This was my haul from the Heather Ross studio sale. For those who don’t know, each year Heather clears out her studio of the samples and products that she’s accumulated from her manufacturers of the excess that she doesn’t need. The way she runs it is that you pick an amount to spend (I chose the lowest amount, $25), and give a few instructions, and she sends you a package of surprises. It’s a lot of fun opening that package to see what’s inside! I told her that I was having a baby boy this fall so I’d choose that kind of color palette, and that I could always use small scraps of fabric in patchwork. There are about 1/2 yard of each of the fabrics in the top photo. I have these prints in one of the other colorways, but I’m glad there are enough here to coordinate with each other in a project.
These flannel patches are kind of random – I’m making Will a cowboy themed quilt but I’m not sure these will really blend into it – maybe I’ll attach them to a jacket or vest with some fusible web. No complaining about such cute craft supplies, though!
And a monkey themed munki munki flannel baby blanket with cacti just like those patches. One of my friends warned me that you get a lot of blankets when you have a baby – which hasn’t stopped me from making a receiving blanket and quilt myself, and picking out ones I like with cute textile designs. I’m tempted to cut a couple up into burp clothes (but it seems a shame when they’re still brand new) and this one could be used for its fabric, but it’s oh so soft and oh so cute! Will may have a different blanket wrapped around his stroller or car seat each time we go out this winter.
I have a couple projects I’ve worked on this summer that have no “use”. But I make crafts, not art, so there has to be a purpose, right? I’m really not sure, I just know that sometimes the idea for how to put several fabrics together comes to me and I have to get it out, and making them bigger just so someone could put this on their lap doesn’t really make sense. Plus, these fabrics are mostly linen blends and not the coziest things. It’s the size of a wall-hanging, but I don’t have enough walls for all the quilts I have, so it’ll go away in a stack for the time being. There was also a little bleeding that I’ll need to address at some point. Right now it’ll just get filed away in the portfolio of my work.
The other thing about this quilt is that it may be the most expensive piece in terms of raw materials that I could have done. Each of these fabrics is either hand screen-printed from an artist selling on etsy (hollabee & Lara Cameron), a limited sample from Lotta Jansdotter, or a Japanese import. The solid and backing are also linen blends. The quilt was pieced improvisationally – I cut the fabrics free-handed in varying sizes that made sense with the scales of the prints. It’s fun to play with no obligation, though, and have these fabrics out of the stash closet and into the real world.
I was beginning to feel like my stack of unfinished quilts would stay that way forever! I made 9 quilts in 2009, my first year of quilting, and while I had at least 7 in progress for this year, I knew I’d never catch up if I didn’t get moving. The problem was that all of my basting pins were tied up in this quilt (and have been for most of the year), and it would have been cheating to just go out and buy another set of pins. Well, going with the saying that finished is better than perfect, it’s finally done. The free motion quilting leaves something to be desired, but practice makes perfect and I’m sure the next one will be an improvement (besides being a long ways away – my other strategy for getting quilts done is to use lots of straight(ish) lines). My frustration with the quilting turned out not to be the needles falling out of my machine as much as it was that when I pushed the quilt away my stitches were fine, but I skipped stitches every time I pulled the quilt towards me, no matter how steady I thought I was in my motion. Side to side wasn’t as big of a deal, either. Hopefully it’s just an issue that practicing moving the quilt around and keeping my foot steady on the pedal would solve, and not a weird issue with the machine. From a distance, it does have a nice crinkly effect, though.
That being said, I do love the design of this quilt! I had a charm pack of Tula Pink Neptune that I used for the center of these squares, and pieces other little bits of them into the frames. The struggle I have with designing quilts is that I’m drawn to simple, modern, designs, but they aren’t challenging to make, the tops can be completed almost too quickly to be fun, and I don’t want to stay in the beginner place forever. However, all it takes is looking at Denyse Schmidt quilts like this one and this one that I love and I’m reminded that it’s worth it to make quilts that I love instead of making them to show off in some way. Plus, if I’m bored, there’s always free motion quilting to throw me for a loop! So I used lots of solids here, I think this is Kona khaki, which I bought a whole bunch of for a gender-neutral project last year that went a different direction.
The binding is a Japanese polka dot print (from superbuzzy, I think) and the backing is just two prints that I can’t see working into a top anytime soon. The finished project measures about 44″x65″, so it’s a snuggle on the couch quilt.
There’s a baby-sized companion quilt in the works for this one, that might be the next to get quilted (besides the three already quilted just waiting for their binding) if I can figure out how I want to back it. It feels good to be getting a stack of finished objects – I buy plenty of fabric that I need to actually use it sometimes, too!