Friday, February 22, 2008

Black History Tribute via Valentine's Day

My husband, aka Mr. Jazz, requested yet another wall hanging made from some of his tastiest new jazz t-shirts. I'm passing this off as his Valentine's Day present (yes, I know it's late). It's beautiful, isn't it? John has named this quilt Some of the Great Ones. Mr. Jimmy Heath in the upper left corner is someone I've actually met on jazz cruises - he's a gentle man with a charming sense of humor who makes fabulous music. The Dizzy shirt in the lower left is clever. The inner border takes its cue from the Duke Ellington shirt, and the Count Basie shirt inspired the outer border. Click on this picture to see some of the fabulous detail in the shirts and borders. Our front hall has dark paneling, but this wall hanging brightens up the room quite a bit. 36" x 52"

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Freedom to Experiment

I love having a variety of projects to work on. And then the project that's calling the loudest gets attention. For Sunday's Reversible Workshop, I had to put together examples of quilted borders ready to be added to a quilt - I used my hand-sewn tumbling blocks piece. Which meant I put aside the scrap reversible, which was my original demo for this class. But first I wanted to do John's request for a Jazz T-Shirt Wall Hanging and even pass it off as a Valentine's present. So I've been balancing these projects along with an experimental pillow to go with Cecilia's bed quilt. This is 14" x 14".

I just love the red accent fabric Cecilia chose for her quilt - it's a rich mottled batik. The 1/2" pleats sewn in rows of opposing direction create a pretty interesting texture. This pillow is a symbol of my reinventing wheels. Someone has invented the rules for this technique - I just need to find them. But meanwhile, I do think this is pretty nifty.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Great Aunt's Quilts

My brother Doug is soon to be a grandfather for the 2nd time. His daughter Laura's 2nd daughter is due March 17. When Amelia was born two years ago, I had to make her a quilt, despite having a grandmother Kim who quilts. So of course this second baby must have her own quilt from Great Aunt Donna.

Amelia's quilt was yellows, purple, and greens - little fishes swimming in opposite directions. New Baby's quilt is the same colors, in fact some of the same fabrics, but in a much bolder basket-weave pattern.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Scraps and Modeling and Reversible Quilting

Just like with teaching literature, I want to keep things fresh. And I find the best way to do that is to model what I am teaching. It worked well with research papers, and it works well for quilting. So, I needed to create a new reversible project. Working on the quilts for Dodie's grandchildren made me realize how many fabulous scraps I have and that my scrap piles are getting out of hand. Since so many of my scraps are in strips, foundation string piecing seemed the way to go. The back of the quilt is big half-square triangles of beiges and browns/rusts.

Using scraps makes me feel like I'm honoring the spirit of quilting. And so many of my scrap pieces jog memories of past projects.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Will's Grandma Dodie Quilt

Dodie had so much to say about her first grandson Will. He was her heart -until little brother Charlie was born. My first grandson is several years older than Will, and I freely confided my love for Ryan to Dodie. When Will was born, Dodie reminded me of how much listening time I owed her. No one can understand the intensity of the "crush" or the love for a grandchild except another grandparent. So I listened patiently and willingly as Dodie went on and on and on and on about Will. Various greens surround each of the 42 squares from his Grandma Dodie's nightgown. These greens are all "boy" - not a sissy green in the bunch. The back is a grey-green fabric that looks like weird little soccer balls. I hope each time Will uses it that he feels a connection to his Grandma Dodie.

I thought that I had finished my grief quilting for Dodie after making quilts for her daughers Virginia and Mani. But working on these past three quilts has given me some additonal comfort. I thought that when Dodie died, our friendship was over. But the mother of Will, Charlie, and Meritt - Mani - thanked me for continuing to be a friend to Dodie. And Mani's right. The friendship continues.