I have, in the recent past, made the odd reference to my new status as the orphaned husband or widower-by-quilt and this blog is the proof of that pathetic circumstance. I didn’t lose my wife to the postman, I lost her to fabric art! This is her blog:
There are three things I know about myself that apply to my quilting:
- I am one of those annoying people who believe the rules apply to everyone but me. (Editor’s note: Nothing. JDC is NOT allowed to comment).
- I love quirky stuff–be it movies, décor, or individuals (now you know one of the many reasons why David and I are together).
- I have always loved fabric and believed that one day I would create fabric art, whatever form that might take.
I have used patterns occasionally but the quilts I have enjoyed making the most are the ones that come from who-knows-where. David told me that he thought readers would be interested in my creative process. Yikes! I didn’t realize I even had one.
I had to think about it.
I first thought about ‘Plum Crazy’. My daughter specified the colours she wanted so I purchased those. I looked at lots of quilts on-line. I had recently used metallic thread in a workshop and decided to incorporate that. The plum coloured fabric I bought reminded me of a moving blanket we had brought back from New York decades ago, in a similar colour, so I hand quilted Plum Crazy in a similar fashion.
So, the quilt was really just the result of a bunch of different ideas percolating around in my head and gelling at some random point. Is that a process?
What was the process for ‘Black and White and Read All Over (pun intended)? Not so complex. I just wanted to use black and red, my son’s favourite colours, and found a quilt on-line that I liked and figured out how to make a similar one.
For Sharon’s little baby, Rachel’s, quilt I picked out some pretty pink fabrics and sewed them together in a simple framed block design with a little hand quilting. Quick and easy so I could get it to Hong Kong before she goes to kindergarten.
The ‘Sashiko Sampler’ came about because I had recently discovered Sashiko stitching. I love the contrast of the white stitches on indigo cloth and the beautiful traditional Japanese designs. I started stitching 6″ by 6″ Sashiko squares, not having a plan in mind. When I had finished a bunch I bought some Japanese fabrics that complemented the indigo and made quilt blocks. Then I laid the fabric blocks and Sashiko squares out on a countertop. I liked the off-white colour of the counter between the squares. I consulted with Leon and Ole, two tall, male German wwoofers who were staying with us at the time, and they agreed. So the sashing became whitish. When I put the quilt top together I could see that the little bits of orange colour in some of the fabrics could be accentuated with an orange strip in the binding so I added that to brighten the quilt. Voila!
The quilt below is made from Kaffe Fassett fabric. Kaffe is a famous knitter and quilter, who tours the globe like a rock star, welcomed by droves of mostly middle-aged (and older) knitting and quilting groupies. Anyway, it is his books of quilt designs that inspired me to start quilting. And when I saw a bag full of his fabric for sale at one of our Quilting Guild meetings I nabbed it. This quilt is fashioned after one of his designs called Mirror Squares. I loved working with this fabric–it is so bright that it is really uplifting, especially on a bleak rainy day. It always gives me a lift when I look at it, which is a good thing, as I spent over a hundred hours doing the hand quilting, in addition to the cutting and machine piecing.
Still fascinated by Sashiko stitching, I wanted to try mending with it, which was how it was originally used. I must have planned on making a denim quilt for years as I had a huge box of old denim garments. I combined these two aspects with a third. (I had learned a new way to assemble a quilt as I sewed.) I started cutting out pieces and putting them together and ‘Workmates’ is the result. I found that the ‘real’ tears and holes on the garments were too dirty and fragmented to be effective for the look I was going for. So after I made the quilt I ripped tears and holes in it to repair. It was a lot of fun to make. I still have almost a full box of remnants so there will be more denim quilts.
‘Moonshadow’ is a combination of fabrics I found interesting and put together in a bit of a random way by cutting strips and blocks off kilter. I like the colours in this one. I made a sister quilt which is almost identical, except I used reds, oranges and beiges, which I expected would be brighter. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) it is very monochromatic and has none of the life that ‘Moonshadow’ has.
After what I wrote above I now feel I have to show you the sister quilt, ‘Walking on Sunshine’. I don’t like it–not YET. And it is kind of stupid to end with something horrible. So, I am still working on it. However, if anyone has any suggestions on how to salvage it, I’m listening.
I just realized I am writing when I could be quilting. Bye.