Friday, February 23, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lunch at the airport

There are definetly better (not to mention more) options these days than it used to be when it comes to eating at the airport. 

Today’s lunch was Fjøla burger with bacon and cheddar, and a side of sweet potatoe fries. Yum!

Monday, February 05, 2018

What would it take for You to participate in an exhibition or a competition?

My mom received a seemingly innocent comment on one of her pictures on Facebook the other day. I'm writing seemingly as it could be interpreted one way or another, if one was to consider if there was another meaning behind it or not. It doesn't really matter if this or that was the meaning behind the comment - or if it was a meaning at all! But it did get me thinking about exhibitions and competitions. As a quilter or crafter, what would it take for you to participate in an exhibition or a competition?

I've got through my ten years (I know, it's insane!) of blogging and I have rediscovered photos of quilts or crafts that I have entered in exhibitions or competitions over the years. It delighted me to see the photos, as I did not remember too well the ones I had sent off out into the big world - but there were both fewer and more than I remembered..

My first quilt entering in an exhibition was actually one that I was asked to show as part of the members' exhibition. Which I took as a honour. I mean, someone had noticed what I had made, and asked if I'd consider showing it to others. 

This inspired me to enter another quilt the year after. I mean, it was just to show others a little bit of what I enjoyed making - perhaps someone else was inspired to try the same technique? 

I remember receiving pins for each of the quilts - I think they're still pinned to the quilts they belong to! I didn't enter to win anything - not even to compete. It was simply to show something perhaps not every one else were in to. 

And then I entered the two pictures above in an exhibition showing the works of my then quilt guild when they were celebrating their 25 year anniversary. Again, not a competition. I've always enjoyed stitching, and for some reason this is not something that "everybody's" been in to.

The first time I sent a quilt off to Birmingham (The Festival of Quilts) it was once again by request. I never thought I actually entered a competition doing this - but I've learned later on that all quilts shown here are in fact part of a competition. I honestly couldn't care less. Someone wanted me to show my quilt in another country. Quite the honour, if you ask me!

I consciously enter a competition that same year. The Norwegian Quilt Association (NQF) celebrated their anniversary, and my quilt was selected as one of the 25 to represent Norway. (There were 26 entries, I think, so the competition wasn't exactly ginormous..)

My first "follow the rules - made explicit for a competition"-quilt was the one shown above. The theme was Lady and the Tramp, and I remember being very inspired by vagabonds and hobos travelling in America in the 1920s and -30s, using the book Hobo Quilts as inspiration. I remember how proud I was for exploring techniques I'd never previously mastered, and how much I loved my quilt. That is, until I received the feedback from the jury after the exhibition ended. I don't remember much of the feedback, except the point they'd clearly made : misinterpretation of the theme. I still, to this day, feel sad thinking about this. And how my feelings towards them (the judges, the ones arranging the exhibition, the other exhibitioners, and basically towards exhibitions at all) took a hard hit. I mean, in a competition where the same few people have won year after year, and where the variety in works can be so incredible great.. it was the final drop that made me not want to participate - ever again. (I think it's been three or four years now, perhaps even more.)

Instead, I worked with an idea and made a quilt last year, in 2017, sending it to Birmingham (by myself) - and received what might be the best feedback I have ever gotten on any of the quilts I've made! Yes, there are things that need to be worked on in my quilts - there are skills and techniques that I need to practice - but being told that my initial idea was excellent, solved in a fun way? Priceless! Who cares if I need to work on corners and seams - someone loved my work anyway! (And I have the written proof too!) 

So, what did I really want to say with this post? I had an idea when I started to write, and then it evolved into this summary of my experience in exhibitions.

I've never entered an exhibition with the sole purpose of winning it - jeez, I do have some realistic thoughts every now and then! It's like it was way back with my first quilt - to show others what I liked making. Perhaps to inspire someone? 

I have, however, been visiting enough exhibitions to see that there are few winners not known in the small society of quilters in Norway. Which is quite sad. There seems to be a winner and the rest are not good enough. But what if there was a way to give praise to the others in a way that made them too feel like winners? Why should there always just be one winner? 

I'd like to see an exhibition or competition where there were surprise categories like most creative solution of challenge, judge's favourite colour scheme, or best idea, or most creative piecing. - heck, even a my first quilt! Challenging both participants, visitors and judges to look outside the box. There are so many creative and talented people out there, but I feel the beginners are too scared to enter these things. 

It's overwhelming, the talent and skills of the one's winning - who've won several times before. I mean, how can anyone compete with that? (You can't. You're you, you do and make what you do.) 

And getting feedback from judges and a jury? It can be horrible. Or it can be good. Creative feedback can help someone so much more than a note saying your work sucks. (I'm buttering the rolls pretty thick on that last comment, in case you didn't get it.) 

