Category: Inspiration

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

“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

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Spring 2011

Blogger's Quilt FestivalLast week I shared a personal story with the blogosphere and I was touched by all the warm and encouraging comments I got both on my blog and on my Oh my! Handmade Goodness feature.  So for today’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I though I would share a more in depth story behind one of those quilts that was featured.

I made a series of Interactive Play Quilts and the Americana Appliqué Scenes was by far my favorite.  I was born in 1980, and the baby blanket I had was made up of bold primary colors, no pastels: red, blue, navy, white, yellow, and green made up the quilt.  These colors were very popular in my childhood, and I find myself still loving them today.  Along with that, the applique scenes in this quilt were also inspired from my childhood.    My favorite memories inspired the scenes in this quilt:  playing in the front yard, going to the zoo, playing “school” with my sister, along with all the other toys we had.  When making this quilt, really it was just a walk through my childhood.

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

The idea behind this quilt was that kids could take a visit to a few classic locations and create their own stories with movable play patches.  Each Americana applique scene is a pocket, and each pocket is full of patches that can be moved from one scene to the next, making this quilt interactive and fun to play with.

Here are the Americana applique scenes/pockets with the patches:

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué ScenesInteractive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué ScenesInteractive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué ScenesInteractive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

And here is what they look like without the patches:

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué ScenesInteractive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

All in all, I really love this quilt, and all the memories it brings back from my childhood.

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

Interactive Play Quilt for Kids - Americana Appliqué Scenes

One Year Anniversary

Did you know that it is my blog’s one year anniversary today?

Ahhh, it brings back memories.  Five years ago I had a dream about The Artists’ House.  I was wanting to go back to school to get my MFA in interior architecture and design, and I had this dream about a business that I owned where my husband and I lived in this old, huge, two story home.  And in the dream, we lived on the top floor, and on the main level we ran a design company.  My husband Josh, who is a ceramist, had a studio and gallery in this space.  The gallery was filled with Josh’s work, along with other great artists from around the world.  People came to us from near and far –we remodeled their homes and furnished them with fine art.

This dream is always something my husband and I come back to, something we are working towards, minus or plus a few details.  And everyday that I continue to follow my dream, literally in a sense, I feel like I’m getting closer.

I believe that when things are made with love from a person’s hands, and you fill your space with those things –that’s what makes a house a home. My house is a home not just because of my art, my husband’s art, and daughter’s art, but other artists’ work as well.  That’s what The Artists’ House dream was all about, and that’s the community I’m trying to create here online.

Won’t you join us, and celebrate this small milestone with us?

For the entire month of February, we’re going to be celebrating The Artists’ House one year anniversary with giveaways, favorite past posts, pattern reviews, a quilt-along, sneak-peaks leading up to a new line of quilts that I’m going to launch in March, and, to top it all off, you might even see me doing tutorials on other big name blogs.  Along with that, I’m also opening my doors to sponsorship and affiliate programs for the first time, where I hope to help support awesome creative businesses and entrepreneurs like myself.

Today, why don’t we ease into the celebration –here is my very first blog post.



image credit: My Art 2 Cherish

Making This Home

I’m pleased to introduce you to Katie from Making This Home.  Katie is someone I have had the pleasure of meeting through “A Crafty Holiday”.  Her story is both intriguing and sweet.  Go ahead, read on…
Briefly tell us who you are, where you are, and what your blog is about.

I’m American; my husband is German.  We split our time between a 480 square foot apartment in Berlin, Germany and – get this – a house made out of hundreds of recycled tires in the Rocky Mountains.  We ride our bikes just about anywhere we can, eat our vegetables, fly airplanes, and have an enormous passion for seizing life.

Katie from Making This Home

My journals have always documented our adventures.  But we just couldn’t keep it all to ourselves.  (The love of fun journals, I mean.  NOT the jetlag.  You really don’t want that!)

Katie from Making This Home

My blog, Making This Home, is about creating a handmade and simple (and often expat!) home.  Also, you can visit my shop called Gadanke here.

When you hear “making a house a home”, what does that mean to you?

Living abroad has completely changed that definition for me.  Before you can make a house your home, you have to make your community become your home.  You have to love where you live.

eating-in-berlin Katie from Making This Home

I’ve met some really amazing expats in Germany – some are other Americans, some don’t even speak English.  We struggle through German lessons and conversations together.

You don’t have to be fluent in the local language to call a place home.  You don’t have to completely understand the culture around you to love it.  You just have to be open.

At the same time, I have been meeting expats who just ache to get back to where they came from.  They hold on so tightly to the world where they came from – to the place where everything was comfortable.  I come home feeling drained.

Somehow, I’d love to give them passion for this fabulous place where we get to live.  It’s all about your attitude and the way you look at everyday life and the choices you get to make.  No one can alter that for you – no matter where you live or have lived.

So what is home?

If you’re not there right now, what do you suppose could change that?  Is it physically moving to a new place?  Or is it moving your heart?

Tell me some ways that you have made your living space in Germany a home?

We make a handmade home.  I sew and cook and journal our story.  But even deeper than that, we designed and built the kitchen all by ourselves.  My husband would be at the table saw with a sheet of wood we were turning into a cabinet door; I’d be hanging out the window to balance the fresh cut.  We’d be varnishing and sanding.

Katie from Making This HomeKatie from Making This Home

Germans actually refer to our open kitchen as “an American kitchen”.  That space is all my own (even if its only 36 square feet) to create American food or figure out German ingredients.

What advice can you give to other people who are “making home”.

Love Where You Live!  I think that phrase says it all.  It’s also the title of the home minibook I sell at my shop.  So much of our stories of who we are and who we are becoming happens at home.  Sometimes sitting down to write about it truly makes you realize how much beauty there is where you are.

Katie from Making This Home

Check out Katie’s great journal and memory keeping shop called Gadanke. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.
Thanks Katie, for letting us take a peak into your world.
butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

Blogger’s Quilt Festival

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

Have you heard of the Fall Blogger’s Quilt Festival, an event run by Amy of Amy’s Creative Side?  It’s an online festival where people submit images, along with the story, behind a quilt they have made.  You must check it out. The most beautiful quilts are on display.  I’ve decided to enter my butterfly migration quilt.

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

What does migration mean to you?  Yes, I know the literal term means the moving of an animal or a species from one location to another.  I’m talking on a more symbolic level though.

Have you ever seen a flock of migrating geese or a swarm of migrating butterflies?  In that moment, besides feeling a sense of awe and amazement, what did you feel?  Really, think back.

butterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists housebutterfly machine applique quilt using felt by angela flicker from the artists house

Well, for me, migration symbolizes change, a new stage in life, moving ahead, towards a goal, or a specific destination.

When I came up with the idea for this butterfly migration quilt, my life was in the middle of a pretty big “migration” itself.  I was contemplating quitting my job, and instead following something my heart was saying.  As my hands created this quilt, really it was just creating something my heart and my head was feeling.

Instead of migrating away from home though, I feel like I found my place.

I found something I didn’t know I was missing, until it was literally in my hands.

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

A Crafty Holiday Blog Hop Event

I’ve been thinking a lot about all the “crafty” talk on the web these days– talk from people just like me trying to make a living doing what they love with their crafty and artistic abilities, talk about the importance in supporting crafters and artists, talk about “mindful spending” and buying handmade or local when appropriate.

machine applique christmas tree with presents and button ornaments

I believe in this “crafty talk” and as a result, personally I am vowing to buy handmade this Holiday Season.

But I don’t want to stop there.

My desire is to really make a difference outside of me, to challenge all our readers, family, and friends to think about the way they buy this holiday season.  I want to encourage, rather inspire, everyone to buy “crafty” and handmade, and to help people realize that by buying from artists they are buying from real people.

Won’t you help?

I’m running a blog hop event called, “A Crafty Holiday”.  Participating blogs will join together and share a ring of posts linked to this cause.  We will jump from blog to blog, being able to both link forward and back much like a chain letter.  We’ll start on November 1st and continue on until we loop it back around to the start, making it all the way to mid-December.

