Winter Star

>> Friday, January 4, 2013

Sometimes the background color is the easiest choice to make. When a friend asked me to make a quilt for her friend's new baby, she suggested something "green or maybe purple, nothing too boyish." I loved this set of color instructions. I toyed with purple and gray (a combination that often pops into my head and maybe one day will make it into a quilt), but I knew green was the way to go, and Moda Dill just felt right (and, um, I had a bunch of it. Practicality plays a role too). The question was what other fabrics to use.

My fabric stash is not wanting for greens, but a lot of them fall more on the blue-green side of the color wheel. Chartreuse, despite its current fashion popularity, rarely made me press click when I viewed it online. But lovely as my aqua-trending stash is, it just didn't feel right. Which surprised me, because I had already decided to use a purple binding, and I thought blue-greens would fit. But then it made sense: green/blue-green/purple completes the rainbow, but walks, rather than sashays, down the runway. Yellow-greens it would have to be. Loosely interpreted (that wood grain is really more yellow, than yellow-green), I settled upon 8 star-worthy choices. I'm not even sure which one is my favorite, and I thought picking a favorite would be easier with a color scheme that I buy less frequently. Except that I think less commonly acquired means more carefully selected. Fabric stashing can be tricky like that.

I shrunk Jeni's Vintage Star Quilt, making it baby, rather than giant, sized. By baby-sized, I mean about 40" square. The 10" piece of Seedpod, with its perfectly matching dark green and wonderfully coordinating yellows, oranges, and light greens, determined the size of the star. That is, I made big HST blocks with 10" squares (9.5" trimmed), which yielded a 36" star. I wanted it to float, so I added 2.5" green borders on all sides.

If there's one animal that predominates in my fabric collection, it's birds. Which is a little funny since I know very little about said creatures. I might be able to identify a robin and a raven, but there my ornithological knowledge ends. When rendered in two-dimensions, however, Joel Dewberry's birds stand apart from Paula Prass' and Laurie Wisbrun's separate from Valorie Wells. Thus the backing brought together a yard of nesting birds with a wide strip of flying ones. Free-motion stippling--with variegated green thread on the front and white thread on the back--holds it all together. Finally, purple edged its way into the binding -- a beautiful Marimekko purple print I picked up over the summer at the Crate & Barrel outlet.


Processing 2012

>> Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I think of 2012 in two halves: the traveling half and the quasi-settled half. Despite a lot of roving dissertation research, I still managed to squeeze in quite a bit of sewing time last year. Not in a diligent, disciplined sort of way, but in an unrestrained, furious sort of way.

And so it is true: I am a binge sewer. The latest example merely illustrates my habitual tendencies: I didn't touch my sewing machine for about a month this fall, from Thanksgiving to late December, and then I pieced and quilted like a madwoman for a few days in late December. I finished three quilts (all of which need to make their way to their new owners before debuting here), I started two quilt projects, and I migrated some design ideas from head to graph paper. Then I cleaned up, hosted friends for New Year's Eve dinner, and crossed back into dissertation-writing (and less sewing) land. That's my way, my pace, my pattern, my flow, and it's not going to change. It's imperfect, but it works.

Likewise,  I've settled into my quilting style; I adore minimalism, negative space, and saturated color. Shapes matter, graphic sensibilities predominate, and color preferences drift between warm and cool. I don't think this will radically change, but it will stew, evolve, and mature. I'm starting to concretize a sartorial style as well. Sewing a dress for myself helped me think more about how garments fit and, most importantly, how I want them to fit. I saw a dress I wanted to make, and when I asked a friend about possible patterns for something comparable, she exclaimed "that is So You!" At which point I realized I know what I like and I can identify what will look good on me (a revelation many have before age 32, but late blooming is blooming nonetheless).

But here's what I don't know: where this style will take me, the views it will show me, the people to whom it will introduce me, the ways it will change me, the ideas it will instill in me, or the possibilities it contains. So given this: to curiosity, discovery, and fresh ways of thinking, doing, working, and living in 2013.


  © Blogger template Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP