Thursday, December 31, 2020

December: A Purse A Day


What works for me is to devote the studio to purses for a month at a time.  Each purse has 11 pieces, most of which are interfaced.  So to do the same step several times makes the best use of my time.  With this batch I used some leftover pieces that I was experimenting with and some leftover bits from other projects.  But best of all, for me, are fabrics with text.  I’m not sure whether the girls in Lusaka, Zambia, like this.  But I am confident that we are making something to suit everyone’s taste.  Sew Powerful leaders Jason and Cinnamon Miles set a goal of 20,020 purses for 2020.  And the mighty team of sewists of which I’m a part met this goal.  These 31 purses are for the 2021 goal of 20,400.  

Today I picked up all the leftover fabrics, already plotting for future purses.  And I vacuumed and organized.  I have a list of quilting projects I can’t wait to continue, start, and finish.  What a great end to 2020, the year of broken bones and Covid.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Not a Christmas Present


All the grandkids have quilts.  And now we’re on the second round since most of them are adults.  Jack, on the left,  is a senior at the U of I.  He is smart, personable, and a great kid.  This year he received his quilt, one I started at a winter retreat last year.  Brother Ben is helping with the photography here.  And Ben is up next.  It will be next Christmas before I figure out what I want to do for him and make it.  But it won’t be a Christmas present - it will just be his turn.   

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Surprises #2 and #3 and #4

 Sometimes I love someone so much that I have to make them something.  When there are several people who love someone so much, the result is breathtaking.  

This quilt is a series of raspberry kiss blocks made by 7 of us in  the color palette of the beloved recipient.  I agreed to hand quilt it, and it has a wonderful texture.  


This group worked on another quilt at the same time.  And we talked one of our group into long-arm quilting it.  And it is just lovely.  These pictures don't do justice to the wonderful quilting.  

The last group project was a series of individual 16" quilts for a recipient who has more quilts than anyone else we know.  I'm eager to see mine in connection with the others.  What great labors of love!  

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Up Next...

 Here are the leftover peppered shot cottons from Cristina’s quilt.  It’s pin-basted and batted with wool.  The backing is a white and black print that features the name of every color in the world.  This is 90” wide, and a little bit taller.  This will keep me busy for the dark and colder winter months ahead.  I know I am going to quilt this horizontally and may perhaps go for a plaid look by quilting vertically, too.  To be determined.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Surprise No. 1: For Cristina and Joe


You know how you want to do something so special for someone and sometimes get a bit paralyzed in getting started?  I knew Cristina and Joe were getting married at some point, and I knew I wanted to make them a "I'm thrilled you found your life partner" quilt.  And then paralysis set in.  What helped me to break through was this fabulous assortment of peppered shot cottons.

I wanted to do something featuring equally all the colors - so saturated and so bright,  I even went to one of Cristina's favorite artists, Robert Motherwell , for inspiration.  I eventually concluded that if I wanted to give her a quilt in this lifetime, that perhaps I needed to stay within my comfort zone.  So I reverted to some basic 9-patches which then I could perk up with some circular hand quilting.  

I started with an off-center spiral on October 5.  Eventualy I added a second needle and then a third.

As I began making the 9-patches and adding them to the design wall, I knew immediately this horizontal design wouldn't work.  It was fun to play around with arrangements, and I'm happy with the one I settled on. 

Its difficult to explain how much I love hand-quilting.  For so many years I palmed my hand-work off to my mother.  Guildmate Mirielle very slowly modeled the importance of handwork.  And as my parents were dying, I finally got it.  Yesterday I put in the last stitches and made a label.  As much as I love Cristina, I'm pretty crazy about Joe, too.  For a while I wasn't sure if he was good enough for her.  But he is for sure.  One night out with them as judges for a local Moth story-telling competition convinced me of that.  

I've known Cristina for almost 20 years. Despite the 41 year age difference,  we truly are friends.  There's a mutual love and recognition of how lucky we are to have this friendship.  

There have been several projects in the past year that I have been working on but haven't been able to share.  I'm thrilled that this quilt is in Cristina and Joe's hands and want to think it will keep them warm starting with their first year of marriage.  And of course I'm eager to reveal other surprises.  Soon...