My point is, quilters (and crafters) are a lot like kids - overwhelmed by all the things we can use, we can make, so eager to please and try - yet so easily knocked down. But you don't want to knock kids down, you want to help them evolve, to grow, to build skills.. and to do that, we all need to work together. Seeing that there is never just one solution or interpretation of something, that one doesn't have to be an expert or the best to be the one to win something. To be open, willing and able to see that not everyone has the same views as you do. There are other roads to Rome - even paths. They may not lead you on the straightest or shortest roads, but they could bring you past a view you'd never have seen had you taken the easy way. The right way. 

Like the saying goes : 
When nothing goes right - go left.

Monday, January 22, 2018

FibreShare - fibre swap and replacement package

I realised that I had, for a few different reasons, not posted much about this swap.. Well, it is an experience made - and perhaps someone might enjoy reading about this, so here goes.

I signed up for the last run of FibreShare in the fall of 2017. It's a pretty big yarn- or fibreswap (depending om wether you knit, crochet or spin) organised by some very good people.

I was partnered up with two people - one to receive from and one to send to. And my parcel was packed and sent off to Great Britain!

I tried to include both something that I liked and something that my partner would like in my parcel, so there was a variety of yarn types (even some that I dyed myself), stitch markers, chocolates and tea. (Putting the parcels together is my favourite part of any swap! And I might have some difficulties restraining myself from time to time...)

The shipping date came and went - my parcel was sent off with the norwegian postal system, and arrived safely in it's destination after about a week and a half. And the parcel intended for me? Well... communications went down and somewhere between Texas and Norway all traces were lost.. Bummer..

Lucky for me (and the 20+ other missing parcels - this is a swap with thousands of participants, so really the numbers were not that bad) the organisers were very kind, patient and understanding - and they had a plan! So, just before Christmas, my replacement package arrived!

Everything came in a brown box, with silk paper covering the contents (even a sticher from the swap closing the paper cover) and under the silk paper was this big, full project bag!

Inside the bag were stitch- and progressmarkers. Have you ever seen such cool markers? I've tested the square ones, and they are great!

Oh, and yarn! I've tested the Rowan yarn on a previous occasion, but the others were new acquaintances to me. Vintage Berroco, Quince & Co, Cascade and Jersey Be Good - all in lovely tones of grey, black and blue. How very fitting! The Jersey Be Good has whispered a wish to become a pillow, and I think I can help with that. The others are very quiet, but they seem to enjoy being stroked and squished every now and then..

They even included two buttons made for the swaps - "Team Knit" (my usual preferance with regards to fibre) and "I signed up for Fibre Share".


This experience has not scared me from entering again. This was my first time, and I got unlucky. However, I was also very lucky - these girls have their organisation in order, and I think I couldn't have gotten a better package than my replacement!

The first swap of 2018 has already started, and although I did consider it quite a bit, I have not joined. But! The next round I'd really like to join. I don't think the lightning will strike twice.. *fingers crossed* And planning the packages really are the most fun part of any swap!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Peder’s quilt - Harry Potter meets Flower Market

I've been reading Jedi Craft Girl's blog for a couple of years now, amazed by the quilts that she makes. But when I first saw the pattern Flower Market on her blog, I knew that I had to make it - some day, and perhaps not necessarily with flowers.

When Aurora was given a quilt by her grandmother, Peder made a wish that he too could get a quilt some day - and when I asked him what kind of quilt he'd like (going through quite a list of options, like Angry Birds, LEGO, Minecraft, Harry Potter, and so on) he chose Harry. And Harry it had to be!

While in Birmingham, attending The Festival of Quilts, I made it a bit of a challenge to find some fabric with Harry Potter print or colours matching the Gryffindor house (which is Harry's house, and thus Peder's favourite). Well, I managed to find some fat quarters, and some coordinating fabric - and by chance (I guess it was meant to be) when we returned from Birmingham, Fat Quarter Shop actually had a sale on some yardage! And so the cutting and sewing began..

It really didn't take that long, neither cutting or sewing, so after a couple of evenings (and one night, the kinds and hubby were away) the top was completed!

My mom was very kind and quilted it on her quilting machine - and then it was just a matter of adding the binding before wrapping it up and saving it for Christmas!

It's a big quilt - originally measured to 56x70", but I added a 6" edge on the top and bottom, resulting in a quilt measuring 56x82" - nicely covering his bed, and a great wrapping up-size for a growing boy!

There was a tiny snowfall before Christmas, tempting me to bring it outside for a quick photo shoot.

A little bit of snow has never damaged a quilt!

And a tiny bit of sunset in the background.

The backing came from Lappemakeriet, a quilt store at Bærums Verk, which Aurora and I visited while the boys attended a chess tournament.

