Thursday, August 11, 2011



OK, turns out there is very little contrast and I am very much undecided about it.

A inner border probably would have helped, but I don't think I'm going to unpick it.

Although I like wide, I think I perhaps did stray into the territory of TOO wide on the border. I'm thinking it would probably be better if I trimmed it down a touch.

Any other suggestions?

Friday, August 5, 2011

In Progress

Well, I may be in a "not so much on the sewing" phase of my life, but the good news is, as long as human beings keep procreating there will be something pulling me back to the sewing machine...

Case in point, another quick and messy baby quilt I am attempting to make. Let me preface this by saying that the baby is due, like, tomorrow or something. But whatever.

The baby, upon his or her birth, will belong to a co-worker from the shelter and his wife, who I have seen a couple time post-Texas and who are all around cool cats. I plan to keep the quilt gender neutral. My original inspiration: the southwest. They have both spent time in the southwest and have a lot of southwestern accents in their house, so it seemed appropriate.

Months ago I pulled a bunch of southwestern/folk art inspired prints, as well as some coordinating tonals. I could not, however, for the life of me come up with a vision of what I wanted to do. So, the fabric kind of sat there and nothing actually happened for a long time. This is probably part of the reason the "in progress" post is coming like a day before the baby is due.

Anyway, I toyed with the idea of just forgetting it and not making anything. Then after a while I remembered a pile of charm squares I had sitting around somewhere that have nothing to do with the southwest, but that I might be able to throw together into something interesting. So I got them out.

I had gotten about this far:


when I discovered that most of the rest of the squares were blue! Doesn't work so well for an allegedly gender neutral quilt. Unfortunately, that little bit is only 18x27, not quite enough.

Then, in a fortuitous moment, one of the fabrics in the southwest/folk art pile caught my eye:


Although "they" say you shouldn't make a border wider just to make a quilt bigger, I'm thinking I quite like the affect of a wide border here. Anyway, it's a big print, so a wide border is kind of needed to show it off. I think it works. (It probably won't be _quite_ that wide, as I think that's 10 or 12 inches in the picture.)

Or does it? Maybe it's a little too crazy. Maybe only a mother could love it. Not sure yet. But I'm going with it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sister's Choice Quilt Show


Father's Day weekend my extended family gathered in West Michigan for the Sister's Choice Quilt Show, the sisters in question being my mother and my aunt. The venue was my uncle's barn. I arrived a day early to help hang the show, which was a really fun experience. The show featured quilts, primarily made by mom & Margo, that have been given as gifts, including baby quilts, graduation quilts, and hand print quilts, among others. It was great to see so many family treasures collected in one place, and to remember all that we have lived together.


The quilting matriarch, my grandmother, with one of her creations. She has only made a few quilts, but they are beautiful.

A selection of the baby quilts my mom has made for her niece's and nephews

On the left is the quilt Margo made for my mom's birthday and the right is the quilt they made for my grandparent's 50th anniversary.

Margo's Corn & Beans is one of my favorites (on the right) - just wish I had gotten a better picture.

Mom's Madras Stars is another favorite.

My mom made this for me for my high school graduation. Isn't it awesome?

You can see all my pictures here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sewing This Year

Little Bit

I cannot seem to gain much momentum in sewing this year.

The sweater project stalled out because I need one more sweater and have not made it to the thrift store to get one, and hopefully pick up a flannel sheet for the back of it. So one day I'll get back to with so many things.

I have been going through the other supplies that I have here, in part to remind myself what there is and in part to (hopefully) inspire myself. Of the things I have, what is most getting my attention is what I like to think of as my "bits and pieces" box. Left over blocks, projects from my mother, unincorporated pieced units, attempts at surface design, little experiments that didn't relate to a larger project. Perhaps it is time to start putting these little bits into a larger whole.

A bit at a time. The thing is, I really want to think about it, and ponder each addition before I sew it down. I see it as a memoir quilt, sort of, a retrospective on my fiber life up until now. And I really want it to be a thoughtful project.

But it's hard to gain momentum when you're working that way.

So, so far I have this little bit.

Monday, January 3, 2011

In A Past Life

I have had a four day weekend this weekend for the New Year holiday and since I wasn't traveling I thought it would be nice to play around with a sewing project a bit. I do have sewing space set up in my room, but my supplies are not stored in a very accessible way. When I started trying to dig them out I found at the very top the felted sweaters that I cut apart last winter in preparation for the felted sweater quilt/blanket I have long been planning (I don't plan to have a batting layer for this project and therefore probably won't actually quilt it much).

img_0758 (sweater6)

I know there are a million uses for felted sweaters (in theory) but they also take up a lot of room so I told myself I needed to do something with them or stop storing them to use "someday". So what I was planning to be my next project last winter seemed as good a place as any to start up this winter.

My vague plan for the project was a patchwork center surrounded by larger solid squares. When cutting them apart I noticed how the sleeves could kind of fit together inversely, so for the center I decided to sew the sleeves together and trim them down to blocks, then use the fronts and backs for border squares. The placement of the sleeve blocks was pretty much dictated by size as I wanted to minimize further trimming.

img_0753 (sweater8)
The center

Not sure how much time I will have to work on this in coming days/weeks, but it's fun so far. I just love the look of felted sweaters and am enjoying this project. As I know the scraps won't really fit into the scrap box (not like I'm going to mix them in to other scrap projects) I'm thinking of using them to do a little bit of buttonhole stitch applique on this top - maybe stars? We'll see.

img_0782 (sweater2)
Preview of what it may look like with the border

Like all of you (no doubt) I have been noticing the "year in review" posts on various blogs and admiring what you all accomplished in 2010. I finished only three quilts in 2010 and posted on this blog a mere seven times. If it weren't for feed readers I would probably give it up as a lost cause, but the magic of bloglines and google reader allows at least a few dedicated readers to keep up with me without the annoyance of having to check back during the months-long breaks to see if I've done anything yet. Thanks to those who still click when you see "Quilty the Libster" highlighted in bold...

I know much better than to make predictions as to what 2011 will hold for me creatively. There is a project I want to try to finish for some friends by the summer - in fact, it's this project, the log cabin that I started in 2007. I would love to finish it queen sized as originally intended but we'll see if it becomes a throw-sized quilt (as so many supposed-to-be-bigger projects do) instead. Either way, I will be happy if it gets done.

(Interestingly, the log cabin was started for a different friend who I ended up giving this quilt to, which was also started for a different friend than the one who received it. Musical quilts? Do you ever find yourself working on something that you intended to give to someone and thinking as it comes together that maybe it isn't as good of a fit for that person as you originally thought? And then later decide in fact it's perfect for someone else? Apparently this happens to me a lot, but maybe it's just me.)

Beyond that, I have no other plans for 2011 except for a desire to sew more but a commitment, nevertheless, to going with the flow and seeing where the year takes me rather than making firm goals that I may not keep. I mean you never know with me (that is, I never know with me). I might be about to go off on a sewing spree or I might be just as dormant as I have been. Ya veremos. We shall see.

Happiest of new years to you and yours...hope it's off to a good start.

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