About living a creative life in a small commuity approximately 300 kilometres above the Arctic Circle

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Liberty Flower - closeup

I thought I should share a closeup of Liberty Flowers with you. I came up with this design when working with the shapes I use for English paper piecing. I had basted some gemstones for the coloured star in "Star among stars" and I played with them, contemplating what happens if I turn the star points inwards. Then this flower showed up. It reminded me of the plastic flowers to put on your jacket that are for sale around our constitution day(17th of May). They're sold for charity. When I started this quilt last year, Norway was celebrating its centennial as an independant nation. I chose to make the flowers in flag colours, but there are different versions of flags. Some old, some new, some with syntethic fabric and some made of not so serious entrepreneurs. I wanted them all to be represented. I kept the quilt in an Americana style, and I also quilted french lillies (Fleur-de-Lis) in the corners since the American constitution and the French revolution where the thought material that inspired the men that were responsible for our constitution i 1814. Full soveregnity wasn't achieved until 1905, when we freed ourselves from the union with Sweden. Before 1814 we were subordinated the Danish government, and back then, Norway was a very poor country. That's why I chose to appliqué the flowers onto a quite coarse cotton/linen mix. It's quilted with silk thread though.

I've never seen this kind of block before, but I'm interested if anyone has seen it in other quilts.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006


As I mentioned earlier I ordered cards with some of my pictures on. Here are the result. The cards are double and are delivered with an envelope. I'm thinking about putting them up for sale at my website, but there's a lot to decide. I have to find a payment method and decide a price. What is the normal price for a card like this outside Norway? I'm thinking about selling them in packages of four (one of each motive). I have ordered 500 of each so I think I'll never have to buy another card again :-D

At the moment I'm feeling quite empty. I have been working so hard, and suddenly I don't have to do anything. Earlier today I talked about my photos and quilts to high school kids. They were quite a cute gang, not the kind of rascals 15 year olds can be at their worst. I feel like in need for a holiday, but it's still two weeks until easter so I'll just hang on.

I have started working on a miniature version of Liberty Flowers which my brother and his family have commisioned. It will only contain 9 flowers and the blocks will be 4 inches instead of 8 inches. I'm also planning to make a pattern for sale on that particular quilt and I will let you know when it's ready.

Now I have to go and practice


Saturday, March 25, 2006


Finally what I've worked with for nearly a year is out in the open. It has been a long and eventfull day with lots of people visiting. I played a mini concert with a good friend of mine, Natalia, who I work with in the community school of music. She's an excellent accompanist and I enjoy playing with her. People looked like they enjoyed the music and they also liked my pictures and quilts. I got flowers from a friend couple of us and the community also gave me flowers. They even bought a picture! I've sold one pair of mittens and quite a few cards, so I'm satisfied with the day.

I've also premiered two quilts. One is called "Star among stars" and the other one is called "Liberty Flowers"

I've uploaded lots of pictures and don't know how the layout will be, but I hope they give a good impression of what today has been for me. I'm tired, but really glad that the exhibition is opened.

By the way, all pictures are taken by my husband.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Almost ready

Today I finished the big quilt I've been working on lately. I ditched the rosemaling border. It didn't come out the way I wanted so I'm using it for a redwork quilt later. I quilted parallel lines 1 inch apart from each other instead. The binding is in place and the sleeve is handsewn on the back.

We also went down to the gallery to get all the pictures onto the walls. In the picture (taken by my husband) you see Anne, the gallery owner, hammering nails into the wall for hanging while I'm holding one of my pictures. It was so strange to see all the pictures together in an environment suitable for showcasing art. The quilts are also in place, except for one that's not dry yet, and the big one of course, since the last stich was finished only minutes ago. The only things left to do is call the gallery in Harstad and ask if I can lend two easels to put my photos on, collect the cards from the printing office and sew in thread ends on my mittens.

Yesterday was the date of the vernal equinox (boy, did I have to look up that expression :-D). The last picture today was taken by my husband around 6 pm. The days are really long now and soon we won't notice nearly any difference between day and night.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Is it Easter now?

I'm not missing time, I'm just ready for some time off. I've been working on my exhibition for a year now, and after Christmas, it hasn't been a day without using most of my energy on it. I'm really a self sentered, spoiled kid at the moment, but I can live with that as long as my husband and I know that it's soon coming to a end. Yesterday I ordered cards with my pictures on them. These are the kind of cards with a nice front page (size: landscape A6), and you can open the card and write on two pages. Delivered with envelopes they are ready for sale. I'm thinking about finding a safe and easy paying method so I can put them up for sale on my webpage. Has anyone any experiences with Pay Pal or Pay Ex they would be willing to share?

Todays picture is quite symbolic. It's the first picture I took after getting OUR digital SLR camera two years ago. It was after work the last day before Easter and it's winter-Norway in a nutshell, the mountains covered with snow, the fjords and the red barn. That camera is mine now. My husband had to buy his own, if he should be able to take pictures :-D. I've really fallen in love with that camera, an Olympus E1, and the pictures I've taken with that is the main reason for the invitation to the upcoming exhibition. So this picture started it all.

I've been meaning to comment on the blogs of all of you that has commented on mine, but I beg you, please be patient with me. I will go back to being a nice, caring person with time to spare for my Internet friends in a short while. I just have a few days left of this egotrip of mine......


Friday, March 10, 2006

Natural Colours

This is how the sky and fjord looked like some minutes ago. This period of the year is the most astonishing when it comes to sunrises and sunsets. And it's only a fortnight until the days are longer than the nights.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Colour me beautiful

I've gotten a lot of compliments for my colour choices. I'm very grateful and thank you all for that. I try not to plan too much and work by instinct, not theory. I learned at the Kaffe Fassett classes I took earlier to work fast, very fast, and almost throw the fabrics on the design wall without thinking. Then you use the creative side of the brain, not the analytic. We precut the fabrics before the class started and in an hour we had put up the whole center of the quilt.

The quilt in this post is an example of how well "not planning" can come out. This was a mutual project I did when I taught a beginners class here where I live. The girls were told to pick out 2 lights and 2 darks from their stash and cut 8 squares of each. They where sorted in a stacks whith one of each fabric from all. Then they were told to sew a light one and a dark one together without planning, to make squares of triangles. I picked only four of the fabrics in this quilt plus the borders, but I think it works well anyhow.

What I mean to say is, try to learn as much about which colours you like. Look in magazines, on pictures and painting, in the nature or whereever. If you see a shade or hue you like, try to memorize it. Have an active relationship with colours. Then it's much easier to work by instinct. I think my colour choises is much based upon the cold clear winter weather and the short and intense summers we have above the Arctic Circle, not the knowledge of colourcircles and other theories.

I don't know if you girls really need this; you all make so excellent quilts with lovely colours, but I'd like to share my thoughts.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Friday Feelings

It's Friday night and it's time to conclude on this weeks efforts. I've been working hard on the quilting project for the upcoming exhibition (last post). Tonight I finished outline quilting the fifteenth block. I have started quilting the border. It was too tempting not to start. If I finish quilting the the blocks by Sunday (25 blocks), it's a fair chance that I will finish the quilting process before I antecipated. The border work is quite fast to do.

Today I've been doing a lot of stuff for the exhibition. Earlier this week I ordered 7 enlargements of my photos . Today I ordered 8 new ones. I also collected two of my pictures which were printed on canvas. They looked great! I went to the "framer guy" to get them blind framed. It's soooooooo much to think about and remember. One thing I'm satisfied with is the guestbook I'm working on. On the back of the white stripe in the blocks at the left I've ironed freezerpaper to stabilize the fabric. Then the guests can sign the blocks and I can make a quilt of it afterwards.

This Friday has also included listening to wonderful music. Beethoven's seventh symphony is one of my favorites, and tonight it felt like the most beautiful piece ever written. ( I know that will change). Another favourite on this night would be the 23rd piano concerto by Mozart. Listen and enjoy!

Life is good after all