I'm toying with the idea of making another one of these - perhaps using Halloween fabric - or shrinking it a bit, to make a baby quilt for a colleague of mine.. I have a bundle of fat quarters (or something like that) in light flowery colours that might fit perfectly.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Byttet trening på SatsElixia mot snømåking i dag / Swapped the class at the gym for showelling snow today 💪🏻❄️💪🏻 #detsnørdetsnør #snowisfalling #vinterinorge

I’ll be blogging about this beauty on my blog tomorrow! 😍👍🏻😄 (link in bio) #flowermarket #harrypotter #jedicraftgirl @jedicraftgirl

What happens when it rains - my quilt from The Festival of Quilts

I just realised that I never finished this post about my quilt shown at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham back in August 2017. Well, here it is!

This is the same quilt that's featured in the Norwegian Quilt Association (NQF) magazine before Christmas - and you can also read a little about the background story in the article.

Long story short, the idea behind the quilt was a thought I had while putting the kids to sleep one night : what happens to the bow when it rains? The bow being the rainbow, which, when the sunlight hits the misty raindrops in just the right way, lights up the world with a wondrous display of colour. And I kept working on that thought, imagining the rainbow being hit by a massive rainstorm, and how the colours would fall to the earth, one drop at a time.. And so the idea was clear - I had to make this into a quilt! (I even tried some things I've never done before, embroidering with beads... they're far from perfect, but the effect is pretty cool!)

Quite a lovely little quilt (about 72x72 cm), using fabric from my stash (there's even a hint of Liberty in there). 

Oh, and the raindrop that's turned upside-down? It's meant to be like that. Because sometimes it rains so hard, it feels like it's raining up!

Friday, January 05, 2018


When your quilt is shown as a huge picture in the magazine (number 4/2017) from the Norwegian Quilt Association (NQF), it really is quite cool!

The caption reads "My quilt in the magazine!"
(and is from SnapChat)

Thank you for choosing my quilt to show in the magazine, and I am very honoured to be featured with the little tale of the inspiration behind this quilt - and with such a big picture!

When in doubt, knit stripes! #knittingstripes #dalegarnbabyull

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Frozen skirt

When your child has a deep love of anything Frozen (or glitters, pink and unicorns..... I have no idea where she gets it from) and you have a piece of Frozen fabric in your stash - well, then you really have no choice other than making a Frozen skirt. 

I can honestly say that this is the first skirt I've sewn since I was in 8th grade!

But a simple pattern and a very happy recipient made it worth it. (I might even make another one, in a not so distant future - and not 22 years later....)

Rediscovering a snail-project (wisp) and waking it up from 2 years of hybernation. Yay! #workinslowprogress #knitting #dalegarn #finull #julekalender

Monday, January 01, 2018

SSCS 2017 - to Jo from me

I've always loved Christmas, but for the past 11 years even more, as it has been more sneaking, stalking and secret crafting involved. And all that because of Chooky's SSCS - Secret Santa Christmas Swap. I was so happy to be able (allowed..?) to join this year too, as this has become quite the tradition for me, and it simply wouldn't be Christmas without it!

This year my lucky (?) receiver was Jo, and I had the joy of stalking her blog for a bit while planning my parcel. 

First on my list was the ornament. I had a pretty good idea of what to make, as I learned how to dye my own yarn this summer (thanks, mom!) So I knew that I had to knit a Christmas ball (..ornament..) using some of the yarn I've dyed. 

The pattern is called Kongle (Pine Cone) and is designed by Arne & Carlos. I really enjoy knitting these ornaments, and have been toying with the idea of knitting up an ornament of each of the different yarn I dye, just to see how the colours work.

Next challenge up was the main gift. I've used this pattern a few times now, and I really like it. It's simple, yet looks good, and can be adapted pretty well to fit any design or size you may wish. It is called Veskekurven and is designed by RyumQuilt. I used a mini charm pack and some yardage I had in my stash. I bought the handles in London during the Knitting and Stitching Show back in October 2016. I think the finished bag looks very cute!

As usually, I try to find something extra to add to the parcel, and this year I made a matching mug rug (I love using these to practise precision, quilting and binding), some candy and chocolate (always chocolate), a mini charm pack, and a couple of post cards from Norway (featuring the northern lights and such). 

Thank you for another great swap, Chooky

Merry Christmas to all - and a happy and creative New Year!

SSCS 2017 - To me from Anthea

This is my 11th time participating in ChookyBlue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap - and there's just no Christmas without it!

This year Anthea was my Secret Santa. Look at these adorable (and handsome) Santa ornaments she sent me!

And on Christmas Eve I got to open my main present - and this very sweet project bag with pin cushion was waiting inside the wrapping paper. Anthea also included a lovely calendar of scenic Australia and what may be the tiniest pair of scissors I have ever seen!

Thank you so much, Anthea, for the lovely gifts!

And thank you ChookyBlue, for another year of sneaking, planning, stalking (?) and making new friends all over the world!