Fortunately for me, I do not make a living blogging, because I would starve.
In my defense, though, I was mysteriously blocked from logging into the Blahg for some time, and while it was not a difficult fix, in the end, it was an irritating and just-large enough obstacle that it overwhelmed my desire to hear myself talk - I know! - in this forum. Until today, when I was looking for something to enable a vigorous procrastination session that involved neither any of my Four Adult Tasks (groceries, laundry, garbage and dishes); nor Work, which is something I generally do not deign to do on days off.
And here we are, all logged in like a real blogger! Happy 2018, all!
So a few things happened this year that were not recorded:
First, in Spring, was a quilt for my old workmate and karaoke comrade-at-arms, Grassie. I fully intend to get my shit together to write her the post I promised all those months ago. But meanwhile, she had asked for a Kaffe Fasset pattern called StripeScape which used a heaping helping of his stripey, serape-esque fabrics which were really nice to work with. And this came together pretty quickly, which made me so exuberant that I decided I should hand-quilt it. Yipes! I had hand-quilted only Nene's Winding Ways prior to this, and while I really enjoy the process, there was FAR MORE hand-quilting in Grassie's Serape Quilt, I think, because it took me so, so, SO long to finish it. And even when I gave it to here there was a section at the bottom that was not finished.....er, in homage to how our friendship will always be a work in progress, or some shit, I dunno, you fill in the gaps. Anyway, here it is, better blog post to follow, Grassie!!
|You can enlarge this to see the hand stitches, which follow the stripe directions in straight lines at about 1" apart. Whew! Also, most of my pictures of the progress on this one seem to have gone AWOL. Stay tuned for those (I hope).|
And then my niece Boolia had her Bat Mitvah in the summer - her quilt was what I considered a "sophisticated riot" of color which is, indeed, what Boolia is herself. Sadly for me, I did not realize her BM colors were rose (which is part of her name) and silver, or something? So this quilt is decidedly not that, and is probably as opposite to that as you can possibly get and still be within the visible light spectrum, but hopefully still fills the bill for a young lady starting on her journey through the dark forests of teenager-hood, a time both for becoming more sophisticated (well, supposedly) and also for having a riot. This navy sashed stars quilt is not a formal pattern but there are a lot of these kinds of star around - the Scrap-Jar Stars I made for Colt in 2016 is similar, though this one interchanges the solid background with the patterned colors on alternate blocks for a jolly dappled effect. (How often do you get to use "jolly," outside of Jolly Old Saint Nick or For She's a Jolly Good Fellow? Jolly good show!)
(In the mix here was also Gramsy's Granny Squares quilt, which I already blogged about, and apparently also E & M's Butter-Churnin' Hourglass quilt was also sent in 2017, though it seems to me I finished that over the holiday break last year, but whatever.)
Lastly on the quilt front, my cousin CC had, some time ago, asked me to make a quilt for her partner Sher, which was supposed to be a Christmas present, but, um, is at least going to make it for Sher's birthday this coming week, I understand. I was very pleased with this despite some minor emergencies that gave me something to fix on New Years Day. As it turns out, though, it was also not a difficult fix, though it did cause me some angsty hyperventilation, AND gave me some new confidence about fixing my inevitable fuck-ups in the future, because once you've put a quilt together it's actually pretty easy to take it apart again, and restitch as needed. Design-wise, CC was looking for "clean, flowing lines" and maybe mid-century or Art Deco, which left a pretty wide open field to work with. So this is a technique called a French Braid and the pattern "Thanks, Frank," by the venerable documenter of French Braiding, Jane Hardy Miller, is intended to evoke the Prairie School leaded-glass stylings of Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work spanned (and changed interestingly during) the period from Arts & Crafts to Mid Century.
|If you're thinking this progression of colors would trigger my ColorStress (TM), you are correct.|
The original of this in Miller's book was mostly dark and cool feeling, so I warmed it up with some earthy bricks and olives and browns, and used a background which was intended to evoke crackled old glass but is actually pebbles, and made the whole thing surprisingly (to me) traditional looking. It was also a little weirdly skinny, despite my adding extra borders. I really like the thin black stained-glass-reminiscent sashing around the colors, though, and will probably use this technique again someday.
|Finished crinkle, with beadboard-esque "piano key" vertical quilting. The back is an orangey flannel.|
And finally, in related sewing news, I have a new friend which I ordered to be delivered to me here in NYC, who arrived in September, the first of many visitors to this NYC apartment! Her name is Suki, and she is a Juki quilting machine, and she is the bomb. She is about 3x the bomb that my old trusty Singer was, if you count bombness in dollars, but I love them both in their ways. However, the Singer is tucked away in my storage unit at present, so Suki has been keeping me company on this NYC jaunt. Though she is, if she will forgive me saying so, frickin' HEAVY. Like myself, she is an semi-industrial workhorse. She only does one thing (a straight stitch), but she has a powerhouse motor that makes short work of bulky seams, and has an elegant elongated throat (the hole between the upright part of the machine and the needle mechanism) so I can stuff more quilt in there and not wrestle with sewing on the middle of the quilts so much. She also has an easy thread-clipping mechanism and a needle threader for these old eyes, speed control, and is generally a cut above in all respects. We are still working on some tension issues (thread tension, that is) but I think she's settling in nicely. Welcome, Suki!
|All function, no fuss. Look at that speed control to the far right - I am definitely more turtle than rabbit.|
Things to try in the New Year:
1. More hand stitching. It takes for-fucking-ever, but it is so very satisfying.
2. Along with that, i'd like to do some Sashiko patterns, perhaps working my way up to doing the traditional white thread on indigo fabric thing (that will REALLY show all the mistakes). I just love the geometric precision coupled with the utilitarian, but nevertheless incredibly beautiful, Japanese art form. Um. Anyone have a yakuta whose seams need some patching/reinforcing?
|Traditional forms: Simple Sashiko, Hitomezashi, and Kogin, picture from Studio Aika blog|
3. Applique. The only applique I've really done was the Flag of Mikuador, but there's a wealth of patterns out there, traditional and modern, that have piqued my interest in this fundamental fabric craft.
4. And speaking of Mikuador, my brother and fam took the plunge and bought an old farmhouse on some acreage out aways in NW IL. And a farmlet needs a barn quilt, i.e., a quilt pattern painted on wood and hung from a barn.... which is a whole 'nother artform, really, but I have that in my sights for spring, hopefully. A quick Google search will come up with hundreds of barn quilts for you to peruse if you are so inclined (none, it must be said, that look anything like the Flag of Mikuador. Viva!)
|Random barn quilt from Guthrie Center, IA (picture posted here in 2011)|
6. .....and, of course, to continue writing thank you letters to my beloveds, so many of whom I still would like to send a humble fabricky offering and a few fond phrases. Don't know where I'd be without ya, peeps! As the wise men of Extreme once, confusingly, put it: "More than words is all you have to do (sic) to make it real." But since I have few enough opportunities to show anyone anything in person these days, I will have to make do with the words themselves, stuffed between layers of fabric and sent to you from the UPS STORE of my HEART.
|I love you easily as much as this naked kewpie doll does.|
As ever, Besos, Merry Craftsmas, and Happy New