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!
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.
I have been busy, but it is slow going- especially taking the time to document here. Here is my first step with the teddy bear picnic quilt:
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.
I have started to follow Sew Slowly. She just posted about some holes she is putting in her top. This is very intriguing to me. I love the way that quilts wear, so I love the idea of holes in a quilt top. She has pretty clear photos of what she is doing. She is hand working her quilt. I decided to use her technique but by machine.
Here is a nice four patch that did not line up the way I would like. I prepared a square quite a bit larger than my intended hole with my stitch line already marked.
Then, I stitched around the circle and cut out the center. I then heavily clipped the seam allowance.
Then turn to the back.
Here is the finished front:
Now to decide what should go in the hole.
I am starting another new quilt- this one blue. I already have quite a bit cut. I am using my new 10.5 ruler as the guide. The finished blocks will all be this size. I cut squares that will add up to a finished size of 10.5. I am excited to see how this one comes together.
Here is my newest quilt – a shoebox full of various sized red and pink squares.
It leans a little too much toward primary red. I intend to put green frames around the blocks, but not Christmas, so I need to add some more pink. I have an idea of wonky pieced squares floating in green with a wonky bright pink square and then green again.
In any case, more to come…
Daylight savings and a beautiful spring day really took me off guard so I am posting late today. Between the cold weather and taking over the living room to sew (thank you, patient husband), I have been making a lot of progress. There are two projects that are too new to show and then this one, that is half done, the other half that is left a frame and quilting.
I have made considerable progress on the angel quilt. I have even decided on the name: Angels 3: Celestial Spirits. I finished the back. Here is a picture before I added the backing:
It is fun to see this quilting, never to see the light of day again. Here is the finished back:
I am adding prairie points which will look like rays.
I am excited because I am on track to finish by March 1!