December 24, 2012

A Merry One

This moment I am...

Enjoying our home and all of its brilliant warmth.

Appreciating this gentle giant, a new kitty, Robousto.

 Laughing at how his tongue sticks out during slumber.

Marveling at this little girl, growing up fast, getting snarkey, but she's all mushy love underneath
(trust me).

Loving how we found the PERFECT tree!

Just kidding, we sawed down a GREEN Noble fir, it's lovely!

Adoring this elf who can balance a raisin on his thumb.

Smiling at every creation.

Making everything, and finding perfection within imperfection.

 Quilting whenever a spare minute arises.

Playing with this process which is turning out perfectly ;)

Wishing every one a beautiful holiday.

December 11, 2012


 I am not completely sure why I am draw to quilting with such pizazz. I know I love the way a finished quilt feels. I love petting beautiful fabric and I love the way a certain fabric will leap out at me at the fabric shop, saying "look at how glorious I am!"

I believe however that I am also drawn to the transformative quality that quilting entails. It begins with a few 1/2 yards of different fabrics. These fabrics mingle and meet compatible fabrics which are then sewn together in a design. The design grows and grows until a quilt top of desired length and width is achieved. Then the holy sandwich of batting and backing is attached. Then the tough part for me, the quilting itself, which I usually do well despite all the apprehension. Lastly - the seal around the fray - the binding. It's a beautiful process. And in a slightly abstract way, it mirrors the transformation of my life.

You see, I was once a lonely, single 1/2 yard of fabric floating around in the proverbial stash. My colors were vibrant and it took a keen eye to match me with a compatible fabric that would allow me to shine, yet keep me grounded and down to earth. Let's call this compatible fabric "Cutie." We were measured and sewn together. We grew and grew and grew and grew. We became enmeshed and basted and quilted with delicate stitches. We had kids, well, quilts can't have kids but you see where this is going. The process of making a quilt is similar to the process of growing a life, marriage, family, happiness. I imagine the final years of my life will represent the binding and after that, the universe will wrap itself in the warmth and love that we (as fabrics sewn together) have created.

Every time I begin and complete a quilt, I relive the wonderful transformations that have existed in my life - from single 1/2 yard, onward. I get so excited to start a new quilt because I can't wait to see the beauty that will come of it. Similarly I get excited to wake up next to Cutie (my most compatible fabric), spend days with my kids, watch us all grow and grow and grow, and see the beauty that comes of it. What exists now as I look around, as I hold up my life, stand back a distance, and look at the progress of my process, is nothing less than a tapestry!

 Happy quilting!

November 27, 2012

Very versatile

Every once in awhile, I find myself stopped and daydreaming about how much I love quilts. In a recent daydream episode, I thought about how versatile quilting is for a means of making any number of things, such as hot pads and table runners. Then I thought about how quilting is one of the only art forms that produces something excruciatingly beautiful...and usable! A quilt can brighten a room, grace the arm of a chair, lay across a bed, keep you warm, add color and luxury to a room, and -when it's all said and done- be thrown into the wash with the colors pile.

Forgive me, I am passionate about my craft. Let's bring it back to center. I wanted to touch on how versatile quilting is for making things other than quilts.  I have an item to share with you that is a little different but something I have come to love. Bathmats. Yes, quilted bathmats!

What a treasure these have become. First, a quilted bathmat has multiple layers so it is soft and welcoming for freshly shower feet. Second, it is made of  terry cloth so it can be thrown into the wash, then dried, and come out fluffy and clean. And lastly, and this is the best point, it is a funky handmade item that contains more love, per stitch, than anything bought in a store.

My Father is moving into his own home and I made a few quilted items for his new space, 2 bathmats and 2 hot pads, so far.  I am so proud of my dad. He has been through a very hard time and he came out on top, a homeowner, and owner of some lovingly handmade things!

November 16, 2012

Vintage Floral Chevron Quilt..

...Say it with me, COMPLETE!

