Friday, December 2, 2016

Unplugged

'Her quilts are like a prayer...'  said about the work of Judy Martin

While randomly browsing the internet I came upon a write up about the work of Judy Martin, fiber artist extraordinaire (an article that I can no longer locate) and this is what the author said of her work. I immediately looked her up and she talks about slow contemplative and meditative quilting on her blog. I was intrigued by the concept and decided to give this a try. 

Using the reverse appliqué dot tutorial on her blog, I dived into my scrap bin and picked out some neutral and green pieces of fabric and got started. 

Humble beginnings....


I made a few blocks at first, things looked good so I continued making more. Then on a nineteen hour flight to Indonesia with my mom last February this was the perfect portable project to keep busy with. I finished with all appliqué pieces I had on hand and decided to start putting them together. I did not have a sewing machine handy so instead started to hand piece (excuse the poor lighting).


By the time I got back from the trip, I pretty much had all the pieces put together and the top measured about a yard. It was a great mother-daughter trip  and I think that made the project even more enjoyable.


Then to decide on the quilting. I had been doing a bit of 'Kantha' quilting lately so that seemed like an obvious choice.

Once again, little by little it grew. I thank everyone on Instagram for putting up with my progress pictures.





For the back I used this lovely print from Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt. After all that hand quilting, hand stitched binding was in order and soon - it was done.


I was thrilled with the outcome. Awesome texture and just so worth it. This was my prayer as brief as it may have been. 

Waited for a good sunny day and of course better pictures.






I decided to call this quilt 'Unplugged' akin to acoustic music. I did not use a sewing machine in the making of this quilt. Only implements used were a needle and a pair of scissors. Am amazed how the most primitive process can produce something with such a modern aesthetic...or that some looks are timeless. They never go out of style, always fresh and always current.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Courthouse Steps Bag

I recently purchased two patchwork books by Suzuko Koseki that were being decommissioned by a library. I love perusing the books and looking at the pictures. There is something simplistic and calming about them. This gave me an idea for my Seattle MQG swap. 

My swap partner Carrie loves Essex linen, bold colors and improv. I started by making small improv style courthouse blocks with different shades of green Kona cotton and black Essex linen and used those to put the bag together. 



I used Annie's Soft and Stable as lining instead of batting and was pleasantly surprised. It has a nice soft feel to it and yet gives good structure to the bag. It is a bit pricey though compared to batting.



I love the streamlined side profile.



For the inside I added a few extra pockets for utility. The binding around the seams hides the mess and gives it a neat professional look. I think it would make a great bag to carry sewing essentials in or toiletries on a weekend getaway.



I hope Carrie likes it as much as I have enjoyed making it. I should definitely make one for myself soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Scrap Management

I have not made very many scrap quilts nor am I good at utilizing my scraps, so over time my scrap bin has gotten out of control. I was forced to do something about it, just to make my sewing room a bit more tolerable. 

First thing I sorted my stash into piles by color. I was not too picky when it came to down to actual nuances of color like hues, light vs dark. Actually I did not have the patience for it. It was blue, green, yellow, red, orange, gray, black, brown and neutrals. A very broad categorization. This task itself took me a while and my sewing room looked as if it had been hit by a storm. Just the amount of lint in the room would make me cough and at one point I even contemplated wearing a mask. :)




After that I picked a color and started improv piecing like colored pieces together. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. Trying to find the right match to attach next. You constantly find yourself sifting through the pile for just the right scrap. Once the block got to a certain size, I would start another one. Even though this activity may sound relaxing in reality it does take a bit of thinking to fit the pieces together without cutting them up further. 

After making a few initial blocks I found that I did not like very large pieces dominate the block. I preferred smaller bits.  This way there was more interest and movement. So I changed up my strategy. If the piece was large enough for me to cut out 5"x5" square or a 2" strip I would cut those out, put them aside and work with what was left. This ensured that one fabric did not dominate the block and it had more movement.


I have made a bunch of blocks but not really sure what I will do with them. On the flip side I don't think I have made much of a dent to my scrap bin. This could just end up being a really long term WIP :)