Category: Creative Process

Modified Herringbone Quilt Scraps

Angela FlickerI made a modified herringbone quilt for my mother, for Christmas, from an original quilt design of mine. I didn’t really have a solidified plan when I sat down to start. As a result, I had lost of leftover scraps. Here are a few photos showing what I did with the scraps…

angela flicker

angela flicker

Don’t throw those quilt scraps out, but find creative ways to use them.

angela flicker modified herringbone quilt


While working on some improvisational piecing, I came up with this design. It looks like a modern cityscape to me, which is appropriate because I have some news. Yesterday, I received my acceptance letter to the University of Utah’s Graduate Architecture Program. You can read more about that here.

And if you’re interested, take a peak at how this improvisational piece came to be:

improvisional piecingimprovisional piecingimprovisional piecing

“Celebration of the Hand” Kickstarter Video

The Celebration of the Hand Kickstarter Video is up.  You can view it here.

A quilt is meant to be touched and used, not just looked at.  That’s why I think my modern interactive quilt will be perfect for the “Celebration of the Hand Exhibit.”  My piece is basically going to be an interactive, modern quilt. It will be interactive in the sense that it has pockets so that passersby can insert notes, photos, tickets, basically things from the city and their community. I think it will be neat to see what gets put in the pockets overtime.

When I first heard about The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change, I wanted my piece to not only interact with the public aesthetically, but also in a physical sense. I wanted it to be touched, thought about, manipulated, revisited in a respectful way. And when I heard about the theme “Celebration of the Hand”, I immediately thought about everything I do with my hands: sewing, designing, gardening, collecting eggs, holding my children, writing letters, taking photos, etc.  Then I got to thinking about how hands are used everyday in the city: to type, to cook, to serve a meal, etc.

I imagine this piece becoming a mini-time capsule. An opportunity for people in the community to express and interact with the art, and to express what it is that they do with their hands everyday.

I’ve been trying to get a book published over the past few years. My first book idea was on interactive quilts for kids. Lately though, I’ve been creating art that reflects more of my style, and has less of a childlike feel –art that is more modern, geometric, and full of color.  That being said, ironically my daughter, and my first book idea, still influenced me when I was thinking up this design.  Monet, my daughter, using her hands to collect treasures is a perfect example of what the pockets in this quilt could be used for.

I hope in reading this post, you can see the heart and creativity that I will be putting into my Plakat piece for the Celebration of the Hand Exhibit.

Please, take a moment to watch the video and donate today.  Thanks.

Angela Flicker

EZ Dresden Challenge: A Quilted Beach Bag

dressden beach bag quilted by The Artists' House Angela FlickerWelcome to day twelve of the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild blog hop for the EZ Dresden Challenge.  Have you been following this?

The Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild has partnered with EZ Quilting, Simplicity and a host of other manufacturers to celebrate Darlene Zimmerman’s 20th Anniversary designing quilting tools for EZ Quilting. To help them celebrate, Salt Lake MQG is hosting a challenge — Use the EZ Dresden Ruler to create a project, then enter it to win amazing prizes, including a new sewing machine and a photo of your project in a 1/3 page Simplicity advertisement in Quilting Arts Magazine.  How exciting is that?!  Leave a comment, and you could win one of these awesome rulers.  I will announce the winner in a week, on the 19th of June. For more information regarding this challenge, follow this EZ Dresden Challenge link.
EZ Dresden Quilting Challenge
ez dresden quilt challenge quilted beach bag
For the past few summers, I’ve wanted to make myself a really bright, yet simple beach bag.

Colorful umbrellas, beach balls, and sailboats were my inspiration.

I also knew that I wanted the bag to be deep, to hold rolled towels, and the bag had to have a nice zipper pocket to hold smaller-hard-to-find items like chapstick.  I’m really happy with the results. I can’t wait for our first beach/pool outing, as I think this bag will be perfect and fun in the sun.

.Here’s what my project looked like, right before I turned it into a bag.  I was intentional about picking a bold fabric for the background, as I wanted the sun to play on the dresden pieces, making the background shine through.
ez dresden quilt challenge quilted beach bag
The collage of images below, show some of my work.  Really, it was quite simple.  I basically laid the pieces out, put right sides together, sewed, ironed the seam allowances open, and repeated until I had one long, snake-like piece. I’m not a fan of raw edges, so to finish the piece off I sewed around it with a 1/4″ stitch, and then used this stitch as a guide to help me iron a 1/4″ under around all the sides.  I then used washable basting glue and lightly glued the dresden piece down before using a zigzag stitch (clear thread) to sew around the entire exterior.  Lastly, I basted and quilted the piece.
ez dresden quilt challenge quilted beach bag
Here is the finished product.  I really like how the chevron print shines through.
ez dresden quilt challenge quilted beach bag
ez dresden quilt challenge quilted beach bag zipper inside bag
ez dresden quilt challenge quilted beach bag

Remember, leave a comment, and you could win one of these awesome rulers.  I will announce the winner in a week, on the 19th of June.

