This weekend I finished my quilt tribute to the justice of marriage equality. For the backstory see my previous post here: All Things Being Equal | Entropy Always Wins.
I used my Triangle in a Triangle block to piece striped Goodwill shirts into equilateral triangles that carried more of the same in a secondary pattern. To further reinforce the meaning, I quilted echoing equilateral triangles that extend into the denim border. The combination of these three sets of equilateral triangles (pieced, secondary pattern and quilting) all at different angles soothes that over the top urge to put meaning in my making.
Carolyn Friedlander’s Ledger fabric for the back helps keep score and the iconic equal sign was the cherry on top of my creation.
To add some humanity and a little imperfection (I don’t like things too perfect honestly) I pieced the binding in alternating red and blue striped shirt fabric from the Goodwill.
Blessings to all marriages and families who will enjoy the benefits of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. Now off to make something in a color other then blue.
A Month in Making:
Messenger Bag with Reflective Material donated by Stephanie (Spontaneous Threads) and repurposed seatbelt closure-my design :: Linden Sweatshirt out of a vintage tablecloth :: Linden Sweatshirt out of organic fleece I hand dyed-both as part of #memademay :: My first adventures in free motion quilting with help from the book Stitch Draw by Rosie James :: Umbrella Prints collaborative project begun :: Blue WIPs.
In other news, I’m delighted and I know we are all flattered that the Modern Quilt Guild referenced Bee Sewcial (Flickr: The Bee Sewcial Pool) as a guide for Quiltcon West’s Charity Quilt Challenge for next year. Check it out here: Member Charity Challenge | QuiltCon West.
Hi everyone! Are you feeling the seasons change in your part of the world? We are definitely in the midst of some major shifts and boy is it nice.
A couple weekends ago, I took the kids to the Sonoma Valley for some hiking and exploration at the Jack London State Park and on the way there we went to the “Unconventional and Unexpected” exhibit to check out the quilts from the book of the same name. What a treat this whole trip was. We loved hiking around Jack London’s estate and seeing his homes. That man traveled to the far reaches of the world (Alaska, Hawaii and Australia), established a working ranch and wrote several well known books and short stories all before he died at the age of 40-INSPIRING! Minus the philandering and alcohol/drug abuse, I want to be Jack London when I grow up. 🙂
The quilt exhibit was also fantastic. Being the only ones there, the person at the front desk kindly gave us our own private tour. She showed us the quilt backs and even the glass window effect shown on the last pic above (evidently they discovered the pretty effect when showing off the quilts to some local Elementary School students.) Those bright polyester quilts are dreamy!
In my own creative world, I have continued to play with the Triangle in a Triangle blocks and have started working on one of my scrubs quilts in earnest. (One of them is going to be a bias tape quilt which I had alluded to in a previous post. My wandering mind has veered me in other directions since I last posted but I will come back around to it.)
I have also been playing with recycled leather and made up some Springy bags. At some point I need to share my tricks for leather appliqué as I have discovered a few really helpful techniques. The orange leather by the way is from a skirt donated by Bianca (Thanks! I made them!). That generous donation has spawned at least 4 different recycled leather projects-AMAZING!
In my attempt to Spring Clean I have also been tackling my UFO pile and combined two quilt backs to make one quilt. It is so simple it would almost more qualify as a blanket. This heavy quilt out of remnant bin red denim and silver corduroy, red linen from my enormous fabric stash and ikea canvas Triangle block pleases me to no end however. It is HEAVY and the texture is squishy and it is made of non-boutique substrates; a WINNER for me on all counts This quilt will get used and loved in our house and will fit right in with my crew.
Wishing you some similar sublime weather and creative vigor.
While I’m a tad paralyzed with how to move forward with quilt making (I have so many stinking ideas that keep coming up while driving or in yoga, I can’t decide which one to start next) I’ve been distracting myself with some more bag making out of leather.
