Archive for the 'quilting' Category

Fortune & the Prepared

I’ve always believed that if you do what you love with all your heart, you will find a way to make a living at it; the universe will provide. Last week, when Paulette and I were shopping (Shoes! Fabric! Wine! Furniture!), we stumbled across a serendipitous story of the universe doing exactly that.

When we walked into the the Gathering Fabric quilt store in Woodinville, we found some really gorgeous fabric neither of us had ever seen before. The designer, Julie Paschkis, had recently spent some time at the store and her story was fascinating.

Paschkis had been an artist and a children’s book illustrator for much of her career when one of the founders of In the Beginning Fabrics, an artisan fabric line, called her out of the blue and asked if she’d ever considered designing fabric.

Her response? “This is the call I’ve been waiting for all my life!” Or something to that effect. If she’d been recounting that response to a publisher, not a fabric store owner, her take on that might have been a bit different. ;) Still, it was a heartening story of creative success.

Fortune favors the prepared. If a gallery or a boutique saw some of my metalsmithing, or a publisher saw a snippet of my writing, and said “I love it, I want more!” I’d be stuck. I am NOT prepared for the universe to drop fortune in my lap right now. Are you?

I think I need to work on that.

Posted on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 by Jeri
Under: creativity, inspiration, quilting | 3 Comments »

Quilting Project In Progress

I am not an experienced or diligent quilter, rather, I’m a total dilettante with some basic art & design training background.

This fall I decided I wanted to make a fabric art/quilted wall hanging for over my fireplace because I couldn’t find one I wanted. It had to be attractive, but relatively easy. After lots of looking at designs, I chose the below one, from an excellent book, Color: The Quilter’s Guide, by Christine Barnes.

Original Quilt Design

I decided to do it on a much smaller, wall-hanging scale, and had help analyzing the design and selecting the fabrics. Still, I screwed up – but I’m going to share that with y’all, so you can learn from a newbie’s design mistakes.

I liked the asymmetrical setting, the broken wall, on the original design. I liked the way it popped and combined strip quilting with crazy quilting. I didn’t care so much for the plain brown setting fabric, nor for the blue/brown combination. I also like pattern – even subtle pattern that reads as solid from a distance – so I was determined to add my own spin on the design.

We figured we needed a range of dark fabrics for the crazy quilt blocks, light & bright fabrics for the intervening strips, and a near-solid for the backing.

That’s what I did – but my end result was far too *busy* – colorful, heavily patterned, and middle-value. Below are pictures of the finished crazy quilt strips (I cheated and used a technique called “crazy 9-patch”) and the fabric I had selected for the strips & backing. It just plain doesn’t work together.

Crazy 9 Patch Strips
Strip & Backing Fabric

The burgundy/brown/gold scheme of the crazy 9-patch squares looks like a totally different quilt from the green and orange backing fabric.

What I need to do from here, I think, is shop. Isn’t that the answer to everything? Each individual set works well on its own, just not together. The crazy 9-patch strips would work fine with more neutral, earth-toned solid, light-valued strip fabric setting them off. And the green/orange fabrics would be very pretty as setting and strip separators for calmer, sunny, neutral quilt blocks.

What did work well was the amazing antique Singer Featherweight on long-term, permanent loan to me from my wonderful mother. After all these decades – it was probably made before WWII – it still ticks along like clockwork and made stitching up the first section of this project a breeze.

Singer Featherweight

Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: creativity, quilting | 5 Comments »