For more inspiration and ideas for the EZ Dresden Challenge, follow along with the blog hop:



Our lucky winner is #9, Jenny C

2012/06/12 at 12:03 pm

Love your bag! Have fun in the sun!

Thanks for your comment Jenny.  I hope you love the ruler!  I can’t wait to see what you create with it!


Wearing Lots of Hats

pictures handmade quilts

What hats are you wearing today?  I recently talked to Candy Glendening, of Candied Fabrics.  Candy had some excellent insight as to the multiple roles the modern day creative entrepreneur must assume.  Sometimes we find ourselves playing the part of a designer, other times authors, and still yet, artists, bloggers, crafters, teachers, seamstresses, etc. etc. etc. and often along with all this we are mothers and wives.

Why do we do this, Candy and I joked?

It seems that maybe we have to.  It’s something that is within us.  It’s in our blood –we must create.  Candy and I both feel strongly about this.  She would even go so far as to say we should “make things just for the sake of making –that’s how our work grows and evolves”.

Candy Glendening Mod House OrnamentsAfter I got off the phone with Candy, I remembered feeling assured that what I was doing with The Artists’ House was the right thing to do.  You see, I feel people should keep their dreams as the solid foundation of their lives, but often you do need to learn to wear each of those hats to be able to build upon those dreams Candy reminded me.  Candy says, “Although I have many goals in my life, one of my main goals is to continue to grow, develop and evolve as an artist.”  I find that with the busyness of life, we often start to loose our dreams, and I believe that if you are not focused, the chaos of life can obscure what it is you were looking for.

Candy Glendening Messenger BagSo, in conclusion, have your goals in mind, and always be working towards them, but do realize that there are often other roles that you will have to take on to be able to reach those goals.  Don’t let those other hats you must wear sidetrack you, but rather use them to your advantage.  Let those parts of your life connect you to your work and help make it better.  Find how to connect all parts of your everyday life into your goals.  It’s not easy, but if you can do this, I believe you can find success in what you do.

Thanks Candy, for helping me come to this conclusion.

Do you know Candy?  If you don’t, you should.  Candy as a person is amazing, as is her art and her blog.  You can find Candy online through her website Candied Fabrics, facebook page, and on twitter.  Along with that, Candy does a great “Ask Candy” column on A La Mode Stuff.  Also, recently Candy did a great guest post on Scoutie Girl titled “One little house at a time: finding your art, getting published, and going live!” Check it out!

My Creative Odyssey

I want to tell you a story.  But first let me introduce Jessica Van Den from Epheriell Designs; she is running a blog hop called Creative Odyssey right now.  You can also hop to my partner in crime today, City Kitten Designs, and you can check out the full  blog hop list here.  Now back to my story…

Once there was a girl who ate, slept and breathed volleyball.  She had big dreams and goals.  Her senior year, after signing on to play at a small university in Nebraska, she got inured.  This wasn’t a small injury either; rather it was an injury that would take years to fully recover from.  It seemed that maybe her dreams of college volleyball were over.  And instead of resting and healing, she pushed on with all her might; often ignoring the signs her body sent her and the instructions given to her by her doctors.  She thought with pure will-power, she could beat the injury and push on to accomplish her goals.

Two years in a row, she struggled with complication after complication never letting her body heal.  Her leg soon atrophied.  When her doctors didn’t clear her to play, she felt completely defeated.  After working so hard to “heal” for two years, her spirit was crushed and she quit.  That day she met with the coach, released her contract, cleaned out her locker, and walked back to her dorm feeling defeated.

Six months later, after she had stopped training on a daily basis and finally took time to rest, she noticed that her symptoms had started to subside.  It seemed she no longer had complications.  She slowly started training again, a little here and a little there, and noticed that she was still passionate about her previous dreams.  After taking one year off, she tried out the following season.  She was stronger, smarter, more agile, and she made the team again and for the first time in years, she started her first game at the university level.

Why am I telling you this story?  Well, recently I have received an “injury” –not a physical injury, but rather some disappointing news that had temporarily defeated my spirits.  When your heart is a part of your work, a part of what you do everyday, I believe rejection hurts a bit more than in day to day work.

I think the reality of being a creative entrepreneur is that at times you will face rejection, and during those times, it’s important to stop, and heal.  Listen to your body, the signs around you, and don’t look at the setback as failure –find a new path to your destination.

