Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm a professional quilter! Kinda!

A friend of mine asked me if she could commission me to make a baby quilt for her friend. She would pay for the fabric and my time, and I would happily make a quilt.

About monkeys! This is the sweetest thing I've ever made. Take a look.

A rarity for me, I actually followed a pattern to make this. Kinda. The original pattern, found in this book, created by this designer, was too adorable to pass up. However, after consultation with my client (!!), it was decided that not all the squares needed to be monkeys. And, during the course of our ramblings at the fabric store, we decided it was best if all the sashing were the same fabric. So, tweaks were made.

Instead of nine monkeys on the quilt, there would be five squares of monkeys and four nine-patch squares. After a comment from my friend about wishing there were letters, in addition to the numbers from the pattern, quilted into the finished product, I decided the squares of the pieced blocks would make perfect places for the letters of the alphabet.

Also, I added a number and a banana applique in a fit of last-minute inspiration. (Read: Oh crap, I have to cover this up somehow without taking the whole quilt apart!) I think they bring an extra something to the quilt, don't you?

Finally, I'd like to leave you with this series, photographed when the monkeys were still under construction. This illustrates how the difference between us and ninjas truly isn't that great.



Thursday, March 4, 2010

Back...for now

**squeak squeak...

Get out the oil can, because my blogging mind is rusty. It's been so long, dear internet, with your cool anonymity and small sense of accomplishment. I've taken you for granted. Left you hanging, bereft of any stories I could give.

I blame facebook. And a promotion at work. And NaNoWriMo.

Life just gets in the way, sometimes. Sometimes i wonder, a lot lately, to tell the truth, if I don't try to spread myself too thing. Not that I have a lot of commitments to honor, but that I have a lot of passions in my life to pursue. I've begun to think that I'm spending a little bit of time here and there on a lot of them, but perhaps not mastering any. I feel guilty for taking time away from writing for quilting, but if I leave off quilting too much, I find my mind wandering back to it, unbidden. Too bad there are things like a job and a husband keeping me busy with the rest of my time, or I could devote myself to these other passions more completely.

Alas, I've grown quite accustomed to having an income. And I've grown pretty accustomed to have a husband in my life to distract me. I've tried meting out my time to all of these parts of my life in small portions, but I'm not a small portions kind of gal. I tend to take on most things in giant gulps, rather than small dainty sips. I delve in, immersing myself in something until I come up for a little bit of air. Maybe for now, instead of trying to aportion a part of my day or week to all of these things, I need to tackle them one at a time. So, for now, at least, I'm thinking of pursuing a NaNoWriMo mentality for all. This month, quilting. Next month, writing. Rinse repeat.

Before we delve into the caverns of what is being done now, I'd like to show off what I finished last year. Behold, the Lily Quilt. I shipped it off at the end of last year for a competition, one that I should be hearing back on any day now. The competition was based around a challenge fabric, and was meant to follow the them of memories. For me, the lily and its strong scent bring back memories of the first flowers my husband ever gave me when we were dating--stargazer lilies. These weren't your standard flowers. He had heard me talking about how much I loved them, and picked them out for just that purpose. When we were married, almost two years ago now, it had to be lilies that I carried in my bouquet.

The real challenge with this quilt wasn't putting into practice a newly acquired applique technique; it was using embroidery to the greatest effect in the center of the flowers and along the petals. In the process, I found the quilt top bunching underneath the weight of so many stitches, despite the stabilizer I used. The challenge came in quilting out the puckers and folds created in the process. In tend, I'm fairly pleased with the result!