(Ok, I'm not really a witch, but I probably would have been burned at the stake in 17th century Salem.
I am a big fan of midwifery, pirates, and eating a peck of dirt before you die.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

not for me


So I've been toying with the idea of machine binding quilts. Y'know, to get the Product out there Quicker.

On the one hand, it makes SO much sense:  fast, simple, strong, easy (if you are good at topstitching, which not everybody is, but I happen to be, prolly cuz I am maniacally precise).

On the other hand, it makes your quilt look like it came from Pottery Barn.

I'm sorry, that wasn't fair. The Pottery Barn is Lovely.  (Do you know what they pay their "quilters"? I'm afraid I don't...)

I learned how to quilt by hand.  Totally by hand.  My first (and probably second,  and third,) quilts were entirely stitched by hand.  Hand pieced (because that is how I learned), and hand quilted.  It taught me what I wanted to learn from quilting:  How To Be Patient.  That's the shorthand I dubbed it almost 20 years ago, but now I'm realizing that keeping your hand (literally, Your Hand, that Thing on the end of your arm) in your craft is crucial.

The moment that artists (of any kind) remove the muscle (of any kind) from their work, is the moment that it is (probably) Not Art.

Please Believe Me!    I love Tools! and shortcuts, and innovations resulting in quicker results.  But I've decided that I will make a customer wait another two days (or so) while I sew the binding onto your custom quilt by hand.   I need that (time-consuming, yes) interaction with my creation for You.  Forgive me, but even the incitement of quicker payment can not pull me away from what is my Joy.

And just to show you all how good I am at this machine binding stuff, here's proof.

   This is not an Ego thing.  I know I can finish those quilts easy and fine, but I'd rather not lose the only honest interface I have with y'all.  I'd rather do this:
So that is my Art vs. The Other 1%  thang.  
Please:  Use your Hands.  For Anything. 
It is worth the dirt under your fingernails.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

unbottled rainbows...Finish

So, there have been plenty of finishes 'round here.
This one is perhaps the most massive.
Y'all remember Rachel's Bottled Rainbows?
(oof, it hurt my pride a little to have to go all the way back to FEBRUARY to find that link,
but I have to remember that is was a pretty massive QAL.  Besides, it's been finished now, for
a whole month...  :-/  )
 The pictures hardly do it justice (do they ever?).
I wanted to back it with something neutral, something to anchor all the bits and colors,
yet something that still had some of the playfulness of the top.
I fell in love with those circles by Robert Kaufman,
and for the first time in a loooong time, I made a back out of one fabric.
It was so great to get the back done so fast, because the top took sooooo long.
And it went 'specially fast, because, as you might remember, this is a 
Quilt as You Go project, so once I put together the back, I was just about done!
When I had finally finished all the blocks
I loved each one so much, I didn't think I wanted them all crowded next to each other
so I decided to torture myself even more, and retroactively add the sashing.
It had to have the batting basted onto it, to match the blocks, 
so off I went.
 I had to cut the Kona Bone sashing pieces, 
spray baste them onto the same size cut batting
and just start sewing them onto the blocks.
Mr. Spray Basting is My Friend.
(Well, not really, cuz you'll notice it says "Danger" and "Toxic" and all that
but I'm REALLY good about opening up all the studio's big windows
and running fans and stuff. I really don't know what I'd do without it.)
I pressed all the seams open.
That way, the only quilting I needed to do once I got the back on
was along each side of all the sashing seams.
This secured it nicely to the back, and kept all the fat seams under control.
 (I think it even looked cute "from behind".)

So that's my "adventure" with Bottled Rainbows!
Someone left a comment on one of my earlier posts that said
"each block is an adventure".  I love that.  It's so true.
I really enjoyed working on this piece.  It currently graces our bed.
But it seems someone really likes it...
Thanks, again, Rachel, for the inspiration!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

what now?

Now what?
 I don't know how he got in there.
 But what do I do now?
I'm trying really hard to NOT let this be an excuse to buy
a really good, high-end iron....
Any suggestions?

Monday, August 8, 2011

as promised...

So, as I promised, here is some background to 
"where I have been/what I have been up to".
Let me start with Anna Maria Horner.  
Not a bad place to start.

I don't know why, but I went on a serious ANH kick.
I rarely do this, glom onto a front-line designer,
but her colors and patterns really, Really have been
calling out to me lately.
And I have several new patterns I've been itching to try.
 Both of these are from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.
 Oops!  and then 
I bought some fabric while I worked!
I am a sucker for snails.
I have a whole bin of stash dedicated to snails.
Someday to be a snail quilt for ME!
 Back to Anna Maria Horner:  Loulouthi.
This line captivated me, and I immediately knew what
I wanted to make for my dear friends
Kate and Lily
who are getting married in August in NY.

It's feminine, and vintage, 
and blocky (therefore masculine) and 
groovy.  All at the same time.
Perfect for two fabulous gals.
This was ENTIRELY the inspiration of
Meanwhile, I will contemplate what to do with this.
 While I do so many other things.  
Which you will hear about.
As promised....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

where i've been

I am so ashamed that I haven't posted in such a long while
that I'm going to hide behind pictures of 
what I've been up to.

Oh, and this.

Explanations for my actions will be forthcoming...

Monday, May 23, 2011

second time round....and round

Remember this?

 It's my second go at Amanda Jean's
 It's for a dear friend who got into a bidding war with
another dear friend for my first one during
 I thought I'd make another and double the money donated.
I let her pick the fabric, and she chose Prayer Flag for Moda,
which I picked up at Burgundy Buttons fabulous sale!
I don't know if I was just more precise (doubtful)
or it's just second time luck, 
but this one came out even better!

Have you ever tried something again and found it worked better
for no apparent reason?
Hey, I'll take it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

even more unbottled Rainbows...

Just some more Bottled Rainbow success.

Four more.  Up to Eleven.  Five more to go.
What Fun!!
I've discovered fabrics I never knew I had, or had at least forgotten.
I keep finding fabrics and I say 
"...ooooh! that should have gone in the (blank) block!"
I examine each scrap for its true color.
Thank you Rachel for putting this project out there!

more soon, leave me a note, let me know you are curious!