difference?




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