Tag Archives: opinions

On Growth.

I’ve been thinking about my growth as a quilter a lot lately, and Jaye’s (very thoughtful) comment on the last episode spurred me to actually sit down and write about it.  My mom recently sent me a picture of the first quilt I made for them, which was maybe 8 years ago. I honestly can’t remember whether I made it before or after my oldest was born, but here it is:

It’s lap-sized. I bought a FQ assortment of Hawaiian print fabrics, cut them into squares, sashed them (inaccurately, I’m sure), used poly batting, and just straight line quilted (without a walking foot) in the sashing. I believe I called the sashing “lattice” at the time. I can name about 99 problems with this quilt. Inelegant layout? Complete lack of a consistent and accurate 1/4″ seam? Lack of quilting? Check. Check. Check.
Compare that quilt with Iz, from last year, also in Hawaiian print for my mom.
Interesting layout? Consistent and accurate piecing? Imaginative quilting? Check. Check. Check. Still, I look at it and can name around 25 problems with it.
I’m a tad hard on myself sometimes, is what I’m saying. But I can also acknowledge growth. Technical growth, anyway. I’m still working on that artsy-fartsy part of myself that brings things like color. Here’s another early quilt of mine to demonstrate:

This is prayer quilt for the church group I used to work with. We worked with donated fabrics for 90% of our needs, and in this case a man had lost his wife to cancer and was left to raise their five daughters on their own. I suggested using 5 different pinks in the quilt to represent the five girls. Because the pink at the center of the blocks was rather more red than pink, I put the lace strips over it to “cut it” a bit. It’s an okay quilt given the limitations we were working with, but I feel like I can name 5 things wrong with the color here and they are all shades of pink.

And then my color growth with the Blue Swoon quilt:

It’s… better. I say that with a hesitancy that comes from a place of insecurity about my color skills (and not begging for nice comments, because you guys have already said such nice things about it already – thank you!).

I feel like I need to force myself to do an insanely scrappy quilt just to push all sorts of colors together and make myself get over my aversion to things not matching exactly.  Here is where we pause to listen to my parents, husband, every school teacher I ever had, and anyone who’s ever seen me work on a jigsaw puzzle laugh their fool heads off with the idea that I will ever be a laid back person who can just “let things go”.

I’m very good about setting/accomplishing goals around increasing my technical skills (paper piecing, trapunto, FMQ, etc.). What I need to do is balance that with it growing my “softer skills” like design, color, and art quilting skills in composition.

It’s likely that my nerdy inner-self that craves structure is going to wield a spreadsheet and a protractor and beat down the inner artsy-fartsy hippie. That’s probably why I don’t wear more scarves, too.

Mostly for My Mom

Attention Interwebs! I need input, mostly from my mom because this is going to be her quilt, but feel free to chime in since today is the last day to enter the Giveaway Extravaganza!

So, here are two sets of four pineapple blocks that I’m using for my mom’s quilt.  I am not sure which set I like best for the front of the quilt, but there will be 40 of these blocks total on the front, with one panel of the print fabric in the middle.

Zoom is a Helper Cat

Oh wait. There’s a little something on the fabric. A little something I call Six Pounds of Fury! *rimshot*  Apparently today at Helper Cat Labs they are working on reinforcing gravity.

So, Mom, which do you like better? Left (with more prints in the light values) or Right (with all solid Sand colors for the light)?  Whichever one you don’t pick I’ll put in the back of the quilt.

HtbaS – Episode 18

Episode 18 – that means my podcast is a grown up, right? I talk about the last Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild meeting, our scrap exchange, some progress on various projects, and how I choose free-motion quilt designs. I also have a special “adults only” topic at the end about how fabric designers need some editing for certain images.

Here’s my finished Christmas wallhanging:

Christmas Wallhanging

Here is what Karin made me in the scrap exchange for the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild!

My crazy bird fabric looks and smells awesome now.

And here’s what I got from Stacey to make something out of:

Stacey's Scraps - Original

And here’s what I made for Stacey:

Stacey's Scraps

Close-up photos of my daughter’s quilt from the free-motion quilting discussion coming shortly – apparently I don’t have any posted yet! Here’s one of the finished quilt on her bed (the baby quilt I made her is hanging on the wall to the right):

And here are some photos to accompany the special “grown-ups only” section of the podcast today:
The overall pieced top from the crazy bird fabric:

This Fabric Line is Crazy

And now a very special close-up:

CANNOT UNSEE 2

(just say no to bad fabric design, kids!)

And then, there’s the… other one I have issues with.

CANNOT UNSEE
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Grama’s Hankie

I mentioned a couple podcasts ago that I received several of my Grama Eddie’s hankies after she passed. Not being a hankie user myself (and not wanting to snot all over something so lovely anyway), I thought I would mount the hankies on a neutral background and use them as a centerpiece for a wallhanging.  The first one I’m considering is a light green one. I’ve picked 3 fabrics from my stash as possible pairings, and am soliciting opinions!

The crocheted edge of the hankie is a variegated white/light green, a little more kelly green than the soft green of the fabric, which complicates the fabric pairing a bit.

Option 1:Yellow Paisley

Antique Hanky - Option 1

Option 2: Polka Dots

Antique Hanky - Option 2

Option 3: Flowerdy

Depending on which fabric I choose, I may mount the hankie on either a cream or a white – right now it’s all shown against a Kona White background. So… what do you think? Vote to the right!