Each participant will be assigned a day, and on that day they will post two things on their blogs:

1)    Why are you vowing to have “A Crafty Holiday”?

2)    What’s on your “Holiday Shopping List”?

(Note:  This should be a list of handmade items you want, need, plan to buy, along with handmade items you plan to possibly purchase for others.  Make a list with photos and links. This list is to be made up of handmade goods from other crafters and artists.  This is not an opportunity to promote ones own goods, rather an opportunity to promote all the wonderful talent out there.)

Also, if you feel inspired to do so, give your readers at least one tip that makes buying “crafty” a little easier or offer logistical reasons for why they should consider buying “crafty”.

  • You could suggest a local holiday craft shows in your area.
  • Or offer advise on buying things off Etsy.  For example, you might suggest people signup for the “Etsy Finds – Daily shopping guide to the best of” emails.  It’s awesome looking at all the “eye candy” they send out and it helps keep hand crafted gifts in mind on a regular basis.
  • You could mention things like, “Avoid the crowded stores and shop online in the comfort of your own home”.

Would you like to participate?

Please leave your name, blog, and an email address as a comment below.  Then grab a button to place on your blog, showing your participation.  (Code for two different buttons can be found at the end of this post.)

The deadline to enter your blog for participation is October 14th.

All participants will be notified by October 25th, via a page on my blog.  On this day I’ll post a schedule, announcing all the participants and their assigned blog day.  This event will run from November 1st – December 20th.

(Note:  If you have a specific time frame for when you would like to post your entry, you can mention that in your comment below.  I’ll try to accommodate everyone’s needs, but please realize that’s a lot of variables.  I’ll try my best though.)

So what do you say? Are you planning on having “A Crafty Holiday”?

A special thanks to Linda  at A La Mode Stuff and Tara from Scoutie Girl, for helping support this event.


A Crafty Holiday on The Artists' House<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ width=”125″ src=”” height=”125″ /></a>


A Crafty Holiday on The Artists' House<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ width=”125″ src=”” height=”125″/></a>


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.

Be Realistic About Your Success

Yesterday was just what I needed –a day of rest, a day spent with my husband and daughter, a day to clear my mind and refocus my plans, and a day to be realistic about my success.


Lately I’ve been struggling with direction.  My spirit is so ambitious that often I want to do everything, all the time.  Every idea that pops into my head, I think yeah, I should do that too.  I’ve always been this way, even as a child.

More importantly though, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that being realistic about your desired success is just as important.  Often if I’m not realistic about my goals and ambitions, I feel disheartened when I do not accomplish what it is I have set out for myself to do.  What?  I can’t clean the entire house, can those 10 quarts of tomatoes, take care of my crazy, into-everything daughter, and finish an entire quilt in one day.  Well why not?

Last night, after spending a beautiful day at the zoo, once Monet was asleep and the house was finally picked up, my husband sat down with me and helped me to finish my S.M.A.R.T. Goals. By getting my husband involved, I was basically assigning him two roles.  One, he was responsible for making sure my goals were both realistic, plus a bit risky.  And two, he in now responsible for holding me accountable to my goals, along with being my cheerleader along the way.

Here are a few of the S.M.A.R.T. Goals I set.

  • Bring a line of textiles and sewing patterns, designed by me of course, to an International Quilt Market before the end of 2012.
  • Be accepted and sell at 2 major Fine Art Festivals and 5 craft fairs/street markets before October 2011.
  • Before October 2011, get publicity from 6 media sources including blogs, magazines, and newspapers.

And because these goal are such big ones, they are accompanied by numerous sub-goals.  Here are just a few sub-goals that accompany my first major goal…

  • Learn Illustrator by taking a class before the end of year 2010.
  • Attend the 2011 International Quilt Market in Salt Lake City as a visitor.
  • Doodle with my daughter on a weekly basis.
  • Continue to sell patterns on-line and to local quilt shops.

Check out this great resource, a “goal planner sheet”.  It can help you break your larger goals into sub-goals–a great way to track your progress along the way.

Well, I really should be going.  I have a big list of goals to accomplish and a daughter to take care of.

How are your goals coming along?