Monday, August 26, 2013

Creatures From Deep in My Stash

Cue scarey organ music.

Unfortunately/fortunately, I've gotten rid of some of the uglier & more embarrassing pieces from my stash, but I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the ones I've held on to -- for better or worse. I won't show you them all at once, my creatures will be a recurring feature we'll come back to from time to time.

First, some real creatures: fishes, bunnies, ponies, owls & wild things from the American West. (I'm not including my cat fabrics -- that's a topic on its own!) How did these come to be in my stash? Well, the ponies & national parks critters were from the remnant bin, both about 1yard cuts -- I don't know why I bought them other than they probably didn't cost very much. The fish & rabbit cut-outs I probably planned on making up as pillows -- whimsical, right? The owls are a fairly recent purchase; I was making reusable shopping bags for everyone on my Christmas list one year & one friend has an especial fondness for owls. I found them on sale, asked for a yard & ended up with 2 yards.

what the what!?!

I still like these fabrics (she said sheepishly (no creature pun intended)). I think I can find time to use them. And, most importantly, I think I can have fun making something fun with them.

So, let's see.

I think the owls could be interesting cut into strips, just their little eyes peeking out. They combine nicely with the stack of browns I got a few years ago. So maybe log cabins, maybe simple string blocks? Or! Maybe a teetering stack, inspired the Totally Tubular technique in Tula Pink's first book. I LIKE it!

teetering owls

The ponies with dots & swirls are kind of fun  -- what about wonky stars with pony centers? (Is it just me, or does that sound like a children's breakfast cereal? Wonky Stars with Pony Centers! Now with MORE Ponies!!!
No? Just me? OK.)

wonky stars with pony centers!

Hmmm, the fish & bunnies? I've seen real make-do quilts, the Gee's Bend quilts for example, that use these cut-out panels as just another piece of cloth. But I've cut around my pieces, so can't do that. What about using them as applique -- trout swimming on top of patchwork, rabbits with some garden-y fabrics?

bunnies & veg

And the big game? My inclination with a fabric like this is to highlight the fabric with fussy cutting, maybe a square as the center of a medallion quilt. But I think it would be too easy to let this fabric look too lodge-y. One of my favorite things to do is to try to make something "modern" with very not-modern fabric. So what about something inspired by a painting from the 1940s by the artist Leon Polk Smith? Still very much a work-in-progress, I'm having a good time with this one!


And who knows, maybe the trout will show up on the back!

Monday, August 12, 2013


So there was this very popular quilt block, Camille Roskelley's Swoon -- a grand block, I hardly saw one I did not admire. I wanted to make one of my own. And there was Marcia Derse's fabrics, painterly & rich -- a stack came home with me from Quilt Festival, but I had no plans for them.

Say, what if I introduce Swoon & Derse?!? I think they might like each other!

It was like hooking up two friends on a blind date. Hello. How are you? Then, magic started happening, soon they were wondering who is that third wheel hanging around them.

Me! It's ME!! I introduced you!!!

That's how I feel about this quilt. I merely introduced two amazing individuals -- a great pattern & beautiful fabrics. I did make a few changes to the pattern so the large-scale fabrics weren't so cut up; and I chose the color & print pairings; for quilting, I used a manipulated stitch I first used in a machine quilting class with Mary Mashuta & have seen used by Jacquie Gehring; the back is 2 gorgeous fabrics, gifts from my brother, screen-printed in Hawaii.

But, well, the rest was just Chemistry.

chemistry - quilting

chemistry - back