And so this leads me into my creative goals for 2011:

  • Break the habit of keeping my nose to the grindstone –rather look up, and take time for reflection and healing.
  • Find a mentor, someone who knows the realities of running a creative business similar to mine.
  • Celebrate and notice the little accomplishments along the way.
  • Submit my quilts to get published in magazines.
  • Continue to follow my dreams of getting a book published.
  • Learn new embroidery techniques.
  • Exhibit my work in at least two fine art shows this summer.
  • Share my passions with other people by leading a quilt-a-long on my blog.
  • Sketch more and start playing with the idea of fabric design.
  • Continue to improve my photography skills.
  • Continue to learn illustrator.

Today I turn 30; did I forget to mention that?  However it is with confidence that I step into my 30’s, knowing that this will be my most creative years yet.

image credit:  Niela Photography and Design

Think Outside the Box

machine applique and embroidery patchwork quilt

The quilt pictured above is a custom order quilt that I’m making for a young girl.

And I hope for her, the same things I hope for my own daughter…

Be proud of what makes you different.
Embrace those differences.
Develop your own style and make good choices boldly.
Don’t follow the crowd.
Set trends instead.
Be proud of your uniquenesses.
Think outside the box!

machine applique and embroidery quilt

machine applique and embroidery quilt

Let the Fabric Speak

Six years ago, I bough my first house and immediately I fell in love with being a home owner.  When those golden keys touched my hand, I unlocked that front door and walked into a space that was truly mine –mine to design, mine to manipulate, mine to care for and turn into a cozy place.

Well, ever since that day, fabric has spoken to me.

“Won’t you please make me into a table cloth!”  “I want to be a soft pillow!”  “Oh, oh, I want to hang over your windows!”

Recently, when listening to the fabric speak, these few art pieces have emerged…

machine applique and embroidery lemons“When Life Gives You Lemons” by Angela Flicker
machine applique and embroidery couch and clock“Time is Precious” by Angela Flicker

machine applique books on a shelf“A Great Escape” by Angela Flicker

It’s funny!  I now realize that the fabric is not necessarily telling me what it wants to be, rather unselfishly the fabric is communicating directly with me, giving me advise and acknowledging my feelings.

I know I’ve said it many time before, and I’ll say it once again…

Sewing is therapy!

These prints are available for sale in my Etsy Shop.

The Ingredients for Success

I can’t get sewing out of my head.  I feel like a teenager in love, always thinking about sewing, obsessing about it really.  Wait, is this a diary entry or a blog post?

love, heart, girl

"Complete" by Shira Sela

In all honesty, and putting all silliness aside, I am absolutely smitten and in love with me job.  I had my first big show this past weekend and I did quite well.  Besides getting a few big sales, I now have two stores interested in my work, one carrying my patterns, and one my finished quilts.  Along with that, I might even have a great connection to a big name gallery in our area.  And all of this buzz has just been fuel to my fire, my passion, my obsession.  Last night I was dreaming about quilts, my ideas taking form, and when I woke this morning, I jumped right into sketching.

All of this obsessing and passion has really got me thinking about the ingredients for success.  While I’m currently in love with my job, if I can’t eventually turn it into something that does well for me and my family, well, I might need to find a second job.

And then I heard this podcast and was convinced: Radio Lab Podcast: Secrets of Success

Here’s a short description:  Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t like Gifted and Talented Education Programs. And he doesn’t believe that innate ability can fully explain superstar hockey players or billionaire software giants. In this podcast, we listen in on a conversation between Robert and Malcolm recorded at the 92nd St Y. Robert asks Malcolm if he’s a “genius denier,” and Malcolm asks Robert if he’s uncomfortable with the power of love, as they duke it out over questions of luck, talent, passion, and success.”

Ingredients for Success

  • 1 cup talent
  • 4 cups time
  • 10 cups determination, passion, and love
  • pinch of good luck

What do you think the ingredients for success are?

Be Patient During the Chaos

Are you in a position of comfort and routine?  What a dream!?  I bet you’re tempted to stay there right?  Yet, have you considered what a little chaos might add to your life? Let me explain…

My house is in complete and utter disarray.  That’s right, “The Artists’ House” looks more like the inside of a storage unit than anything else these days.


The reason being that we are currently remodeling three rooms in our small six room home: refinishing original wood floors, creating a studio slash office space for me, and repainting 2/3 of the house’s interior.  And while this project was my idea, chaos like this goes against every bone in my body.  My personality demands control, order, and routine; unfortunately my life could not be further from that right now.

Yet, in a couple days when this “little” project is all said and done, the results will absolutely be worth the chaos it took to achieve what I know will be a beautiful space.

This really got me thinking beyond my home, and instead about the things I create everyday.  Often when I step out of the daily routine of what’s comfortable, both me and my work grow and evolve. And even though it’s more comfortable to keep creating things that are familiar, I think it’s important to step out and try new techniques, ideas, and inspirations within the realm of one’s work.

Are you too comfortable?  Where do you need to step out of your comfort zone to achieve something beautiful?  The results might surprise you, as long as you can be patient during the chaos.

Well, its back to work for me.  The bucket of paint and brush are screaming my name….