Today is a two quilt day, each has character.
Dad Would be Honored is the first Feathered Star using Marsha McCloskey’s directions I ever made. Most of the quilt is made with dad’s ties. Dad himself was a bit of character writing rotten poetry, his preferred place behind the camera – always observing, listening. I brought his ties home with me shortly after his death. It took me a little while to work up the courage to cut into the ties, and make the quilt. Every once in a while I think about making changes, if I did this or that the overall look would be more pleasing, and effective. The most important thing about Dad Would be Honored, my stepmom loves it just as it is, flaws and all. The moment I gave this to her is priceless. There is one thing I would change though I’d add fusible stabilizer to the ties making some of the piecing a lot easier. Part of me wants to sit here and rip apart the quilting, however I won’t because at the time I know I stitched to the best of my ability. Memory quilts hold something more, they hold our hearts stitched with great love.
If ever a quilt had a journey it’s this one. The fabrics are all Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose. The quilt itself is based on a Jinny Beyer pattern the setting corners should be 9 patches. It was a little bit beyond my skill level at the time so using solid pieces seemed the thing to do. The quilt was much larger at one point having squares in the corners and borders, it was quilted. I always like the quilt, didn’t like the quilting, so it sat in a UFO pile unfinished. An opportunity to make a quilt to donate came along, the seam ripper and I had a date, all of the quilting came out, I cut the quilt down, and re-quilted it. This may have been the first quilt I un-quilted, then re-quilted. The moon and stars seem to be a recurring them in my quilts. Oh sweet heavens inspire me!
Both of these quilts taught me so much. Trying something new is a good, using a seam ripper to take out something that isn’t working well is good, starting over is good.
Have a great quilterly day,
Debby and I have a long standing joke wherein we copy each other’s homework. When Debby was working on going to teach in Russia she made a quilt with the words “Bang Head Here” . Click on the link to read an interview and more on the quilt. Shortly after she posted the quilt we talked about the idea now whirling about my head and she couldn’t wait to see it. So, my own version of “Bang Head Here” complete with an arrow pointing to a brick wall (see yesterday’s blog post for the photo) came to life. Someone at a quilt show pointed this out to Debby, that I’d made this quilt using her idea. Shock! Horror! Debby assured her that this was fine.
I’ve been admiring Debby’s ribbon candy on quilts for a while. I like the effect, and the ease of stitching. So on the quilt I’m doing for SewBatik I am, once again, copying Debby’s homework by stitching ribbon candy into selected sections of this quilt.
Debby commented on one of the photos, “my work here is done.” Yep, she finally won me over to ribbon candy and I’m having fun. The space that I’m working in narrows and widens over the surface of the quilt so there is variation in the motif over the surface. That said, I’m loving the effect.
Of course, for me, the seam ripper was out in the first six inches of stitching. Trying to fill the space as it was the ribbon candy wasn’t having the desired effect. By visually dividing the space it’s easier to stitch, and looks better. I’m hoping to get a decent shot later today.
This So Fine thread (50 wt) from Superior is doing exactly what I knew it would, it stands out just enough from the Indigo and blends in well. Weird right? It’s like I planned it.
I’m on the third bobbin. and ready to get more stitching done this morning. Last night as I stitched I had this amazing moment of “this quilt will be flat when I’m finished”. It’s one of those moments as a quilter that just, well, you know. It’s one of those moments. I’m off to revel in more of that moment.
On a sew day with friends I cut out the pieces for a new quilted purse, and started stitching them together. The idea floated around my head for a while as the quilting of the fat quarters progressed.
Here’s the finished front:
Here’s the finished back:
What I don’t have a picture of is the little zippered wallet I made to go with it. I like to have a little something to put in my pocket, and take with me when I go into the City.
I loved adding the cork for texture, and character. The cork takes stitching well and has many uses. It’s a bit spendy so adding detail, and creating a unique look works best for me. After getting home I changed the hardware on the adjustable strap.
Once I get through the first Lucy’s Nickles Project this will become either a class or a pattern.
Talk about a quilt that is a character. And I’m going to share some of its most interesting character traits.
But first, let’s see how Kelly Ann measures up. Worth the visuals alone.
I’ve talked about this quilt here and here.
I love this quilt, always have. The character in this quilt rests in the memories of making the quilt. Buying the fabric. The physical memory of the rotary cutter and the left index finger meeting. The machine quilting complete with bad tension, pigtails on the back. The quilting decisions. Oh how I loved making those decisions.
Were they the right decisions for this quilt? Yes!
Would I make these same decisions now? Probably not.
So about the character in this quilt? It built mine.
Sour is good.
I baked the other day. It wasn’t my worst baking hour, and not my best either. The other day we picked up yeast, King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, and King Arthur Bread Flour. About a year ago I got rid of a sour I’d been holding onto that was long neglected and gone. At the same time I made cinnamon rolls. And now I’m going to make sourdough cinnamon rolls because the depth of flavor is just gorgeous. I’m going to be patient and wait a few days before making them. I want to give the sour a chance to do it’s thing. This. is. hard. because sourdough.
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy baking. How much I’ve enjoyed baking since I was seven. When you forget how much you enjoy something it’s been a long time, and the experience has me giddy with excitement. As I kneaded dough yesterday my sweetie and I had a funny conversation.
Him, “you can go use the table if it would be easier.
Me, “the table is higher than the counter.”
Him, “but it might be easier on the table.”
Me, “the counter is too high for me as it is.”
Me, “our next house will have a counter that is comfortable for me to chop and knead at (read lower than the height of our current counter)”
Him, “our next house will have two different cutting/working stations, one for you and one for me.”
Now that we know the beginnings of our next kitchen.
When teaching machine quilting students frequently hear, “your shoulders and ears are not one body part.” In kneading and rolling dough those words flitted through my consciousness. The shoulders kept creeping up to my ears. In part due to the height of the counter, and in part due to putting my whole self into kneading that dough. But oh my goodness the garlic knots and pizza were so good. Food, like a quilt, is a physical, enjoyable moment. Quilts last longer. Eating something I’ve made well is so good. Food is made for sustenance, and for pleasure.
Quilters and food pair well together. There is something amazing about the communal aspect of both, there is a generosity inherent in both. Any gathering of more than a few hours will have some kind of food involved. I love to bake so often I’ll bring something sweet to the party.
I’ll be heading into my studio today to work on a purse and wallet for me. It’s so fun. I hope to finish and get photos today, as tomorrow I’m going to AEF’s concert with the Yonkers Philharmonic. It’s Aria day, this is a first as far as I know. I’m looking forward to participating in the concert.
In working on both the baking and the stuff for Generation Q Magazine the idea of the show quilt is coming into focus. To have these ideas whizzing and whirling around my brain is kind of fantastic. It’s been a long drought and the flowing creativity is refreshing and renewing. Creativity sometimes lands you right in a desert for many reasons. I do love deserts, there is so much life there.
So, now that I’ve covered quilting, food, and touched on creative deserts the studio is calling and I must answer.
I’ll be back with more on the creative desert and the great joy in creating now.
Every now and again in front of my machine I sit and stitch. That’s it. There’s no plan or purpose other than reconnecting with the machine and the rhythm of stitching. The stitching leads to thinking, that’s sometimes a good thing, and sometimes not so much. Either way the level of enjoyment is increased with each stitch. That is, after all, the purpose of quilting, enjoyment.
As one fat quarter filled and the next begun the weather influenced the choice of motif a bit. Thoughts of puddle jumping filled the space between. I can do puddle jump with the best of them, and have fond memories of doing so while dating my sweetie. The center circle is where the rain drop lands causing ripples. There is something calming and meditative with rain drops landing on water, each ripple just a little different, influenced by the effect of the other drops and ripples. When I started quilting the intent was one full spiral, about the fifth round out it became apparent that wasn’t happening. Uh-uh. Nope. Because the reminder of rain drops is simply beautiful.
And going with the rain drops seemed the only way to continue. At first overlapping and connecting. Then going a little rogue not necessarily connecting them, or having them overlap more than one other rain drop.
Puddles are glorious. Puddles give happiness for such a short time. Puddles are there for jumping, and rain drops, and worms, and inspiration. Puddles are delightful. Like rain drops sliding down a window, wandering hither and yon until they reach the intended destination. Rainy days in the summer beckon me outside, rainy days in the winter drive me to the studio with all the lights on. *The fabric used for the project is Sumi-é by Frond Design Studios.
Once all the quilting is complete the two pieces are destined for greatness! Yes, dear ones, they will be made into a new bag and wallets for me.I’m going to remove the hardware and strap from another bag that has completely fulfilled it’s obligation and use it for the strap on this one. What a great way to repurpose a well loved bag. There will be cork involved in some detail work, how I’m not entirely certain at the moment but a plan is forming in my head that will come together at the right moment. This one is just for happiness as I work on a few other things. One I have to get a mosey on and finish this weekend. I’ll be posting that “need to finish and write about it” on the Gen Q blog. It’s something different and kind of fun.
In a few days I’ll reveal the quilt design for the Lucy’s Nickles – Creating Confident Quilters one Stitch at a Time group. After some serious contemplation we’re going to work on a piece based on a couple of quilts and tease out the stitching and design from there. The thing that makes drawing out the design easier for everyone, that is the great hope anyway. You’re welcome to join the group and play along for as long as you’d like.
For quite a while now I’ve been trying to thank people, quilters most specifically, who are just special to me in some kind of way. People who have waited on me, checked out my groceries, answered phone calls, any kind of customer service experience. Gratitude, like kindness, an affordable luxury. Taking time for gratitude and kindness, even when faced with some icky things, is worthy of time and talent. It’s so easy in a retail environment (not that I’m in one right this very moment) to overlook gratitude and kindness when things all around us are busy, frenetic, hectic, or we’re tired, or overwhelmed. And yet these very traits will help to see us through those moments.
“Thank you, I don’t often hear this. I appreciate the feed back” she responded when I expressed gratitude and appreciation.
Expressing gratitude with this particular person only took three minutes. Three minutes that would gladly be given again. Three minutes that genuinely made her day.
Now to go back to quilting. I started this yesterday
and had to spend a couple of hours ripping out stitches.
I‘ll be posting on instagram @terilucas later this today.