I have a friend who lives in Silicon Valley and is the poster child for online innovation having been recruited and moved from Apple to Google and now Youtube all in this last year. (Of interest we met online through a political discussion group organized by a common ex-high school teacher friend. In response to the gridlock in Washington, she included contacts across the country and world with a wide range of political ideals and we discussed everything from the validity of the “American Dream” to gun control-fascinating stuff! Nic, this friend brought hilarious much needed levity to the group.) In any case I wanted to make Nic who appreciated my handmades a manly bag that spoke to him being an “idea man”. The problem was that after I made it, in my husband’s words it looked a little too “uterus” not lightbulb. That might be OK for some but I didn’t figure my openly gay friend would be much interested in a female anatomy bag. 🙂 With the help of some Instagram friends I had a “lightbulb moment”. I added gold metallic pen to the bottom and . . . So much better, don’t you think?.
Another one of Noodlehead’s bag patterns, the Trail Tote kept me distracted as well ( Trail Tote Free Pattern: Robert Kaufman Fabric Company. ). I decided to make my tomboy daughter a purse using the pattern for Christmas.
I adapted the bag pattern to fit my own plans trading out the front zipper for a large suede star and also replacing the simple inner pocket with a zippered one. I added an inner strip of leather to match the outer bag on the lining. I think this concept keeps the lining fabric from peaking out and looks more professional. This leather was so thick, I also bailed on the side piping. Donated repurposed leather and suede were the stars of these bags and I am very grateful to my crafty friends (Thanks! I made them!. and Spontaneous Threads.) for sending them to me.
I know, I know, more bags. Playing with bag designs over the last week, I cut up a vintage Bemis feedsack and paired it with some red scrap leather and Japanese linen for a 3/4 size version of my Museum Bag. This one is even better in person and the size is not too big, not too small . . . just right. I’m finally converting these paper drawn pieces into plastic form for future use.
The extra red leather scraps also seemed to pair well with my husband’s motorcycle tire tubing that was waiting to be thrown away. It was the first time I sewed with rubber and was delightfully easy. That Pirelli insignia was too precious to throw away and I think my guy likes his new “Boy Bag”. More leather and rubber to come (and undoubtably more bags) . . .
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as combining a great pattern with some treasured fabric. I’m heading to LA to visit some girlfriends this weekend and in anticipation, I wanted to make up something as a gift. Anna of Noodle-head re-engineered her Envelope Clutch recently and I couldn’t resist trying it out with some treasured Umbrella Prints fabrics. Pattern is here: Envelope Clutch PDF Pattern – Noodlehead.
The only modifications I made were including heavy duty Pellon interfacing with the fusible fleece on all outer parts, ditching the side D-ring in lieu of a leather tab and using some more repurposed leather for the trim, handle and inner card pocket. (Side note: Can you believe I now have 3 stuffed garbage bags full of leather and suede that friends have given me?!) I was able to sew through all of these layers because of my industrial Juki. Even with that, working my way through two layers of fleece, heavy interfacing, fabric and leather was a chore.
While in LA, I’m hoping to visit a girlfriend from high school. While I went to undergrad and medical school, she moved to LA to be a dancer and had quite a run dancing in the Academy Awards, on tour with singers and on TV. In my mind, she is most famous for her part in George Michael’s video “Faith”. Anyone else remember those amazing legs? Yep, that’s my friend Lori.
Can’t wait for some girl time.
Although I love making quilts, there is a special place in my heart for projects I can complete in a day or two. One feels so productive when one has a nice bag, block or cowl to show after a short period of time. My days have been filled with such projects of late.
I have been exploring paper piecing a bit more and am becoming increasingly intrigued. I found a free brassiere pattern and made the block above. It is asking for some underwear to go along with it so that is soon to come. Free pattern here: Paper Panache–Free Bra Paper-Pieced Quilt Pattern.
I have also been working with my scrap and recycled leather and putting together small bags. I was the lucky recipient of a new delivery of suede clothing and leather scraps in amazing bright colors that have my creative wheels spinning. I am so grateful to Stephanie Ruyle of Spontaneous Threads (Spontaneous Threads.) for sending them my way. Crafty, blogging friends are the best!!
Loving the 80s vibe this colorful suede brings. There is much more in the works. I also stitched together this more traditional pouch and yes, I am drowning in handmade bags. 😉
To end, I had a nice surprise again yesterday when my crazy yoga pants/french knot project picture was picked as a weekly fave in Craft Magazine Online. Who knew a quick project shot while I was waiting for the kids to dress for school would be so popular? A good reminder to me of the beauty of the mundane, little moments of my life.
Was my work post too heavy? Sorry guys, my life is such an interesting mix of ER, mommy and craft worlds mixed all into one.
In other news. . . my craft room has been bustling of late. I was the lucky recipient of a suprise package from Texas. My friend Bianca, knowing my affinity for repurposing leather sent me several thrift store jewels.
Thanks! I made them!.
I about died when I caught a glimpse of the leather orange skirt she sent. Combined with some white leather remnants picked up from a local upholstery store and some orange circle fabric found on sale (8 yards for $5!!!) a bag design came into focus. Initially, I was concerned that the leather skirt seams would make my bag idea impossible (the biggest challenge I have found with repurposing leather from coats and skirts is that it is hard to find large pieces without seams). What a nice surprise to find that the seams compliment rather then detract from the bag.
Isn’t that lining fabric yummy? I used both U clips for the handle and metal feet on this bag. Both were new to me and thankfully easy.
I also got ahold of some awesome red leather remnants at the same upholstery store and whipped up this little bag. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love the Red Cross symbol? Odd-ball zipper pulls also have me obsessing of late so I used an antique key as one for this bag. No question, I need to find more of these keys!
Lastly, this Sunday I was surprised to see my quilt “Big Blue” picked as a Flickr pic of the week by Make/Craft Magazine online. Very Fun!
CRAFT Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup | MAKE: Craft.
There are some more fun quilty things in the works but all must be put on hold for now. Our family is going on an adventure (one that involves wetsuits and a lot of sunscreen). Yippee! Hope you too have a week of fun and adventure.
I’ve been obsessing a bit of late on stylized letters and numbers. And of course I’m always trying out new bag designs. Combining these loves, I made a new bag out of linen, hand dyed and felted wool and recycled leather from a leather coat donated to me. The stylized #5 is one I copied from a font here:
House Industries – Eames – View fonts.
I cut it out in felted wool and hand stitched it to the bag. Some of my precious leather scraps were used to make stripes on the sides of the bag and for the handles. I used my favorite one sided fusible extra heavy pellon interfacing to stiffen it up and lastly, a heavy weight brown cotton for the lining.
Here is the leather coat, linen and cotton prior to cutting up.
I think I’m embracing my masculine side as my bags and quilt designs lately have been far from “pretty”.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
I come from a long line of crafty women. Perhaps it is the fact that my family hails from Seattle where sitting by the fire with a cup of coffee (I remember when Starbucks was only in Seattle!!) or tea and some handwork is compelling on dreary days. My grandmother was a sewist and knitter extraordinaire. My mother has been sewing her whole life. She has sewn countless curtains, quilts, clothing for herself and my brother and I along the way. She even sewed my wedding dress. Recently she has gotten into refurbishing old Singer sewing machines, one of which she gifted me a couple Christmas’ ago. (As an aside, she is also quite a potter and I have such fond memories of going to her craft fairs as a child and spending all the money she made with her sales on other handmade treats.) 🙂
In honor of this year’s Mother’s Day, I pulled out an antique quilted block I inherited from my grandmother and upcycled it into a bag for my mom. I used some fusible fleece to bulk it up a bit and Brandon Mably’s Babble fabric for the lining. I have packed it with some Clover Wonder clips that my Mama is sure to love and took pics with the Singer my mother refurbished.
Check out another gift I made for my Mama here:
Flowers for My Mother | Entropy Always Wins.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone!