Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Placemats

Earlier this year, 6 lovely ladies each made me a 12.5" quilt block. They used their fabrics and a pattern of their choice and I had no say in anything except for the colors - in this case,  blues, greens, and purples.  And so goes the 3x6 Bee.

I had no idea what to expect and was delighted at the blocks that I received.  I knew I'd be using the blocks for kitchenwares - possibly a table runner.  Maybe some potholders.  But time got away from me and the lovely blocks were shoved in the bottom of my WIP bin.  I finally pulled them out and decided to turn them into a set of placemats and a matching hot pad (which isn't done yet, so no pix of that).

I added a patchwork border on the sides and some white sashing to bring the finished size of each mat to 15"x18".  They're a bit oversized, but if they prove too large for my table, I'll give 'em a spin in the dryer and shrink them a bit.  

I love their scappy look and how they're brought together with matching edging and binding.  They highlight the colors of my dishes and kitchen walls.

 Thanks so much, ladies!!  I love my new placemats and really appreciate your lovely blocks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Papa Joe

My Grandpa is sick.  It sucks that he's sick.  It sucks that his current treatment plan focuses on keeping him comfortable.  It sucks that I live 2,000 miles away and can't visit with him on a regular basis.

It. All.  Just.  Sucks.  

If I were any closer, I'd be there in a heartbeat and our visit would be much like our last - we'd sit quietly together and talk, and he'd doze for a bit, and then we'd talk and reminisce some more.  And I'd sneak him some verboten candies when Granny wasn't looking

But I don't live closer and I can't be there again, and I'm feeling quite helpless about it all.  My first instinct [as a Jewish woman] is to cook, which is, in this instance, pointless.  My next instinct, which kicked in late in the game, was to quilt.   

So I made this for him this weekend.  It's modern and he's not.  I made it in his Alma Mater's colors of scarlet and grey, only remembering after the whole thing was quilted that he's red-green color blind; it'll probably look like a big brown blob to him.  He might not love the aesthetics of it.  He doesn't really have to.  He just needs to know that it was made especially for him - that I labored over every creative decision to make it worthy of the man that he is.

I hope it keeps his body warm.  I hope it keeps his heart warm. I hope he knows how much I love him.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Habitat Quilt Challenge

The Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild (LAMQG), like many of the other Modern Guilds, is  participating in the Habitat Quilt Challenge.  Can I be honest here?  I really don't like this line.  With apologies to designer Jay McCarroll, I know a lot of people love it oodles and I just don't get it.

When I got my bundle of fabric, I just stared at it.  For weeks.  It was just so uninspiring to me, and as I struggled, Ramona reminded me that sometimes less can be more.  Thank you to Ramona for this reminder.  Knowing that I didn't have to saturate my quilt with Habitat fabrics kind of freed up my creativity.  From there, I started riffing on how a play on words with "Habitat."  And I finally came up with this.

My colors are a bit off today, but the body of the quilt is Kona Berry and the stem and leaf outlines are bias tape made with Kona Grass.  The leaves and binding are made out of the Habitat fabric.  I made this simple flower/vine creation that kind of looks something you'd find in the natural habitat of something or another.  I used contrasting thread to free motion quilt "The natural habitat of a child is wrapped up in a quilt."

Lastly, I quilted the whole thing with repeating straight lines of the word "habitat."

All in all, I have to say that I love it.  I didn't expect to, but I do.  I wish I had purchased a yard of one of the prints from the Habitat line for the backing - some of those prints are so busy that my quilted words, which are not as pretty from the back, would have been nicely hidden in the pattern.  Instead, I used a solid, so the back of the quilt isn't as pretty as I'd like.

I was so unenthusiastic about the line that I didn't want to spend $10 for a yard of backing.  I really wish that I had ponied up the funds, though, because this quilt looks so unfinished from the back.  For the small price that I would have spent on the backing, I would have had a gorgeous quilt.  As it stands, I have a very pretty quilt from the front and a lot of "blah" from the back.  *sigh*  You live, you learn. 

This quilt is destined for Quilts for Kids - an organization that I support annually.  Since the Habitat fabric was donated to the LAMQG members, I can't think of a better thing to do with this quilt than to donate it - it's all about paying it forward.