December 2017 Roundup

December 2017 at Clever Chameleon

One Monthly Goal Check-in and December 2017 Roundup

At the beginning of December I nominated my ongoing Vanuatu Turtle Quilt for my specific One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts. The finished quilt is not due to be linked up at Busy Hands Quilts’ Splash of Color quilt along until January 16. But I know that quilt construction has a habit of expanding to take up all available time. And I want the Vanuatu Turtle quilt done so that I can get on with some other really interesting projects in January. So I decided to bring the “deadline” forward to the 31st December.

So, I am glad to report that the Vanuatu Turtle is finished! 🙂 It measures 60″ square.

Vanuatu Turtle Quilt by Clever Chameleon

Thank you to my dearest husband who eventually managed to help me get this photo under natural light.

I think I may have an opening for a new quilt holder-upperer ….. at first DH was holding this quilt not only upside down but also back-to-front. I honestly thought he was just being facetious……. But, apparently, no. And he swears he reads the blog….. 

Back of Vanuatu Turtle Quilt
I took the opportunity to get a photo of the back of the Vanuatu Turtle quilt (upside down, but who’s to know?!)

Vanuatu Turtle Quilt

Vanuatu Turtle Quilt

So there we have it. A finished memento from our family’s work trip to Vanuatu.  I’m thankful to Myra of Busy Hands Quilts for running the Splash of Color quit along this year, as without it, the Vanuatu Turtle Quilt would likely never have happened. It would still be like the throw quilt I mean to make from some fabrics I bought in Thailand 3 years ago….

The Vanuatu Quilt – blow by blow

If you’d like to go back and read about the conception, design and construction of the Vanuatu Turtle quilt, here are the relevant posts in order:

Where the Vanuatu Quilt concept started
More about the fabrics and the turtle appliqué pieces cut
Designing the black and white background on the fly
Finishing the black and white quilt top
Adding the first layer of the turtle appliqué
Adding the second layer of the turtle appliqué
Quilting design for the Vanuatu Turtle quilt

I said I was going to find out what being finished early feels like. So. What does it feel like to be done before the last minute? Weird. And slightly sad – I have liked working on this quilt and now it’s over. Perhaps the gasping sense of relief of going down to the wire has its upsides after all! hahahaha. Don’t worry, the melancholy hasn’t lasted – I have so many other projects to turn to. I have already done some therapy fabric cutting today. And not on the project I should be working on either. See, that’s better!

What else happened at Clever Chameleon in December 2017?

Well, we had another 4 Colour Inspiration Tuesdays.

Week 1

We explored the colours of a fake-looking Australian plant called the Wax Flower Plant or Hoya. And we used it as a launch point for a Christmas decoration made of couched thread and beads. Not strictly quilting, but it is a method I use for embellishing quilts, and these ornaments are a good way to get your hand in with this technique. 

Christmas Stars color scheme from Clever Chameleon
Christmas Star colour scheme
Christmas Star Ornament
Christmas Star couched thread ornament

This post was a full tutorial, and showed how to make Christmas Trees and Christmas Bells as well.

Week 2

In the second week of December, Kathy of Tamarack Shack Longarm Quilting shared a tip about chalk being visible under blacklight. So I got all excited and the testing of this tip resulted in a blue colour scheme.

Blacklight Blue colour scheme from Clever Chameleon
Blacklight Blue colour scheme

And I received my own blacklight for Christmas.  So now I can play with this technique some more. Sweet husbands who can’t tell the front of a quilt from the back still have their uses. hahahahaha. Thanks dearest!

Week 3

I was reading the newsletter from our local state Botanic Garden when I discovered the strangest flower I have possibly ever seen. This flower quacks me up, so I had to feature it on Colour Inspiration Tuesday!

Flying Duck Orchid color scheme from Clever Chameleon
Flying Duck Orchid colour scheme

Flying Duck Orchid colour scheme from Clever Chameleon

I would like to have the time to turn this flower into an appliqué at some point. Just for fun. The flying duck shape of this Australian native orchid is just the start of the strangeness – you can read more about this flower here.

Week 4

This was only yesterday – and we celebrated the colour red in all its glory. This is because we are leading up to the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge. And the first colour off the rank will be red.

Red colour scheme from Clever Chameleon
January is Red colour scheme 

Beyond Colour Inspiration Tuesdays

hibiscus FMQ design

What else happened at Clever Chameleon in December 2017? Well, lots of Vanuatu Turtle quilt construction, but we’ve already covered that. Probably the only thing of note we haven’t covered is that the Vanuatu Turtle quilting post includes a mini tutorial on how to freemotion quilt hibiscus flowers.

I also extended the couched thread Christmas Ornament tutorial to include a fourth variation – a glittery bauble. This was a guest post on Days Filled with Joy blog.

And we have been getting organised to start 2018 at full speed with the Beary Colourful BOM – part of the Monthly Color Challenge at Patterns by Jen.

Beary Colourful BOM at Clever Chameleon

I hope you will be joining us for this one!


100 Posts!

So, that was December 2017. And this is my 100th post since I started blogging back on the 26th April. It seems very fitting to be able to report a complete quilt finish for my 100th post!

Oh boy, the things I have learned since I launched this blog! And all the amazing people I have “met”! Thank you to all of you for reading my blog and a special thank you to all the people who have connected in some way. I hope that 2018 is going to be a year of great things!

I’m now off to share my December OMG success on Elm Street Quilts.

P.S. In the next few days I also hope to also be participating in several end of year linkys. In particular, Cheryl of Meadow in the Mist is holding a Best of 2017 Linky Party. You might like to head over there now. A collection of the year’s best quilt blog posts ought to be really good reading! And there are several other goal-setting linkys for 2018 which I’d like to sit down and muse over if I can find the time.

P.P.S Also sharing on Freemotion by the River, Quilt Fabrication, Sew Fresh Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Inquiring Quilter, Crazy Mom Quilts,  Busy Hands Quilts. and a new linky: Powered by Quilting

Wednesday Wait Loss Featured

P.P.P.S. This post has now been linked up with the Last Splash of Color linky.

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9 Replies to “December 2017 Roundup”

  1. Yay for Vanuatu’s finish! And I really enjoyed your photo shares – Had never seen the fake-looking waxy flower. Aren’t orchids the best, with their creature-appearances? 🙂

  2. Great recap! You’ve had a very busy end to your year. Love your turtle quilt, and I’m so glad you finally got a shot with natural light. At this time of year it’s so hard to do that! Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  3. I absolutely LOVE LOVE your turtle, now that it’s done! And so many things I was nodding my head along with, the husband who swears he reads my blog, the holding a quilt upside down, being finished early…It sure has been a productive year for you, congrats on 100 posts!

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