Naive

Naive Melody by the Talking Heads has been a favorite song for years. I wanted to make another quilt using the Drunkard's Path alphabet I designed, and this lyric, "Never for money / always for love,"  emerged as a phrase I love enough to put on a quilt. I think of it as an unofficial, cheeky motto for my quilt-making. When you're a quilter, people are constantly asking you if you sell your quilts. And, well, here is my answer. 

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pieces cut

pieces cut

sketchbook and palette, inspired by a notebook cover

sketchbook and palette, inspired by a notebook cover

binding, pieced with leftover squares

binding, pieced with leftover squares

drunkard's path progress

drunkard's path progress

pieced top in progress

pieced top in progress

pieced top in progress

pieced top in progress

I decided to attempt matchstick quilting for the first time on this quilt. I had.... issues. In an attempt to hide, yes, I'll admit it, the puckers created by botched matchstick quilting, I decided to add lots of big stitch hand-quilting. That was two years ago. I'm still working on this quilt, slowly adding hand stitches in beautiful variagated embroidery floss. I love the look and the texture, but it's taking stinking forever. I've probably logged over 60 hours in hand stitching on this, and no end in sight. I don't know if I'll ever be officially *done* with this quilt. If I do ever finish it, I'll post updated final photos. 

matchstick quilting detail

matchstick quilting detail

color is off here, but you can see the hand stitches

color is off here, but you can see the hand stitches

Full quilt, measures 57"x72", hand quilting still in progress

Full quilt, measures 57"x72", hand quilting still in progress

Let's Go Outside

I made this quilt as part of a swap between the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild (of which I am a proud member) and the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. We were assigned partners and asked to make a mini quilt we thought they would like. We could try to assess our partners aesthetic through all the modern stalking methods: Pinterest, Instagram, etc. 

Mini quilt for Giedra, measuring about 24" square.

Mini quilt for Giedra, measuring about 24" square.

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My partner Giedra of Thread n Honey seems to have pretty eclectic taste.  She likes color and lots of prints, especially Lizzy House.  I took these observations and felt free to get creative with her quilt!  I used some little drunkard path blocks that I had leftover from another project, and mixed them with some textured lilac solid I had.  I wanted to make some letters, as I often want to do these days, so I needed a phrase.  I chose "Let's Go Outside", inspired by a picture in Giedra's instagram feed that she captioned, "Summer still-life.  #outsideallday".  I can tell she values time with her kids and that they love to spend time outdoors.

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Hand-written label on the back.

Hand-written label on the back.

Quilting details.

Quilting details.

The letters I pieced for this quilt were pretty minimal.  The e's, for instance, were just squares.  I wanted to experiment with making the letters in their most basic form, and letting the quilting express the shape of the letter.  I didn't feel confident in executing this myself so I hired Nikki Maroon to execute my vision.  She also quilted some outdoorsy images like grass, sun, flowers, and wind.  I love the quilting on this little quilt so much.  Thank you, Nikki.  xoxo

Back of quilt.

Back of quilt.

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Shot Cotton baby quilt

Susan got a wedding quilt and I decided to also make her a baby quilt! Why does Susan get two quilts when many people in my life have yet to receive one from me?  I don't know. Maybe I miss her, or feel guilty about not visiting her more?  Most likely her big life events just happened to fall at a time when I had an open quilting schedule.

Front of quilt.  Measures 49"x35"

Front of quilt.  Measures 49"x35"

