Wednesday, June 17, 2020

treasure jars | a quilt for Emily and Steve

I started making this quilt about four years ago. I individually selected and cut each fabric. Pieced the top. Thought about who I wanted to give it to. Chose the perfect backing fabric for that person (a field of wildflowers reminiscent of the field behind her great uncle's house where she wants to get married some day), and I made the binding. Got stuck because it's such a big quilt and I didn't want to quilt it on my home machine. Also sometimes I feel like I need a reason to give someone a quilt (false! - quilts are always good to give, even if it's just a regular Tuesday) and I didn't have the perfect reason yet. Years pass. Intended recipient meets future husband. I have a reason! Finally figure out how I want to quilt it and actually do it. Decide when I want to give quilt to recipient, now recipients. Intended recipient marries husband. Self-imposed deadline has now passed, alas. Sew the binding on. Decide I don't like the label I made and rip it out. Begin new hand embroidered label. Next self-imposed deadline passes. Finally finish label. Wash and dry quilt so it's squishy and snuggly. Give quilt to my dear friends on a regular Sunday for no reason other than my love for them.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

finally fractal | a quilt for Matt

Many years ago I told Matt I wanted to make a quilt for the studio (the room at the back of our house that used to be a screened in three season room that we converted to a studio for blueflash). I was going to use a camera pattern I found for free somewhere, but I wasn't that enthusiastic about the plan and I kept putting it off. Then he started using the studio less and less and it didn't really make sense to make a quilt for the studio anymore, but I still wanted to make a quilt for him and he felt like I owed him one, haha. He said he wanted it to have something to do with math? I was very confused and uninspired. We scrolled through the vastness of the internet and eventually he found a sketch of a fractal in rainbow colors that he liked. I was surprised by his choice because I expected him to want something a lot more subdued, but I started sketching and shopping for fabric. The quilt I planned for would be pretty big so it was overwhelming. I had to deal with cutting pieces of fabric that were much bigger than what I usually work with and I kept getting stuck on partial seams. Typically I like to work without a pattern and see how things turn out, but this was working without a pattern and needing the quilt to turn out exactly as it should because, well, fractals and math in general, I guess. Matt ended up having to help me figure out the ratios because I kept cutting the pieces just slightly too small. Once I got to the larger pieces I was still getting stuck and I can't remember why, but I took all my supplies and went to my friend Lorraine's house because I've never brought her a sewing dilemma that she can't solve. Sure enough, she figured everything out and we finished the quilt top that night. I planned on loading it onto her long arm machine to quilt it but I realized the minky back fabric that Matt wanted would poke through and likely end up ruining the top, so I took it home and mentally prepared for quilting a gigantic quilt on my home machine. I decided to quilt a spiral to contrast with the hard lines and angles of the top. It turned out mostly okay but the quilt is so heavy that I struggled to get smooth lines at first. The most important thing is that it's done! For years, any time Matt saw me work on a project other than his quilt (which was 95% of the time) he would ask, "is that my quilt?" and I always told him no. It became a joke between us, and eventually I was so annoyed by the question that I told him that when the quilt was finally done I was going to dump it unceremoniously in his lap, and that's exactly what I did! 

stacked stripes | a quilt for Miles

Our friends Alex and Andy recently welcomed their second baby into their lives, a boy who they named Miles. I asked Alex to send me some pictures of his nursery and pulled inspiration from the colors of the decor. The striped sections were improvised and then I added strips of charcoal linen and polka dots on cream to make it bigger. As you can see, the photos were quite the group effort. Alex was kind enough to send me some photos of Miles and big sister Emory on the quilt in the nursery. I love how it turned out and I hope Alex does too!  

tiny tiles | a quilt for Aria

Our friends Jen and Chris recently welcomed their second baby, a daughter they named Aria, into their lives. Well, it's not all that recent, she's already six months old and it took me this long to make her a quilt! I had the fabric picked out before she was born but I tend to triage projects when I sew so I forced myself to finish a few other things before cutting into the stack I had put aside for Aria. If I may say so, I think it was worth the wait! I think it's one of my favorite quilts. I used the free tiny tiles pattern from Purl Soho and it seems to be a popular one - three other people have asked me about making this quilt for their little ones! Scrappy quilts are always my favorite. In this one I used some Rifle Paper Co. designs as the jumping off point and added lots of other pretty fabrics including prints by Carolyn Friedlander, Annie Brady, Tula Pink, Denyse Schmidt, Annabel Wrigley, and Lizzy House. I think the back is a Rae Ritchie print for Dear Stella but I cut off the selvedge and can't remember. I bound it in lots of scraps, all from Annie Brady's Yucatan line. I hope it brings Aria comfort and warmth, and that it's a pretty backdrop in lots of the pictures her parents take of her!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

soft squares | a quilt for Lucia

Our friends Cal and Olga were expecting there first baby, a girl who they named Lucia (Lulu for short!), and I was inspired by Olga's nursery pinterest board to make a super simple and pretty quilt. Bonnie Christine's fabrics were perfect with their soft colors and florals. I didn't want to cut up the fabrics too much so I went with a simple square in a square pattern. I knew Olga liked it when she kept it on her lap as she opened the rest of her gifts and then again later when she posted a photo of it on the side of the crib on instagram :)

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