Archives for posts with tag: throw quilt

I’m not one to create whole quilts from a single fabric designer, but this one is the exception!


It started with a Denyse Schmidt charm pack purchased in postpartum delirium. In the chaos of first-time motherhood, through emotions and hormones and sleeplessness, I needed a straightforward project, an anchor for my soul, my me-ness, something to get me sewing. 


The great thing about Denyse Schmidt is that her fabric lines tend to blend well together. I pulled all the bits and pieces I had in my stash, adding a few solids (of which I keep little on hand), and cut 5-inch squares. I could sit on the couch, newborn asleep across my lap, and play with matching prints to solids or sketching half-square triangle layouts. 



I call it “Transitions”. It speaks of the journey into motherhood, the way some things change and others stay the same at their core. I finished it with a grey Lotta Jansdotter binding and chunks of vintage sheets in the backing. It measures 49×56 inches. 

And this time, I’m not cropping out the quilt holder. Those hands held me as I fell to pieces, and those feet paced the wee hours with our swaddled son, and that heart encouraged me and did his best to understand. It has taken time, but we have come through it a family, bound together and beautiful, reflecting effort well-spent and growing love. 

It’s pieces like these that make me so thankful for the luxury of being a quilter, that I have the ability to distill these bits of soul into practical, wonderful works. I can look at this quilt and remember how very hard those first months were, but they became something lovely after all.

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Oh, this one was long in the making.

  
I began cutting early last year.

  
It was my in-between project, something to do just a bit on as I stitched other, more pressing pieces.

   
 
I didn’t bother calculating the hours or the amount of fabric used.

  
I just went with my guts, and more and more meaning came to be as I worked.

  
Even the final detail – going back through and hand-tying each block – was important, solidifying. (Photo is blown out on purpose – it’s so hard to see the black-on-black otherwise!)

  
The back has as much significance as the front. It references adventures together, cities and firsts-of-its-kind, extravagance of hard-to-find hoarded yards (yep, that’s Jay McCarroll in there!), colors of rust and fire and hipsterrific flesh tones. 

  
That’s 80 blocks total, finishing at 60×75 inches post-wash. I love every bit of it, and even more the friend who owns it now.

Although she and I used to run in the same circles, hopping the Pond together on more than one occasion, it is harder and harder for our lives to intersect in person. Thus, when we finally found time to get out in the woods together, I knew I had to finish in time. I asked her to help me hold the quilt while I took pictures. It wasn’t until I asked her to find the dedication did she realize it was for her!

  
And it just happened to be National Quilting Day! Such a precious, unforgettable way to celebrate!

This quilt is entitled “Ex –> Plus / Inheritance” because it is a directive over her life:  every place that has been an “ex” is being transformed into something positive, every place someone has judged her or cut her off or used her badly is turning into beauty that is firm and lasting. And this is the inheritance she is building for future generations. I am so thankful to be part of her story, so glad she has not only a tangible representation of my love for her but of the Great Love, in whom we live and move and have our beings, who orders our steps and redeems even the greatest pains.

          

For one of my goals this quarter, I decided to try to finish some quilts I’d started years ago but never finished. This was one of them! After making a bright, bold baby quilt for a friend, I took the same approach for myself, piecing favorite chunks of colorful scraps together and selecting a thrifter sheet for the backing. Because the front is so busy, I went with a single-color binding. As I quilted spontaneous zigzag lines, I noticed a stain on the backing, so I hand-stitched a random charm square to hide it! I quite like the effect!

After washing and crinkling, the quilt finishes at 53×72 inches, just right for a light-weight throw! I love how it turned out, and I love finding fun, memory-filled fabrics in it. I think it will inspire fun “I Spy” games in the future!

        

Back in March, a grandmother and aunt contacted me about some Disney character signatures they collected at a recent trip to Disney World. They had purchased a fat quarter bundle in pinks and purples and had characters Sharpie their names on the fabric. Now they wanted them set in a quilt for their granddaughter / niece’s fifth birthday.

Needless to say, I accepted the commission. We met at JoAnn’s to talk about design, size, color, etc. For me, it was a foray into working with a client on a purely professional level. I enjoyed the process, and I came away encouraged that, though the colors and content are not at all my preference, I’d still be able to create a quilt that reflected me as an artist.

I love the wobbly quilting and the way the eye dances around the irregular signature blocks. I had fun developing a procedure for constructing the top in an efficient manner without planning it to death, thus losing its spontaneous, energetic quality. And most of all, I love that it’s finished! It is 59×73 inches and consists of fabric from JoAnn’s, machine-pieced and quilted but self-bound by hand. 

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This was a Christmas present for dear friends. Only last week did I get proper photos of the front and back. I used five-inch charms for the center squares, choosing colors and prints to reflect each member of the four-person-one-cat family. Though this block has many names, I went with the more modern “economy block”, entitling the quilt, “God’s Economy” to honor the extravagance of the Father who motivated its making. It finishes at 81×72 inches, a suitable size for family snuggles. Best of all, it is kitty-approved!

That really is all of my holiday makes. Now to get onto my list for 2015!

Finished, sold, and shipped:

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My Improv Jazz quilt finished at about 60×70 inches, and there is no real plan or order to the quilting. This was my first true commission, and the first step to having an etsy presence. I learned so much through this experience, and I feel encouraged in my art. The friend who commissioned it played a pivotal role in my spiritual journey towards creative identity. It is a blessing and honor to create for her!

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes!

I am so glad to have this puppy done!

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I examined every line of stitching as I went – absolutely no puckering allowed on this heirloom piece! And you know I prayed over it. (That’s not uncommon with my sweet vintage Kenmore, much as I love her!)

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As my fiancé chose the majority of the prints in the top, I made an executive decision to have a more feminine back. Love these vintage poppy sheets picked up at a thrift store!

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Before the wedding, I will wash and starch it so folks can easily sign the white squares!

Having it finished is making things so real! In two months and a few days, my life will change forever – and I can’t wait!