Greetings and happy spring! It’s also International Quilting Weekend so definitely a time to celebrate our art and craft. In the recent “Simply Moderne” magazine (produced by Quiltmania) Carolyn Friedlander says “Let’s try to savor each stitch. Why else would we do it?” I’d like to expand that savoring to include the entire process of making a quilt, not just the stitching! Savor the beautiful and interesting fabrics at our disposal. Savor the tactile quality of handling these fabrics as we wash and iron them, preparing them for cutting. Savor the artistic, mathematical, and craftsmanship process challenges as we design and cut and then sew. Savor the meditative aspects of the stitching. Be proud of the ability to persevere, especially when the design and construction processes are really challenging. And finally, savor the product – your wonderful quilt! I’ve been making quilts for 23 years now and my life has been incredibly enriched!
So what’s been “in process” for me this past week?
I made the sleeve for Stella Nova and am now stitching it on. I use the method recommended by the American Quilters Society just in case I ever want to submit to one of their shows. They have a You Tube available on how to do it and it leaves a bit of extra “give” in the sleeve:
I am continuing to sew leaves on the border strip for We Are Stardust and have started prepping a second border. I have to make the stems and am making bias tape with my Clover bias tape maker:
I know there are many ways to create stems and I have used several of them, but I like this method for this project.
I prep my border by basting down the edges so they don’t fray as I’m doing the applique:
Then I’m ready to measure and pin the stems to the border, applique them down, and then add the leaves:
The process takes a while but I savor it!!!!!!
I keep my supplies for the border applique in a tin – the leaf templates (I save them and re-use them once a leaf is appliqued), a stack of fabric pieces for the leaves, and unused prepped leaves clipped together in color families:
I am working on my Japanese circles, stitching one or two a day (click to enlarge any picture):
I spent some time cutting more background squares and cutting more circles so I am set for at least the next 2-4 weeks:
And here are a few closeups of the newer ones:
As a birthday present (yes, my birthday was this past week!), Al took me to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA to see the “Asia in Amsterdam” exhibit. The exhibit contained art and craft from the 17th – 18th centuries as the Dutch East India company opened up asian cultures and asian arts and crafts to the Dutch people and they began to collect paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture, etc. from Asia. It was a fabulous show and there were some amazing textiles, including a couple of gorgeous palampores and some clothing. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed so I can’t share any with you. If you live in the area, I highly recommend you try to see this show!
I don’t have pictures from the museum to share but I do have pictures to share from a book I just purchased from our local library for $2.00! They have a permanent book sale going on. It takes up an entire small room and paperbacks go for $1.00, hardcover books for $2.00. This time I found some quilt books and purchased this one (published 1994) because it is full of pictures of antique quilts in color – very inspirational!
Here are some of my favorites:
Love the color of the Bethlehem star quilt and love the border on the whig rose applique quilt! I picture the medallion quilt in different colors if I were to make something like this – more gold and cheddar backgrounds and brighter star colors. And I’m not sure I’ve seen this Baltimore Album before; it has some blocks I might be able to adapt for Sweet Journeys.
I like a New York Beauty with vine sashing – this is unusual as most have steep triangle shapes which are pieced into the sashing. Love the red color in the second one above. The applique quilt is unique – not sure I’ve ever seen that pattern before though it seems to be a variation of the peony. I love the log cabin variation!
I love the bold use of red in the first 3 quilts above and love the overall use of color in both the log cabin and the Bethlehem star. Since I am in the “year of making circles” I couldn’t help but be drawn to the 4th quilt above as a circle variation but like the use of complementary colors in that one too. Great book and what a bargain for $2.00!!!!!
Savor each stitch; savor the process from start to finish; savor the craftsmanship; savor your beautiful and powerful works of art and the works of others too!!!!! Gladi