 These vintage floral fabrics were originally purchased to make a 9"X13" (that's inches) dolly quilt. I bought 1/4 yard of each floral fabric and ended up with a lot left over...but I still wasn't ready to put them in the stash. I wanted to keep working with this fabric, and use it all. And of course the chevron design is all the rage, but besides it being popular, I found it to be a simple, lively, and versatile design to put together - I could have made about 10 different designs using half-square-triangle blocks. I quilted it by doing simple vertical stripes using white and yellow thread, in no particular order. The back is from the Going Coastal line by Michael Miller. It's a little gray-er than I was hoping but I ordered it online, so the colors aren't a sure bet.

Anyway, enough words. Onto the feature presentation!

Fabric poetic. Happy quilting!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday. TGIF.

November 12, 2012

Simple Coastline Quilt Top

You missed it. The wedding of the year - me marrying simplicity. I vowed my undying love, promised to stay true even during complex quilt designs, and will stand by simplicity until the end. Because simplicity is wonderfully satisfying.


 I worked on this quilt top last week and over the weekend and GOT. IT. DONE. I was able to complete it in such a short amount of time mainly because of the simple 4" square design. The colors consist of cool, dark colors with a few splashes of orange. The light blue waves are intended to capture the movement of the sea, and in fact I named this "The Coastline Quilt."

Keep it simple and happy quilting!

November 2, 2012

It's in the bag

  I dug into my stash of Kate Spain's Good Fortune to make by BFF a "Spa Bag" for her birthday.

I used Elizabeth Hartman's quilted panel tutorial - which worked like a dream, and was a fun free lance quilting exercise for my right brain. The quilted panels (I made 2, one for each side of the bag) end up being covered with an inner lining, so the messy backside isn't seen at all. What is seen is the fabulous fabric patterns on the quilted panels.

 I added an inside pocket and kept the lining light and bright, because (in my experience) the inside of bags do have a tendency to form black holes.

Side A
Side B
 I am a devoted quilter, but sometimes it's nice to take a detour and make something completely different, especially when the end result is a gift for someone very special and a chance to say, "Thank you for your friendship, and happy birthday!"

I linked up here, just for fun!

October 29, 2012

Favorite Steps

Quilting has many steps, no? Some of the steps I like and some of the steps I loath. By far, my most favorite step is selecting the fabrics that will eventually be sewn together to make a quilt. I love going to the candy fabric store and looking through all of the stunningly beautiful fabrics. I have a hunch this is a favorite step of many, many quilters (especially with the amazing fabric designers who are presently gracing cottons with their innovative colors and images). I love mix matching fabrics together and noticing the relationships between values and patterns. I might call myself a quilter, but I do believe the word "quilter" is merely a disguise title for severe fabric addict.

I have a self confessed gray obsession lately

My second favorite step is the binding. It's a signal to me that quilt-completion is near. I enjoy making the binding and, of course, I love auditioning different fabrics for the role of  "quilt binding." What fabric will be cast in this significant,  framing role? In the case of my vintage floral chevron quilt, I chose to put all of the colors into this custom scrappy binding. It goes well with the colors on the front and it is surprisingly complimentary to the gray fabric on the back, it adds a splash of color.


The end is near! The end of this quilt, that is!

October 22, 2012

Simple, baby

Simple is a word I always choose to describe myself. Simple is a word I strive for in my life - simple living, less clutter, less drama, less stress, more simple. And now, simple is word I am starting to incorporate into my quilting, finally. I have spent the better part of 3 years quilting massively complicated projects with detailed boarders, complex quilting patterns, and intricate designs. I admit the reason was, that I was learning how to quilt and pushing my creative self to the extremes is, I guess, how I learn. It's as if I have been learning how to cook by following the recipes a fancy gourmet chef, an now I am moving towards making bar food. And because of my elite gourmet training, I can make some damn good chicken wings. In any case, I am really enjoying this new found simple quilting. My favorite part lately has been the benefit of getting one quilt almost done and being able to explore new (and beautiful) fabrics for a new quilt project. Yes, things are speeding up! I might not need another lifetime to make all of my quilt ideas. I might be able to simplify and complete all of the quilts I want in this life alone!