Thursday, August 04, 2022

We Are Responsible For Our Dreams

Is this not one of the most intriguing quilt photos? It is a  21' x 21' tessellated blanket fort in an almost magical woodland setting and it was made by Kevin Clancy for a month-long slumber party tour called We Are Responsible For Our Dreams, a nomadic platform for collective dreaming and shared experience. Besides the image pulling me in, that title resonated with me and all of the quilts that I dream of making.

It's story is one of many reasons that I have been spellbound by Quilted. The book is Volume Q in the UPPERCASE Encyclopedia of Inspiration, an ongoing series released in whimsical order on all manner of creative topics (UPPERCASE  is a quarterly magazine for the creative and the curious published by Janine Vangool in Calgary, AB. She started the magazine in 2009 as a creative challenge, to push herself beyond what client projects could do and to fill a void in the magazine space.)

Every time I pick up Quilted I find something new to pull me in, in large part because there are so many wonderful ideas for using those leftover bits to make fabric and then integrate it into traditional patterns.

From improv...
to very, very structured.

So many ways to expand your horizons! For years, I have wanted to try framing quilt blocks on stretched canvas but I totally love the idea of an improv creation rather than just a single block.

Most amazing to me is that despite piecing together this fantastic collection of quilters from professional connections and friendships that Janine has made over her years of publishing and designing three fabric collections for Windham Fabrics, she is not a quilter! 

I have been selfishly hoarding Jane's copy for the better part of a year now so I finally broke down and purchased my own. It looks like it is sold out on the UPPERCASE website but Janine lists several shops that carry her books and magazines and I was able to find one at Soul Paper. Guess Jane might get her copy back after all!....M

Sunday, July 31, 2022

A Touch of Class

My friend Jean sits on the board of the Carp Fair which is held about an hour away from us each fall, so when she reached out to see if I was interested in participating in this year's quilt block challenge I was happy to help. Their theme is A Touch of Class and blocks will be used to make items to be raffled at the 2023 fair (these folks are organized!).

A bundle of goodies arrived last week so I decided it was better to get at it rather than risk having it swallowed whole in the natural disaster that is my sewing room these days.

I am toying with making a Bear Paw quilt and found dimensions that worked to make the required 14" block, so it was a helpful exercise. Using all seven fabrics provided, I was able to create a scrappy version but if I had my druthers I would have used more prints to make it even scrappier. Regardless, it turned out not too badly.

To simplify things, I used the four-at-a time method for making the HSTs, so I paired up my fabrics in advance.

When I asked The Official Cookie Tester what he thought of it he very diplomatically said, "It's different than what you usually make". He isn't wrong. Black and white would not be my choice of fabric for a quilt, but you play the hand that you are dealt. 

Looking at my block I realize that I probably should have laid out the entire thing before stitching so that I could get a more randomized placement of the whites in the HSTs (I only did that for each quadrant). Lesson learned. It will be fun to see what direction other quilters choose....M

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Anna Levens Returns

Minnie might be ready for quilting but fear not, there are lots more hexies that need some attention now that Anna Levens is back in the rotation.

Much as I love this quilt, it is not as easy to bundle up and move about as Minnie; because the hexies are paper-basted there is always the risk of the papers popping out, making it trickier to sew together. So, I only work on it when I have a bit more of a 'controlled' environment.

The large hexies have been together for quite a while and I've been working to fill in the ends and corners. I'm at the point now where I have several rows of hexies to add to each side. 
I decided to try sewing strings of five or six together and adding the string rather than adding one hexie at a time and I have to say that it worked quite well, so I'm going to keep going that way....M

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A Milestone For Minnie

I almost cannot believe that I am typing these words, but Minnie is now a flimsy! After heaven knows how many years, the last little hexies have been stitched into place and it's time to sit back, enjoy it and start planning how to quilt it. This one will be going into my hoop, for sure.

The bulk of it has been finished up for a while now with the exception of the four corners so I picked it up while watching the latest installment of the January 6 Inquiry. The extra setting triangles that I had stitched came in very handy.

I just found a colour combo that worked with the hexies around it, stitched the piece in place and then ripped out the extra bits. Worked like a charm.

A few hexies that were near and dear to my heart were left on the cutting room floor, but it is what it is. The edges will be trimmed straight but I will wait until it's quilted to do that.

The back is almost as interesting as the front - it's a frothy collection of hexies that reminds me of a flamenco dancer's dress.

This has been such a fantastic hand stitching project - despite working on it for so long I never felt rushed with it or pressured to finish it. I picked it up when it suited, took it along on many, many road trips and genuinely enjoyed it every step of the way. 

Though I'll miss not having it to turn to when I'm looking for something to do with my hands fear not, there are couple of contenders waiting in the wings! Now to think about a backing....M