Back of quilt

Back of quilt

Again, I wanted to make something simple for her, in line with her taste for all things clean and minimal.  I started with big stripes in soft tones.  Then a friend at Chicago Modern Quilt Guild told me about making a quilt using shot cottons and wool batting, and how the quilt was so soft and had such a nice hand.  Typically I don't give a lot of thought to the hand of softness of the quilts I make, but in this instance it seemed like making a baby quilt extra soft would be a great idea.  I had a gorgeous stack of shot cottons that I had purchased at a great price on Craftsy.  I loved this stack so much that I decided to use it as it was, not changing the order of the colors at all.  I paired the colors up as they came off the stack, cut them into pies and crusts, and sewed them into drunkards path blocks.  I decided to add borders, and the phrase "Hello, world" to the bottom of the quilt.  I wanted to make examples of the letters I had sketched out for a pattern (Simple Shapes Alphabet, hopefully coming out soon), and I thought it was a cute expression to welcome a new person into the world.  I did not know at the time that this is a famous reference to computer programming.   Even though I did watch Halt and Catch Fire.  But I digress.  By now I had come to think of the original front as the back, and this more colorful patchwork as the front.  Of course Susan can use it in whatever way she prefers.  

On the design wall...

On the design wall...

In progress...

In progress...

piecing the letters

piecing the letters

such a pretty spot to nap.

such a pretty spot to nap.

My helper got tired arms. 

My helper got tired arms. 

quilting detail.

quilting detail.

I sent this to Nikki Maroon for some very simple, open quilting.  After it was bound I added a label made from a piece of vintage embroidered linen.  I hope it's getting plenty of use by sweet baby Nico.   

The cutest! 

The cutest! 

UPDATE: Nico is the most adorable butterball and he looks perfect in his stripes on his quilt. This picture made my heart leap.  

Quilt for Our Bed

We needed a new quilt for our bed.

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When we moved to our new apartment I splurged on a beautiful comforter from Anthropologie.  I loved this comforter so much.  Unfortunately, the fabric was tissue-paper thin, and then we got two cats.  Within a few months, my poor, gorgeous bedspread was torn beyond repair.  Very sadly I said goodbye to it.  I kept a swatch of the fabric, though, so that I could match colors and use them as a starting point for a new quilt.

(the following are progress shots, taken as I put this huge quilt up on the design wall.)

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Since I had some practice cutting curves on my Sunset Waves quilt, I felt brave enough to tackle a drunkard's path design.  I admired so many variations: random, serpentine, minimal, Star-Wars inspired (apparently), deconstructed, and many more.  In the end I honed in on the phenomenal 5:HTP Squared quilt by Jen Carlton-Bailly.  I liked how the blocks in her quilt formed shapes that looked almost like letters, but weren't.  (I later had the chance to ask her in a facebook conversation about the inspiration for her quilt.  She said it was inspired by a mid-century modern wall decoration in her grandfather's house, if I recall correctly).  This got me thinking about making actual letters from the blocks. 

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Since this was for our bed I wanted it to be sweet and loving.  I settled on the words Nate and I say to each other every night before going to sleep.  This is a big one!  Measures approximately 108" square.  Gorgeously quilted by  Nikki Maroon.  I also extensively pieced the back, as you can see in the picture above. If I had it to do over, I would change a few things, but overall I'm very happy with this design and proud of how it turned out.

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I'm pleased to say that this quilt appears in the pages of Quilt Now, issue 7.  And that it will also be hanging in the show at QuiltCon, if it doesn't get lost in the mail.  Things are looking a little dicey at the moment so cross your finger for me, would you? 

Edit: I'm thrilled to report that this quilt made it safely to QuiltCon and went on to win the People's Choice award. It was such an exciting day. 

There is a pattern available for this quilt. Click here to purchase. Thank you!

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Halloween Quick Quilt

The final mini quilt in my seasonal series was for Halloween.  Since my boys love Halloween I tend to decorate quite a bit for it, so naturally I needed a quilt for the entry way. 

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I bought this bundle of fabric featuring the adorable Maude Asbury Halloween prints.  I wanted to show off the prints in what little space I had, so I put my two favorites in large swatches on the top and bottom of the quilt, and threw in a little strip of scrappy improv.  With the rest I made some little drunkards path blocks and mixed them up into circles until my eyes were pleased.  I quilted it with straight lines.  Measures 19"x27". 

Short and sweet construction, and a cute little Halloween quilt to display every October.

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