I have been working on this quilt for years- the flower quilt I just finished finally informed me on how to finish the sun and the chicken. This is my favorite chicken quilt and the end of the series.
Many years have past since I updated here. I had another site that for various reasons I decided to let go. Anyway, new work, finally.
Piece is called Flowers after the Apocalypse.
Several projects that I have been slowly working on. This first one is near my heart. It is corduroy and so far just two fabrics, one my husband’s old shirt and one my sister gave me.
It is a wonky log cabin. It is so much more successful than this block that I was also playing with:
Several errors here. Since is it was play I probably won’t redo it. I was frustrated with it because it caused a lot thinking to put it together. Someone with more patience than me would need to put a whole quilt of this pattern together. I get so much more enjoyment out of the wonky blocks instead of trying to force the pattern.
The last one is a bag I am making. I just have a vague idea of how this will go together but I love the trajectory:
The bears have their frames, next up the decision on how to bring them all together into one quilt. I had one really nice lay out, but the quilt ends up being orientated landscape. Whenever I make a quilt with a landscape layout it always seams a little wrong.
I really wanted to frame the embroidery to showcase them. I am proud that, unusual for me, I made samples to make the decision of what color ought frame the little bears without overwhelming them. I settled on the lavender/blue fabric that is shown above framing the bears and below to the far right. This is different palette for me, usually I love bright colors, especially for baby quilts. All of my primary color samples overshadowed the delicate embroidery.
I have used only stash fabric for this quilt so far. For the blue, I had exactly enough; I only had to piece one little strip at the very end. I was holding my breath while I sewed the last set. Someone must be watching over me (is it Lou?), because I have had that fabric for a while and it would have been difficult to match.
The blue quilt is now officially a flimsy, ready for quilting. Steve calls it “homey” and I guess it is with its unusual mix of fabric. It is a real stash quilt with every blue and green fabric in my stash in it. It really glowed when I photographed it.
We had to go down to Burnsville, so on the way I ran into the new SR Harris and picked up this lovely for the back:
It captures all the colors of the quilt and will hide a multitude of flaws in my quilting.
It has definitely been a long and stressful summer, much good, some bad. I forgot what it was like to be 16 years old and 21 years old, but this summer I re-experienced it. The road to adulthood is sometimes a bumpy ride. In any case, two weeks ago we cleaned out my sewing room to make room for my son. He has set up the space nicely. I have a large pile of materials in the basement to sort through yet. If I can manage to store it all, I will. However, I am getting rid of some things that I haven’t used for a long time such as my papermaking supplies.
Finally last night I got back to business and laid out this quilt. It is fairly large probably: 6 feet by 5 feet. I wasn’t able to photo it all but here is a sample.
I should easily be able to get the top together this week, then next week to the fabric store!
This summer has been busy mostly good some bad…in any case as usual sewing is my relaxation and joy and escape. I am not so good this summer at documenting what I have been up to. I have been slowly working on this blue quilt in the background, cutting squares while watching tv, sewing and pressing. I have finished a few blocks now and feel like I am on the down hill, at least with the top.
The fabric already is infused with memory. A friend at work gave me the Christmas and snowflake fabric, the blue flowers are from my aunt.
The butterfly fabric on this one is from my niece’s quilt, and the little all over flower on the bottom right is my from my aunt.
I have fabric from my grandmother on the Porter side, too, but those blocks aren’t done. It feels good to move forward, and as I remind myself- every time I sew them together, my number of seams halves.
A lot going on here… Paul got an internship that has turned our schedule upside down. If you have time during 8-3:30 pm you might be able to listen to him online. – http://jazz88.mpls.k12.mn.us/. He is having a great time learning about radio announcing.
This is framed with some fabric that I got from my aunt.
Now for something completely different. Natalie Chanin recommends samples to learn stitches, and to make design decision. She makes them up into a quilt in the end. I don’t know if I will go that far, but here is my first sample. I will show you the garment that I ended using the techniques soon- it is finished and the sample was helpful.
I finished this two weeks ago, but haven’t had time to post it:
I started this quilt over eight years ago. It began with some Hawaiian shirts that Steve no longer wanted. He gave them to me and I cut them up and sewed them back together. This first run was not successful because these are either a lightweight cotton or rayon. The fabric didn’t have enough body to make quilt construction easy.
I had decided to make a dress out of the fabric, but this also wasn’t successful. I used muslin as a base, and sewed scraps of fabric to the base. This worked ok, but I didn’t plan it very well in order to work of a dress. I cut it into squares and then it became something.
If I made another quilt like this, I would use fusible web as the base. I did that on the last few blocks I made for this quilt, and it was much easier. The “starter” piece for each block could be pressed down, then the next one sewn to it, then pressed down to the fusible. It made for a very stable base. I will let you know how the structure holds up over time.
This was also one of the most expensive quilts I have ever made. Most of my quilt tops are largely recycled fabrics, either from previous quilts or old clothing. Only the innermost blocks are recycled, the rest is new fabric. I can guess I paid over an one hundred dollars in fabric, batting and thread on this quilt. Usually, my quilts run about fifty dollars: mostly batting and back. Read more
How does one know when a quilt is beyond mending? For me it is when both sides are not repairable. I made this quilt before my younger son was born, before I graduated from college, nearly 18 years ago. At the time I was short on money so I chose a polyester blend for the back. This has worn so well that it has no holes at all.
The front, however, is not so well-preserved. I made several samples with indigo in college using Japanese style stitched resists. These were made with new muslin. After that, I made took two of my skirts over and dipped them in the indigo. I knew it would be a long time before I had access to a vat of indigo. These skirts were already worn, one I had since high school and the other was a cheap cotton chambray. In any case, these have worn away.
I have two strategies for mending this quilt, the addition of the fish. These worked pretty well until it became clear that soon I would no longer have fish, but a red border. Then I took some pieces from another indigo piece I had and sewed them on in the style of slow cloth. This has been an interesting study for the front of the quilt.
But I was looking at this quilt today from the back and it is even more interesting. The white on blue works well in the context of this Japanese-influence quilt referencing back to sashiko stitching.
It is definitely one of those times when serendipity happens.