Friday, May 31, 2019

Third Hand-Quilted Finish of 2019

Who have I become?  After years of begging my mom to do my handwork - hemming and binding - which she always graciously agreed to do because she liked doing handwork, I have become a handwork maniac.  I twitch if I don't have a quilt to hand-quilt in process.  I now plan my hand-quilting by the season.  If it's cold, I'll do a big,heavy quilt.  If it's hot, I'll quilt blocks and then join them together later.  This amuses me.  I good-naturedly would chide guildster Mimi about her hand-quilting years ago, suggesting she'd get done more if she used a machine.  It was Mimi who turned me on to Renate Hiller - and her video -about the importance and nature of handwork.  Watch it here. 

I had a charm pack by Gingerber called Catnip, which actually has nothing to do with cats.  Just lots of black, white, and taupe in interesting designs.  The sashing is my attempt to create a woven look. 

The backing is from two different fabrics that feel good.  And I have finished this just as the weather is really warming up. It is 70" x 88", and I have a friend who is interested in being the caretaker of this beauty.  Finishing a quilt, while a good thing, is always a bit sad.  It's a matter of changing gears and deciding what is next.  I think I know.  But picking it up and actually starting to lay in those wonderful stitches is always a bit daunting. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Repairing/Updating/Refreshing a Favorite Quilt

It's hard to explain why certain quilts resonate with us.  The difficulty is one of texture, color, design, and size.  So when you find that perfect combination, it's precious.  Long-time friend Madeleine has just such a quilt.  In a neat coincidence, it was made in 2005 by a Kevin Stankowicz who was a member of my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild for a few years.

This quilt was made from men's shirts' shirting fabric in very fine thin cotton, often with polyester in it.  This means the fabric is thin.  And soft.  This look is very muted.  Some of the fabrics have just shredded while others are just fine.  So this post is letting Madeleine know what I plan to do.  We have agreed that my fee, which I estimate to be around $100 - $120 will go to a charity of my choice.  And I'm sure it will be for Sew Powerful

These are the fabrics I plan to use.  None of them are shirting fabrics, but they have a similar color/feel to the shirt fabrics.

Some of the squares have worn completely through to the batting.  For these squares I will applique a square of similar value.  

A few of these squares may be hand-mended, sashiko-style.  TBD once project is started.

Look at the light blocks between the two brown rows.  Each one is shredded or worn through.  For a part like this, I am going to overlay a strip of fabric.  See the first picture in this post and below:

I think this is a practical and modern way to give this quilt another couple of years!

The last thing I will probably do is replace the binding.  Kevin hand-quilted this quilt, adding to the soft feel.  The outer parts of a quilt are the ones that are handled the most - think about how you hold and use quilts.  So the binding is important.  I don't think I'll cut off the original but rather bind over it, hoping to add some additional strength.  

There are a few things I need to finish before starting this restoration.  But I'm sure it'll be done by July.  And of course if it's sooner, I know the ants in my pants will want to get this to Oak Park!

Monday, May 13, 2019

All Blogging in a Day

Did you ever read the Ray Bradbury story "All Summer in a Day"?  It's a bittersweet little story about life on a distant planet that has only one afternoon of summer a year and a little girl who misses out on it.  For whatever reason, I've been way more interested in sewing than I have in blogging.  This post is mostly all pictures...just to document what I've been doing in the studio.  It seems my main adventure has now been taken over by hand-quilting, which I only work on at night.  In the studio I feel in love with Interwoven, a pattern by Lo and Behold Stitchery.  It's graphic, bold, and time-consuming - all strips are 1.5".  This is pin-basted and ready for hand-quilting - Baptist Fans will complement the linear dominance nicely, I think.  And check out the leftovers from Interwoven:
Leftovers from Interwoven
I'm not sure what this will be yet.  But it's fun to play around with them?  But I have to do something quick - I miss my design wall. 

Thanks to the wonderful world of social networks, I have some Canadian quilting friends who are participating in the 52 blocks a week Sew-A-Long sponspored by the Canadian Quilters' Association.  Every Tuesday morning, starting the 2nd week of January, a 6.5" block pattern is released.  And so every week I have been making one of these blocks from my scraps.  So far there are 16 weeks.  I'm already thinking that I want to join these blocks with sashing to make a quilt of a usable size.  It's kind of fun to spend 30 minutes a week and see how that time adds up.
7 in April
 And of course Sew Powerful purses.  I took 30 to the International Quilt Festival the end of March,  Those purses went to Paducah for that quilt festival and have since made their way to Washington state.  So I did seven more and sent them in for the May 1 deadline.  And now?  Here are two I've just finished for the November 1 deadline.  And as soon as I finish this post, I will begin more.

Two for May

                      This Noodlehead 3-2-1 Tote called to me, and I made it from an old pair
                      of my jeans.  A bit slouchy-looking but pretty handy.