I finished this table runner early this morning. (12:15am early.) It’s machine pieced and hand quilted. Yay, another one complete! This will probably either go in my etsy shop or be sold at a craft fair. Want it? Make an offer.
In other news, this new house finally feels like home. Why? I unpacked my sewing machine today. I refused to take my machine out of its case while we were staying at the motel. An adult mini-tantrum for sure, but I stuck to handwork. After three months of storage, the whirrrr of its motor is comforting. Plus now I get to work on little Mary’s baby quilt!
Here’s my newest completed piece, “On A Good Day.” It measures 48×12 inches and was sewn entirely by hand. It’s pieced, appliqued, embroidered, couched and quilted. Texture, value and repetition were important to me when in the design stages.
This quilt began as a challenge in a quilting group. Each artist is making a piece of this size using the same red fabric. The quilts can then both be displayed as a group and stand individually. I think I’m the first one completely finished, but I’ll let you know if these ever go to a show or exhibit.
I leave you with a photo of my fuzzy helper, Milo. He likes to lay on my pillow and hug my arm while I’m doing handwork. Very cute.
My emotions are still swirling all around inside me, so I’m sure I’ll be blogging more about this event in upcoming posts… but it’s time to announce that my sister gave birth to a healthy baby girl yesterday, April 2nd. Welcome, little Mary.
It wasn’t a long waiting game. Dad called me around 4am to say that he’s in the airport on the way to the birth. (He snagged a plane in St. Louis in time to get to Boston for all the action.) Even so, I jumped every time the phone rang, all day long, hoping for another update. So I spent the day calming myself with some handwork. It’s not a great photograph but here’s what I’ve been working on.
This piece is called, “On a Good Day”. And today was a good day.
Ta-da! Here they are, the long awaited photographs of “Estey’s Quilt.” Isn’t it cool? This is both my latest finish and the first of the portrait quilts I’ve made.
It started with a quilt show where I saw some beautiful applique quilts of a tiger’s face. Those quilts had been made from a pattern. My friend knew the perfect book when I mentioned that I’d like to learn how to make quilts like that, but from my own photographs, and to draft my own pattern. Here’s the link to that book on Amazon. It’s Faces and Places by Charlotte Warr Anderson. http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Places-Print-Demand-Edition/dp/1571200002/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347682166&sr=8-3&keywords=charlotte+warr+anderson. She teaches how to use the shapes and shadows from actual photographs in quilts. Her method is reverse applique by hand. So that’s what I did for this first one. It is also hand quilted entirely by hand… which is why it took so long to make.
I found that I enjoyed this project so much that I wanted to make more… so I experimented with fusible webbing and machine quilting to streamline the process.
So there you have it, the whats and hows. But what are really special to me about this quilt are the whys. See, Estey is my little sister. We’ve pretty much had an up-and-down relationship from day one… when I threw a tantrum that “my baby” wasn’t named Jesus. (She was due around Christmastime, and I was nearly four years old.) Recently I’ve been putting a lot of effort into remembering the good times, and appreciating the woman she is today. That’s what I was focusing on with every hand stitch. The photograph this quilt is based on was taken when she was a toddler, struggling to get out of the stroller at Grandma’s house.
My baby sister is now married and expecting a child of her own. I feel like I’m not articulating this well right now, but I feel even more connected with and happy for her because of the time I put into this project. Plus it’ll be a great happy-expectations gift when I get it in the mail.
How many UFOs do you have? No, not the space ships, I mean unfinished objects. Mine are mostly sewing projects and I’m sure I have at least 30, though I haven’t done an exact count recently. This week I’ve been hopping from thing to thing, not quite satisfied to sit down with just one.
Please forgive my lack of photos this time. I took them… and moved the camera away from its cord… and promptly forgot where that cord is? I know, it’s where I left it. Wherever that is. So just use your imagination for this one and I’ll get back to photos on the next post.
Here are some of the UFOs I’ve been working on this week:
A one block log cabin quilt with Asian prints.
Decorating my work apron. We’re required to wear one, but can trick it out however we want to. I’m adding pockets, making it shorter, and decorating it with some of my crumb quilting goodness. Yes, I’ll show you guys a picture soon.
Binding some place mats for the senior center.
Hand quilting “Estey’s Quilt”… It’s almost ready to show you guys! I spent several hours working on this at a car show. Thankfully, my husband recommended bringing along some handwork. I’m so glad he did because it would have been beyond boring for me without it!
Planning out a birthday present for my baby brother. He’s turning 14. I know, not really a baby anymore but he’s still my baby.
Making a red/blue/purple/black string quilt
Playing around with improvisational piecing
Pulling fabrics and otherwise planning a portrait quilt based on a wedding photograph
And, of course, working on the 4 subjects piece I wrote about in my last blog post.
Whew! I don’t know why I’ve been project-hopping like this but I’ll just go with it for now, especially since I don’t have any big deadlines coming up quickly. I’ll just enjoy dabbling in everything.