Saturday, December 20, 2014

setbacks or just new material

i can't type much but i have to post something. i had carpal tunnel surgery and my laptop died. one of these at a time would have been all right, thank you. together they were a little much.

before surgery i made ornaments (similar to above, plus a tree), sold a set, and want to keep adjusting them to sell next year.

i promised myself after ten birds of the air quilts sales i would make a shelter blanket for project night night. (my tenth sale was the set of ornaments.) i love what they do: give kids age 1-10 a bag with a blanket, stuffed animal and book. i want to make a simple 5" or 6" block quilt using lots of fabrics from my stash. jane brocket's book is inspiration. so colorfully happy!

i must say, my sadness over [possibly (not sure yet)] losing all my photos and poems if data can't be retrieved from the deceased laptop, when compared to what one must feel losing a home or livelihood, is not much. here i am on a new laptop, provided by the university, sitting by a fire, recovering in the comfort of my home.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mother Goose quilt finished

What a joy this commissioned quilt has been! Working on it, and then discovering surprise connections.

A very nice friend asked if I would sew a quilt for her friend's baby "A" due in April. The shower is the weekend before Christmas. My friend thought shabby chic colors would be lovely (aka aqua, pink, ivory), and that's where we were headed. But then I remembered the Mother Goose fabric I've had for some time, a gift from my stash sister Nancy. She has collected bins of fabric in South Carolina on her trips to Myrtle Beach and is giving them to me as she down-sizes. Mother Goose has just been waiting for a baby quilt. I shared the concept with my friend, and she loved it.

So I built twelve wonky log cabin blocks around the characters and landscape elements.

This is a scrap quilt, and nearly a charm quilt, meaning that each fabric is used just once.
In addition to fabrics from Nancy, I used vintage fabrics from the 1970s,
some of them left from dresses I made for Lesley,
some from my friend Jeanie's stash (!), and some new fabrics.

The back is more farmy than girly. My friend and I agreed that a too flowery-girly back might overdo it. The wind was blowing when Don snapped me holding it, so the perspective is wrong. It really is straight.

"A" before piecing the quilt

The happy surprise is that the baby shower will be at Cranbrook's Kingswood school, where the mama-to-be and my friend attended, and the mama-to-be's parents taught. This is a very special school, deeply inspired and inspiring to culture and the arts. I attended a writing workshop there when I first began writing poetry in the early 1990s. I was so inspired by the design of the school architecture, furnishings and textiles, all coordinated by the Saarinen family in the early 20th century, that it shaped my own aesthetic and remains deeply embedded in my heart. That this quilt will be received in that space deepens my love for this project and baby!

Roy Slade's thorough look at Cranbrook shows some of its beauty. He talks about how his nearly two decades there were life changing. Amazingly, one weekend there was that for me. See what art can do!

The finished quilt is 42" x 55"
free motion heart quilting
Warm & Plush 100% cotton batting

Update 6/3/2015: Anna Wisjö Photography has posted beautiful photos of sweet baby Adelaide, and in one of them, I am honored to say, she is lying on this quilt. <3

Monday, December 8, 2014

sneak peek of a current project almost done: wonky Mother Goose baby quilt

one of 12 blocks on the front

the baby's initial on the back

Small glimpses because I can't wait. I will sew binding on this weekend, and then give the quilt to the friend who commissioned it for her friend's baby, due in April.

There are some very special surprise connections for me in this project, which I will share soon.