Friday, September 28, 2012

My first and last Britney quilt

And now, from the archives....

no, thanks

Last year, my next door neighbor showed me a bag of T-shirts, wondering if any of my guild friends might have interest in taking on a project. Her daughter was our first babysitter when we moved to Massachusetts 6 years ago, and is now a college junior. The shirts represented high school and college memories and were languishing in a dresser.

I should mention that these are the best neighbors we've ever had. They let our children use their backyard and house like it is theirs, invite us over for impromptu dinners, and generally keep an eye on us like we are family. So while I'd heard stories about how awful t-shirt jersey is to work with, I couldn't say no.

My only design direction was that their daughter "likes blue." (I know, right?!)

I squared and interfaced all the shirt content, and raided some unused brights from my stash and scrap bin to fill in. I honestly loved how lively it was when it was done, but it took a long time!

Some of the Ts had hilarious content and were a bit incongruous with the more philanthropic shirts, so I relegated them to the back, alongside a teal print I found at Joann's. If you look closely, you'll spy not just Britney, but also Nick Lachey and (gag) Chris Brown.

There were many snorts when this came in for show and tell at my BMQG meeting.

I used the quilt as a chance to practice my free motion, which was executed in a square stipple pattern. In the end, my neighbors loved it. There were tears, probably the best reaction I've ever had to a quilt I made!

Monday, September 24, 2012


I spent some time last weekend cutting up some shirts of my Dad's that my mom gave me.

I'm coming up on his 'yahrzheit', which is the 1-year anniversary of his death.   I've been dreading it, and the shirts have been sitting in a pile in the corner of my sewing room since last November.

My father was an electronics technician, and a solid 'flannel-and-work pants' kind of guy, as you can tell.  He was rocking this look for a solid 30 years before J. Crew picked up on it.

Last weekend, I just looked at the pile and felt like I needed to start.   Taking the cutter to the first shirt was a bit gut-wrenching, but still felt like the right thing to do.  Since I didn't have a real concept in mind, I set the goal of just cutting off odd parts, seams, and squaring things up.

It took about an hour, but I'm happy with the progress.   I have a neat stack that's easier to look at.  Psychically, the pile looks more like the beginnings of something.

The next morning, inspiration finally struck.   I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, as was my father.   He was a complete science guy, who had a deep love for physics in particular.

The Ohio Star block seems like a complete no-brainer, for a jumping off point:

via  EZPiecing

I'm kicking around ideas and have a long way to go, but feel relieved to be started.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pigs fly!

I never thought I'd be able to do it, but I did - I finally cut some of my beloved Melody Miller yardage!

The bag I made is Michelle Lizcano's Nikki tote, the pattern for which I picked up at Pink Chalk Fabrics, on Laurie's recommendation. I also deployed some never-cut Echino dots for the handles, and love how they look together. I highly recommend this pattern, it was easy and is so dramatic in person.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thank you, Linda!!

Thanks to my friend Linda and her mad Gammill skills, I just rocked through the quilting of Amrita's kaleidoscope quilt (full size) in 2 hours!! You can add a long-arm machine to my Hanukkah wish list. On to binding...